Underneath my yellow skin

Category Archives: Fun

Let’s hear it for the (fan) bois

Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! by David Galindo (chubigans) just got the last update (still in Early Access! I’m curious to see if there will be anything new added before it’s officially released), and it’s a corker. It’s a cooking competition called Iron Cook Speedway (how droll. It’s a common theme of the games), and it’s done in an arena? I think? But simulates the road? Or it’s really the road. Anyway, the cool thing is that Northerlion and his wife, Kate, are in the last update! They are the commentators of the cooking competition, and it was really cool to read that they were in it.

They play Chuck and Gretta, and it’s really delightful. Probably because I’ve watched NL on and off for years, and I love that his avatar looks so much like him with a goofy hat. Kate’s avatar is relly cute, too, and it incorporates that she normally colors her hair different colors (in the game it’s light blue). The repetition of their lines gets a bit samesy, but it’s a small niggle.

A bigger niggle, however, is that the difficulty is ramped up to a hundo in the final update. Look, I get it. It’s the culmination of the whole game, and the whole game is predicated on being difficult. Lots to do at a frantic pace, and you can’t really let up your concentration too much unless you’re doing old days again (as I’ve done for comfort).

One of the new things introduced in this sequel was the food truck attacks. I’ll be completely honest with you–I fucking hate them. As soon as I could buy the  upgrades to stop the attacks, I turned them on and never looked back. I did try one day without them on after I finished the rest of the content, but I quickly turned them back on because it was harshing my mellow. I understand why they were included, and I think they were good in concept. I’m sure there are people who like them, and I did like working towards earning enough to get the upgrades one by one to block the attacks.

However. In practice, they drained much of my enjoyment because the way I play, I try to get into a groove with each day, and they didn’t allow me to do that. Yes, I know that’s the whole point, but it felt…like filler. I know it’s the second sequel and I know there’s pressure to keep it fresh.

Side note: I have always maintained that one of the reasons Dark Souls II (you didn’t really think I’d not mention Souls in this post, did you?) was reviled so much was because it was in a Catch-22 situation. Dark Souls was so original (if you hadn’t played Demon’s Souls), there was no way to make a sequel that could capture the same sense of discovery and surprise as the original, but if they deviated too far from the first game, well, then people would be pissed about that as well.

What I’m saying is that I don’t blame a developer for including something new. They have to do it, and one thing I loved about DS II was that it had fast travel from the start. It’s one reason I played it more than the original game. In Dark Souls III, they switched from having specific number of casts for magicks to having mana (Ashen Estus Flask). I was skeptical about it at first because it meant less of the regular Estus for me, but once I played enough, I was able to see the brilliance in it. There were 15 Estus Flasks total, and if you were a pure melee character, you could have 15 regular Estus*.

I fiddled with it throughout the game, and I discovered that the primo ratio for me was 2:1 regular estus to ashen estus. So, in the end, I had 10:5. I changed it up for the boss fights, but that served me well.

Back to CSD 3. Once I had the food truck attack gimmick under control, I enjoyed the game much more. And that’s exactly what it feels like to me–a gimmick. I mean, it makes sense in the game world, but it feels as if it was just tacked on. Or as if chubigans had the idea in his head first and was determined to shove it in no matter what.

Again, I get it. It’s new and fresh and different. It certainly makes a chaotic game even more chaotic. But I hated actually playing with it on. This brings me to the newest and last update. The food truck attacks can’t be blocked. It doesn’t matter how many upgrades you have–and I have them all–you have to deal with the food truck attacks during every. goddamn. day. Not just one, either. There are at least two (except for the days that had three stops) during each day and sometimes three. Maybe four? I don’t remember I haven’t done the endurance days yet (eight stops per day), but I would surmise there might be five or six.

I hate it. I really hate it.

Side note II: I have to comment about my way of playing these games. I only allow for gold days, which means no mistakes. Why? Because I know that I’ll want to do that in the end, anyway, so why not just do it the first time around? I have written more than once that I do not like that gold days are predicated on perfection. That is neither here nor there, however, as it’s been that way for all three games. I have managed to get all perfect days for the first two games, and I got all the achievements in the first game (before the massive update). I got almost all the achievements in the second game except for a few of the stress day ones. And, I’ve gotten all the achievements in the current game prior to this update.

As to the last point, though, I had many theoretical tears while trying to get the last few. These achievements were getting a gold on certain days with ridiculous requirements. There have been plenty others of these, but I was able to figure out how to get them done.

Here’s the thing. These achievements are not skills, really, they are about finding ways to cheese the achievement as best as possible. There are a few ways of doing this. One is having as few prep stations as possible. Seven is the lowest, and keeping a handle on that is the best way to deal with any day. The problem is that you get -1 on the required points list for every extra prep station. My personal M.O. is to only use auto-serve dishes (ones that don’t take more than one step) because then I can just push them out without thinking about it.

There are a few days where none of the dishes are auto-serve, and that’s frantic as fuck. I hate, hate, hate those days. I also hate random food days because I don’t get to choose. I will say that the random food days in this current update were easy-peasy because there were no points requirements, so I just used all 0-point dishes, which meant all were auto-serve. Did I feel guilty about it? Hell to the fuck no, but it underlines that it’s more about gaming the system than getting good at the game.

I’ve noticed before that the games I love are ones that tend to ramp up in difficulty the longer they’re around. I have a ceiling for my skills, and I can feel when I’m bumping up against the ceiling. I felt in the DLCs of DS II and the DLCs of DS III. I felt it hard in Sekiro. it’s the Keeper in Isaac (the MegaSatan fight), and it’s this update in CSD 3. Like I said, it started nudging me at the end of the last achievements, and now, it’s swirling around me completely. I’ve managed to finish half the stops (A-E, I think. Each letter represents an area, and there are different days within each letter), and I’m not looking forward to the other half.

This is for the hardcore fans, and while I understand why and appreciate it, it means that it pushes the game beyond me. Yes, I finished DS II, III, and Sekiro. I have not finished the Keeper (and this is beyond the True Platinum, which I have), and I’m not sure I’m going to finish this last part or the achievements related. Could I do it? Probably. Do I want to put in the incredible amount of work TOO do it? Not sure. We’ll have to see if I continue to play or not.

 

 

 

 

*Focus Points is the official name of the mana in the game, FP for short. In addition to being the marker of mana, it’s also what you need for your weapon arts.**

**Weapon arts is another new thing introduced in the third game, and it’s wonderful. Don’t want to talk about it in this post, however, so I’ll leave it at that. I’ll just leave this here.

Close to throwing in the towel

Life is not great at the moment. Still. I’ve been unable to try new games because when I get like this, I revert to comfort. DemonCrawl even though it’s…not great, for example. I recently reinstalled Binding of Isaac: Rebrith. It is very soothing for me to play now (except when I get no upgrades in my skill and a ton of health so I can’t die), and I don’t really have to put much effort into it. There are a few games that I’m interested in that are coming out either in the near future or the undetermined future, but I’m pretty underwhelmed by the big games that other people are hyped about.

Let me come out and say it. I hate what I’ve seen from Cyberpunk 2077. It’s probably the most anticipated game to come out in some time, and everyone else seems to get more hyped about it over time whereas I am not even lukewarm about it.

Let’s roll it back a bit. Cyberpunk 2077 is the newest game of CD Projekt Red who made the huge hit, The Witcher 3. My boo, Geralt of Rivia, was the protagonist of that game. It was an incredible game, and I put probably a hundred hours into it. I did have a bit of a qualm about how white the game was (yes, set in Poland) and the fact that all the women were sexy and fuckable whereas the men were allowed to be of all sizes, shapes, cleanliness, etc. I also grew weary in the last few hours of the game. I blamed that on myself, however, because I tend to binge on games until I’m absolutely glutted. In this case, it was because I was in some cave with a witch, and I had to find my way out of it instead of her simply transporting me out when the quest was over. The map didn’t help, and I became increasingly lost. I almost quit, but I knew I was really close to the end. I don’t remember how I got out, but I finally did. I’m pretty sure this was a mandatory quest, and I was pretty pissed that I had to do it.

The ending I got was worth it, though. Spoiler warning, I guess if you don’t want to know one of the several endings for The Witcher 3. I chose Triss over Yennefer, and I retired at the end of the game in a small house in the woods somewhere. Ciri takes up the mantle of witcher, and there’s a very touching scene between us before I got my epilogue. I was extremely satisfied with my experience in the game, if somewhat burnt out by the end. Then the first DLC dropped. I eagerly snapped it up, and…I fucking hated it. The main antagonist is a violent, arrogant, narcissistic prick, and I have a really difficult time dealing with them given my personal history.


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Malaise gaming is default gaming

Really struggling with depression and anger at the moment for several reasons. Was going to write a post about the sexual harassment and toxic culture of Ubisoft but was not up to it. Instead, let’s talk about comfort gaming. Right now, I’m on a Souls break, and I think it has to do with the lingering exhaustion I feel from the DS III platinum. That really sucked out the enjoyment I had with the game, and I will be honest. Trying to do a character on the PS4 to help Krupa didn’t help. Don’t want to get into that either.

Side note: There’s a dude in the RKG group who is insistent that grinding for the covenant items is doing it the ‘wrong’ way. And he says it every time someone mentions it. Now. Is PvP’ing for the items the official way to do it? Yes. I am not disputing that. The covenants are all co-op based, so the fact that getting the items through the covenants means it’s supposed to be done by co-op. However. It does not mean that getting them by grinding enemies is the ‘wrong’ way. It’s in the fucking game. Every one of the items you need via covenant can be done by grinding, so that definitely means it’s not the ‘wrong’ way. Is it the less preferred way? Yes.

However, this guy is so insistent on co-oping being the correct way to do it. In addition, every time I say that I jump off a cliff rather than fight an invader, he feels compelled to say that I should learn to PvP because it’s fun. no matter how many times I tell him it’s not fun for me or that I suck at it. He said that when I first started playing, I was bad at PvE but now was good at it through practice. I said I was still mediocre at it, but there were ways around that. I didn’t say it, but I was thinking that I wanted to get better at PvE whereas PvP leaves me cold. Also, it’s ableist to assume that everyone can do PvP. I have shitty reaction times for more than one reason, and that isn’t something that gets better with practice.

It’s frustrating because I can see his point of view, but he can’t or won’t see mine. It’s a very white young male point of view, and it’s frustrating to keep banging my head against it. He’s by far the only one, but he’s the most persistent one. In addition, he’s put in nearly two thousand hours into DS III so he eclipses even me in my play of the game.

I’m finding myself less and less enamored of the RKG group in general. There was a racist ‘joke’ meme posted to the group last night by someone I like in general. Oh, same as the guy above. I like him in general. I’m just too old and tired and Asian and female for this shit. It’s not that I feel as if I don’t believe but that I am in the group on sufferance. It’s like that with any group, really, though. As lang as you fit into the parameters of what the group defines for itself, you’re accepted. Most of the parameters of this group are good, but the ones that aren’t, really aren’t.


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Released from this Mortal Shell, er coil

Mortal Shell by Cold Symmetry is one of the few soulslike games that I was cautiously hyped for when I saw the trailer for it.

I mean, look at it. It could BE a Dark Souls trailer, down to the many bosses reveal. By the way, I never watch trailers for FromSoft games because they give away so many bosses. I always wait until after I play the game to actually watch the trailers because I don’t want to spoil the surprise of bosses for me. I am on the far end of ‘don’t want to be spoiled’ when going into a FromSoft game, which isn’t easy in this day and age.

Anyway, I knew the basic premise of the game which was that you were a…zombie? A walking skeleton? Something in between? Unclear. What was clear was that you could put on different ‘shells’ of enemies you…found? Beat? Unclear. But it was a cool concept, and I was intrigued. The graphics were gorgeous and very Souls-y, and the atmosphere was properly epic and bleak.

When it came to closed beta, I was doubly intrigued. It was so popular, they opened the beta. I downloaded it from Epic and hopped in. Immediately, I was aware that I was in a soulslike. That’s not a bad thing in and of itself, mind, especially one that was as high quality as this game. There was a cutscene much like the ones at the beginning of the you-know-what games, and then I was dumped in an area much like the tutorial area of Dark Souls III but with much harder enemies. The shell I had at this point was that of a knight, and my weapon was a big fuckoff sword. Were we about to get OG Dark Souls up in this bitch? Apparently so.

They do tell you what the different buttons do, but it’s a lot to take in. They’re different from the Souls buttons, and they add a wrinkle that the first time you press B (Xbox One controller), you dodge. The second time you press B, you roll. I don’t like not having a dedicated roll, but I have to admit it’s an interesting conceit. In addition, it makes you have to be much more deliberate about your movements, which has both positives and negatives. Yes, combat is deliberate in Souls games, but it feels…almost clunky in Mortal Shell–at least in the beginning.

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Floundering in the mist

Still feeling pretty shitty, though my migraine is mostly gone. Still lingering nausea and headache, but nothing I can’t power through. The thing is, though, when I feel like this, I can’t really play anything difficult. Or rather, it’s not something I want to do. Mostly, I just loll on the couch and watch videos on a low volume, trying not to vomit. Or at least just dealing with the feeling of nausea because I don’t involuntarily vomit.

There are some games I can play without really thinking about them. One is DemonCrawl by Therefore Games, which is a Minesweeper rogue-lite about fighting, naturally, demons. It’s too random, and it feels like RNG Jesus has to smile down on you in order to actually win a run.  There’s too much guessing, and there is not enough tutorial. There is still a bunch of stuff I don’t understand, and I haven’t gotten any of my crafting slots or whatever they are unlocked. I looked it up, and you had to beat the game on normal  in order to unlock them. Just did that, but you also have to find blueprints in chest? Apparently? Who knows? Look. I’m used to playing games with opaque or no tutorials. I’m a FromSoft fangrrl for fuck’s sake. But, there’s a difference between a tutorial that is just goo through it and learn (FromSoft) and, what, a tutorial that actually explains the mechanisms about the game? Hahahhahahahha (DemonCrawl). Or maybe I’m Stockholm Syndrome with FromSoft games, which is entirely possible.

Speaking of, I finally got summoned in Krupa’s plat-run. It was weird because I got summoned on my TV, but I didn’t see it on stream. I assumed I had been summoned by someone else (though it would have to be someone in the stream as we were using a password), but then, ten seconds later, I showed up on the stream. I was watching my TV screen more than the stream, and I was confused because the person who summoned me was wearing the same hat as me–as was Krupa. That’s when I realized he had probably summoned me, and I needed to get my head in the game.

I sucked as a summon. I was pretty sure I would because my way of playing the game is very stealth-based. It’s harder to do in someone else’s world when you’re going through the area with him, and we were in the dreaded Catacombs. I had my Hidden Body/Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring combo going on, but it’s harder to tell when it expires in ghost form. Two of the whirling dervishes (Carthus Swordsman Skeleton) were on me the second I became visible again plus the invader who decided to go straight for me. Krupa had three summons, but one died immediately. The other one didn’t appear for whatever reason, so it was just me and Krupa. I knew my duty was to protect him, so I kept the enemies engaged (and the invader) and immediately died.

I felt really bad and embarrassed because I didn’t help at all (cold comfort that the other two summons didn’t, either), but I also had suspected that would be the case. You get less health, half your Estus, and nerfed to the level of the summoner. All of which makes sense, but it means that I am not great, even with my beloved Lorian’s Greatsword. the problem with my character is that I’m not really powerful until NG+ and beyond when I’m maxed out on all my spells. I’m sitting at the end of NG with my PS4 character, but I don’t know if I’ll put down my sign again. I honestly think I’m better in chat, but it’s a bit depressing because it’s my favorite game.


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Hodge-podge by gosh

So. I’ve been trouncing my way through Lordran again, this time on the PS4. I’m doing it so I can help Krupa on his DS III plat run for the very first time ever! Usually, I’m the ‘well, actually’ gal in the chat, asking him if he has a moment to talk about our lord and savior, Vamos. He was a blacksmith in the original game, and he was the one who turned your weapons into fire and chaos. So, we pyros decided he was our god. After the last stream, I decided to try to tone it down a bit because it can be too much. In addition, in an aborted session, he mentioned that this run was mostly just to finish NG. He said if he was about to miss something important to tell him, but not something that can be had on a subsequent run. I think it’s because we were all shouting at him about the Sage Ring last time, but it’s really good for a caster.

But, yeah, I’m marching merrily through the game, and I’m up to the Duke’s, er, Grand Archives–right before the Twin Princes and my beloved Lorian’s Greatsword. I have the stats to wield it, and I have all the base stats I want. Well, maybe I could throw a few more into Dex so I can use Black Knight weapons in the DLCs, if I do the DLCs. I don’t need to do them to help Krupes, but I don’t like skipping. Plus, it’s a good way to beef up my stats.

Krupa is up to the Cleansing Chapel and promises an extra-long session on the Fourth of July. I find it amusing that he’s doing it on America’s Independence Day, but that’s a Brit for you. I was ready to go last time (for the aborted session), but I wasn’t feeling great about it because my character is so damn fragile in the beginning. I have to get 12 levels of Attunement for my spells to start. Then, to use my favorite pyromancy, I need 6 in Intelligence. One in Faith for  Tears of Denial, but if I want to–wait. I’ll get to that in a minute. I like to use the longbow for many things, and that’s 5 in Dex. My base for Vigor and Endurance is 20, and I start with 11 and 10 respectively. My Vitality starts at 8, and I drag it up to 10 to begin with. Ideally, I like it at 15.

Let’s get even more specific. Strength-wise, I need 19 for my beloved Executioner’s Greatsword. By the way, shout-out to an overlooked weapon. It has low necessary requirements for a greatsword, and you get mana back with each kill. Focus Points, yeah, yeah, yeah. My even more beloved Lorian’s Greatsword takes 26 in Strength, and I have that. I was behind in Faith, however, because my favorite chime, Crystal Chime, takes 18 points of Faith. When I found it in the Grand Archives, I eagerly went back to upgrade it and realized to my dismay that I was one point short. I was able to level up one more time, and I’m set.

Here’s the thing. From now on out, I can level whatever I want. This is the point where I finally feel as if I’m swinging in my weight class. To be clear, I haven’t had much trouble with the game. I mean, I’ve played it so much that I can do it in my sleep. Oh! I will say, though, that with the help of a message, I found a chest I’d never known was there before. Or if I had, then I’d forgotten and hadn’t opened it in the last dozen or so times I played the game. That’s one thing I adore about FromSoft games–there are so many secrets, you can go for years without knowing them all.

I’m back to loving the game after my month-long hiatus. The not-plat run nearly broke me, so I’m overjoyed that I can play the game again and with pleasure. Still don’t love the PS4, but I’ve gotten used to it. I still can’t play for more than an hour or so, but that’s because of my outdated TV.

I’ve been trying out games that have caught my eye for one reason or the other. Summer Steam sale is a go, and I’ve been picking up things with abandon.


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Toxic masculinity and the gaming industry

With the news coming out about sexual harassment in comics, it was inevitable that stories of the same would come out in gaming as well. The two  are similar in terms of culture, and both are very laddy at best and a stew of toxic masculinity at worst. Even in the RKG group, I know there’s a base of laddishness that I have to accept. Inappropriate and quite frankly gross sexual jokes at time, tons of booze talk, and all the pop culture being referred to is masculine-heavy. Again, this is a group I willing belong to and have a good time engaging with other people to a certain extent. The only one. And in a very limited fashion.

When the news broke out that there was a lot of sexual harassment going on at IGN a few years ago, it didn’t surprise me in the least. Then, Chloi Rad posted this thread, and it made my blood boil (Ian alerted me to it):

I was furious, but I wasn’t surprised. It was obvious that Chloi wasn’t taken as seriously as they should have when they were at IGN. I was so happy when I first saw them because they were female-presenting (and in the closet at the time) and Asian. I loved their voice for being deep and husky like mine, and I loved that they knew their shit. I loved watching them play Soulsborne games, and I only wanted to watch them. But then, they started fading from the content, and I had a hunch it was because the powers that be didn’t want a woman (or someone who presented as a woman) as the face of the Souls games.

Side note: I love FromSoft games, obviously. I have written about them countless times. But, there’s something about them that brings out the worst in gaming culture. I think it’s partly the difficulty of the games and the way that gets hyped. I mean, the definitive edition on the PC is called Prepare to Die. This is one of the trailers for Dark Souls III. It’s funny as hell, but it also emphasizes the difficulty (and says ‘a man’ for the player character, when you can be either male or female).


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A potpourri of personal opinions

free to be me!
My ridiculous big hat and my ridiculous big frostbite hammer.

I beat those four goddamn days in Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! The ones I was moaning about in last week’s post. Two of them turned out to be not so difficult once I fiddled and cheesed in a different way than I normally would. The last two, however, gave me much agita. I’ve talked before about how there’s a thin line between ‘hard, but fair’ and flat-out ridiculous. Because I’m a FromSoft fan (and we’ll get to them more later), I know all about difficult. That’s pretty much all many people want to talk about when discussing their games. To me, it’s the least-interesting aspect of the games. Yes, they’re difficult. And what? Funnily, I was watching Dan Tack from Game Informer talk about them, and he’s probably one of the biggest FromSoft fans in the business. He even thinks Dark Souls II is a brilliant game. He has stated more than once that he doesn’t enjoy talking about the difficulty of the games, and he leans firmly in the ‘hard, but fair’ camp. Anyway, they were talking about the difficulty (because you have to when it comes to FromSoft games), and Tack mentioned that he felt the last boss of Sekiro was ridiculous. Later, Andrew Reiner asked him if he thought it was too much. He hemmed and hawed, but in the end, he said it was.

That was the first time I’d ever heard him say anything in any FromSoft game was too much. I happened to agree with him, but that wouldn’t be the only boss in that game I thought was OTT. Interestingly enough, it was also his least-favorite FromSoft game while Bloodborne is his favorite. He said it was because you’re restricted in how you can play the game, which is true. There is no RPG element; you play as a set character; you have the same katana throughout the game. No new armor, either. You’re Sekiro, and you’ll like it. It’s one of the reasons I don’t like the game as much, either, but I feel Bloodborne is similar. Yes, there are different ways you can play, but it’s still more limited than in the Souls series.

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Still waiting for the next big thing

I’m in a rut game-wise, and I’m not sure what to do about it. It’s partly because I’m still dealing with sinus/migraine issues, and it’s partly because…well, I’m not sure. Yes, I do know. I’m still burned out from the DS III not-plat run, so I haven’t played a DS game since. Well, I briefly played DS Remastered to make sure Steam wasn’t shitting the bed, and I’ve looked at SotFS on my desktop and installed it on my old laptop to gird my loins for, sigh, not-platting it, but other than that, nothing. I will, say, however, I bought Dark Souls III on steep sale (with the DLC) for the PS4 with the intention of making a character who can help Krupa on his plat run. I bought it during the first stream, in fact. However, I have yet to fire it up because I fucking hate playing on the PS4. I have to sit in a special seat, and my remote is busted so I have to use the TV buttons. In addition, I simply don’t like the DualShock 4 as much as I do my Xboner controller, and I constantly worry about it running out of power.

I may try to get to it today, but we’ll see. I would love to help Krupa, but there were tons of summon signs in the first stream. I actually am probably more useful in the chat, but it’s hard to tell him where to go and what to do. When he did the DS plat, he had already played the game several times at that point, and we joined him at the end of NG. This time, he started a new character and had not played since it came out. The last time he saw the game was when he guided Rory through it. So, he needed much more direction. We were trying to tell him how to get the Sage Ring because it’s shortens casting time, and if I were to give a full description, it would be something like, go to the bonfire by the big crab. Face the swamp and find the small underwater room to the left. Go in, be aware of the crazed guy with the cross on his back to the right. It’s in the far right-handed corner. That’s a lot to relay. I finally ended up telling him it’s by the big crab, which made him laugh. But other people were giving more specific directions without mentioning the general area, so I thought that might help. What it boils down to is that we shout directions at him, and then he Googles it. It works fairly well, and it’s going to be a fun time with so many Dark Souls III aficionados in the chat.

Oh! And, he chose to be a Pyromancer, so I can really be annoying this time! I was pyro all the time during the DS plat run, and I’m going to be even worse this time. He tried pyro on Iudex and didn’t get it off at first. I told him to walk backwards as he’s casting. More to the point, wait for the enemy to do his combo, then cast as you’re walking backwards (but you can’t be too far from him). It works a treat. Watching him, I had forgotten how slow the cast is at first, though, because I’m so used to it by now. Some people were telling him to up his dex in order to have a higher cast speed, but I was against it because I prefer to bump up the strength and just muscle through.


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Video games: the mundane and the profound

I had to go to the post office to mail something (have had a check stolen from my mailbox, so I don’t mail out from here), and it was really weird. In the past three months, I’ve gone to the pharmacy twice (once before lockdown started and twice since), and that’s it. The post office isn’t far, maybe a mile, but it might as well have been in Timbuktu. I had the windows rolled down, and I was singing along to the radio. In other words, it was like the before times, and it felt strange. There were people jogging with or without their dogs. The sun was shining. I had to remind myself that there was a pandemic raging on.

Side Note: Even before the protests, it was getting hard to hold onto the idea that there’s a pandemic. Intellectually, I know it’s true. Emotionally, it’s hard to accept that it’s still going on. I don’t know anyone close to me who has been affected by it. If I expand that circle, then, yes, I do. But it’s remote enough to not really kick me in the teeth with it. I keep up with the news, but I’m not checking daily. And, right now, it’s been pushed to the back burner, obviously, because of the protests and the awful behavior of the president.

Pivoting swiftly to video games, I’m still keeping it light. I haven’t played any more BL3, and I’ve stayed away from the Souls games as well. I will say I’m proud of myself for figuring out why I couldn’t get Good Pizza, Great Pizza to work (something about Microsoft redistributables being missing) and fixing it. I still don’t know how it went missing or what exactly I did to fix it, but it works now! It’s funny because it’s not a good game, but there’s something addictive about it. It started as a mobile game, and it shows. That doesn’t stop me from compulsively clicking, though.

Anyway, I picked up Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor–Martyr (what’s up with the name, by the way?) because it was on steep sale and because Ian had gotten it. I’m interested in the Warhammer universe to a degree, but more the fantasy lands than the space ones. Still. I was looking for a Diablo-esque hack-and-slash because sometimes, all you want is meaningless fun. Does this scratch that itch? Yes…and no.


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