Underneath my yellow skin

Black cat strut

black cat strut!
My newest BFF, William.

If there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s that I love black cats. Black is my favorite color and cats are my favorite animals. Put the two together for pure gold. If there is a black cat in a game, I will play it. Well, within reason. Not if it’s a Collar Duty* game or an MMO, but in general, stick a black cat in it, and I am all about it.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 by Larian Studios has a black cat, which makes it an instant classic. I haven’t played more of it, though, because I have to decide who I want in my party and I can’t decide. In addition, I have so many side quests going on, I’m feeling overwhelmed. I will go back to it, but I need to get my footing first.

Side note: I’m off caffeine again and it’s rough. I am exhausted, which is my normal state of mind, but it’s even worse. Once all the caffeine leaves my system, I’m hoping it’ll even out so I’m just tired and not bone-weary.

Ian gave me a bunch of games from his monthly Humble Bundle. One of them is Tales of Neon Sea by Palm Pioneer. It’s a cyberpunk point-n-click (I know, I know) with colorful graphics and cats! There is a black cat who is your buddy and I was already following it on Steam. The main character is a detective and there is a mystery, which is also up my alley.

I will say, I wasn’t immediately impressed with the game because the controls are a bit fiddly. I’m using a controller as seemed to be suggested by the game and the prompts aren’t precise. In the beginning, I’m dropped down and then some dude with a plague mask came after me. I promptly died trying to get away from him (I knew better than try to fight him).

Second time, I found a door and knocked on it (quick-time, ugh), but then it didn’t open? What? I died again and was getting frustrated. I knew I was probably doing something wrong, something basic and simple, but I was doing what made sense to me. That’s part of the problem with being neurodivergent (and not a gamer)–I don’t immediately intuit what the game is trying to get me to do.

Also, this is an issue with some indie devs because making a proper tutorial is hard. I’m guessing that most people think of the end result they want and work their way there. In doing so, they don’t necessarily think of all the ways it could go wrong. Yes, there’s quality testing, but I bet most small studios don’t have the money/time for that.

I did make my way past the plague mask guy and into the game proper. I came upon a black cat who decided he wanted to be a friend of mine. My character tried to shoo him away, but he refused to go. Then, I got to do a puzzle level as the black cat! It was…not great, but I got to be the black cat! Named William! Who is now my BFF!

The rest of the game is fine. I’m made of metal parts and have to farm robots for replacements. Then, after I do that, I get a flashback to two days earlier in my house. That’s where I quit, not for any reason other than I was done for the moment. I’ll play more, but the game itself is not tickling my fancy at the moment.

Nioh 2 by Team Ninja is coming out tomorrow on PC. I have mixed feelings about it because I haven’t finished Nioh yet. I have guilt about it even though I shouldn’t. I feel like I should like it and should have finished it, but I just…didn’t. The second time I played it was after I finished Sekiro. I thought I would be better able to handle it after learning the systems of Sekiro, and I was both right and wrong.

I was right in that the three different stances and the ki pulse were easier to deal with. I was wrong in that I was really impatient with playing the beginning of the game once again. This time, I decided to go for as much onmyo (magic) as possible, which made me impossibly fragile. The general belief is that a magic build is overpowering (where have I heard that before?), but that it can take some time to get there. I reached a boss that I killed in maybe five times the first time I played the game, but it gave me so much trouble with my magic build. If it was a Souls game, I would have happily fought it a hundred times. As it was, I said fuck this shit and summoned. Took care of the boss and promptly put the game back down. I haven’t gone back to it since.

What I’ve heard about Nioh 2 is that it’s an improved Nioh (with a customizable character) and balls hard. Dan Tack from Game Informer, he of the ‘FromSoft games aren’t hard, you just have to be careful’ belief, said Nioh 2 was one of the hardest games he’d played and that it felt unfair at times.

I’ll wait and see how the reviews for the PC is, but I do have an itching for another soulslike. The problem is that Nioh is in that uncanny valley of being very much like the Souls game, but just missing it by a fraction. I caused a stir once in the chat of an RKG stream by saying I had enjoyed The Surge more than I did Nioh. So many appalled responses. So many reasons why Nioh was the objectively superior game. I added to the fire by commenting that I didn’t say The Surge was a better game, but that I enjoyed it more. That was funny!

I’m not sure what I’m looking for right now. I’m still doing Hades runs, but I don’t think I’ll ever get that legendary fish. Hope is all but gone.

Call of Duty.

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