Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: passion

Sekiro: Praise the Empire of the Sun!

Ed. Note: More Sekiro, of course. Yes, there will be spoilers. Many, many, many spoilers. In fact, consider the whole post one gigantic spoiler. 

Update Ed. Note: Turns out I had a lot to say about the difficulty of FromSoft games, so this post will not be as spoilerific as I initially thought. More like mild spoilers. Unless you’ve never played the Souls games, for which there are bigger spoilers. There will be one major spoiler for Sekiro, and I will tag it when we get to it. 

My complicated relationship with Sekiro continues. I have consumed it with a focus that is probably frightening to behold, but it’s how I play all FromSoft games. By the way, I’m retiring the Soulsborne moniker and just calling them FromSoft games from now on. They are not all the same, and they are not interchangeable. Even though I understand why people lumped Dark Souls and Bloodborne together, it’s not really the best way to talk about the games. Yes, they share similarities, but it’s because they’re made by the same company, and, specifically, the shared vision is that of Miyazaki. So, FromSoft games it is.

I have no idea where I am in the game, but it feels like end game to me. By that, I mean the last third of the game. Again, I don’t know for sure, but I know the rhythms of FromSoft games by now, and, yeah, I would say I’m two-thirds through it.

Last time I wrote about Sekiro in the bonus post, I was raving about the unique experience I get from beating a FromSoft boss that I previously thought was unbeatable. I’ve written posts in the past, likening the process to the 5 stages of grief. I’d like to expand on this a bit because every time there’s a release from FromSoft, there’s the inevitable discussion about whether or not there should be an easy mode included. It’s frustrating because it’s hard to explain exactly why an easy mode would absolutely take away from the essence of the games. Dan Tack from Game Informer (their resident FromSoft games enthusiast) has a great article on it.

I have to note that people conflate two things when they bring up an easy mode for FromSoft games. (Almost typed Souls games. It’s gonna take a while for me to self-correct on this.) One reason for requesting one is to make the game for accessible for people with disabilities, and the other is to make the game more accessible for people who don’t have the time, patience, obsessive nature, etc., to become competent at the games.

I have sympathy for the former, and to the extent the games can be more accessible such as being able to rebind buttons (Sekiro is the first FromSoft game for which you can do it), colorblind settings, etc., I am here for it. All of it. Putting the glowing red Deathblow circle on an enemy, having differently-colored arrows over enemy heads, using a kanji character to indicate when you’re about to encounter an unblockable hit–all of this i s good. (If FromSoft wanted to add an option to turn it off, that would be fine, too.)

Making the game itself easier? Yeah, no.

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Shaking Things Up

let's tidy up in here.
Clean up in aisle 5!

I’m getting better, but I still feel I’m on the cusp of a relapse, which is no fun. I’m also musing over my writing life because, well, to be frank, blogging isn’t doing it for me any longer. Or rather, blogging every day isn’t doing it for me any longer. I still enjoy writing blog posts, especially the POOG posts, but it’s becoming to feel more like a chore given the political climate of the country right now. Plus, I’m beginning to think that shouting on the internet isn’t really doing anything meaningful, but I don’t want to give it up completely.

On the other hand, I have been neglecting my fiction blog (minnahong.com), which–good lord. I just checked, and I haven’t touched it in over three years–doesn’t feel good at all. minnahong.com used to be my blogsite, but then I decided I wanted to use it to promote my fiction instead, and I switched it over. Obviously, I’ve been letting it languish, and I’ve recently decided it’s time to change that. I want to state it out loud because I’m terrible at actually implementing change. I’m hoping that by letting it be known, I’ll be spurred into action.

To that end, I’ve decided on a 3/2 split with three days of blogging here and two days of posting fiction there. I’ll continue with my old novel, Trip on This, and I may start up another old novel I wrote (haven’t quite decided which or if I actually want to do that. I may just want to focus on Trip on This and then the sequel which I recently wrote–sixteen years after the original).

This is all tentative right now, but I’m planning on doing blog posts Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I’ll keep to the current topics (personal thoughts, health, and popular culture/fun/POOG posts, respectively), but I reserve the right to change that up in the future.

Then, I’ll post chapters from my fiction on Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday will be Trip days (I’ve already posted two chapters), and Thursdays will be, well, we’ll see what I decide. That’s the tentative schedule for now, but again, I reserve the right to change it later if I feel the need.

Personally, I’m in a foul mood, and I don’t know why. I’m hoping that changing things up with my writing will help with the general ennui I’m feeling. By the way, that Google art thing matched me with a painting called Ennui by a Japanese artist (can’t find it right now), which is a lounging woman in a kimono. It doesn’t look like me at all (to be fair, it was like a 40% match), but I love that it’s called Ennui. I changed my name on Twitter to M’Ennui Hong for a few days because it amused me so much.

My sleep has been astonishingly bad lately. Not as bad as it was twenty years ago, but astonishingly bad for me lately. Which means I’m getting better. But it also means my depression is hitting particularly hard right now. The only positive thing I can say about the depression is that I know it’s not rational, which makes it slightly easier to believe.