Underneath my yellow skin

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Salt and Sanctuary: There’s a Lotta Salt in My Sanctuary, Part II

onion kniiiiiiight!
The Masterless Knight, one of my only friends.

Ed Note: This is part two of my review of Salt and Sanctuary, a game that wears it Dark Souls inspiration firmly on its sleeve. You can read part one here. There will be spoilers abound in this review, so be forewarned. Now, on with the show.

I just finished Salt and Sanctuary last night, and I have several things to say about it. Buckle in, boys and girls, it’s going to be a long and bumpy ride. I have a hard time talking about this game because my feelings on it are over the place. On the one hand, I’ve been obsessively playing this game, even starting a new game as a melee player (much more on that later), thinking about it even when I wasn’t playing it. That’s a sign of a game that has crawled up in your spine and made its home there. I finished the game in roughly forty-five hours, which is one-third the time it took me to finish the original Dark Souls plus DLC (don’t judge), and that’s with plenty of exploring and grinding. I probably could have finished it in thirty-five to forty hours if I really booked it through. This way, though, I feel as if I’ve seen most of what the game has to offer, though I’m aware of a few things I’ve missed.

However, about a half to two-thirds of the way through the game, I begin to hate it. It started to feel like a destructive relationship in which you’re totally in love with the other person, but you know they’re going to be the death of you. No, I’m not saying Salt and Sanctuary is going to kill me–let’s not take the analogy too far. You know what’s a better analogy? Having a big bucket of popcorn at a movie. At the beginning, I’m munching the popcorn and feeling pretty good about. Who doesn’t love theater popcorn with the mysterious butter-like syrup they pour over it? I’m munching through the previews, and the popcorn is delicious! I have handful after handful, and about halfway through the bucket, I start to feel slightly sick to your stomach. “I should put this down,” I think, but do I? Of course not. I paid good money for it, and who likes stale popcorn? Plus, some theaters now give free refills(!), so better keep on eating that popcorn. Three-fourths of the way through the bucket, I’m grim. I don’t even know what movie I’m watching any longer because my stomach is hurting, and all I can think about is that damn popcorn. I know I should just get up and throw the bucket away, but I’ll be damned if I let it best me. I am going to finish the bucket if it kills me, which it probably will. By the end of the movie, I’ve stuffed every kernel down my gullet, and I’m already regretting it. Once I’m done, I feel nothing other than remorse, shame, and bitterness at the popcorn for being there. Then, I go to the concession stand to get my free bucket just because I can. I never learn.

Again, it’s not a perfect analogy, but it’s pretty close to my feelings as I went through Salt and Sanctuary. I want to make it clear that the game is still a solid game, but the last third of it really made me sour on the experience in general. I also have to say that I went through a similar fatigue while playing Dark Souls, and it’s probably because when I play a game, I gobble it down as quickly as possible. It’s similar to when I watch a TV series; I binge-watch until I feel slightly ill. Anyway, in the last third, the game started becoming more focused on platforming, which is not the part of the game I enjoyed. I mentioned in my earlier post that the platforming feels oddly squishy, and that it’s hard to tell when you can safely jump and when you can’t. In addition, there are disappearing platforms, crumbling platforms, and platforms you can’t see until you’ve jumped a certain distance. What’s worse, there are combinations of all these, which nearly did me in.

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Top 10 Things I Need When We Talk About This President

don't do it.
Just say no!

I’m tired. I’m sick. I’m sick and tired, which means I’m fucking cranky. As such, my normal filters are gone, so I decided this is the perfect time to go on a rant about how people talk about this president–mostly the media, but also people on social media. Look, I know we’re in dark days with this president, but some of the things you’re doing isn’t helping. At all. Let me put them in list form because people love listicles.

  1. Stop being incredulous about the shit he does. “Can you believe this president _____?!?” Unless the blank is, “Worked at a homeless shelter without cameras around for a day” or some such, yes, I can believe it. We’re only four months in, but he has shown who he is. It irritated me when before he even started, people were like, “Oh, he just said what he said to get elected. He won’t do what he said during the campaign.” Yes, he will! Or something even worse! There is no depth to this man, so what you see is what you get. He’s shown himself to be an ignorant, incurious, idiotic, narcissistic, reckless, and plain old mean-spirited jackass who doesn’t know his asshole from a hole on the ground. He has no filters and no impulse control. Whatever he thinks as it were, he does. Sell out Israel by telling their intel to Russia? Of course. Telling Middle East countries that radical Islam is bad? Why the hell not? There is no more to this president than what he’s shown. Expect the worst.
  2. Don’t focus on the extraneous shit. This one is hard because all he does is shit. Big, huge piles of it all over the White House. It’s hard to know what’s important and what’s not. But, there are a few easy ones. His appearance. There’s no need to be snarky about it. This includes his weight. It amazes me that liberals who jump on anyone for fat shaming turn around and do the same thing to a conservative. That tells me your social justice politics is more politics than social justice, and I am not here for it. I would say most of his tweets are extraneous, albeit infuriating.
  3. In a similar vein, leave Melania the fuck alone. I’ve been extremely displeased with liberals calling her a mail-order bride or making fun of her English. When she does something egregious such as plagiarize Michelle Obama’s speech or defends her husband’s outrageous birther bullshit (before the campaign, even), then have at her, but don’t make it personal. Maybe it’s because I’m the child of immigrants myself, obvious immigrants, but I hate when anyone disses immigrants. It’s understandable given the double standard, same as when Ted Cruz was running for president, but it felt slimy to me. Additionally, I don’t give a fuck that Melania had nude photos taken of her, and I side-eyed liberals who denigrated her while scolding others for demeaning sex workers. Don’t do that shit.
  4. Stop getting mad when people talk about him having mental health issues. I know it’s frustrating beyond belief that the only time we talk about mental health in this country is when someone it’s associated with violence/bad things perpetrated by the person with the mental health issues, but I don’t think the answer to it is to ignore that there are people with mental health issues who do bad things. I once was told in my writing MA program to change the race of my female serial killer protagonist from Asian to white because otherwise that’s all people would focus on. I didn’t because I don’t believe in hiding the dark side–I’m Jungian in that way. We have to face our shadow sides. I’m also for the truth, and no matter how you try to obfuscate or equivocate, this president is not mentally well.

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