Late to the Party #4 – Bioshock 1

So, it’s been a while since I last posted anything related to the Late to the Party series. The main reason for that is the fact that I’ve been busy playing games that aren’t that old On-Stream while not playing as many games Off-Stream.

Either way, in March, I started playing Bioshock 1 (Remastered) for the very first time during a 24-hour-stream (the kind that I don’t do anymore) and I really enjoyed playing it for about six hours. After that, we didn’t touch it again for quite a while since I soft-locked myself. It’s a rough time when your save file is soft-locked, no matter which save-file you’re trying to load. But more on that later.

So, what is Bioshock? Why did I want to play it? Why haven’t I played it yet?

Bioshock 1 is an Atmospheric Horror-Action-FPS game by 2K Boston in which you’re playing a man named Jack in the 1960s that is exploring the world of Rapture, an underground city, trying to find out what conspired there. You have a wide range of weapons available to you but you’re also forced to modify your DNA to become an even deadlier weapon, slinging fireballs and summoning bees and doing that kind of stuff.

But first things first, after a plane crash, we get to swim to safety to an island with a light tower where a capsule of sorts leads us deep into the sea. Once we arrive in the destroyed city of Rapture, we get to meet our first Slicers, enemies that are going crazy to receive more Adam (which is the stuff you pump into yourself to get stronger) and they attack anything and anyone. While you make your way through the world of Rapture you find out about Andrew Ryan, a businessman and objectivist, that wanted to create a utopia for society’s elite to exist outside of the government’s control and limits. Through several audio clips and tapes found in the world, we learn more about the world, while acquiring more powers (through Adam) and trying to progress further and further into the game, intending to eliminate the mastermind behind all of this!

What I really liked about the game in the first six hours of my playtime was that you were able to see that something obviously wasn’t going great with Ryan’s plan. This place called Rapture was supposed to be a utopia but ended up in ruins with flooded and destroyed areas as well as corruption, elitism, and a lot of danger. We find out more about the source of Adam, the science and research behind it, the world and what happened, as well as how the few sane people in the world are managing to come by. We go on errands, completing missions, and we can do so however we want.

I loved it.

We were able to be stealthy or more like Rambo. We can shoot our way through the game or play a spell slinger of sorts. The game gives you a lot of freedom which eventually transitions into the choices as well. Jack is trying to find a way to escape Rapture and obviously, needs to get his hands on more Adam. To do so, we need to defeat the iconic Big Daddies (that even I knew about) and either harvest or rescue the Little Sisters. Harvesting gives you more but it will kill the Little Sisters. Saving the Little Sisters grants them a life free of Adam and risks but you’ll end up with less Adam, though you may get some other rewards. This whole thing is completely optional most of the time and the morality behind it influences the ending.

But then I got stuck and didn’t play it again until October the 7th and October the 8th where I played through the game during a Spooktober stream.

The whole dark and gritty aesthetic that Rapture presents to you is just lovely and scary. I got goosebumps from some of the score’s tracks alone, while the enemies are beautifully gruesome, scary and just creative. The Big Daddies, for instance, are bio-engineered humans in diver suits while Spider Slicers jump and crawl away, shooting you from the ceiling. Overall, enemies like that seemed super fun to me and I really enjoyed battling them in most of the scenarios while using these 60s weapons, magical powers, and using a water puzzle of sorts to hack turrets, vending machines and other objects.

Now, the issue I had with Bioshock was that there’s a postal office of sorts with a hotel and stuff where I was supposed to photograph one of the Spider Slicers… but that Slicer was stuck in the ceiling, so I didn’t have the chance to take a snap from it. Alas, I needed to restart the last save file – a file from over an hour ago.

And then I didn’t play it again until the beginning of October… but when I reloaded and made sure that I’d take a few snapshots of the enemies that I needed, I actually was able to progress smoothly with only one crash or two in total. The story progresses quite nicely and while a lot of the “missions” felt like errands, I did actually enjoy the game a fair bit.

Ammunition and EVE (your mana) are limited, so you cannot always just fight everyone and everything. This made the game rather fun, especially as I was able to customize perks and skills to fit my needs!

Honestly, I wish I had played Bioshock earlier. I’m looking forward to playing the second game eventually! Bioshock is a great game and 2K really outdid themselves with it!

What has your experience been with the Bioshock franchise and the first game? Did you play the games/this game? Did you like it? Can you recommend the franchise as a whole or maybe just certain titles? Let me know!

Cheers!

One year of streaming on Twitch

Today’s the 19th of November and this day is special to me as it marked the day that one of my favourite hobbies, streaming, started. In the beginning, I just wanted to do it for the sake of trying it out and honestly, I had low hopes as to whether or not I’m going to continue doing it for a long time and after many technical issues and changes, I’m more than happy, after a whole year of streaming, to announce that I love it and that I’m happy with what I’m doing on this platform called Twitch and that I’m looking forward to the future and to what I’ll be doing on this platform. 

Now, to celebrate occasions like these, I used to do 24-hour-streams and stuff like that but I know that I’m not able to do that anymore due to the bitrate issues that I have in the afternoon and the evening. Also, it’s not the healthiest thing to do and while I was thinking of doing two twelve-hour-streams, I thought to myself that I should maybe borrow some inspirations from other great streamers that have inspired me to do this in the first place. Alas, in a similar fashion to other streamers, I’ll keep the celebration simple. 

We’ll be live on Saturday, the 21st of November, at 9 AM GMT, for a total of 12 hours! During those twelve hours of fun and necromancy, we’re going to perform a vast amount of rituals to summon the dead and raise hell, by giving away games, playing Jackbox and other titles, and doing some Twitch Sings. We’re also going to talk about a lot of things, like the games we played and vote on a lot of things using the poll-feature. Apart from that, we’ll review one year worth of clips and chat and maybe do some more Art as the time goes on. 

If you haven’t already, join the Discord server to stay up-to-date and bond with other undead and living, alike! 

Either way, I hope you’re having a fantastical day and that you’re doing alright. I have yet to finish editing the one-year-of-blogging-post that I have in my drafts, so look out for that one.

Cheers!

I played Phasmophobia for the first time

So, Phasmophobia is a game that exists and is rather popular right now. Some friends of mine wanted to play it with me but I knew that if I were to pick it up, I’d end up playing it and then everyone would stop playing it suddenly. It’s a curse with multiplayer games that I’ve picked up in the past and hence, I hesitated on picking it up myself… but then MuddChi gifted it to me, so I played it for the first time with her and I had a lot of fun actually.

For anyone that doesn’t know Phasmophobia, it’s a game that explores the premise of investigating ghosts and paranormal activities. You take on jobs and search for clues that reveal the type of ghost you’re dealing with. These clues can range from temperature drops to it talking to you to flickering lights and other things.

For our first job, we went to a house where we found a random bone lying around. MuddChi took a picture of it while I was uwu-ing into the “Spirit Box” that allows me to talk to specific types of ghosts. We set up cameras and observed a “ghost orb”, a will-o-wisp kind of light that floats through the room. This already reduces the number of potential suspects from twelve to six! We then investigated the room more to see if we could find some fingerprints, using the UV light… nothing to be found. That means that it’s not a Poltergeist. My constant “uwu”-ing into the Spirit Box also didn’t result in any paranormal activities or other responses… the ghost must have thought that I’m an idiot. I tried asking it about its age, location, and whether or not it wants to hurt us: No response. 

We weren’t too sure if it was just shy or if it just doesn’t speak to us… but for now, we were able to rule out the Jinn, Poltergeist and Mare, leaving only the Shade and Yurei. The Yurei has a stronger effect on the players’ sanity while the Shade is really shy but apart from that, there aren’t any characteristics that would explain one or the other for now. Alas, we had to either detect Freezing Temperatures or an EMF 5 Reading… but since we couldn’t detect either and since we didn’t want to just guess it, we decided to go for a bold move: Provoking it.

Since it was in the main room of the house, right next to the door, we ended up having MuddChi check the activity while I’m throwing out insults at the ghost. The EMF reader was on the ground, giving out a reading based on nearby activity… and if it was nearby, it would either spike to a reading of 5 or I’d be able to see my breath. I decided to turn on the local voice chat and just constantly swear into my microphone, yelling “fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck” into my headset. With the crucifix on the ground, I felt safe, until the EMF reader picked up a strong signal. I tried taking a picture using my camera but was too slow. The ghost’s shadow appeared, scared the shit out of me, and vanished. I took a step back and was out of its reach – outside of the house. We got it, I thought. It’s a Shade! 

We cash in experience points and money and moved on to the next job. 

For the next job, at some small street house, we first checked out the basement to see if we get any readings or anything like that… but there was nothing. No significant temperature drops, no fingerprints, or any EMF readings. In the entryway, however, we found yet another bone and took a picture of it. There, we noticed a painting falling down and dishes being thrown around. Is this a poltergeist or does someone just not like to do the dishes?

After a while, MuddChi found fingerprints, reducing the number of ghosts to a measly five: The Spirit, the Wraith, the Poltergeist, the Banshee and the Revenant. Since the fingerprints were nearby, we threw down our tripods and cams to observe potential ghost orbs and placed our ghost journal with utmost care. No Ghost orbs meant that it’s not a Poltergeist, leaving us with only four potential ghosts! Since the Spirit and the Wraith both can be found via the Spirit Box, I tried speaking to it. The other two ghosts would need EMF readings but I already had the Spirit Box with me. 

I really wanted to talk to it and maybe make a new friend, so I stayed in the vicinity of the Ghost Journal and started asking questions. “How old are you?” got an answer: “OLD.” I was surprised. It’s either the Wraith or the Spirit. I should be able to soon see Ghost Writing or Freezing Temperatures to identify which one of the two it is. I didn’t see my breath yet and the Ghost Journal was empty. I tried talking to it again, asking what it wants to do. “HURT”, the ghost responded. Shivers went down my spine and I hated every single bit of this job. 

Why is this so scary? Why am I so scared of this when there’s really just a voice speaking to me and nothing else? “Who do you want to hurt?”, I ask. No response. “Do you want to hurt us?”, I clarify… No response. “Are you here?” – The ghost didn’t seem to like my questions as the activity went up again and as it seemed to not like answering it. “Give me a sign”, I spoke, and candles started falling down from the desk. I let out a small “Oh, fuck” only to see that the Ghost Journal was filled with something. “DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE”, it said. I was both anxious and relieved. It’s a spirit. Ghost Writing, Fingerprints and Spirit Box? Yup, a spirit. We entered the evidence into the journal, packed up and closed the hatch. Our trunk went off and we got our experience and money. It was a successful day and while it was really scary… I’m somewhat looking forward to playing another time. 

So, Phasmophobia is quite scary. It’s more about psychological Horror and you do your best to actually get the right clues and find the ghost. It’s a nice game and I hope that it gets the necessary funding to eventually receive even better and more elaborate updates! For this play session, I was joined by MuddChi who does stream on Twitch more often than not. She’s a great streamer and a close friend of mine, so I’d highly recommend checking her stream out if you haven’t already! The game itself is great but I seem to get enough of it after a job or two since it can be really scary and since I’m a scaredy-cat. 

You can find Phasmophobia over here on Steam. It’s currently in Early Access, so it’s still in development and can feature a lot of bugs and crashes, potentially. So beware of that. Personally speaking, I’d recommend it, although I’m not sure if this post gives you any insights on the game and its issues or why it’s so good, so this is not necessarily a review or anything like that. If you ever feel like playing Phasmophobia with me and some friends, be sure to join the discord and chat with us!

For now, though, I’ll try to get some sleep. I just did two jobs with a few friends and I’m actually quite scared. I hope you enjoyed this post! 

Cheers!

Edit: This post was in the wrong category and is now properly placed in The Gaming Journal instead of The Stray Sheep. Sorry for that!

MonHunLog #8 – We’re all about that cat!

Last time in the New World, we noticed that we’re a bit too weak to fight Velkhana. The goal I’m aiming for? The Nether Vajra! I need that dragon elemental damage and the elder seal to properly fight Velkhana! But first… someone else needs a powerup, and that’s our Palico, Tammy.

Tammy was rocking the Vaal Hazak armour for the most part and it looked fancy but the armour values weren’t that great, especially since it was only an HR armour set. Luckily, Velkhana dropped a few materials already when I first attempted slaying it. Hence I was able to craft the Felyne Rimeguard Mail Alpha+ already, which looks quite good as well, sadly, the helmet had to wait for a bit until my next attempt, at least.

Apart from that, Tammy has been using the Vigorwasp Spray and the Coral Orchestra for most of our journey, but I felt that I should try and get those other tools. So that’s what today’s MonHunLog is about!

At the beginning of the game, our Palico is only equipped with the Vigorwasp Spray. It allows your little furry friend to heal you, using Vigorwasps. Levelling it up increases the healing due to the proficiency increase. As you level it up, you unlock the Vigorwasp Station and the Vigorwasp Delivery. At last, it will also allow your Palico to revive you once on the spot with half your health, which can come in quite clutch!

Generally, for most of the unlocks, you’ll have to find Grimalkyne Doodles in the different areas and then talk to the Lynian Researcher. Sometimes, you’ll have to complete some quests in the area, progress with the story, unlock campsites or just recruit some of the Grimalkynes when you encounter them.

I unlocked the Coral Orchestra that I already levelled up quite a bit from a quest that the Grimalkyne in the Coral Highlands issued. We were supposed to hunt two Tzitzi-Ya-Ku as part of the quest called “Troubled Troupers”. The Coral Orchestra is similar to the Hunting Horn in that it grants you attack, defence, and status resistance buffs. At level 5, your Palico can use a wind instrument, and at Level 10, you can call your Palico to use a drum instrument. There is also the gong that essentially stuns a monster for a short duration, which can be useful, but I mostly make use of the other instruments.

So, for the Flashfly Cage, I actually had to visit the Ancient Forest again! In Area 17, you can find a Bugtrapper and by following it, you essentially are rewarded with the Flashfly Cage that basically enables your Palico to blind large monsters for a short time. At later levels, you can manually summon a Flashfly and have your Palico place down Shock Traps. It also does that on its own, although those traps seem to be a bit weaker… Overall, a nice gadget to take with you, especially since you can only carry one Shock Trap per hunt unless you restock at a camp.

Over in the Wildspire Waste, we have the chance to unlock the Shieldspire gadget. Essentially, we need to find the Grimalkyne tribe in the lower levels, near the big cave where you find Diablos. They tell you that their friends are in danger and that you need to rescue them. You then need to sneak up to them (the Ghillie Mantle really helped me) and then capture them using your Capture Net gadget. Then you deliver the cats and earn yourself the Shieldspire, a defensive Palico gadget, that allows your Palico to taunt monsters and block damage… but I haven’t levelled it up too much just yet.

Down, in the Rotten Vale, you can get the Plunderblade that my friends have been recommending to me… despite me not having it unlocked yet. So, uh, to get it, I needed to head to some semi-secret area near Area 12 or Area 13 and find a big chunk of meat that was laying around there. Essentially, the Odogaron in the area tends to carry some with it. You let them drop it off, take some of their meat with you and try to not drop it. Then you try to look for the Grimalkyne in the area who first will get lured out by the smell of your meat (heh) but who will then run away. After a while, they won’t be reachable, so essentially, you just drop some normal raw meat and wait for them to come out on their own. They thank you with the Plunderblade which is used to farm materials and items that can be sold or used for crafting.

At last, there’s the Meowlotov Cocktail (I love the name)! After unlocking the previous items, the Lynian Researcher wants you to find Gajalaka doodles and report to him. Essentially, Gajalaka are also Grimalkynes and he wants to establish a cultural exchange and friendly relations with them as well. To do that, we have to find Gajalaka doodles on all the different areas, including Elder’s Recess. For this, I just sorted through the map using the endemic life filters and searched for the spots with Gajalaka, since there are doodles nearby, usually. After visiting three locales, I ended up having enough doodles and talked to the Lynian Researcher again who wanted us to come to Elder’s Recess with him at night. There, you can see the Gajalaka dancing and you’ll have to try and sneak around them to get access to their hideout. Using a Ghillie Mantle is something that I’d recommend since it makes it a lot easier. They can’t spot you! Once you’re in their hideout, they’ll grant you the Meowlotov Cocktail which essentially deals damage to monsters that is based on the element of your Palico’s weapon. This can be really nice to add some more DPS to your hunt in case you don’t need the other gadgets…

Originally, I thought of using the Meowlotov Cocktail against Velkhana and have Tammy use a Fire Weapon (since that’s one of Velkhana’s weaknesses) while I’m using my Nether Vajra (that I still don’t have) to apply dragon damage, especially with the dragon damage bonus that I get from my Kinsect… but the Vigorwasp Spray with the extra healing and the utility seems just too good to not use in that fight. Also, I didn’t want to level up the Meowlotov Cocktail just now.

It doesn’t look too good together but this armour certainly is going to help against Velkhana… although, it’s also made out of Velkhana materials.

There is still one more Palico Gadget that you can grab after this, but I haven’t gone for it just yet and you’ll have to unlock the other gadgets first before you’re able to grab that in Iceborne.

Unlocking these gadgets granted us another two nice perks: The ability to recruit Gajalaka and specific small monsters to fight alongside you and your Palico as well as the ability to use the tailrider gadget to move swiftly across the map and visit a target monster or go to certain other points of interest really quickly. I love it. Much needed, especially with fleeing monsters or monsters that use tunnels that aren’t accessible to you.

Oooh, nice! Meow new friends!

For the next MonHunLog, I wanted to grind some Odogaron (potentially, using the Plunderblade) to get that Nether Vajra! We may also upgrade our equipment further and get some extra defence. We’ll see!

Hope you enjoyed this one. The gadgets are somewhat tricky to unlock. Most of the time, I just didn’t bother with them since I was so happy about the Coral Orchestra – but I can see that they can be quite useful for different scenarios. The Shieldspire is going to be great against Barioth, Diablos or Tigrex if I ever decide to hunt those again. The Meowlotov Cocktail might come in handy as well eventually against some monsters with multiple weaknesses. The Plunderblade is going to be great for later fights and for grinds while the Flashfly Cage is going to be useful to blind fast enemies that are more difficult to hit or flying enemies that I wanna bring down to the ground. They all have their specific uses so I’ll level them up eventually along the journey.

Onto the next quest!

Have you unlocked all the gadgets, yet? What’s your favourite gadget? Do you dislike one by any chance?

The Iceborne gadget allows you to call upon Grimalkynes to help you out, I’ve been told, so I’m looking forward to getting that one eventually! More hands are always nice to have… or rather paws in this instance.

Cheers!

MonHunLog #7 – Winter is coming to the New World!

It’s been a while since I last played Monster Hunter World and since I lost wrote about my adventures in the New World but frankly, I got burnt out from it for quite a while. I used to play with the Hammer, the Gunlance and eventually discovered the Insect Glaive. Eventually, I got bored with those, so I decided to learn to play the Horn which was a lot of fun but progressing with the story was actually quite hard using the Horn I had.

Our current equipment at the point of writing this.

Alas, what happened: Ever since we defeated Xeno’Jiiva, we’ve discovered strange phenomenon all over the New World. Something’s wrong with the ecosystem and as a bunch of Legiana stormed north, we discovered a whole new island… continent… type of thing. 

Effectively, it’s an icy world and we hunt down new types of monsters, create new weapons and we now have a whole new rank to play with: Master Rank! 

Oh, I also gave fishing a go and really liked it, to be honest!

So, uh, as a quick rundown what did I hunt so far?

Coral Pukei-Pukei! Fabulous!
  • Beotodus, an icy landshark that deals a lot of damage and is rather swift… maybe even too swift for my glaive but eventually he died as well.
  • Banbaro, an elk-like monster that is huge and didn’t pose that much of a danger.
  • Viper Tobi-Kadachi – a poisonous sub-species of the Tobi-Kadachi that couldn’t handle the heavy blows of my Hunting Horn.
  • Nightshade Paolumu, a subspecies of the Paolumu that actually puts you to sleep and is weak against Water and Fire.
  • The Coral Pukei-Pukei who was super hard for me personally as he dealt way too much damage with his hydro pump.
  • Barioth… was quite challenging as well.
  • Nargacuga – It posed no threat to us.
  • Glavenus – a monster that came back from a different generation and essentially has a blade-tail. I really enjoyed that fight!
  • Tigrex – a terrifying monster that seems hungrier than Deviljho! Hated that fight!
  • Brachydios – has exploding dick-hands and there’s not really much to that fight. You need to be careful where you step but I just flew over him with my glaive again.
Nargacuga is honestly super pretty!

Then we saw the cause for the disturbance in the ecosystem: Velkhana. It’s a new elder dragon that has an ice-armour and can create ice splitters and freeze the ground, so obviously, we need to be careful not to get hit. In the next mission, we needed to repel it, which we successfully did.

After that, we hunted a Shrieking Legiana (pain in the butt), the shocking Fulgur Anjanath, the Acidic Glavenus, the Ebony Odogaron, and eventually had to first repel Velkhana and eventually, we got “Quest 17: The Iceborne Wyvern” which basically tasks us with slaying Velkhana.

And that’s where we’re at right now. I wanted to pick up Monster Hunter World again and learn new weapons but Velkhana is just super hard to fight. Velkhana’s patterns aren’t the problem though but rather my damage. While I was able to easily hunt down other targets before, I’m now struggling with dishing out the damage in time and hence am running out of time before Velkhana’s actually dead. And that’s quite problematic. 

We’re not the only ones who’re interested in Brachydios!

Using the Hunting Horn against Velkhana was actually a bad choice (who would have thought?), so I tried out my Insect Glaive and failed again, despite having the explosion element on it that tended to be more than enough for most of the previous monsters. Alas, I then tried using the Heavy Bowgun with the flaming ammunition but despite being quite strong against it, it still wasn’t enough…

So, I actually now have to grind some hunts and expeditions to get materials for the right weapons. My weapon of choice is going to be the Insect Glaive as I’ll be able to dodge Velkhana’s ice beam rather easily using that weapon while also damaging the ice armour to eventually get rid of it. Since Velkhana’s weak against both the dragon seal and fire attacks, I thought of going for the Temptation Trident which later upgrades into Vice, Vice+, and eventually into Cruelty and the Nether Vajra. You can find that weapon in the Odogaron Tree and since I’ll need a weapon to fight Elder dragons with anyways, I thought about going for the Ebony Odogaron’s Nether Vajra.

Cruelty does have space for a gem on top of having more affinity and fire damage. The elder seal on Nether Vajra is, however, going to be a lot more useful right now as it’s going to lock some of the more annoying abilities that Velkhana uses.

So, luckily, I already had the materials ready for the Garon Rod II and only had to hunt two Odogaron for three Odogaron Shards to get the materials for Temptation’s Trident and another two for Vice. To upgrade my Vice to Vice+, I’ll need another two Odogaron Shards as well as another Odogaron Hardclaw. So, I’ll have to hunt that one again and I’ll have to carve the body out to gain the necessary shards and I’ll need to get lucky with the Hardclaws. 

Odogaron! DADAAAM!

The upgrade to Nether Vajra is going to require another Dragonbone Artifact (which I’ll just find on an expedition) as well as one more Ebony Odogaron Shard, so if I get lucky, I’ll only need to hunt one more of those… and if I remember correctly, there is an event quest where I’ll have to hunt both of them in one go, so that could actually be quite beneficial for me to save some time.

That, however, is something I’ll have to leave for the next time. It’s been a busy day in the New World and I’ll need to get some sleep in!

Hope you enjoyed the return of the MonHunLog and I hope you’re going to enjoy the next few posts that are coming out soon on MHW and my progress updates! 🙂

Cheers!

Humble Choice – October 2020

It’s yet another month and while I should’ve done this post at the beginning… I honestly didn’t have a chance yet to do it, especially as there were so many other posts that had to get shipped out before this one.

Last month, I was actually able to grab all 12 games and *being a Classic subscriber* I would be able to do so this month as well but I actually don’t have the funds to do so right now, which is a bummer since there’s a whole bunch of games in this one that I would have grabbed for myself. And here’s the list of games that I would have taken.

10 – Fantasy Blacksmith

Fantasy Blacksmith is a “magically realistic blacksmith simulator” that seems like a fun idea. I’d get it for myself since it offers a lot of customization and options to play with to basically smith your own swords. I’m a bit worried though that the controls may be janky or that it’s a bit tedious, so that’s why I put it on Spot 10.

I actually couldn’t find a trailer here so I ended up instead using a First Impressions video by Splattercat – who’s one of the few YouTubers that I frequently watch currently.

9 – Basement

I thought I already owned this one but I actually don’t. It’s a strategy game where you start an illegal drug operation and eventually branch out into other territories, expanding your basement for other laboratories and facilities, eventually becoming a big mafia boss. The strategy and management aspects of the game seemed alluring and while I’m not too fond of the theme of the game, I generally think that it could be a fun idea to try out.

8 – Goat of Duty

I already own Goat of Duty but I could gift this to a friend and they could play it with me. Goat of Duty is fast-paced and silly, which is quite a nice contrast to the games I usually play. I’ve actually got a review out on this game over here if you wanna hear more about this game.

7 – Iron Danger

Iron Danger seems like a great addition to my library and while I’m not going to grab it, I’ll have to wishlist it for sure! It’s a tactical RPG where you have this mix of turn-based and real-time combat. You manipulate time and use the environment to your advantage, which is something that I really fancy. The world seems to have machines already but apparently, there’s also magic and living gods and stuff, so I actually fancy that as well. Overall, seems like a cool idea. 

6 – Lightmatter

Lightmatter is another title that I’d gift to someone else. Personally, I’ve already played through it and I’ve even written a review on it over here – but I’d still get it since it’s a great game and since I enjoyed every single bit of it. For anyone that doesn’t know, it essentially plays in the same universe as the Portal and the Half-Life games. Virgil, the boss of some corporation there, has great plans for the world as he’s found a renewable energy source called Lightmatter that is going to bring world peace to everyone. Sadly, stuff isn’t that easy as there seem to be dangerous shadows as well in the labs. The game features a lot of light-based puzzles and generally, Virgil’s commentary, the search for a cat, and the level design overall are highly enjoyable and definitely what makes this game *shine*. (Okay, I’ll see myself out..)

5 – Fae Tactics

Fae Tactics has been on my Steam wishlist for ages and it will stay there since it’s a great game from what I’ve seen. I’ve seen a little bit of it in various streams and it definitely looked like something that I’d enjoy. Turn-based tactical gameplay is just right up my alley and if you add some magic into the mix, it’s obviously the choice to go for me.

4 – The Suicide of Rachel Foster

I don’t know anything about TSoRF. It’s published by Daedelic Games, which is a studio that I personally have been a fan of for quite a while and who also published Partisans 1941! It combines mystery, thriller and horror elements with a mature and touching story. I’ve heard great things about this game. I’ll check it out for myself, eventually!

3 – Autonauts

Autonauts is a game about programming little robots to then build other robots… and uh… it’s similar to Satisfactory and Factorio in a way, I guess. You essentially can automate a whole bunch of things and programming the robots makes use of a scratch-like programming language that is quite easy to handle and makes it possible for even people with no clue to learn programming, I guess. I mean, Scratch is made for kids to learn about programming, afte rall, so yeah. It’s super cute and I would have loved to get this for myself. It’s on my wishlist, though, so eventually, I’ll get it!

2 – Tropico 6: El Prez Edition

I love the “Tropico” games. I played a ton of Tropico 3 and own Tropico 4 and 5 and will eventually play them as well… I actually didn’t know that Tropico 6 came out already… so yeah, as a fan of the franchise and as I enjoyed Tropico 3 so much (and as it only gets better, from what I’ve heard), I’d definitely grab this one for sure. If you haven’t known yet, you essentially play a dictator in the Tropico games and you govern a tropical island. You can turn it into a tourist hotspot, an industrial country or do anything else with it. You also will have to balance your relations to different countries and the needs of your people. I generally really liked Tropico so far, since you can be a very bad guy or a good guy and you can do questionable stuff that would only work in here but not in Sim City or wherever. 

1 – Sunless Bundle

I actually already own Sunless Sea and I loved it. It’s top-notch Lovecraftian horror combined with exploration-based gameplay and an intriguing story. Sunless Sea is a lot of fun and I gotta play it again to write about it sometime soon! As for Sunless Skies, it strikes a similar note but you play on spaceships in the sky and it features other systems, and grabbing both of them at the same time is great. It’s two games for the price of one choice on top of getting the phenomenal soundtrack as well and supporting the devs. Survival, Strategy, Management and Exploration type games are generally my jam, so it’s to be expected of me to recommend the Sunless franchise so much. 

As for the drop-outs: I already own The Uncertain but haven’t played it yet. It’s a story-driven adventure game set in a post-apocalyptic world, featuring Sci-Fi elements and robots and it seems to be quite atmospheric but generally, I know nothing about it apart from the Steam Store info and I’ll have to play it myself in order to judge whether or not I’d gift it to others. Also, chances are that you own it yourself if you grabbed it for free in 2017 as I did. Meanwhile Shadows: Awakening didn’t really interest me too much. Something about it just didn’t catch me in the same way that other titles did. Fantasy Blacksmith is much more interesting to me than another isometric ARPG. 

Either way, that’s it for October really. October’s Choice felt like a good mix overall. We’ve got nice story games, nice strategy games, nice action games and other adventures. I would have liked it more if there would have been more scary titles to play in Spooktober but at the same time, someone else would have hated that. It’s a bummer that I cannot grab it due to financial reasons but I’m sure that a lot of these titles, including Tropico 6, Fae Tactics, Sunless Skies, Autonauts, Basement, and The Suicide of Rachel Foster will eventually return to Humble Choice or will get acquired during some Sale or maybe they’ll show up in another Humble Bundle! Who knows? 

Are you going for this month’s Choice? What are your choices? Would you rank some stuff differently? Did you originally plan to not grab some game but now decided to do so after my post? – Actually, that last question may seem weird but I’d love to hear how these posts influence people’s interest in games and stuff. Be sure to let me know if you have any thoughts on that!

Cheers!

Alex Hutchinson is out of touch with reality

A lot of streamers on Twitch have been using music that they don’t own or that they weren’t explicitly allowed to use in their streams and now have to fear DMCA strikes and potential takedowns from clips and VODs that could be plenty of years old. Twitch is trying its best to mute those VODs and clips or potentially just remove it but has also handled the situation in an iffy way as it doesn’t communicate which content is problematic and what you’re getting struck for. Instead of saying that this VOD or this clip uses music by some artist who’s now claiming it, then you could delete that specific video and just not use that artist’s music, I guess…

But it’s all a rather difficult situation. Twitch doesn’t handle it well but should’ve stopped copyright infringements ages ago and should communicate it better right now… Meanwhile, labels, studios and artists are in the complete right as well to claim what they own, although the warner bros. bots are going a bit too far at times. 

But among all the chaos in regards to DMCAs and Music and Twitch, there is one man who’s completely out of touch with the world… Alex Hutchinson who’s known for working on Spore, The Sims 2, AC3, Far Cry 4 and Journey to the Savage Planet – who now is working on Google’s Stadia! 

Hutchinson’s hot take is that streamers should rather “worry about streaming the games they didn’t pay for as well” and that “streamers should pay developers and publishers of the games that they are streaming”. According to him, there should be a license “like in any real business” to pay for the content they use.

And naturally, this blew up and he’s responding to some of the comments and I’m not entirely sure if he’s not just baiting to get some attention going or if he’s completely serious about it… but it makes for a good prompt: Should streamers pay developers for the games that they make money with? Should bloggers do the same? Should I pay developers in order to acquire a license to be able to review their games, even when they sent me a copy or when I bought the copy myself? 

Well, short answer: No, that’s stupid. And here’s why:

The problem with this whole idea is that the gaming industry works in a wholly different way from the music industry. Let’s say you’re a solo developer without a publisher and you end up selling a game for 5 bucks on steam. Someone buys one copy of your game and you earn 3.5 bucks whilst Steam takes 1.5 bucks for every copy sold aka 30%. (We’ll just use the 30% cut for this instead of the actual numbers that scale with how many copies are being sold and stuff because it makes it a bit easier.)

If a hundred people buy that game, the developer will get 350 bucks while Steam gets 150 bucks and everyone is happy. Of course, there are other costs involved like advertisement and potential losses but generally, you can get “free” advertisement by giving copies to select streamers, bloggers, websites and certain people so that they can talk or write about it and potentially play it in front of a large audience. A great example for that would be SplattercatGaming on YouTube who’s doing First Impressions of games. Meanwhile, if FGSquared streams it in front of her audience, she’s showing gameplay for more than just half an hour and is able to show the gameplay quite well to her audience, encouraging them to buy it. And on another note, I do reviews as well whenever I get the time to do so – and there are developers that reach out via mail to me and that want me to review their game or at least write about it. 

Essentially, instead of investing a whole lot of money into Facebook, Instagram and YouTube ads, you can distribute review copies to people that will advertise your game for free. They earn money from YouTube ads and Subs/Donos on Twitch and uh… I don’t earn money at all apart from blogging but that doesn’t matter as you get the idea. It’s free advertisement, essentially, at the cost of not selling a copy to that one specific streamer, blogger or YouTuber. 

On the other hand, musicians earn $0.006 to $0.0084 per play on Spotify. If the streamer plays the song in front of a large audience, they earn that $0.006 from that one play. (I’ll stick to the lower number since I also used the highest cut in the example above.) If a hundred people decide to play that song one time, the musician earns $0.60 which is… not much compared to what a solo game developer would earn. And even then, I’m not sure if that musician is getting the whole 60 cents from Spotify or if it gets split up between the artist and the label/studio, etc. 

Obviously, developers will have publishers as well that may potentially take a cut as well but generally, I’d say that small developers earn more on Steam than small musicians do on Spotify. Of course, there are also sales from other music stores (like Bandcamp!) or if you buy the album somewhere else but the cut over there can be so different from artist to artist that I’m not sure if the comparison is fair.

So while the gaming industry and the music industry are completely different in that regard, at least in my uneducated and superficial opinion (prove me right if you wanna and if you know more about it), I actually do think that having licenses could be a good idea. Not for the games but rather for the music. 

In my streams, I use music by Bonaparte, Desmond Cheese and City Girl who I wrote E-Mails to in order to get permission to use their music. Whenever I play their music, it shows on screen and I tend to talk a bit more about the songs and what I like about them. I also tend to tell people to check out the links below to get to the social media pages for the different artists… and I’m also sure that Bonaparte at this point earned a lot from me alone on Spotify. 

What if there was a license that you could pay for that would support the artists that you used on Twitch? You’d essentially pay a fee every month or so and then you’re able to use select artists or playlists and the artists would get a better cut from the deal compared to Spotify… I’d like that idea personally but I’m not sure if that would ever work properly.

Btw, Twitch is now introducing “Soundtrack” now which is an app that not only allows you to use music by approved artists that gave permission to Twitch but that also separates the audio from the VOD, resulting in an easier time for you as a streamer. The overlay for it is also on the screen and doesn’t feel intrusive at all but I’ll write it about that eventually as well at another time.

As for gaming, I feel like it’s ridiculous to pay for a game again that you already bought just to be able to stream it. A revenue share is also a rather silly idea, in my opinion, as the streamers that earn money with their content don’t earn it because of the games… but rather because of the entertainment they provide. It’s transformative, in the sense that streamers add commentary and their personalities to the gameplay. It’s not about the game but rather about the streamer. 

A revenue split would not work in a way because the streamers that do it as a hobby and that don’t earn a cent from it would still have to pay to be able to stream the game they’re playing, for free…? The idea of review copies that the publishers are HANDING OUT to certain streamers would be idiotic as the streamers would suddenly have to make less money by streaming the games that they got given. 

If we take this proposal further (ad absurdum), then the pianist is going to have to pay the guy who made his piano for every single person that bought a ticket to his concert. The piano maker already got paid for the piano but suddenly, he’ll earn more and the pianist is going to have to deal with it. 

Let me go even further: The ASMR and Just Chatting streamers will have to pay money to the some state because they’re streaming and making money off words. They’ll also have to pay money to the company that made their mic, even though they already bought it. They’ll also have to pay additional money to their landlord since the rent only covers them living there but not them earning money in their flats.

On another note, a lot of athletes use certain brands as well and hence advertise those. My siblings used to play table tennis and when they followed the better players for a while on TV, they would constantly wish for a DONIC table tennis racket. The fact that the best of the best were using those, at the time, made these already worth buying in their eyes, even if they had to save up a lot for them. 

The pianist is playing his best music on a certain piano. The soccer player is using one specific brand of shoes whenever he wins a game. A member of a famous esports team is using a specific mouse in all of his games. 

The idea of marketing and free samples and review copies is something that works quite well. Streamers playing games for their audience and hence promoting it… it works and is nothing that should get changed to get even more money for Bigfish developers and publishers while small indie studios would probably not profit all that much from it. 

At last,… Hutchinson also mentioned, jokingly, that NFL and other sports organisations should maybe pay streamers to broadcast and comment on the full games… on Twitch… and that’s hilarious because while he’s mocking the idea, it’s actually a thing. Twitch does that. The NFL does that. It’s very successful actually. Hutchinson must be trolling. I don’t want to believe that someone who’s behind great titles like Spore and who’s working on Stadia is just really that out of touch with reality. Like, that can’t be…, right? 

So, uh, let’s summarise: As mentioned above, I think that the proposal of having streamers pay for games that they already paid for is stupid (I just noticed that that’s what WoW and FFOnline are doing… I’m still not a fan of paid subscription models in games that you already bought). I haven’t even gotten into tax stuff and all of that… in Germany, you’d have to pay taxes and your channel would get treated like a small business as well when you earn a specific amount of money per year. 

It’s also stupid to demand a revenue share when streamers add a lot of publicity to games, as you can see with Among Us (which was quite “dead” for two years and then blew up because of streamers) and Fall Guys (whose whole marketing campaign consisted of handing keys to streamers). It’s stupid to criticize streamers for earning money with their own content that is based around review copies handed out by publishers and developers. It’s like jumping in front of a car and then demanding that others pay for the hospital bills, not because of them running you over but rather because of them not being there for you and preventing you from jumping in front of the car. Doesn’t make sense? Yeah, exactly!

I hope you enjoyed this post. I kind of wanting to give my two cents on it and wanted to make a post while it’s still a “hot topic”. I’d like to hear your thoughts on it and see what you think of this whole ordeal. Is Hutchinson out of touch with reality or is he really just a genius that is too advanced for our current times?

Cheers!

Edit: I added “ad absurdum” to one of the paragraphs since that’s a word that I’ve been looking for while writing up the post but while it was lying on my tongue, it just didn’t come out. Now it’s there. The “to take it further” part was meant to be an “ad absurdum” mechanism to showcase how silly this idea would sound if we replace “games” and “streamers” with “pianos” and “pianists” or “microphones” and “ASMRtists/Just Chatting streamers” or “running shoes” and “athletes”. So that’s an edit I had to make to essentially just mention that it’s supposed to sound silly and absurd because it is silly and absurd in a way.

I’m not a gamer

So, yesterday, I made a post on a couple of topics, including toxicity, bad game design encouraging certain , “tryhards”, the terminology of “being a gamer”, gatekeeping and other stuff. My problem with that post was that it started with a question, then it suddenly branched out into three different topics and at the end, it concluded without ever answering the question. That’s what I’d consider a confusing and bad post. 

So, I edited the post and it didn’t help bring my point across because that post was overloaded and bad in quality. Hence, I’m splitting it up into multiple posts, each dedicated to their own topic so that I can get my idea across as intended. After all, I’m really bad at putting my thoughts into words and I should just write about one thing instead of trying to add in more and more herbs to the soup, if that makes sense.

This post is about “being a gamer”. 

A while ago, I had this experience with a German streamer who I followed for a bit who wanted to learn English. I thought that that was cute and wanted to help, so we hopped into Valorant and played a few rounds and I corrected him whenever he did use words in the wrong way, which he really found helpful.

During one of the games, he got frustrated. He was playing Jett, a duelist-class agent that has high mobility and an ultimate with some nice kill-potential. I was playing Sage, a support-class agent that has zone-control with an ice wall and a slow area but that can also heal and revive people. Sage doesn’t have any damaging abilities. Other people in our team would play Raze and Pheonix, as well, which are also duelists with tools in their kit to kill people with. Raze is also able to one-shot people with three of her abilities, which is major bullshit btw. 

That guy’s frustration came from him doing really well with 27 kills and us still losing the game. I, on the other hand, died a bunch and got a lot of assists for helping my team kill people – but I didn’t get that many kills. My KDA was, hence, not as good as his, so he insulted and “flamed” me. I told him that my or his KDA or stats don’t matter if we end up still losing the game because of bad team play. In the end, you can be the best player on your team but it doesn’t matter if you don’t win – and winning was our common goal. 

Roger said a while ago that there is always someone who wins and someone who loses in competitive games. You cannot change that unless it’s a tie of sorts… but those are quite unlikely with overtime mechanics in place and that kind of stuff. It’s a given that you cannot always win or that there is always someone better than you in any game. 

So, this guy who was insulting me on his stream also said that I’m not a “gamer” because I don’t care about those stats. And it’s true. I don’t care about stats and care more about having fun in games. Winning is also fun btw so obviously it’s not that I don’t care about winning and doing my best. I’m just fine with losing if I’m able to gain experience, practice or just have fun.

Practically, I’m really bad at FPS games and even worse in Valorant as I haven’t had any practice in it for quite some time. I also haven’t played CS:GO or any of those other games, so I’m lacking experience. The only way for me to improve would be to play more. Playing more, however, requires me to have fun as I’ll get frustrated if the game gets boring, stale or if I just don’t enjoy it. I told him beforehand that I’m not good at the game and when he insulted me based on numbers without acknowledging that him playing Solo and for his stats only in a TEAM GAME wasn’t exactly “good” either,… well…. I just didn’t wanna bother with him anymore. I felt that he was toxic, selfish and honestly quite cringy. Him throwing a tantrum over me not being a “gamer” was childish at best. Him rushing in to kill people without pinging, communicating or saying anything was really bad, actually. Him getting a kill but then dying, alone, with the spike on him, is a bad move. But that doesn’t matter apparently when you have good stats, right? Because people just look at the stats and not your individual plays or whatever.

So, what’s a “gamer” then? 

First up, I won’t include the urban dictionary definition because of obvious reasons.

Apparently, a gamer is someone who is not contempt with losing and who only cares about winning no matter what playstyle and what tool they have to resort to. Cheating or hacking is most likely not included in that definition. Ninja said that someone who is contempt with losing has lost twice and that you have to get angry and rage when you lose, to be considered a gamer – or something like that.

My problem with that sort of definition is that it is kind of wrong? I mean, it doesn’t include casual gamers, otome gamers, mobile gamers, simulation-type gamers, and other types. I’d say that a “gamer” is someone who plays games a lot. A “competitive gamer” would be someone as mentioned above who is very competitive (duh.) and who really wants to improve and get better at the game. A “casual gamer” would be someone who rather focuses on having a fun experience and enjoying their time. 

Problem is that no matter what my personal definition is, there will always be people that won’t acknowledge it. “You’re not a gamer” is a form of gatekeeping that excludes me because I’m not honing my skills in certain games. It also excludes people that play games casually and people that play other types of games that cannot really be played competitively. There are a lot of people in “gaming communities” that don’t consider Visual Novels, otome games, mobile games and simulation-type games as “games”. I mean they are games but if a “gamer” is someone who “plays games” then those people that play the game types that I mentioned above aren’t “gamers” or “true gamers” in their eyes

That’s what I noticed in a lot of places like Twitter, Reddit, Twitch, and Discord. It’s gatekeeping at its finest and I don’t like it. It’s unhealthy for communities and toxic, at best. That’s why I don’t consider myself a “gamer” because that term is just oozing with toxicity. It’s a term that people use to label others while excluding other people. A “gamer” is more often than not almost obsessed with winning or obsessed with having high stats. You cannot always do good, though, and despite what Ninja may say on the topic, losing is completely fine as long as you did your best. There is always someone who is better than you after all. In the time that you rage or insult or badmouth others, you could easily try again and get better by reflecting on what you did wrong and what you can do better. And then you get better. That’s the way it is.

So, to sum it up, there is not really any definition of what a “gamer” is that literally everyone would accept, duh. There is a meme, as Jett and Dan pointed out once in my stream, of “getting your gamer card revoked” for liking certain types of games or certain game mechanics (e.g. escort missions) – and that’s really just gatekeeping, in my eyes. People that want to belong to a gaming community get excluded for not being “gamers” because they do things differently. 

Obviously, people will always be assholes and the only real solution to that is to ignore them. If you want to be a gamer, be a gamer. Fuck their opinions, just go for it. Nobody can stop you. If you want to consider yourself a core gamer or a true gamer or a veteran gamer or whatever, then just call yourself that. 

If someone calls me a “gamer”, then I’ll politely say that I’m not a “gamer” because I don’t like the term and because I have negative connotations with it. It’s a terminology that is oozing with toxicity and that seems gatekeep-ish and that does more harm than good, in my opinion. Also, I don’t like labels like that, be it “otter” or “gamer” or “otaku” or whatever.

Rather, I’m “someone who likes to play games” or rather “gaming is a big part of my life” or a “big hobby of mine”. Terminology like that puts it better into words and really helps me because it’s not negative or positive. It’s just neutral and objective. Similarly, I like watching anime but I wouldn’t consider myself an “otaku” because I have negative connotations with the term – or rather, it’s an insult, to begin with, and I hate the anime community because of my negative experiences with a lot of people in said community. Being an “otaku” and “liking anime” are two different things for me, personally, with a very small difference.

Wearing the “same trousers” and wearing “trousers that look the same” are two things as well, btw.

Furthermore, I’d like to say that I don’t care about how you play your games. You can be a speedrunner (which is awesome btw!), a competitive gamer (I play games competitively as well, at times), a casual gamer (I mostly play games casually), a mobile gamer (it’s still a game, innit?), or anything else. You can be someone who plays games or someone who is a gamer. Whatever floats your boat. I’m not critiquing the way people play their games but rather the terminology and the gatekeeping that I associate with it.

I just wanted to comment on the terminology of “being a gamer” and why I don’t like the terminology, personally

What are your thoughts on the matter? What are statements that would “get your gamer card revoked”? Have you had any toxic experiences with gatekeeping in regards to being or not being a “gamer”? Would you consider yourself a “gamer” or rather “someone who plays games”? Do you see any difference at all? 

Cheers!

2020 hasn’t been that bad EA-wise

2020 wasn’t that bad when it comes to indie titles that left EA. While the world is going to shits, the gaming industry pumped out a fair few titles. Hence I thought I should maybe write a piece about a few of the games that reached their 1.0 his year and that I really enjoyed playing for th past couple of months.

For starters, Hades just recently got out of Early Access and its 1.0 launched, introducing an actual ending, new music, artwork, late-game unlockables, a new aspect for the twin fists and a lot of other stuff. Honestly, the last time I played Hades was in March after some update but I forgot which one it was and there have been a few bigger updates between then already. Hence, I’ve got to visit Hades again to leave Hell for good… again. Especially since achievements seem to only now have been introduced, I can’t wait to unlock more stuff. The new weapons seem really cool and the addition of Hermes and Nyx seem quite interesting, although my sources are just hearsay at this point. I just updated it and I have yet to play it, though I may do that some time this week.

Hades is one of those titles that seemingly did everything well. It’s a fun and fast-paced action-rogue-lite with nice progression, some interesting customizable parts and items that you can change each run and on top of that it’s depicting mythology more or less accurately which I really adore. The characters in the game are fun, each with their own stories and quirks and perks. The music is just awesome… but personally, I don’t like the aspect of traversing the same “biomes” over and over again, so that’s something that I don’t like about Hades, although I know that it’s hard to change that since we’re in Hell, after all, right? The switching bosses, though, with their own lines and everything are really nice and the favour system? A ton of fun to play around!

Just a while ago, on August 4th, Littlewood also got out of Early Access, adding a whole bunch of new events, new characters, new special moments, and other features and I’m quite glad about that. I started playing Littlewood not too long after it got released into Early Access and I was done with all the content after a few hours, so I decided to wait for more updates… and then August came and I spend an awful long time in this game.

The problem I have with Littlewood is that time moves a lot faster outside than inside. Just like with Stardew Valley, I ended up binging it a whole bunch for a while before eventually just not bothering with it anymore since I didn’t have the time for it just yet. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy Littlewood and Stardew Valley to bits… but then RL stops by and you just never really feel like playing it again until you start it up, binge it for six hours, and then close it again for another few days to weeks. Oh well.

And at last, my favourite title to leave EA this year is probably Risk of Rain 2, whose 1.0 dropped on August 11th, 2020. The 1.0 added a whole new boss enemy, some new mechanics, a new survivor, and an actual ending, which I find really nice. For the past couple of days, I’ve been playing a lot of RoR2, especially as I’ve discovered a few neat builds that I do enjoy playing a bunch and especially as I unlocked some more character perks and the latest survivor, the Captain!

I’m looking forward to the updates are to come in the future, but overall, RoR2 did really develop quite nicely, from a game where the teleporter was hard to find in the swamp area and where some bosses would just oneshot you (rip magma worm) and where fire was super op… to a game where can still get oneshot (ugh, void reavers) but it got balanced quite a bit and it’s essentially a ton of fun. Right now, I’m trying to unlock all of the artifacts on top of some of the items that I’m missing… and then I’ll attempt to get some Monsoon runs going before eventually heading into the new alternative mode: Eclipse!

Either way, that’s it for today’s post. I probably forgot some other titles that came out of EA this year but these few were quite memmorable and I did look forward to their release. An honourable mention would be Factorio but I didn’t play that game at all, yet, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever get into it at all… and then there’s also Terraria 1.4, although that one wouldn’t fit the theme, would it? I mean, it’s not a 1.0 but it was as hyped up as an actual new release.

Cheers!

The “How are you?” controversy and Fleeksie

Today a tweet by Twitch streamer “Fleeksie” blew up and went viral, causing a relatively one-sided discussion about small talk, streamer-to-chat-interaction and toxicity. I usually wouldn’t write about this since it’s just gonna pass after a day or two at max anyways but I thought it would be an interesting topic for a blog post.

Either way, first things first: What happened?
On September 6th, Fleeksie tweeted the following thread where she effectively complains about people coming to her stream and asking how she’s doing. While it’s somewhat understandable that she, as a bigger streamer, gets that question a lot throughout one stream I don’t think that this is the right approach to the problem. Obviously, she’s entitled to her own opinion and she can think and say whatever she wants (to a degree) but I don’t think that her response to this “problem” is valid at all, which is my opinion to which I’m entitled, obviously.

The “problem” at hand is the fact that people tend to ask a question at times and when other people join in later they may ask the same question as well not knowing that it was asked already before, resulting in the streamer answering the same question over and over again. This can range from a simple “How are you?” to stuff related to the stream or the content, like “Does Zoe’s Q proc her passive twice?” – a question that Vicksy has to answer relatively often throughout every stream.

My stance on this matter is that streams that are community-focused often rely on a little bit of Small Talk to get a conversation going. People joining in and being curious about your day or about your well-being is never bad – on the contrary, this opens up potential other topics like your job, your hobbies, your stream so far, games you’ve been playing, news you’ve heard about and other things. On top of that, you can ask others how they have been (which I do anyway, even if I didn’t get that question), resulting in you finding out things about your viewers, their well-being, job, hobbies and other things that they have done/read/heard, etc. You can then essentially just latch on to any of those conversation points to never run out of topics.

Hence, I wouldn’t say that Small Talk is essential to streaming but it is not the worst thing ever either and if anything it can actually help you.

Back to Fleeksie, she continues saying that she feels puke coming up whenever she reads “I’m good how are you?”. It’s apparently painful to respond to that question. Even if this physical reaction to a harmless question was real, being rude to others wouldn’t solve it at all.
To solve this “issue”, streamers could introduce a chat rule saying that you aren’t allowed to ask how the streamer is doing. It’s that simple. Especially with mods, you can just time people out or ban them when they do that and you’re fine. It’s not going to be necessarily helpful to do so, though, as people getting timed out for formalities or small talk is just stupid.

And as per usual, Twitter… was Twitter. The tweet went viral and all kinds of people ended up either meme-ing about it, asking her how she’s doing… or they had constructive criticism, saying that they personally don’t agree… or they were just toxic. But Fleeskie also didn’t make things better, constantly tweeting about how she’s not getting scratched by it while also still going on about it, showing that it affects her. And while I don’t agree with her attitude and how she’s handling the situation, I don’t think it’s alright for people to straight-up attack her. Even when she’s now tweeting about how “hating small talk is controversial”, trying to fix the narrative… It’s not about “hating small talk”, it’s about making it sound as if every single streamer in the world thinks that way and as if every single viewer in the world is doing it wrong. It’s about biting the hand that feeds you. It’s about acting as if you’re entitled to people’s kindness and interest in and for you. That’s what’s ticking people off and that’s why people are getting so agitated about this.

If you cannot deal with people caring about you or people asking you something as simple as “how are you”, then Streaming on Twitch may not be the best thing to do since a lot of people ask questions and talk to the chat/streamer at times. I struggle with conversations, people and all of that stuff all the time, being an autist, but I’d never go as far as to attack others for being curious or for being nice. I don’t think that you should bite the hand that feeds you. I don’t think that attacking others for essentially nothing is the way to go, and I don’t think that being rude to people for asking a question that others have asked before is going to solve anything at all.

Twitch is currently in a peculiar state already. There are a lot of users and streamers that are just way too toxic or that harass, bully and attack others, on a whim. Especially women and people of colour have it rough on Twitch and I don’t think that this kind of stuff is going to help the case. Call me a hippie, a dreamer or even a “Gutmensch”, but I believe that there’s one good person for every ten people and that kindness and reason are able to solve more problems than rudeness and madness. Being nice to people and reporting offenders is a better way to handle things compared to attacking people that attacked you or being rude to people that were trying to be nice.

And since this is the internet, it’s only understandable that there’s always going to be some person (or rather a lot) that is really toxic… but it’d be great if there were more people out there that would promote positivity, respect, kindness and inclusiveness so that people would have a place to return to from all of that toxicity. I don’t want to watch a stream after having had a bad day only to see that I’m not welcome or that I’m being treated badly. I’d rather see others building each other up and us all having a good time.

But maybe that’s just me. Do you have any thoughts on this matter? What’s your stance on small talk in Twitch streams? Would you handle this any different?

Humble Choice – September 2020

September’s Humble Choice is out now and this one is somewhat tricky!

The bundle contains a lot of games that I want to own… but also games that I already do own, so I’m still not sure what I’ll do about this. I think what I’ll do here is that I’ll list the ten choices I would make if I didn’t own any of these games from the 10th spot to the 1st spot!

10 – Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair 

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is a brand-new 2.5D platformer from some of the key creative talents behind ‘Donkey Kong Country’. With their arch-nemesis Capital B up to no good, the buddy duo needs to spring into action once again to save the day. To thwart his evil plan of using a “Hivemind” device to enslave an entire kingdom of bees, our heroes need to take the fight to Capital B’s “Impossible” Lair. Things look tough, but with the help of Queen Phoebee and her Royal Beetallion, Yooka and Laylee might just have a chance! 

While I like the idea of it being a spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie, I never liked that game due to my hate for platformers. And I’m not going to like this one either. But it’s better than the other two remaining games and it’s probably going to be a good gift to someone who’s more fond of platformers.

9 – The Shapeshifting Detective 

The Shapeshifting Detective is a supernatural-noir murder mystery FMV game where you play as a detective who can shapeshift into other characters, allowing you to unlock secret conversations and private encounters. 

The game features more than 1600 full HD video responses, a simple questioning interface with unique ‘delete’ mechanic, and a randomly chosen murderer at the start of the game. – This seemed quite interesting but I don’t usually play games that are based on video responses made by people. Hence, this is one of those games that I’d give away to other people. 

8 – Lethal League Blaze

 Lethal League Blaze is an intense, high-speed ball game, with unique characters, outta sight sounds and none of that weak shit. In Shine City, the anti-gravity ball game has long been illegal. The group who kept playing was dubbed the Lethal League. Even now, with their sport pushed underground, players and crews compete in the League for challenge and respect.

Lethal League was quite a lot of fun but nothing I’d constantly play… Lethal League Blaze is a better version of Lethal League and I’d love to play it with friends.

7 – Golf With Your Friends

Why have friends if not to play Golf… With Your Friends! Nothing is out of bounds as you take on courses filled with fast-paced, exciting, simultaneous mini golf for up to 12 players!  

Every now and then people want to play Golf… but online… and then some people have Golf it! while others have GWYF… and I already have Golf it but don’t own this one, so I’d go for this one in case that I really wanna play Golf with my friends… through crazy Parcours and stuff… yup.

Honestly, these last four spots are just on the same level.

6 – Evoland Legendary Edition 

Evoland is a journey through the history of action/adventure gaming, allowing you to unlock new technologies, gameplay systems and graphic upgrades as you progress through the game. Inspired by many cult series that have left their mark in the RPG video gaming culture, Evoland takes you from monochrome to full 3D graphics and from active time battles to real-time boss fights, all with plenty of humour and references to many classic games.

I already played Evoland but I’d actually go for this since it includes the second game and the first game… and I have yet to play the second one. Evoland was a very cute and fun journey through the ages of RPGs that is constantly referencing and mocking stereotypes and features from other games, such as Zelda, Final Fantasy, and others… It takes itself not too serious while also providing you with a bunch of entertainment. Honestly, just great – and with the Legendary Edition, you get two games for one choice!

5 – Strange Brigade

Egypt, 1930’s. Erased from ancient history and buried in a nameless tomb for 4,000 years, Seteki the Witch Queen has risen once again. Only one troop of daring heroes can stand against the fearsome power of Seteki and her army of mummified monstrosities: The Strange Brigade! Explore remarkable ruins, solve perilous puzzles and uncover tantalising treasure while blasting your way through an array of undead enemies in thrilling third-person action that’s certain to bring out your inner adventurer! 

Strange Brigade looked interesting… it’s a Co-op Action-Adventure game that you’re able to play with up to three other players and that features Zombies – or rather Mummies! It kind of reminded me of Left 4 Dead 2 but with an Indiana Jones setting of sorts… and even if I’m not the biggest shooter-player, I think I’d enjoy myself a fair bit with this one since it, again, seems a bit similar to the likes of Serious Sam and L4D2. 

4 – The Occupation

The Occupation is a fixed-time, investigative thriller set in North West England on Saturday 24th October 1987. Your role is to uncover evidence as a journalist by sneaking through restricted areas and questioning people on their actions through a series of one-on-one interviews. All this takes place in a detailed, systems-driven world where people will react to your actions and where time is your biggest enemy. 

This title seemed really interesting to me since it fills the need for another Stealth-Adventure game that is more along the lines of an Immersive Experience. It’s also another Indie game so I may review it in the future once I’ve played it. It seemed quite interesting and has a lot of positive reviews, hence I thought I’d go with this.

3 – Generation Zero

Welcome to 1980’s Sweden. The local population has gone missing, and machines of unknown origin roam the streets. Explore this vast open world to unravel the mystery of the invaders, perfect your fighting strategies and prepare to strike back. In Generation Zero, living is winning.  

Generation Zero has been something that I have been aware of… but I never really looked into it since I didn’t want to the game for myself in case I ever play it… and well, here’s the game in the bundle. This one might very much be a reason for me to go for this bundle. It’s a Survival game that can be played with up to three friends and where you have to strategize a bit and be stealthy instead of brute-forcing your way through the game since the machines are quite strong and they do not forget!

2 – Forager

Forager is a 2D open-world game inspired by exploration, farming and crafting games such as Stardew Valley, Terraria & Zelda. 

I reviewed this title a while ago and really enjoyed myself, especially with the newer content. It’s a great game that gets you a lot of content for relatively low bucks and a relatively simple but addictive game formula!

1 – Catherine Classic

Explore the pleasures and horrors of love as Vincent, a man with a hard choice to make: marry his long-time girlfriend Katherine or move on to the incredible blonde he just woke up next to — named Catherine! But beware! Make the wrong choice, and you could end up dead. Delving into themes of free will and the delicate nature of relationships and the choices we make, this action-adventure-puzzle game is an experience unlike anything else.

This game is an all-time favourite for me. I loved it when I first played it and I still, every now and then, play through it again. I love the characters, the story, the different endings, the game mechanics. It’s a unique mix of a puzzle game and sort of an Anime Romance-Horror-story where your choices matter. The soundtrack is great, the puzzles are quite challenging and a lot of fun, and there are some interesting sides to everything in this game… my favourite part probably is the bar in the game: The Stray Sheep. There, you’re able to decide what you drink, you can get drunk, talk to others and help them with their problems, which is really cute. Oh, and then, of course, there is plenty of room for humour, philosophical themes and other lovely features, making this an excellent game that I can highly recommend to everyone that loves games where you influence the outcome and games with challenging puzzles!

Dropouts: 

  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York 
  • Fun with Ragdolls: The Game 

I own the other Vampire game from last month’s Choice but this one is a Visual Novel set in a universe that I have no clue about. It just didn’t feel like the right choice. Fun with Ragdolls seemed like it was a game along the lines of Human Falls Flat and some other Simulation-type games with janky controls and janky physics… and I’m not a fan of those. I get quite frustrated with some of the controls and hence didn’t go for this one.

Now, out of these ten choices, I own Forager, Catherine Classic, and (technically) Evoland… I think it might actually be worth it to go for this. I’ll be able to give Forager and Catherine Classic to friends or give it away on Stream since these are great games, and as for Evoland, I get to play the second one, which is quite excited and I may replay the first game as well while I’m at it!

Overall, this month seemed mixed a lot better compared to the other months. There seems to be something for all kinds of people but I could see how it maybe is a bit rough to choose for people that aren’t particularly into Indie stuff or that don’t know or appreciate games like Evoland or Catherine. Honestly, I’d say that Catherine Classic is a real powerhouse in this one as it essentially “carries” the whole Choice this month. If I didn’t own it already, I would have immediately gone for this Choice. In the end, I’ll probably still go for this month’s Choice due to Generation Zero, Strange Brigade, The Occupation and Evoland – and I’ll make sure to give these extra-copies to people that like and appreciate these kinds of games.

The extras include Alt254 and a sneak peek of Carto, two cute little games that I’ve never heard about. But they look adorable and I’m looking forward to playing them!

Anyways, that was it for this month’s Choice. I hope that you enjoyed this post and in case you’re wondering where I got the idea from, check out Naithin! He’s another lovely blogger and I thought providing people with my opinion on Humble Choice might be also quite good. Be sure to check out his post here! 🙂 

Cheers!

Bloggers planting blog posts

For the past couple of days, I’ve been playing Viridi while working on different stuff, which was quite relaxing. Suddenly, an epiphany came to me as I had a very good idea involving different bloggers… and these plants.

But first things first. What is Viridi?

Viridi is a chill free-to-play game that I’d like to review… but you essentially just plant seedlings and watch them grow… in real-time! This causes a problem for me. I want to take screenshots from the game… but the plants are all really small right now, so I can’t actually show much. Alas, I decided to play more of it until I can actually show some growth but it’s taking a while because the game doesn’t fast forward or anything like that. It just takes its time… just like real plants.

Hence, I thought about starting up a series of posts on this game where I talk about stuff while commenting on the plants’ growth and essentially, it’s going to be just The Stray Sheep but with screenshots from the game. Here’s the twist though: The stuff I’d like to talk about is blog posts that I’ve been reading. The plants will get named after different blogs/bloggers and if you’re interested in getting planted right here, right now, comment below and claim a plant!

Introducing to you: The Blaugust pot. [name may get changed in the future]

Currently, it’s inhabited by… 

  • a snail that is circling around the pot,
  • two Aloe Vera plants (one of them has grown a bit more than the other one),
  • three little Echeveria glauca plants that are all rather small,
  • one red Aeonium plant,
  • one gree Aeonium plant,
  • one green Pachyphytum fittkaui plant,
  • one small red Pachyphytum fittkaui plant,
  • and one even smaller red Pachyphtytum fittkaui plant.

These are the plants that are plant (puns…) to be named. The snail can also be named but I thought of maybe being the snail? Names can be up to 20 letters long, so it’s stricter than Discord usernames! And every week we receive a new seedling for free. I could also invest some money into new seedlings, but I’d have to sell some steam trading cards first for that!

The idea of naming in-game objects and entities after things and people that are outside of the game is not new at all. Despite people having done it before him, I’d still like to refer to Naithin over here who has a “blogger city” going on in Cities: Skylines with streets and buildings named after bloggers (though I gotta catch up on those posts). So check out the blogger city right there!

You can check out the screenshots of the plants throughout this post! I’ll have to water them whenever they are “thirsty” and I need to sing to them to make them grow a tiny bit faster which is something you do in the game by just zooming in on them and leaving the PC running while doing so. I’d reckon that “I’ll sing to the plants” while reading the according posts. 

Next up: Why? 

Well, as to why I’m doing this: I’d love to read more blog posts but quite often, I end up doing something else instead. Which is a bummer! By doing this series, I’ll have more of a reason to read the posts… since I’m playing the game anyways. I mean, I clocked in 72 hours already of this game… so, if I spend some of that time doing studies and working on things… but also read some blog posts and write about my favourite posts each week… I feel like that would be quite a lot of fun. 

And as to why I’d think that it would be interesting for others to “participate” in this: 

Growth, I guess? I’d link to the posts I’ve read and liked. I’d talk about different topics. It’s not a lot of growth but depending on how long we’ll do this for, we’ll end up with a few centimetres for sure! (haha) – All jokes aside, backlinks and that kinda stuff usually tend to generate a lot of traffic which then gets rated highly by Google which then results in Google promoting your blog more. It’s just like with Tags and the Blaugust Promptapalooza: You link to others and others link to you. Since the people you link to are “valid” or “legit”, you get traffic. Since you don’t get linked by a spam site, you also get traffic. It may not be much but it’s something… 

Mostly, though, it’s about Fun. I feel like it’s a fun idea and I’d love to name these plants after the different blogs and bloggers that are willing to participate! 

And next up: What other plants are to come? 

Honestly, depending on how I feel I may buy some from the steam store and add those in… Each week, I get a free seedling and I’ll be able to plant it and rename it. Therefore, there will be more plants in the future aka more spaces for more potted bloggers… and since the seed every week is random… I won’t know which ones I’ll get until I get them! 

How long will this go on for? 

No idea! Depends on how well these posts do. Depends on whether or not people are interested… Depends on whether or not I’ll ever stop playing Viridi. It depends! – For now? A long time!

Fellow bloggers, if you’re interested in “participating”, join in! 

This post is part of the Blaugust 2020 event. Wanna know more about it? Then check out my post on it or Bel’s post where he also linked everyone who’s participating! Be sure to check out the others as well!

Humble Choice – August 2020

Oh boy, August’s Humble Choice… is great! I was wondering what this month’s gonna be like and I was surprised at the number of games from my wishlist… but I feel like I’m drifting away here. 

What were my choices? Why did I pick them? In what order did I decide on picking them? 

Well,… Classic and Premium subscribers get all 12 choices this month only, so I had to pick all of them… but still, there are some games that I’m probably give/gift away while there are others that I picked because I’m excited about it. Hence the post. 

So here are my picks for August’s Choice:

1) Through The Darkest Of Times

Ever since I played the first chapter of it at last year’s GamesCom and ever since I had that interview with one of the devs back then, I have been meaning to play it… but other games always managed to find their way in first… So, now’s my chance to play it. It’s essentially a historic and very strategic management-game where you’re the leader of a small resistance group in 1933’s Berlin. It’s quite similar to the White Rose – and from what I’ve heard from the Devs, they’re going for a very detailed approach of what happened and how it happened. This is something that I find very applaudable. You essentially try to deal small blows to the Nazi regime by dropping leaflets or painting messages on walls, sabotaging them, gathering information and recruiting more people. This was basically an instant lock!

2) A Case Of Distrust

This was one of the aforementioned titles that just happened to be on my wishlist for ages now. It plays in 1924’s San Francisco and features a great soundtrack, an interesting story, lovely visuals and (just like TTDOT) historically accurate details. Honestly, it’s a narrative mystery game and someone once recommended it to me, so I wanted to try it out when it’s on Sale or whatever… and the themes of poverty, racism, and emancipation as well as other issues are something that is of interest to me. I really am looking forward to playing and possibly writing about this game!

3) Automachef

You build production lines for food… it’s a management game again… I want to play it. As you may be able to tell, I’m not really sure what to say about this one. From what I’ve seen it looks a bit like SpaceChem but less complicated and with some cute animations. I like the automation/optimization aspects of games like Satisfactory, Good Company or tycoon/management games like this one… so I’m looking forward to this title. Might be a lot of fun!

4) Wargroove

Being another title from my wishlist, I ended up picking this one without really looking at it. I mean, I thought it was like Fire Emblem… and the graphics are cute… and it’s by Chucklefish Ltd., which is always a good sign… and it’s a turn-based strategy game, which is always quite nice. I’m looking forward to this title.^^

5) Call of Cthulhu

As a Lovecraft fan (his works, not his views), I must say that I’m not a fan of Lovecraftian games. While that sounds contradicting (after all, I like games… and Lovecraft), it’s mostly due to a lot of games not depicting the aspects of Eldritch and Lovecraftian Horror too well. Therefore, I usually stray away from them since essentially too many games are calling themselves “Eldritch” or “Lovecraftian” these days. There are some good titles that depict the psychological aspect of Lovecraftian Stories quite well, like Call of Cthulhu: Darkest Corners of Earth… but a lot of other games are doing Lovecraft’s name no good, which is something that I always worry about. Call of Cthulhu, the game that I picked here, is a game that I have mixed feelings about. While the steam reviews are “mostly positive”, I still am a bit worried that it may be a disappointment. Either way, it’s now a choice and I’ll play it myself! Completely blind! Potentially during Spooktober on Twitch!

6) We Were Here Together

This seems to be a puzzle game that is Co-Op-ONLY and requires you to communicate with your partner in order to solve puzzles together. Duh. The concept sounds rad, the world looks cool, and it’s also been on my wishlist for not too long since I heard that it’s quite challenging at parts… so I’m looking forward to this. Potentially I could play this with MuddChi on Twitch since she likes Puzzle games! I’m excited!

7) Genesis Alpha One Deluxe Edition

Long title for a game that features an even longer list of genres… We’re in space and build our own ship and expand and create life forms and procedural generation and shooting and action and what the actual fuck is this abomination of a game? I love it! Looking forward to seeing what it’s actually like… it just seemed to be something that is a wild mix of all kinds of things… and I couldn’t be bothered to try to comprehend all the information on this title (maybe I need more coffee?), so I ended up just picking it up! 

8) VAMPYR

Honestly, I am not too much of a fan of vampires in games but I love it when you can be “the bad guy”… and that’s something you do in this game… I think… at least you can opt in to “embrace the monster within”. I can also decide on “dooming London” instead of saving it… so I may actually like this game. The aesthetic seemed cool, too… I’ll just have to see how much fun it actually is. 

9) Hello Neighbor

It’s a stealth horror game… but it’s less dark and less jump-scare-y than other games in the genre, so I thought this might be quite fun to play during Spooktober as well. Essentially the remaining few games are either “eh” or “alright”, so I didn’t really know what to pick out of the remaining ones. Luckily, Humble choice chooses me by just letting me pick ALL OF THEm. Btw, it’s spelt “neighbor” but I like the British variant more with the U… This game is gonna be interesting, so I’m looking forward to playing it! – Oh, and it also features extra content in the form of “Hello Neighbour: Hide and Seek”, so uh, make sure to grab that, if you grab this month’s Humble Choice!

10) Little Big Workshop

This one was harder. Spot 10 would have either been Little Big Workshop OR The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters… but why? Technically, Little Big Workshop would be exactly the kind of tycoon/management-style game that I like and adore… but it just seemed very similar to a lot of other games that I have tried before… and games that I have seen before. The art style is different but it really reminded me of the upcoming “Good Company”… so I was a bit hesitant… but in the end, I’d pick this title over The Coma 2 due to it being a tycoon/management game. 

Alas, the “drop-outs” that I’ll just give away since I get all 12 choices this month:

The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters

It’s an atmospheric, story-driven Horror Game set in Korea (judging from the names) where you have to survive the horrors presented to you by Dark Song, solve puzzles, craft items and reveal clues. The game seemed interesting but also rather clunky in terms of design and art style. I’ve got to pick it up regardless of my thoughts on it but I would have dropped it if I didn’t have 12 choices. 

American Fugitive: State of Emergency

This title seemed just like a trashy title that I wouldn’t like at first… but then something caught my eye: Fallen Tree Games, the studio behind it, is run by two people that have worked on titles like Crysis and (more importantly) TimeSplitters before… and I loved the TimeSplitters games… so, I may check this game out on YouTube and then decide on whether or not to keep it or not… in any case, I would have dropped it if I had had only 10 choices.

These two titles will probably be given away. Again, I may reconsider that in the case of American Fugitive… but it probably is better as a gift/giveaway.

Oh, and since I was “loyal” to Humble Bundle and stuck around for the last couple of months, I now own the Bonus Game: “Vikings – Wolves of Midgard”, which seems to be a hack n slay title that is… uh… interesting. I don’t usually like Vikings but I accidentally redeemed this one instead of a different game, so now I own both of them. 

The DRM-free extras that are contained in the August 2020 Choice consist of Zodiac XX, Wildfire (Sneak Peek), and Booth! Wildfire is something that I’ve been aware of before… and I’m looking forward to eventually playing the full game… Playing this sneak peek now is going to be a treat! Zodiac XX looks interesting… Booth could also be quite cool… I’ll probably write about those games!

But yeah, that’s it for this month’s Choice. I feel like they are adding too many Simulation or Management type games these days, which probably upsets other people… I’ve heard that a lot of people pause it more often than not… and then there’s the issue of some of these games appearing in Bundles afterwards for a lot less money… It’s a total of 300€ worth of money if you were to buy them at their full price… but I doubt that everyone’s interested in all of them and I’d say that it isn’t necessarily “worth it” to get this Choice if you’re only interested in one of the games… In my case, I really was a fan of “A Case Of Distrust”, “Through the Darkest of Times”, “Call of Cthulhu”, “Wargroove”, “Automachef”, and “We Were Here Together”, so naturally I’d go for this. Totally worth it for me. “Vampyr” might be fun… and the other titles might be quite interesting. We’ll see!

It could be a lot better if they added more variety to it. RPGs, Shooters, Horror, Simulations, Indie, AA, AAA, Story Games, Casual Games, etc. Mix it up a bit more. Especially when October comes, the choices should be more “special” to attract more people. While I like Simulation and Management games… I don’t think that everyone is going to agree with all of this and just continue their sub for this service if it’s really for just one game and one game only, every month.

Anyways, I hope this post helped you make your *choice* (haha.) and I hope you enjoyed this one! 

Cheers!

This post is part of the Blaugust 2020 event. Wanna know more about it? Then check out my post on it or Bel’s post where he also linked everyone who’s participating! Be sure to check out the others as well!

Humble Choice July 2020

I forgot to pause July’s Humble Choice so here’s what I got this month – actually wasn’t too bad, so that’s quite awesome! 

As far as June went: I did get the bundle but I forgot to post about it and with exams and everything going on, I ended up not caring enough about it. For anyone who’s interested, here are my choices for June:

Either way, it’s August already but I wanted to talk about my July games as you can still claim them if you want to! Overall, I’m quite happy about the July games. The selection this time around consisted of:

  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall – DELUXE EDITION
  • Void Bastards
  • Railway Empire
  • Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock
  • Yuppie Psycho
  • Beat Hazard 2
  • Sigma Theor: Global Cold War
  • Metal Unit
  • Don’t Escape: 4 Days To Survive
  • Verlet Swing
  • Basingstoke
  • EARTHLOCK

Now, most of these games seemed awesome but due to the 10 Game Limit, I couldn’t take them all and honestly I wouldn’t have needed to. The games I didn’t pick were Verlet Swing and Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock. 

I have no clue about Battlestar Galactica, so I didn’t go for that one… and Verlet Swing seemed a bit too fast-paced for me and I thought that I’d probably burn myself out too fast with it. Alas, I picked all the other games as I (worst case) can gift those away. 


Either way, let’s get into the choices!

Age of Wonders: Planetfall

I wanted to play more 4X and Strategy Games in general, so this one was a given. I’ve heard good things about Age of Wonders and this one is relatively new, so I’m looking forward to getting to this one eventually.

Void Bastards

While I didn’t recommend it in an earlier review, it felt like a better choice than the two that I didn’t pick… so, I’ll just gift this one away in one of my streams eventually and someone else is going to like it.

Beat Hazard 2

This title somewhat reminded me of REALLY BIG SKY but with the option of using your own music? Hell yeah! 

Yuppie Psycho

This title has been interesting from what I’ve seen. Alas, I thought I’d go for it. It’s a horror game. Spooktober is going to be crazy! Looking forward to it!

Sigma Theory: Global Cold War

Mi-Clos Studio’s title Sigma Theory seemed interesting… but I’m not too sure if I’ll get into it. While it is turn-based strategy and management, it felt a bit off. There was something about it, that I didn’t like but at the same time I knew that I should in theory like it. Weird feeling I had with this one. Alas, this one is on the “maybe I’ll redeem it later… or I’ll gift it away”-list. We’ll see!

Don’t Escape: 4 Days To Survive

This game seemed interesting. I’m not a fan of point n click games BUT the setting seemed cool and it has survival elements in there, so I’m looking forward to what the blend of the two genres is like! 

Railway Empire

Personally, I love management games and really am enjoying myself with them. Railway Empire has been on my wishlist for quite some time since it seemed absolutely stunning and since it does not only cover industrial management and simulation options but also tourist attractions and a vast variety of trains! Really excited to play this one eventually!

Basingstoke

Four Words: Action. Roguelike. Cute. Style. – It’s been on my wishlist as well for a while, so I’m looking forward to playing this one! 

EARTHLOCK

Snowcastle Games’ take on the JRPG genre seemed quite adorable, so I thought I’d give it a go. It has “a fresh take on turn-based combat and character progression” (according to the description text), so I thought it may be a good fit for a review as well, alas it’s in that collection on Steam as well, waiting for its time to shine. 

Metal Unit

JellySnow Studio created with Metal Unit a cute little side-scrolling platformer with rogue-lite features. It’s futuristic and combat seems cool. In its core, it’s an Action-RPG but I was intrigued as to what the rogue-lite features would be and why there is no “rogue-lite” tag in the Steam Store. Either way, I like the style and thought I’d go for it (even if I’m not a fan of platformers). 


As part of this month’s Humble Choice, we also received DRM-free sneak peeks for Grotto and Popup Dungeon – two games that I wanted to write about anyways in our Lookout Post! Alas, I hope that I’ll be able to get to these soon.

Overall, this month has been quite successful. It’s been a nice selection of games that I’d actually play and not just “like but never get to”. Just the other day, I finished Outer Wilds but I didn’t get to write about it just yet… and with one game done, a ton more have joined the library, resulting in an ever-growing library… a scary backlog is getting scarier by the day. 

The “To The Moon” Play-Along – Act 3

To The Moon! We’ve kind of forgotten about that, haven’t we? Well, I haven’t. I was just really busy… and didn’t really feel like playing the game. Act 2 was dragging on for so long and Act 3 wasn’t too surprising either and also felt quite boring so I stopped streaming the game (as it wasn’t entertaining to watch at all) and I planned on playing it… later… I wouldn’t have thought that I’d be a whole month late but whatever. The post is here! Hope you enjoy it! I’m glad that I’m done with this one. I didn’t particularly enjoy To The Moon due to Act 2 and Act 3 being somewhat slow and boring, I guess? I didn’t personally enjoy it as it felt really long and I just didn’t want to play it despite actually wanting to answer the question. Heck, I didn’t even read the posts by the other people over here yet as I didn’t want to spoil myself, just in case, it got better? Idk.


We’re sperms… because of science!

1 – Johnny… Joey… Twins. It seems after the accident Johnny lost his identity to his mother and became a replacement-Joey. Does it change how you feel about Johnny as compared to your Act 1 impressions?

Not exactly. I felt as if “erasing River” was a bad thing to do in Act 1, so I doubt it justifies it. Seeing that he wanted to “collect her” is still weird to me. I guess traumas can do all kinds of things to people and you don’t know what exactly could happen with these… I guess Johnny could have potentially turned out a lot worse, killing people and stealing their identities/faces, so at least he’s just some weird guy who wants to possess humans, right? 

If I went as far as to excuse someone based on trauma, however, I’d end up also justifying all kinds of other sick people who do horrible things to other people based on some trauma they had in the past. And without naming any politicians, radicals, serial killers or whatever, I’ll just leave it at that. 

“She was young and needed the money”

2 – Eva and Neil have a verbal sparring match on their differing views of contract vs. what they now know (or think they know) about what would make Johnny happier. The outcome of Eva’s actions notwithstanding; do you sympathise with one view over the other here?

I feel like it’s wrong to change the memories/brainwash others. While it may make them “happy”, it won’t satisfy them. I don’t think “erasing” River was the right choice. Erasing their sad moments was a bad thing to do even if Johnny wanted it. Alas, I guess I’d side with Neil there.

Space! duh!

3 – Throughout that same exchange, Eva asks Neil to trust her. He clearly didn’t. Did you?

Nope, I wouldn’t have and I didn’t trust her at all since she seemed to turn into a maniac doing all the out of line stuff with the drastic changes and all of that. Idk.

I would have expected it to go horribly wrong and Neil to fix it. Neil would do it just the right way with some Deus Ex Machina bullshit (because I’m a horrible writer) and his idiocy paired with some game-maker magic would end up saving the day while Johnny is flying off on the lighthouse to the Moon where all the rabbits await.. and then he dies…

Nah, even I wouldn’t write that bullshit. I guess if it was me, I would have written it to go horribly wrong and Neil would revert everything back to normal before Johnny dies, thanking the two for not altering his memories. I feel like that would have been a nice touch. 

…you’re crazy, Eva!

4 – “He can always find another ‘River’… But he’ll only have one brother.” Again, pretending for the moment you don’t know the outcome of Eva’s actions and what she (suspected) would happen… Do you agree? What about in this context of overwritten memories as opposed to life as it was?

I guess you can always fall in love with someone else but I wouldn’t agree that someone else means necessarily the same to you as the same person. Despite us all being “humans”, we’re all “individuals”, after all. Each with our own personalities, flaws and traits – each with our own ways of thinking, communicating and all of that. Saying that you can always find someone else to love or whatever would be somewhat true as there are many other humans out there… but personally, I’d say that it’s not the same as having a true soulmate that you’re destined to meet and that you love and honour in good and in bad times. You know? 

Same thing with brothers: While it may be true that you only have so many blood-relatives, I would not agree that you can’t find people in your life that are equally important or that could replace those gaps. Joey still is with Johnny in his heart (that sounds cheesy) but he also has friends, I’d reckon, apart from Nicholas, so I’d reckon that you can still find new people that are equally as precious. 

…and that thing selled? Alrighty!

Some people in the world are not blessed with “normal” or “good” family members and alas have to suffer through a lot. Some people get abused – mentally and physically – throughout their whole life while nobody is listening to them and while it all gets shrugged off. Some people get treated badly all their life and have to go through harassment, insults and violence, always fearing that they might get hurt once again. Some people don’t have the luxury of having family members that they love or that love them. In those cases, you can cut ties with them. In those cases, you can still find new people to replace those family members. You can still find new family members or people that are equally important to you. 

So, while you always can find someone else to like, I wouldn’t agree that family members are that much more valuable on a social level compared to someone you’re destined to meet with. You can find new family. You can find new friends. You can find new love. But it depends on your relationship with your old family, your old friends and your old love. You can’t just say that no family is replaceable and that every love is. It all depends on you and others. 

“The best part about it is the bottom and the top part.” – “What a shame it would be if anyone wasn’t able to see it!” – “Yeah, it will probably not like anything like this after maintenance!”

5 – Anything you wish I’d asked you about that I haven’t, for this act or any of the others? Answer that question for this one. 😉

Uh, the answer to that question would be “Take 42 – Electric Boogaloo”. (You see the error to that phrasing? “Answer that question for this one” doesn’t necessarily imply that I need to mention the question as well, right? All jokes aside, I don’t really think that there are any question that I could have potentially answered for this one. I feel like the Play-Along was a lot of fun overall (mostly due to me being able to read other posts related to my own posts or rather due to me being able to see the answers that other people had compared to my own ones, I guess?). Uh, I didn’t like To The Moon… I mean, I kinda liked Act 1 and Act 2 felt super slow despite being shorter… and Act 3 dragged on as well… so whatever. Good job, Naithin. You made me play this game. 😛
Again, jokes aside, the planning was cool. Hope you do something like that again in the future. 🙂

The end!… or?

Well, that’s it for the post. Hope you enjoyed it. It’s super late but again, I didn’t really enjoy To The Moon all that much past Act 1 and I’m really happy that I only have to go through the Mini-Sodes now. 

Cheers!