Is another review needed?

Some games out there are real gems but will never get any attention. And that’s sad, so I started reviewing games on this blog and recommending underrated games to friends and eventually, this became a big part of my life. It’s a hobby that I’ve been doing for more than a year now and it’s always fun to find gems and recommend stuff and write down my thoughts about all of these things. Lovely!

Meanwhile, other gems out there are well-known and have their own dedicated communities. People know titles like Slay the Spire, The Binding of Isaac, Stardew Valley, etc. already. Do they need more reviews or should I even write about titles like that?

Note: Since I forgot to take any screenshots for most of the games I’m mentioning in this post apart from Hades, I’ll only use screenshots from Hades. I’ll keep it spoiler-free, though, so no worries about that.

That’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot for the past couple of months. I’ve got countless posts sitting in the drafts about titles that I wanted to review and that I wanted to talk about. Just when I was about to get ready for the finishing touches, I ended up hesitating: Do I add something to the world by just saying what is already known? There are too many reviews for me to add any new thoughts to the same topic, after all, right? 

And that’s where my opinion changed recently: The fact that it’s a review by me should be enough to make my review different from other reviews.

The Steam Curator “Can you pet the dog?” would now say “yes, you can pet the dog”, I guess.

Even though everyone has probably said everything about every popular game out there, I can’t be 100% sure about that without having read all of the reviews out there. Obviously, that’s not possible. I can’t read every review out there and honestly, I don’t want to. In the first place, I don’t read reviews on games that I’m reviewing until after I’ve posted them as I don’t want to get influenced by other people’s opinions on the matter. I feel like that’s quite important, especially as I don’t want to accidentally or subconsciously write something similar or maybe even the same sentences as someone else has. 

Alas, I kind of changed my opinion on the matter. Of course, countless people probably know about Graveyard Keeper, Monster Train, Celeste, and the like, but I think that my opinion should matter as well. Maybe I actually do have something to add to the giant pool of reviews out there. Maybe I actually do have a different point as to why a game should or should not be bought. 

Every opinion matters, after all, and alas, every review is important. There probably is someone out there that hasn’t played Celeste yet or that has been hesitating to play it because they don’t like Platformers… and only recently, I played it for the very first time and enjoyed it a lot! It made me feel good about myself as a person that plays games as I was dashing through the air in levels that other people thought were really difficult. Meanwhile, Celeste was thought-provoking and challenging in other rooms when people said that it was an easy level while I was struggling to figure out what the intended way was and whether or not my way was doable, at all. There are countless reviews on Celeste out there but I’m not sure if any platformer-haters out there have taken a look at the game only to say that it’s actually great as an introduction to platformers. I don’t know if people that hate the genre would pick it up. Alas, my opinion as someone like that, as someone who hates and sucks at platformers, matters! My opinion matters and in that instance I probably have something meaningful to add to the ocean of reviews.

Well, who would have thought that there’s lava in hell, eh? What a surprise… /s – no spoiler. 😛

Or take Hades, for instance, the game that got updated so much during Early Access that I ended up having to rewrite my review a total of nine (!) times because things that I didn’t like got changed or updated and suddenly with new implementations old weapons and boons actually were incredibly strong or powerful. I suddenly enjoyed those, so I rewrote a few paragraphs, only to realise that it all didn’t work out too well, as my style changed in that time. When I was done with rewriting it for the ninth time, it has already been released with its version 1.0 and everyone hopped onto the hype train, resulting in me feeling like my review wasn’t needed. Again, that mindset is bad. 

I can praise and love Hades as much as I want to and I’ll do so eventually. I’ll be able to add a lot to the discussion as I’m a mythology-crack and as I love Transistor and Bastion. I probably have other takes on the game that other reviewers may not have had.

Alas, since I have had different interests in my life and since I’ve been enjoying different games, movies, books, poems, shows, and other media, my reviews may already have a different take on things. Just because I am obsessed with mythology, I may already have different bits and pieces of information to add to the discussion. Just because I’m into Drama and plays and stuff, I may already be able to connect lore pieces together or laugh about something that other people may not get. 

No turning back now.

I’m not saying that I’m better at reviewing games than other people or that my reviews are better or worse. I’m just saying that every review is unique and that every reviewer has different tastes, interests and takes on the same topic, making them unique and special and alas, their opinions are important. 

What does this mean for me and my blog? Well, I’ll revisit all of those drafts and try to publish some of my older posts throughout the year and rework them to fit my current style and you’ll probably see some newer games in there as well as some more popular ones. There will be the odd one here and there with a very underrated and unknown game and I’ll just hope that it’ll get more attention. 

I hope you liked my take on the matter. I feel as every take on a topic is important even if some if not all points are the same. As long as it’s written independantly it should be allowed to exist. As long as it’s a different person writing it, it already should be able to provide some new thoughts and opinions on it. And well, obviously, the people that read my blog posts are not the same that read Frosti‘s or Krikket‘s, right? 

Alas, I hope you enjoyed this post and the next few on other stuff. Have a nice day and stay awesome!

Cheers!

This post originated on Indiecator and was first published on there by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

TSS#48 – Indietail? – RimWorld and some other games

Indietail’s been a format on here for quite some time now and I love showcasing games and recommending stuff to people that don’t know those games yet… but there are some great games out there are too popular to be recommended and I don’t really know how to feel about them. 

Just recently I’ve gotten into RimWorld and it’s such a great game with so many possibilities and a steep and unforgiving learning curve but overall it’s just great and reward once you master it. The art style is alright but does its job. If anything, it adds value to the game using the derpiness of all the characters and models and it kind of is cute, I guess, in its own way. The music isn’t really noticeable and I really enjoy the base-building aspect of it as well as the strategy-aspects as well as the “fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck everything is burning and my pyromaniac nudist here called Jim is burning everyone and everything down while all the other colonists are bedridden with the flue fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck what do I do what do I do?” moments.

But everyone knows RimWorld. It’s a great game. Everybody knows that and hence I don’t think it’s worth writing about it as I’m not sure if I’ve played it enough as if I could highlight anything that nobody else has highlighted before. I can’t add value to a recommendation on something that was already recommended so much that it’d be a dead meme at this point. 

Another example would be Stardew Valley. It’s great and lovely and you, again, can do just so much in that game. You can live the capitalist life… you’ve got mods and can break the game. You can be an adventurer or a forager. You can live like Linus and just live off of berries and not farm or sell anything (aka the communist-solution). You can marry a whole bunch of people, no matter what gender you are. And it keeps getting updates for all kinds of platforms. I just recently got it on my phone as well as I love to play a day or two during some long bus rides. But well… it’s nothing new. Stardew Valley has been out for so long now that hardly anyone doesn’t know about it already. I doubt that any of my readers have not set foot into the world of Stardew Valley yet and if so, raise your hand and I’ll recommend the heck out of this game! — by pointing to all the positive reviews on steam as Stardew Valley is very close to what someone idealistic would call a “perfect game”.

If you like farming sims and RPGs, SDV is pretty much your wet dream but covered in Dr Pepper flavoured peanut butter. If you don’t like those genres, you still might like SDV as it’s that much of a good game. 

And then, of course, there’s Minecraft for instance but I won’t get started on that. Or on League of Legends, the famous game made by the small indie company called Riot Games… 

I guess there’re some games out there that I really want to recommend but can’t as I don’t really have anything new to say about it. Instead, I’ll eventually make a post about one of my RimWorld colonies… and maybe I’ll make a post about which wife or husband in SDV is the best (subjectively speaking)… or I’ll just shut up about it.

Similarily I had an issue last year with a game that I’d really recommend if it wasn’t made my assholes/trans-exclusionary radical feminists. If you don’t mind supporting two assholes with your money, I’ll recommend a certain game to ya but I just can’t do that on here without feeling bad about it, just like I can’t recommend a game on my blog that already got covered everywhere as I can’t add any value to it. 

And hence, uh,… this is a post about games I’d recommend but that will never get covered in reviews as everyone already knows about them. Thank you. Have a nice day. 

Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

TSS#37 – Five Games Challenge

What games would I choose if I only had five games available to me? What’s this “challenge” Naithin of timetoloot.com is taking part in? Why are we doing this at all?

Well, today’s Stray Sheep is about these questions and my thoughts on the topic, on top of my selection! Enjoy 🙂


On the 5th of October, twitter user @Octav1usKitten published this tweet here, kicking off a “challenge” of sorts, where one has to pick five games to play for a whole year! Later on The Gaming Diaries, they made a post, listing their choice of games, which lead to quite a lot of people in our nice little Blaugust-community to share lists of their own and… well, then there’s Naithin. 

Naithin from timetoloot.com went as far as creating an actual challenge of playing only those five games for the entirety of November (and maybe even later on as well?), which you may look up the hither side of the internet.

If you’re interested in doing anything like that, go check out his rules. If you’re interested in seeing what it’s like to limit oneself to only five games, check out Naithin’s blog. 

Anyways, while this is surely interesting, I thought about making a post about my theory of the best game-combination and then submitting a list of my own to the world wide web! 


So, at first, I’d like to say that it’s hard for me to stick to one game for a great time-span. My steam library shows it as most of my games are around the 6- to 9-hour mark. Usually, I get bored with a game or need to take a break from it after a few hours of total game time and then a rather long break happens and I forget the controls and mechanics and then some real-life-stuff happens and I suddenly won’t play a game anymore. That happened in Assassin’s Creed 1’s case (RIP Late to the Party #3) and it also happened to a ton of other games. (I’ll get to it in the future for sure, though!)

Hence, if I were to make a list of games to play, I’d probably have to not only cover a vast range of genres in those five games but also make it a list of games that I could replay a ton! 

So, I think, that the challenge behind playing only five games for a year is the fact that you need a certain amount of variety in it. A variety in Genres isn’t needed, in my opinion, though! I think the trick to “surviving on five games for a whole year” (as someone who plays games a lot more than a “normie”, of course) is being able to play the heck out of those games and to have a variety between pairs of games and not between the genres.

Off to my list then!

1 – My first game would be a rogue-like to make things different on each run!

Thanks to procedural generation and some other mechanics there’s a new challenge after every death! Rogue-likes usually feature a ton of different combinations of powerful items to make every run special while also providing one with a rather simple approach on the story/plotline!

Therefore I’m choosing Enter The Gungeon!

It’s a bullet-hell-type of twin-stick-shooter/rogue-like game with a few different characters, a ton of different guns, and even more puns! I haven’t played too much of it for quite some time (and it received a lot of updates in that time) which is why I’m still rather new to it and will have to learn everything again!

Honourable mentions would be: The Binding of Isaac Rebirth/Afterbirth, Dead Cells, Cultist Simulator, Nuclear Throne, Risk of Rain 2, and Slay The Spire.

2 – For this game I would choose a story-heavy RPG that features a lot of stuff to do.

An Open-World-title would be great here, too, especially as there’s a lot of Loot-Shooters (like the Borderlands franchise) that would cover those points.

I’m choosing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for this one!

I’ve never played “through” Skyrim and usually only took certain sides, did certain quests and never tried the other side of the same game! Also there’s DLCs that I’ve never touched on top of MODS that I’ve never installed. I know people that have sank in about a thousand hours (or even more at this point!) into Skyrim and I guess that Skyrim would be great as the second game.

In Contrast to Enter The Gungeon there’s a lot less puns (if any at all) in Skyrim which is a bit of a bummer (jk) but there’s a lot more options when it comes to character customization, role-play, stories, and choices! I feel like this would be important when it comes to the challenge here. When you’re tired of “too much story” or when you don’t have too much time, you go for a rogue-like-run. When you’ve got more time or you’re frustrated with the random aspects, just tune into Skyrim with a lot more scripted events, weird and funny bu- I mean, features… and a bigger world!

Hounourable mentions: Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Breathedge, and Warframe!

3 – For the third game I’d choose a competitive game that can be played with friends and that features a high skill cap!

Competitive games usually demand a lot of people, like map awareness, high APM, map knowledge, game knowledge, good decision making, and a ton more. In shooter games you’ve got to be good at aiming and know a lot about different strategies, for instance. I mostly play RTS or MOBA games when it comes to competitive games, though…

Therefore my choice here is League of Legends.

Well, I already play it almost every day for a round or two after uni, so I guess it wouldn’t be too hard to guess that I’d include this title. I only reached Gold IV this season, hence there’s plenty of leg-room for improvement and training to do. I’m also missing only about 8 champions and there’re many champs that I haven’t played at all, yet, so maybe there’s some more I like, on top of new champions coming out soon, including the new Support-Marksman, Senna.

As a Support-Main, there’s also a lot then I can learn in the Role-Department. I play Mid-Lane and ADC sometimes and am rather average on those lanes. Occassionally I try myself at Jungling (as it’s basically a Support for the whole map) and my worst lane is the Top Lane, mostly as I find it rather boring (being isolated from the rest of the map and all of that^^).

I enjoy playing LoL and I like the community, so I won’t go into the whole “Supporting a company full of bad people”-debate. There’s cool and inclusive rioters for sure at Riot Games, just like there’s probably good Blizzard employees.. and I doubt that there’re any companies in the video game industry that are inherently good or inherently bad.

Honourable mentions would be: Heroes of the Storm, Starcraft 2, and, I guess, Overwatch.

4 – For this I’d choose a game that you can play for a great amount of time with, again, a ton of things to do without any pressure.

Competitive game can be tilting, frustrating and stressful, hence a relaxed game would be great complement to those. On one side there’s League of Legends

…and then there’s Stardew Valley!

I. Love. It. 

I guess that Graveyard Keeper is scratching the same needs while also being a lot darker and recently having a tavern added to it on top of other updates… but sadly, Graveyard Keeper is finite while Stardew Valley’s “story” is infinite with always something to do and plenty of updates coming rather frequently!

Hence, honourable mentions: Graveyard Keeper, Autonauts, Forager, and Diablo 3 (I find the grinding rather relaxing in D3, tbh).

5 – Anything goes, hence my choice here is Monster Hunter World:

It has cool fights, awesome armours, weapons and also the Palico Cats that support you and are rather cute! There’s also some RPG aspects, challenging content and a wide range of weapons!

I’d also be able to support friends using that support-horn-thingy (yep, I haven’t played it, yet, but I love all MHW-Streams and -Videos, I’ve seen so far, and I can’t wait to play it with some friends from my old school).

The last game (in my theory) is a game that one can sink a lot of time into for the sake of enjoying it. Something you haven’t covered yet, something that you like, something that you haven’t played enough of. You can add another genre, stack more genres, whatever, as long as you enjoy it. (Or rather, I found this the most efficient thing to do)

Honourable mentions: Nier; Automata, Warframe, Risk of Rain 2, Minecraft, Terraria, Hearthstone, and Dungeon Of The Endless.

So there’s a plot-less game, a plot-heavy game, a competitive game, a relaxed game, and finally, a game one loves to bits that one can play all year long.

So, this is my idea of the best way of choosing games. Of course, “rogue-likes” aren’t necessarily the way to go for everyone but you can surely change that out for a card game, a racing game, a phone game or anything else that scratches your urges and is rather lite on the story but offers a ton of replay value. The second game would cover the need for interesting plots and lore on top of the RPG-needs^^

What are your thoughts on these? Is there anything that you’d choose differently or would your choice/strategy be similar? 

Also, on the last note, I won’t participate in a challenge like this at all….or rather not at this point. As I want to proceed with reviews on this blog, I’d like to not be limited to five games only for a year, as that’d mean that there’d be, at max, five reviews! Or at least some other kinds of content that I’m not quite sure of yet. At least, I wouldn’t be able to show off some of those nice Indie Games out there.

Anyways, feel free to discuss my “strategy” and my choice of games or even submit your list of games! Also check out King Octav1usNaithin, and The Gaming Diaries!

Have a nice day 🙂

Note: I changed the Header to now just say “TSS#xx” instead of “The Stray Sheep #xx” as I thought that’d be a bit better. Any thoughts on that?

I’m taking part in this year’s #IntPiPoMo. If you’d like to participate or get to know the other participants, feel free to check this post out!

The Stray Sheep #17 – One Game and Literature Editing

So, today was quite the busy day for me, so I couldn’t write down my impressions nor work on another review nor the interview. Hence, I’m talking about the following question:

If you had to chose one game to play for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

Well, for me it’d be Stardew Valley, I guess. There’s always so much to try out right now, so many levels to grind, so many ways to play the game and no hurry as you can re-evalutate your farm. To be honest, I should play it more.

Apart from that I thought I’d talk about my work at the editorial team of our uni-magazine. It was quite a lot of fun but really exhausting, too.
Basically there was a set topic and people would send in poems, peotry slams, prose and other stuff that we then had to read. We received about 351 pages from 58 authors in total! Quite a lot!

Yesterday, we then had to vote which is going to make it into the magazine and which is not. There were writings that didn’t fit in at all, sometimes the quality wasn’t okay either, some stuff was awesome! Like hella rad! Some other stuff wasn’t okay because of certain metaphors used that we just can’t publish in this way. All in all, it was a nice experience to see how this stuff plays out. Now and then, we even argued about some authors and their works and if we should have them in the magazine. Literature can be quite lively and really exciting, even though some may find poems and the like quite boring.

This post felt kind of half-hearted, so I ended up editing it, post tempore (afterwards). I hope you don’t mind having it talk about two different topics and seeing a better version now. As for the final GamesCom-articles: They’re still in progress. But more about that soon!

Anyways,

Keep your ears stiff!

This post is part of a contest/challenge called Blaugust! The goal is to post as much as possible and participants are awarded with different prizes depending on the goal they achieved. My aim is to post on all 31 days of August and if you’d like to know more about this “event”, you should check this post out.