Here, you'll find up to 20 of the most recent posts from the people who have the good taste to follow my blog. Only public results gleaned from the last 200 overall posts to HG Blogs will be displayed. If you see no results below, that means not a lot of people are following me, or my followers haven't been active in a long while, or they simply aren't sharing their posts.
My dad was out of rehab, following his surgery two weeks ago, and was enjoying the leisurely life back home. But something--possibly doing dishes as recommended for therapy, though that is uncertain at this point--has caused his fusion to slip, which requires another serious surgery which may happen tonight or tomorrow depending on surgeon availability. I am traveling once more to be with my mom and dad at this time, and will again be mostly unresponsive and unproductive on the site for another little while (actual length of time to be determined). Thank you for your understanding!
|Sorry if Iím not responsive for a few days.|
I am typing this post on my phone, in a hospital waiting room halfway across the state from my apartment. So I will keep it brief...
While fighting Oregon wildfires on farmland where he works (or adjacent to it), my dad was driving a Caterpillar vehicle. It got caught on an embankment of some sort and rolled over. My dad was in the cab and avoided being crushed but was still seriously injured. He is scheduled for surgery tonight on his spinal column, but that may be pushed back some and maybe even until tomorrow.
Am I the only one looking at the Switch right now and wondering where all the multiplayer games are? The fact is that the Switch could outnumber its competitors in homes by a factor of 2 or more, but that'll never happen unless Nintendo somehow sees a wave of multiplayer enabled titles. MarioKart 8 Deluxe, Arms and Splatoon 2 are not enough.
I'm bringing this up because the Switch is now my hardware of choice for reviews. It will be getting my attention as I build up my library of major and minor releases from the eShop. If you don't watch Arlo - and you should - he makes a good point about the eShop going the way of Steam. It was heavily curated in its first year, but in order to keep up the flow of titles, they're relaxing their standards.
Stardew Valley is a unique game in the North American gaming market, having accomplished what Harvest Moon has failed to do with many sequels on nearly every commercially available gaming platform. Widespread acceptance and demand have turned it into a household game along the likes of Super Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog and the entirety of Dark Souls. Yet it has an open ending and a soothing capacity that sets it apart from its kin. Unfortunately its open ended nature leaves the player with nothing to do but start another farm. What if there was another option?
|Like the Imperials, I didn't see it coming either.|
I have been sick for the last month, less and more sick than I have been in the last, maybe, ten years? The very idea of mustering energy to do anything more strenuous than manipulate a controller (or two, more on that in a moment) has sent be straight to bed. Really.
Boy am I glad I got a Nintendo Switch. It's been my best console purchase decision since the PlayStation 2. My PS3? You mean the one whose motherboard I have to bake in order to... forget it. Not happening. Thank you Nintendo for getting this one so very right!
|aka Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide Blog Post|
So with Vermintide 2, a Left 4 Dead-style game, recently released, I wanted to see if the first game, End Times - Vermintide, was available on the PS4. The first place I checked was the PS Store, and it showed up in the search results! I clicked it... and it was $39.99. The game came out on October 4, 2016.
|Capcom may have just stumbled upon the absolute worst possible way to bring Mega Man to Nintendo Switch.|
I can tell I'm not going to be able to move on with my day until I compose a blog post on this topic, because I'm simply too angry to let the rage fester inside my head, so here goes: Capcom has announced a physical release for Megaman Legacy Collection + Megaman Legacy Collection 2 on the Nintendo Switch. The compilation will retail for $39.99 MSRP, and will be shipped on a single cartridge. It will release this May in North America. Included on the cartridge is Megaman Legacy Collection, plus buyers will receive a key they can use to tie Megaman Legacy Collection 2 to their Nintendo account and download it onto their system memory or an XD card. There are notifications to that effect on the front of the box.
With Secret of Mana receiving a North American physical PS4 release exclusive only at GameStop next month, I decided to snoop around their website for the past couple weeks. I knew they've had a couple physical exclusive titles (in NA, at least) in the past, such as Song of the Deep, but I was surprised just how many PS4 exclusives they actually had; Duke Nukem 3D 20th Anniversary, Cities Skylines, and Killing Floor 2, to name the more familiar names. I was then thrown off by the number of "smaller" titles they had, such as Constructor (90s sim/tycoon title), a Prototype bundle of the first two games, Wuppo, and Has-Been Heroes, the latter I've only heard of for the first time while browsing GameStop.
|The most glorious single-player mode of 2017! Proof inside!|
To make things "interesting," I decided to handicap myself for my first match. I equipped one of the weaker Jasons, who can't run or morph very well, set the difficulty to Hard, and fought against seven Counselor bots. This is what played out:
-0:00: Counselor literally ran into me after I made a bunch of noise. Then he ran in the house, picked up the gun... and ran into me without trying to fire.
-0:25: Counselor ran around in circles before she decided to dive in the water.
-0:40: Counselor got hit by my knife, and in retaliation, she turned around and ran into my body.
|Because my opinion matters the most on the Internet. Obviously.|
(spoiler spaces, because you can still see this when you enter my main blog page)
Thought it was fine. Maybe a bit too many space battle scenes.
Liked that they fleshed out Poe's character this time. Actually, I'm surprised how developed they made him in a film where tons of other stuff is happening. Went from a hot-headed, but well-meaning, pilot who constantly thought blowing stuff up all the time was the solution, to knowing better by the end of the film. (continued below)
|I've just been working long hours.|
So I started working at an "Amazon Fullfilment Center", or... you know... warehouse, long hours during peak season. The money is good, but 60 hours a week has but a serious damper on any reviews I'd hoped to do. Sorry Jason, I'll get to that re-write when things settle down enough. By the way, my new bed is absolutely splendid.
On the games front, I have picked up some new titles, but obviously haven't put much time into anything apart from my 2DS. Etrian Odyssey IV is really good, but I'm having a darned time with quests I can't complete. I doubt I'll be reviewing this one. The remastered soundtrack is quite the treat, especially considering I was already a fan of it's original incarnation.
|No game is perfect. Everyone knows that. So... 9 out of 10!|
Objectively, no game is perfect. You know it and I know it.
When a critic reviews a game, sometimes you'll see an accompanying score of 10/10 (or 5/5 in this site's case; there are all sorts of scale). Some readers will call this the "perfect 10," but that's a misnomer. No game is perfect, remember?
Why do some critics award 10/10 when clearly there's no such thing as a perfect game? Why do some critics balk at the notion. I worked briefly at an outlet where critics weren't allowed to award 10/10 scores, because games can't be perfect.
|...but I suppose I have been busy.|
At least if I'm going to ramble, I might as well give you something nice to look at. That's one of the screencaps I didn't have a chance to use for my Hob review because I uploaded them too late for my patience and appointed bed time.
No one to blame, that's all on me. I knew I had a review to post. I'm getting better at this, gradually, but that's not what this post is about. For once I'm going to talk games. All that redacted stuff was an entirely too cerebral and overused joke, but it's obvious now I've started to do Freelance reviews.
|An uncommon hiccup led to wonky tallies, so everything has been reset.|
One of you today pointed out to me that review views are really messed up, to put things mildly. I looked into the situation, and unfortunately it appears that when the site was having some issues with page loads a while back, a review page partially loaded and successfully ran a partial query, which resulted in every review record being updated to show 1689 views. That's my best guess at the problem, anyway.
The resulting data was even less useful than if that column in the database had simply been wiped completely, so I went ahead and reset every value to 1 (which is the default instead of 0, for boring reasons I won't outline here). They'll start going up from there, as reviews are viewed.
|...besides which, the price was just right.|
Having just plowed through [redacted] I'm eager to get on with other [redacted] titles. I must admit it's different playing in that sort of mindset. Somehow you have to decide if you're enjoying it as much as [redacted]. It's not as easy as I thought, though I did play Virginia with that approach mind, and felt comfortable reviewing it. So... nothin' to worry about there.
So yeah, I bought a 2DS, and though it's flat the shoulder buttons feel like they might survive longer than the ones on my ol' 3DS. I guess I need to start looking for a wide boy or something, because screenshots? Um, yeah, I don't even. I might, but... hrm. I haven't even lined up what I'm reviewing next, yet.
Though I did [redacted], so that's something.
|...becase it just works better for my schedule.|
Mind you that doesn't mean I won't be picking up a 2DS, either. Breath of the Wild was interesting to look at, but an unreasonable proposition for me. It's really an odd match for a minimalist system, but I'm glad it did turn out to be a hit for Zelda fans. It may be one of those that suffers in retrospect, but for now everyone loves it. And that's a good thing, for Nintendo.
The point I'm languishing about is how much time I have to play. Looking at future reviews (and no spoilers about those for now), the Switch is a good match. I won't be carrying it around outside of the house, to be sure, but its library is beginning to be appealing to me. When the big publishers do not placate, Indies are given wing to flourish. That's good news for The Rest of Us.
|I had a feeling saying I'd stick with them was a mistake.|
Enough is enough. At some point you've got to face facts and AMD messed things up. I've stood by them for a long time, but the FX line was such a bungled product that Intel has managed such a performance gap they might not be able to overcome it.
Ryzen will be competitive, I'm not denying that. Unfortunately, Intel has the manufacturing capability to casually eclipse AMD whenever they catch up. I am still rooting for AMD, and there may be occasions that building a system entirely built on their hardware may make sense. This is true because Intel still charges a freakin' premium for the low end chips, which is arrogant and typical of the company. AMD has a loyal base for a reason.
They're cheap as chips.
|...it's nice to have options.|
I've been tossing between getting a Nintendo Switch or 2DS. Why the later, not the 3DS? Because I actually don't want an XL, thank you very much. Both are tempting and viable options, but it doesn't make sense to get both. I'm glad Ninty's producing quality games for its consoles, and making enough of them to keep us ravenous players sated.
The 2DS is a mature platform now, and has a vast library of games to choose from, whereas the Switch's online functionality has yet to manifest in any appreciable form. My bouts with the Wii's online entertainments lasted all of a week before they died out, whereas my 3DS was still getting hits from other local 3DS systems thanks to Streetpass.
|...or will you just burn?|
Fact is I wasn't ready for my main desktop to hand me a shovel, but it did anyway. Instead of burying it, I yanked out its damaged part and sent an RMA request to its manufacturer. Fortunately, some recent scavenging enabled me to build a reasonably serviceable replacement PC. It's not got the high end grunt my ol' six core did, but it's actually a fair sight more responsive.
Darn you, Intel. I've been an AMD boy for decades. I don't think this is enough to change me, but it's a stunning look at how comfortable the "other side" has had it for the last oh... decade. Ryzen's just a little out of my reach, and with supply levels dropping across the board, it's harder to build a cheap PC than ever.
Dag-freakin-nabbit, Wilson, what's a geek to do?
|...Hey, it's just a question.|
The above image has nothing to do with the topic, but give me thirty seconds with Google and Paint.net and well, I'll make some graphical silliness happen. In a nutshell, though I'm out of work right now, my time is very much in demand, so I'm basically dealing with that one step at a time.
I've submitted my manuscript to one of the dozens of writing agencies we have in Canada. There just aren't that many. Only three in British Columbia, so I'm having to look out of province, which isn't exactly inconvenient thanks to email.