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.
|...writing a novel isn't as easy as it looks. You mean you can't tell?|
You know how Fred Austure made every other dancer look like they were trying to dance with their shoes on backward? He practiced nonstop and was unrelenting in his precision. Whether he was dedicated or a jerk is up for debate, but making something look effortless does require a certain level of commitment.
My lead in thought was that writing a novel doesn't show the perfectionism that went into the text, since you're only seeing the end result. However, that perspective is not only narrow, it's wholly mistaken. Writing is a matter of mental discipline - speaking as one who is evidence of that fact. Polish comes with repeated attempts and hard work.
Always hard work.
|But sometimes I feel like it.|
I've been bothered by the idea of leaving HG out in the cold where my writing routine is concerned. The accomplishments have not been earthshattering, but it has been good for my capacity as a writer. So, I'm going to tool out some Switch reviews of the games I've enjoyed in the last six months.
Now, that's not going to be a lot, since paring back how much I play comes into effect, but... ah well, that's okay. I guess I'll just start where I start and finish where I finish.
Nice to see the front page changes finally came into effect. Heh.
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!
|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.
|...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.
|...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.
|...and other breakdowns.|
I've seen some impassioned PC builds oriented around DOS, and even Windows 95/2000, but XP is where things started to get nasty. Microsoft's marketing techniques were becoming more savvy, and the Operating System increasingly complex. As a result I haven't seen XP as a go-to for many. Why bother with the mess when you can install Windows 2000 and get the best of both old school worlds?
...what did XP stand for, anyway? Take it as a smiley and it pretty much sums up how people felt about it. Anyway...
A snappy interface and DirectX support. What else do you need, anyway? Since Windows XP was officially relegated to End of Life in 2014, that's opened the floodgates to cheap as dirt hardware and serviceable software. Mostly.
|A voluntary selection from a school assignment = no gaming.|
I decided that cutting myself off from Facebook wasn't enough, because I frankly am not a fan of the viral media dependent social network. That should tell you I'm not a fan of social networks in general. But, that isn't true; at times I rather like Twitter, and Patreon doesn't count, it's a business network.
|...works as a puzzle game but not as a celebrity manager?|
The crux of YouTuber Life's strengths lie in the mini-game puzzler that has you piecing together symbols within numerical constraints. Not that the emotional indicators make any sense. How is a critical review always negative, and a constructive one always thoughtful?
Clearly the game is based on the ideals construct, in which completing any task automatically results in more subscribers and views, until you have to amass a million subscribers and join a network. Then videos can sometimes cost you subscribers.
|...but I'm still hungry.|
"Standard fare" was my parting thought after watching DC, and Zack Snyder's latest cinematic outing in the shapely form of armor clad, whip wielding Wonder Woman. Certainly it was good, but Wonder Woman has never held my interest. Why? She's boring.
I get the whole routine of her being beautiful, though in order to fight like that with her body tone she would require supernatural strength. She wasn't exactly showing the muscle tone, if you get me. As I understand it this is quite the feminist parade, but I didn't see it. That is to say, that's not what they were aiming to achieve.
|...but Zeboyd Games has a contender.|
Cosmic Star Heroine is good. Really good. It's also fast. The pace is more action film than traditional RPG. Where I got the idea it's a Chrono Trigger imitator, I'm not sure, though it does do that. There are no combat scene transitions: Everything happens on the same screen.
So far, Zeboyd is combating player boredom more than anything else. There hasn't been much time to let the frenetic pace of events sink in, and that's not a good thing. To be expected from the creator of Cthulu Saves the World, the script is bright and witty, self depreciating but deliberate.
|There was never a chance it was going to work.|
There were eight people in the theater when my Dad and I went to see Ghost in the Shell’s live action adaptation. For some reason nearly every showing is in 3D, which doesn’t actually hurt this slow burning production. I know – slow burning action movie, right? GITS has a ponderous, ruminating pace that allows for instances of intense cyborg combat and deep introspection. The Major, aka Makoto Kusanagi isn’t a deep feeling sort; but is troubled by a past she is at odds with.
|...unless you take a chance on Stand Alone Complex.|
There's no question that Ghost in the Shell was chock full of shock about the question of individuality amid the proliferation of digital culture. What becomes of us when our memories can be edited, overwritten, or even replaced?
The original motion picture doesn't answer those questions. It merely poses them, and that's not nearly interesting enough to sustain the franchise. It was a great start, though. If you want to get to know more about the world the Major sprang from, track down the two full seasons of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.