Y U STOP WRITING?!

It’s been about three months since I last wrote anything on here publicly. While I do have some things written in Draft form, I either decided they weren’t worth investing any more time in, or they weren’t up to whatever I consider a standard. Whether that is a good or bad thing is up to the people that read(!)

My point is that there are reasons why I stop. I used to write entries twice a week when I was younger, and we’re not talking about LiveJournal or tumblr-esque diatribes that show very little insight on anything but the minutia of one’s day-to-day. It was about serious stuff, and I wrote for several sites as well, all of them gaming enthusiast press sites. I do miss those times, but at the same time I am glad they are behind me.

But more than that, this is me trying to explain my absences in as succinct a manner as I can. If a level of introspection doesn’t interest you, then by all means click elsewhere!

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My Fave Five for 2018!

If you’re cringing at the title, I make no apologies. “5 Games I’m looking forward to in 2018” doesn’t have nearly as much a ring to it, plus it’s a wrestling meme that is out of date and needs to be brought back.

I didn’t actually buy a lot of new games last year. Outside of .hack//G.U. Last Recode which in itself is a remake (albeit of a 15 year old game), I only bought Foxhole, Conan: Exiles, and the ill-fated Mirage: Arcane Warfare. Everything else either consisted of sale purchases, or currency/DLC. Two of those were games to play with my friends, and while I liked the experience, I would never have played them without that group.

So looking onward to 2018, I’m genuinely looking forward to a selection of titles coming out. It’s a little odd being even slightly plugged into the industry anymore; way back when (we’re talking almost a decade ago) I was fully immersed in videogames as they were my only outlet, and I contributed to the news side of it for nearly three years. Didn’t get much of anywhere (my ego, raw as it was, saw to that) but it was an experience worth it’s time nonetheless.

Alas I digress. Off we go.

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And So Ends 2017…

…I’m usually fashionably late for these. My job usually doubles the workload during the festive time, so I always end up spending the last few days winding down, and spending time with a controller in my hand as opposed to a keyboard. This year’s end and the first few days of the new year have been particularly taxing, but that’s for another time and a different circumstance; I’m OK. I’m going to have to ask Dad to wear a mask when he’s ill and I’m around next time (joke!), but I’m OK. Just a rough throat, and difficulties speaking above a rasp.

In 2017 I had been trying to undo the damage that I caused the past couple of years since moving out of my parents place. I became insular, and suffered because of it. Put some weight on, let my demons begin to get the better of me (given that I haven’t been on anti-depressants for more than a year), and had neighbour issues that at one point had me feeling like moving out of my current flat and moving back into my old block since one had opened again.

But on the other side of the ledger I’d started rolling back some of those problem behaviours, and my neighbours are no longer there; though they did try to do a metaphorical comeback tour, so to speak. Right now the place is vacant, and from all accounts, heavily damaged.

Let’s take a moment to look at the resolutions I set in 2017, and compare to where I am now.
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Plains of Idle-on

Warframe has been the partner-in-crime of many a time-sink exercise where I should’ve been doing something far more productive. In return, Digital Extremes have received a good chunk of money from me for in-game cosmetics and moving through their time-gating (which, incidentally, is the way to do micro-transactions effectively, but that is another topic). I fully plan on supporting the studio further when they release Limbo Prime or Chroma Prime. I wasn’t really into the Plains of Eidolon as an expansion because I thought it was either too ambitious and would fall flat on it’s face, or would be so restrained an experience that it would be of little worth.

I didn’t think of a third option, and sadly I feel that, in hindsight, it was the only outcome for someone like me; it’s boring.

The first issue I have is Cetus, the region of Earth that houses the Plains, is open-world. Corridors and close-quarters combat give way to rolling hills and long-range engagement (Archwings don’t exist, DE. Stop trying to make me pretend they do). Immediately, shotguns and short-range pistols are gone. Also gone is the melee unless you plan on putting on Primed Reach and Body Count.

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VIDEO: A Love Letter to Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines

About a week ago I finished a playthrough of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines on my twitch channel with a barebones Gangrel Build, built for melee and stealth, the two most overpowered mechanics in the game. Even having weighed everything in my favour, I ended up having to turn on the cheats to get through the painfully-aged combat in the title. However, I was so close to the end that one would make the argument that, now having seen the finale, and seen the rest of the endings that are available, I could end each playthrough (aside from the Camarilla ending, perhaps) after the Werewolf encounter and not miss a thing.

The game is an experience, and an involving one at that. Troika developed the title knowing that players wouldn’t be able to see all that the game had to offer in one sitting; multiple playthroughs were required to see everything and as such, it was necessary to incorporate different styles of play (mostly centred around Stealth, Gun-based, Melee, or Social) for the same mission, a task that many developers have attempted but few have achieved, and that list gets fewer additions to it every year.

I recommend getting VtM: Bloodlines from GOG.com as it includes the patches to make the game operational in Windows, and restores a lot of removed content. But if you’re not interested in involving yourself in twenty-fourty hours of Action-RPG, at least watch the video above.