Thursday, March 8, 2018

Looking Forward To

You know, it helps your mental well being to have things you look forward to. Fact.

I could go get a Switch right now, but I'm putting it off so I have something big to look forward to. What games will I get when I do? Mario Odyssey of course. I see no particular reason to get Skyrim again, but may see a compelling reason in the future. I'm also satisfied with the WiiU version of Breath of the Wild. Maybe that's why I'm putting it off... I need more titles for incentive. I may get Bloodstained: RotN on the Switch so I can support Iga and Nintendo in one gesture. Really must pledge to that.

Other games may include Kingdom Come Deliverance. I will need to see more game play before I decide on this one. I've heard it doesn't have a favorable save system, one that allows you to lose hours of work potentially, and the very prospect of that annoys me. I demand save anywhere... my time will not be wasted.

I am currently playing Watch Ducks 2, having purchased the Season Pass, and thus have more missions to pursue.

I've realized that there are certain games I can give a pass based on the feel I get when I see it played. For instance, I don't think I'd get much out of Monster Hunter World. It had the same feel as I got when I played Ghost Recon Wildlands. I really can't describe it. Truly a feel thing.

Middle Finger - Chateau de War... I get a vibe off it that I will enjoy it less than I did Chataeu de Mordor. That one gives me the feeling I had when playing Witcher III. I think I like it, but am not all that invested, if you follow.

So it's been over a year since my brother's passing. I have felt a bit of backsliding occur, but I know I can overcome it a second time. I am fortifying my mind and taking in as much probiotics as I reasonably can, and started and am currently stalled a cardio routine I got from Darebee, home of excellent themed workouts.

Also ahead, the Monsters Inc world was confirmed for Kingdom Hearts III. [Link] That's cool. I hope Pirates of the Caribbean makes a return... and Gargoyles are introduced.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Open Worlds

Well, my seasonal depression did come on schedule, but it is SO much less than previous years. I tell you... perspective. Thing being, my wife is employed now, so that makes things easier. Some things we are handling differently, but for the better. For one thing, I'm cooking dinner many nights, with inspiration for meals coming from Breath of the Wild. I made a list of things I can make as a google doc when I'm at a loss for what to make. It's working well.

I've defeated Ganon, and am going about leisurely exploring, clearing more shrines as I come across them. The one intentional task I have at the moment is scourging Hyrule of mini-bosses (Hinox, Lynels, and Talus mostly). Not sure what my progress is overall, but I know I've killed everything in the southwest sector of the map. Still, the fun factor is holding strong and there is still much to explore. Heroes path mode is pretty handy showing where I have not been.

Horizon Zero Dawn just updated with the DLC The Frozen Wilds. I tried finding the three npcs who can start the DLC questline, but cannot for some reason, though I've been all over the locations mentioned in the IGN guide. I'll try again later. I still say that this is my number 2 game of the year, mostly on account of Aloy being unable to climb anything, unlike Link.

What other open world games would I like to try?

  • Red Dead Redemption 2 - This is the drop-playing-everything-else game I'm anticipating the most for 2018.  Loved the first one.
  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance - Pseudo-historical realistic role-playing. Looks pretty interesting.Must look more into this one.
  • Dual Universe - Not to be confused with the anime of the same name. A multiplayer space game with voxel building. If I get into a spacey mood, I may go for it.
  • Fart Cry 5 - This one, depending on how they go about it, could very well rub me the wrong way. I'll see based on people's gameplay vids after it releases. The setting is interesting, and cultists are a worthy adversary, but it depends on how they portray normal Christians.
  • Monster Hunter World - Hit your mute button! Man I have auto-playing music. Anyway, the game looks pretty good, though I've never played this series before. Edit: I picked up MH3 and have not been grabbed. If it fails to do so after I play it some more, I'll give MHW a pass.
  • Anthem - Look, there are so many open world games now.... if I leave one to the wayside It'll be this. Also, not a fan of the very fake chatter in the gameplay preview.
Currently Out:
  • Middle Earth: Shadow of War - I enjoyed Shadow of Mordor, so I imagine I will this one as well. I am not bothered by what they've apparently done to the lore. Parallel world, let's say, and be done with it.
  • Assassins Creek: Origins - I'm not just super into Assassins Creek games, but if I were to skip a few, It'd be to this one.
  • Ghost Recon: Wildlands - Never played a Tom Clancy game. Is it anything like MGSV? Edit: I picked this one up. I am currently not into it. Another Edit: I decided I didn't like it enough and traded it in for a decent $20!
  • Agents of Mayhem - Set in the Saint's Row universe somehow. If I get to play with superpowers I'll be happy. Edit: I keep hearing this is s huge letdown.
  • Rime - Lindsey Stirling did a song for it. Looks pretty, and I like puzzles, exploration, and being enchanted. Sure, I'll give it a go. Edit: but probably not soon.
  • Elex - Looks like Skyrim with technology. Did they find the spaceship from beyond the barrier peaks? Intriguing. No, it looks like it's the far-future apocalypse that's essentially medieval. Cool.
  • Watch Ducks 2 - I already have this one, but there's the season pass... It was pretty fun so I may pick that up later.
  • Adventures of Forest Whitaker (aka The Witcher 3) - I am kinda noncommittally playing this currently. I'd really rather be playing it on console. Really, that goes for all of the above, I'd prefer it on console... for now. Edit: I now have this on PS4 and am in fact, more into it.
  • Another Zombie Game - I will not play it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Finishing Moves

I've finished grief counseling feeling a weight (guilt mostly) has been lifted. I would recommend counseling to anyone who's having a hard time with anything. This is the time of year when things get on top of me, mood wise. You could call it Holiday Blues if you like, but in previous years I was conditioned to have it start earlier and earlier... like holiday sales itself. My new attitude is to simply do what I can and not worry about things I cannot control.

Thing is, I can control my mood. Part of it is the handful of vitamins and herbal magic-science I consume daily: fish oil (Omega 3), weight control (B6, Apple Cider, and Iodine), Vitamins D & E, and sometimes turmeric. I also get as much fresh garlic as I can stand and probiotics (in yogurt and pickles).

The other part is mental conditioning, avoiding the negative and reinforcing the positive. I have not been on Facebook for quite a long time now, and am so much better for it. I made a second account just to see what about me is shown to others without my knowledge. This led to to realize that FB is programmed to set people against one another, a system that filters out context in (I believe) an effort to divide and conquer. I also have a strict policy of no politics. I've un-followed people on twitter (or given them a time-out) for offering what they consider helpful advice, but colored by their political bias. That's not what I'm there for, so don't be doing me any favors. I think for myself, and again... the times are something I cannot change. I use twitter mostly for videogame oriented stuff... and am quite happy with it that way.

I've been finishing alot of games I started lately. I tend to have something I call "Endgame Anxiety", where generally I get to the last save-point before the final mission or battle and then stall for months. So I finally completed Watch Dogs 2 and Kingdom Hearts 2.8 (Dream Drop Distance/0.2 A Fragmentary Passage/That Weird Movie).

Next up to finish is Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I'm as ready as I will be to face Ganon, so I may as well get on with it, and put the game aside until December when the next DLC comes out. I also had a brief aside into the PS4 version of Metal Gear Solid V. Seems at least some of my soldiers from the PS3 version transferred over, an unexpected bonus.

I've been examining the structure of Kingdom Hearts games and trying to suss out how KH3 will be done. The Toy Story world has been revealed. So awesome... and I totally called it! They look great as action figures.

I'll go on at length about my new theories about how Kingdom Hearts 3 will play out... soon.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

What I've Been Up to So Far in 2017.

Noticed an ad on the sidebar just now... a picture of someone's nasty fingernails... reminded me of the extra on one of Weird Al's CDs (way back, like when I was in college). If you put the CD in a computer you could watch a funny sketch of Al and his family. Anyhoo... in that an oldmun asks Al "Does this look infected to you?" and shows him a fingernail.

In January my fathers home burned to the ground. My father has to this day not been located. However, my brother was found in the burned house. I don't know how to describe it, but we'll go with "Horrendous, catastrophic tragedy". We still do not know exactly what transpired.

My brother was cremated and we had our Viking sendoff. He is super-super-missed. Many people have been very supportive and kind. I am attending grief counseling. It has helped, and there are good things to look forward to.

Since my brother and I had so much in common, particularly gaming-wise, getting on Steam was hard on me, because his avatar is always there on my friends list, and showing up on games he owned and games he wished for. I think you can understand why that made me sad.

Since getting a PS4 I switched to console gaming for a while. Ha! Gaming CONSOLEd me... never mind. I binged (bin-ghed... not Bing-ed) on Horizon Zero Dawn and Watch Dogs 2, played quite alot of Kingdom Hearts 2.8, and have barely touched Final Fantasy XV. I have not finished any of them. I just kinda stopped playing.

Lately, I've been able to get on Steam and mostly play some Fallout. Most recently I have evidently been transported back to 2004, as I've been playing The Bards Tale (the one with Cary Elwes... Westley from the Princess Bride!) and Fable. My bro let me start a game of Fable when I was over once. So...

For the same reason, though to a lesser extent, the tragedy has affected my viewing lately. We caught up on our superhero movies as of January, then the incident happened. We plan on seeing the new Wolverine movie, since we discussed it with my brother. We re-watched most of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (skipped most of season 4). Since then I haven't watched much on TV.

In the realm of streaming, I was into it for a while, interested in the culture, and then I fell off. It's all about audio cues... repeated sounds and phrases. After a while, it gets old. Also, turns out many gamers and immature and generally unsupportive, cliquish types. Sigh.

On YouTube I mostly watch things like Superbunnyhop and The Gaming Historian. I follow the Co-optional Podcast because my brother talked about it. YongYea seems to be on a roll lately with news about Cyberpunk 2077 and some other things that interest me.

I've been somewhat active on Twitter lately. Never thought that'd happen. Been learning its culture as well. Seems like alot of subversive sub-back expectations going on. I've learned not to follow musicians who randomly follow you. They're insincere... using you as a means to an end. Though, I feel a bit bad about it when they're actually talented, I don't want to validate that type of behavior.

Be kind to people. You never know what they're going through.

Take care!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Axpack V+

Yes, once again I am tinkering with my modpack. The mods I'm adding are mostly for variety, which the original pack was a bit lacking in, for all its trimness.

The Essentials

Damage Indicators
NEI + CodechickenCore
Treecapitator + BspkrsCore
Voxel Map
Greenthumb + D3core


BspkrsCore (Treecap)
CodechickenCore (NEI, Enderstorage)
CTMLib (Chisel)
Mantle (Natura)
OpenModsLib (OpenBlocks)
RadixCore (MCA)
COFHcore (???)
D3core (Greenthumb)

Original Selections for Axpack V

[x] Mekanism
[x] Extra Utilities
[x] Openblocks + OpenModsLib
[x] Minecraft Comes Alive + RadixCore
[x] Pam’s Harvestcraft
[x] Cooking for Blockheads
[x] Bibliocraft
[x] Ruins
[x] Roguelike Dungeons
[x] Oceancraft 
[x] Biomes O Plenty
[x] Twilight Forest

New Selections for Axpack V+
[x] Chisel + CTM Lib
[x] ExtrabiomesXL
[x] Dense Ores
[x] Tinkers Construct + Mantle & TiC Tooltips
[x] Enderstorage + CodechickenCore
[x] Big Reactors
[x] Mystcraft
[x] Natura + Mantle (mostly for the sake of the Nether)
[x] Hardcore Ender Expansion (Perhaps to add after the fact, and not in Technic pack)
[x] Ancient Warfare
[x] Immersive Engineering
[x] Growthcraft
[x] DefenceTech (runs off Mekanism Core) 

[ ] Open Modular Turrets


Under Consideration

Ars Magica
Dragon Mounts
Draconic Evolution + BrandonCore
Extreme Reactors - BigReactors ported for 1.10/.11
Thermal Expansion/etc./Minefactory Reloaded + COFH (Disable Ore in Configs)
Actually Additions
Camping Mod
Blood Magic

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Flipping of the Dinner Table

Just on a lark, I checked to see if that horrendously cringe-worthy KoDT live-action series got released...

There is... count it... ONE episode (which I will not link here). It was published in June of 2015 on the d20 Entertainment YouTube channel. Then nothing for over a year. The most recent upload is titled something for a TV pilot, which is of the quality we've come to expect from the people who were involved with The Gamers movies. Apparently two other episodes were produced but only available to backers, which, judging from there being 795 backers and only two people liked the update posts that announced those... were not well received.

Wouldn't you know it... it's another Kickstarter that went completely off the rails. The backers and Jolly Blackburn are pissed. Yes, Jolly himself commented regularly on the situation. The level of vitriol in the kickstarter comments isn't nearly the toxicity level of Spoony's Patreon, but the passion folks are displaying over being cheated is comparable. Apparently the Director of this and other notorious Kickstarters, Ken Whitman, is now known as "a thief and a conman" says Disgruntled Customer on d20's YouTube channel (Edit: Since this posting, his discussion section has been scrubbed). This sentiment is reflected in the YouTube comments for the video as well... but that's to be expected.

As for the episode itself... my commentary.

Of course, that assumes that you're expected to actually watch it. Fine.

0:03 I see they're ripping off the guy who did the animated shorts. Not a good sign.
0:05 Are they trying to do a Psych style intro using the series catch phrases? Cringe.
0:19 Christian Doyle of Gamers 2... and 3 I suppose playing B.A. A familiar face. ...
0:45 Nathan Rice was also in Gamers 2 as Lodge (the GM) is Bob here. Good fit.
0:55 What is with the sound? Did they not have people on staff that know sound design? It sounds like something my kids would record and then delete later.
1:00 I just realized this thing is 17 minutes long. Lord help me!
1:10 Nice enthusiasm on that Hoodyhoo. Granted, I know no one actually says that, so I guess no one knows how it should be inflected... but I count that a miss.
2:42 Ok... Brian's actor is really selling it. Kudos where they're due.
3:40 After a long spiel of flavor text... I am remembering just how boring role-playing is to watch. I've tried to watch game sessions on twitch before and it is every bit as soul killing. I want to knaw off my own leg to escape. Role-playing is not a spectator sport... this is why in The Gamers movies you were shown the perspective of the PCs.
3:42 Vectra!? That's a name I recognize (based on the infamous Vecna from "real" D&D). If this story is what I think it is, it's a good one. Jolly was the writer on this... so.... actors: don't screw this up!
3:44 ...and he killed it. Thanks alot.
4:54 Did Christian Doyle get energy drained between the Gamers 2 and this, lose a level, and thus acting skill? No take backs indeed.
5:10 Really? Are they really going to keep this up with only having the perspective of them at the table, I know that's how the comics were, but.... I stopped reading those! I really read them for how many years!? AUUUUUUGH! *Break for technical difficulties*
5:49 You said it, Sara.
6:21 I'm right there with you at this point.
7:40-7:45 ... Ok... That got a snicker out of me. Properly portrayed how much of an idiot Dave is.
9:28 *PSSST* It worked fine for the comics.... but the dialogue sounds really unnatural coming out of real people. What this called for was adaptation... not CTRL+C, CTRL+V onto the script.
10:48 I never figured Sara as a southern belle... go figure.
12:50-13:16 Ha! Funny image... too bad this is film. Show don't tell, you know.... THIS IS ALL TELLING!
13:47 Again... well said Sara, and delivered with the enthusiasm of "would you like biscuits with that." Get used to saying that. It'll serve you well at your next job at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
13:55 D: ... This was dedicated in memory of Jolly's daughter. ... D: x1000
14:52-16:42 All the people not getting promised rewards.... or refunds.
16:50 Holy crap! This really was filmed in Kentucky. I was just trolling... didn't expect that.
16:55 PORT RAIDED... ??? Portrayed!? Did the credits get auto-corrected?
17:24 Nice placement of that light for the film.

I wonder if the actors were forced to film this at gunpoint. They weren't exactly pulling out their A-game. It was more like... let's get this over with. I suspect the actors knew they were getting screwed and put forth effort to reflect that. Well, except Brian's actor... but I suspect he decided to just have fun with it, like they way the actors in the Super Mario Bros. film did.

The whole affair just worsens the already icky feeling of the whole sub-genre of movies "by gamers, for gamers". I'd say they're losing ground, but that assumes that they had any to begin with. At least the so-bad, but unintentionally funny Dungeons and Dragons movie was sincere. This and other films made on the coat tails of Gamers 2: Dorkness Rising just feel like a cash in taking advantage of people's beloved niche hobby, and dragging its reputation through the mud.

Gamers! We deserve better!