New Games Acquired!

Good news, everyone! I have added two games to the list of other games I still need to play: Dead Cells (Nintendo Switch) and Donut County (Playstation 4). Here’s a short preview of both:

Donut County

I bought Donut County for Diane. Other than Zelda and Smash Brothers, she likes simpler puzzle games to relax with. Donut County looked like a solid pick for her and it has not disappointed yet.

Similar in idea to Katamari Damacy, in Donut County you play a hole that increases in size every time something falls into it. Entrap everything in the level and you win. It is very simple, but she said there was a pleasure to that simplicity and seeing objects disappear down a hole.

The standout for me just watching her play was the dialogue and humor. It reminds me a lot of season one of Regular Show which I very much enjoyed. It will likely be too short for what I paid, but I am excited to see the rest of the plot, give or take any holes.

Dead Cells

I bought Dead Cells for myself. I am a sucker for roguelikes and action-platformer Metroidvanias are in for me right now considering I just wanted more sweet, sweet Hollow Knight exploration action.

Thirty minutes or so with the game and I can tell I will like it. There’s a solid blend of exploration, combat, and items to collect. I hope it holds up as I get deeper into it and better at not dying.

My favorite thing so far is the art style. Pixel art is always attractive to me, but it has become a bit overdone. Despite that, Dead Cells impresses me with its animations and overall presentation. There is some humor with the main character very early on that I also appreciated.


This post is part of a series of everyday posts for Blaugust. If you’d like to know more, click here.

Hollowed Knight

In my review of Hollow Knight for the Nintendo Switch, I said:

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night holds a special place in my heart. It is one of the few games I have beaten multiple times on multiple platforms. Elevating a game like Hollow Knight to be its equal is a huge honor in my book. Deservedly so because the nearly 40 hours I have already put into Hollow Knight isn’t nearly enough even if I am running out of things to do. I cannot wait for more with the game’s next DLC!

Well, I waited for the release of Godhome, the final free DLC for Hollow Knight, and, to be frank, I am disappointed. Given that this is free DLC (something I very much appreciate it) and it comes after a lot of other free DLC (again, thank you so much), let me clarify a few things:

  • Godhome adds more content. I refuse to hold that against it.
  • I much prefer the days where developers gave free updates as opposed to our current climate where I sometimes feel they break things just to charge to fix it later.
  • Hollow Knight is still perfect on its own.

The problem at the heart of the Godhome DLC is this: it wasn’t what I wanted. My favorite thing without question about Hollow Knight was the exploration. From the beginning to the end of my time with it prior to Godhome, I thought it was a perfect take on the Metroidvania formula, complete with a spooky atmosphere and really outstanding animations/combat.

The entire purpose of Godhome is to add in a boss rush mode. That’s it. That’s all. There aren’t new areas to explore, new items to collect, or new abilities. It is just bosses in a rush.

I actually really loved the challenge of chasing down some of the game’s harder bosses. I also loved braving some of the game’s more advanced platforming. Hollow Knight is the kind of game that makes me forget it is hard because I keep playing, keep pushing, and keep improving.

Godhome would’ve likely done the same if I had the willpower, but I don’t. I didn’t follow this DLC too closely to avoid spoilers, so maybe my hype and interest could’ve been curbed long ago, but I wanted a new area. I want someplace new to explore and to overcome. I wanted new bosses too but done in a way that tied back into the plot and mystery of the game.

Godhome is not that and therefore I cannot objectively look at it as being either good or bad. For me, the idea was a letdown as soon as I realized what I was getting into and more so when I googled spoilers to make sure I wasn’t wrong.

For the most hardcore fans out there, Godhome may be a dream come true. For me, it is just a reminder that I would much prefer a Hollow Knight 2 with new places to explore to this. Boss rushes are great and can be fun. I wish I could get over my disappointment and just enjoy this DLC for what it is but I can’t.


This post is part of a series of everyday posts for Blaugust. If you’d like to know more, click here.

Final Thoughts on Sharp Objects

Tonight we decided to finish the last two objects of Sharp Objects on HBO. If you are unfamiliar, the miniseries was an adaptation of “Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn, the same writer who wrote “Gone Girl”. It starred Amy Adams.

Sharp Objects follows Camille (Amy Adams) as she goes home to the small Missouri city of Wind Gap. She returns as an investigative journalist sent there by her paternal editor-in-chief to investigate the murder of two young girls.

Its a brutal show. The imagery is rich but disturbing. The subject matter ranges from murder to rape to self-harm. It isn’t an easy or light plot by any stretch. In many ways, it reminded me of the first season of True Detective where the mystery at the heart of the narrative pulls you along but its the horrors and inhumanity of every day folks that keep you invested.

I have to say, I never thought of Missouri as the south. I’ve had the autocorrect the state name two times already writing this, so I don’t think of Missouri much at all, to be frank. Still, Wind Gap, its citizens, and setting of Sharp Objects feels southern in much the same way that Flannery O’Conner captured it in her Southern Gothic short stories.

I eat these kinds of stories up. Now, I didn’t grow up in a small town with a murder mystery or other dark secrets at its core, but I get it. I get the old money/new money dichotomy. I get the rundown hopelessness. I get the ignorant and the racist and other so-called “good folk” ruining and tarnishing the lives of those less inclined to hatred or bigotry. I can’t say Wind Gap exists, but the place Sharp Objects shows it is at least a reflection of far too many places, a reflection that ignores the surface level for a truer horror underneath.

Back to the show: I liked it overall. At times its dreamy-horror-wonder routine wavered into the realm of artsy nonsense, but the same worked for True Detective and it mostly worked here. The performances were all fantastic. Australian actress Eliza Scanlen was a clear standout as the creepy younger sister of Camille.

I loved the show’s overall focus on femininity. Rather than taking any sort of stand, it showcased the myriad of ways it can go wrong while also providing a few avenues for hope and overcoming those wrongs in the end. It is a very pessimistic view of humanity and femininity more specifically, but we need more stories like this to round out the cannon of our culture to show all of mankind’s rough edges, whether male or female or something else.

Without spoiling it, I thought the final act was a bit of a drag. I think with more editing, the bumps could’ve been smoothed out to make for slower, more gradual realization of what truly was happening. The final reveals felt too clean for a show that always left me feeling dirty.

I think as a Southern Gothic show, this is an outstanding example. I am grateful it didn’t have the mysticism of True Detective though an element of magical realism is always appreciated in these kinds of stories. I am also happy that this was a one-and-done. Despite the ending leaving room for more, I have had plenty.


This post is part of a series of everyday posts for Blaugust. If you’d like to know more, click here.

Overcooked 2, Session 3

Another week and another night playing Overcooked 2 with friends. I managed to make it home from Alabama just in time to unpack, order pizza, and boot up the game.

Finally, some real challenge has arrived. Worlds 4, 5, and what we’ve done thus far of 6, have really upped the difficulty. They added a cool (but frustrating) mechanic where players control moving platforms which need to be positioned over and over again in order to progress.

Similar to the last level of the first world, one of the other “boss” levels we went through had a very psychedelic part that honestly left me confused and dizzy. We managed to overcome the level with three stars in our first try, but only because it was incredibly long.

These later levels are proving that the game has a lot of staying power. Even beyond getting three stars, I could see myself going back with the same people or another group and having a similar amount of fun. With so many roles on each level, its easy to beat it without getting a chance to experience every aspect for yourself. That’s important to me.

On the positive news front, it looks like the PC version got a free quality of life patch recently. It added a New Game+ mode with unique rewards and the ability to change your chefs without backing out entirely. I am excited to see those features the Playstation 4 version we are playing. Hopefully by the time it releases, we will be ready for the fresh challenges!


This post is part of a series of everyday posts for Blaugust. If you’d like to know more, click here.

Writing on a phone

We are at dad’s this weekend for his birthday. No internet here, so I am writing this on my phone as it switches back and forth between LTE and 3G. I feel like I am texting the internet.

It is fun going home on occasion. Dad decided he still wanted to cook instead of going out (first decent restaurant is 45 minutes away). We are having a low country boil, Diane’s first.

Thankfully online streaming technology has advanced enough to allow some downloading. Internet be dammed, I am prepared. If that fails, then it is back to basic cable on one of two televisions in the entire four bedroom house.

Nothing really changes in my hometown. Well, other than Alabama’s richest citizen buying more real estate. Everytime I come home, Dad points out something else that Jimmy bought.

On the positive front, Dad is finally starting to think about selling the house. I know it is hard for him keeping up such a big space after Mom. He is typically the sentimental type so its a big step.

Dinner’s ready! Time to stop texting everyone.

Blaugust Regrets

My biggest regret of this Blaugust so far has been my inability to participate beyond my own posts. In past blogging events, whether Blaugust or otherwise, I was able to make a real effort to read and comment more. This time, I have been lucky to get anything posted at all some days.

I miss it too. I miss how many of us would link to one another’s posts and comment in our own. I miss the debates about MMO mechanics or other things. I wish my job and other duties didn’t take me so far away.

Not that I have the same energy either. Writing about MMOs bores me. They do not change and no one wants to make them anyway. It would be nice to write about other things that many of you share a passion about but other things inspire less “blogospheric pressure” to reply.

If you would be so kind, please help me out. In the comments below, feel free to link a post from this event you are particularly proud of or, if you are a new blogger looking for someone to read everything, share a link to your blog overall.

I promise I will read everything that is shared!


This post is part of a series of everyday posts for Blaugust. If you’d like to know more, click here.

Watch List

I don’t write about the television shows I am enjoying as much as I would like. Here’s a brief rundown of everything I am bouncing between right now:

Sharp Objects

Thus far, Sharp Objects has been fantastic. It reminds me of the first season of True Detective though far less driven by a male point-of-view. Amy Adams and everyone surrounding her do a great job portraying small town damaged people

My only complaint is that it can be a difficult show to watch. I may look forward to seeing it every week, but unlike other shows, I don’t jump for joy at the thought of seeing it. The subject matter is not for the feint of heart and some days I need a downbeat far less than I need an upbeat.

Deadwood

I love Timothy Olyphant, especially when I was watching Justified most every week. He has a great look and charm, but also a quiet intensity. For one reason or another, I never watched Deadwood when it was on or in the decade plus since it went off the air.

Diane and I are only a few episodes in but so far so good. I enjoy hearing “cocksucker” or some variation every other sentence.

Better Call Saul

I “met” Bob Odenkirk once. When I was living in Illinois, I was a teller at the bank his mom uses. One day, she brought in her son Bob and I couldn’t find the will to say anything to him. I regret it but knowing someone as famous as Bob Odenkirk still finds time to go with his mom to the bank is more than enough to make me a fan for life.

Also, Better Call Saul is fantastic and far better than Breaking Bad which was already perfect.

Megaloboxing

I am just starting this anime. It is weird but I love the feel of it so far. Anime and boxing are also like a drug for me. Hajime No Ippo proved it is a winning formula and I am always open to “more of that”.

The Golden Girls

This isn’t some ironic watch. I am a huge fan. I have two Golden Girls t-shirts that I sleep in. Sometimes when I am lazy I wear it out for errands and I get compliments from people even younger than me. I think nostalgia must extend to people with no familiarity with something other than other people being nostalgic for it. It’s like hipster hive mind.

My love for the Golden Girls is sincere. My mother would tape her soaps (soap operas) and watch them at night while knitting. I would sometimes wander out of bed and fall asleep in her lap. She didn’t want to be distracted from her tapes, so she’d turn it off and usually it would be time for Golden Girls reruns on Lifetime.

I dunno how she would feel about me admitting she let me watch it at such a young age. But the Golden Girls is a reminder of a time when I was still able to curl up in my mother’s lap and fall back asleep. I miss her dearly some days more than others but I still have Golden Girls to watch when I want to slip back into the past. The fact that I learned that Blanche is a slut and how funny that is at age 7 never stopped me from being a productive, functioning human being either.


This post is part of a series of everyday posts for Blaugust. If you’d like to know more, click here.

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