Rich Men North Of Richmond
For anyone who hasn't yet heard this soulful dole from this grand man in the land of coal here you go.
Might it be the most impactful track of the year? The one to finally ignite a revolution? To open some eyes? To change the world? To at least stir some temporal worldwide unity, sense of community, and make us all care a bit more about our neighbors? I hope so. This feels special... also. Also.
Alllright back to the North again.
But not North of Richmond! Don't fret! Just up to our own land, to our home land, to our closest counterpart here of coal land, to the cold land - it's becoming now, where I turn from a kid to a grown man. It's homely when it's summer. When the snow rolls in it's a bummer. It denotes that the time is over, and we bow for home and closure. With honor hold our composure. Which sucks man total disclosure.
See y'all in a month! Crops are growing. It's going well.
The Summer Post
I'm off! It's time. Summer's nigh. The sky is gray here yet I eye the sky. The sun glimpses briefly - summertime in sight. Which is exciting! Good times. Dives. Delight. Thought I'd have time to write this too, think I just might...
Been through some furious final moments in the garden, washing, dishing (dishes - washing), wishing (wisdom), squashing (fried squash with garlic - delicious), lots of bread, little chicken... no chicken I reckon but put yourself in my position in kitchen. No chicken. Been eating whatever remains though, freezing whatever's not eaten, vacuuming and cleaning, drying herbs, prying dirt, packing bags and scheming, tired for no reason...
I thought I'd start reviewing the books I've read a while back. Have had a bundle of literary drafts lying in wait for a year or so now, thinking I'd conjure up some cover images for them, but at last I decided just to post 'em. Before I fly off for summer. Best siphon off some my unposted material as to let me feel a bit more at ease when I leave.
I'm writing those in Swedish too occasionally, when the books are. Might start doing that more often. Feels suitable to follow suit with the language.
Haven't been blogging much this spring, but I have been posting a last-minute batch of drafts just now. I have movies scheduled for most of my vacation - just finished revising 'em till the end of July. Hope I get through a few more before I jump off today. Should suffice at least until I'm back long enough to revise and schedule more - for a day and a half in early August.
Took a lot of time that scheduling. It's so much easier to publish reviews in batches. I will not be doing this one-review-a-day thing next year.
S3C popped up with this nice surprise just recently too! A copy of my movie list with appended scores from IMDB and RottenTomatoes. And more. Shall do something with this after summer - much obliged @S3C!
Following up on that series of unfortunate events detailed in the spring post earlier: The puppy died.
Apparently it probably had an autoimmune disorder, and caught some nasty virus that had it developing abscesses all over it's body. It had a good appetite but kept losing weight, and was in constant pain, growing weaker and weaker, so big bro & co decided to put it down. :/
Our water pump up North apparently just broke down too. Not that it compares to that loss of life, but these things really just keep happening this year! And the warm air pump here is not fixed yet - they have no time to troubleshoot further until August at least. The hexalist I maintain on NG got locked today too, right when I was about to post my final summer update. Managed to get it unlocked again but that was quite a scare.
A potential seizing of a legacy that's been kept for twenty years...
On the bright side those airport strikes I mentioned earlier were cancelled! Should be all good for the trip tomorrow. And I posted that update. All good there too.
In regard to games (I'm all over the place with this post I realize - gotta write about the things I've gotta write about) I played some TaskMaker at the start of May, Serious Sam at the start of June, now I'm on Venetica, start of July. I hope I haven't lost interest when I get back cause it really is a pretty cool game. Very atmospheric.
Site idea till after summer: Add a span class for rhymes, to surround spontaneous rhyme-related bits in posts that I give the 'rhyme' tag, so that these spans can then be styled on the rhymes tag archive specifically, and thus highlight said rhymes only when you're browsing that particular archive. Elsewhere on the site they would have the same formatting as surrounding text.
Other site idea: Add links to Books and Movies in the top menu specifically, instead of having this collective Reviews category? I rely on the
/movies URL on a few places, so I don't want to create a
/reviews/movies structure as to move them away from the main page and blog.
The problem is that I do want movie-related posts to show on the main page too, but not movie reviews specifically, lest they flood the page. Adding the Reviews category for movie reviews specifically temporarily ammended this issue, but it's messy. I don't like having two categories on posts. Need to figure out a better way. To be continued...
Another one: Let you click on an image in a lightbox to open it in it's actual size in a new tab, or if possible zoom in and move around in the existing view. As it is some images actually shrink down if you open them in full due to the lightbox interface adding extra padding around the image/keeping it proportionately centered on the screen.
That's all for now y'all! I'm out of both time and words so I'll take my leave. Traditionally as may be perceived, from the city streets to the green green fields, to the outest reaches that I can reach. To live the loudest where you don't hear a peep. To seek enlightenment and light and retreat. From all that riles me up in this pot of boulders - come back stronger and not a lot of older - when autumn rolls in and we're hot but colder.
See y'all in October.
Random GOG Giveaway: Eschalon: Book II (2010)
Venetica - First Impressions
It's good to try new things.
I was feeling somewhat apathetic and low the other day. On the grind, and the gruel of life and all. On not having been outside in a while maybe. Kept in by the rain that kept pattering the windows - something I feel is calming when I'm in a better place and state of mind. Summer's coming up and I'm not done with all, or content with all, time wanders as my mind does...
I intended to jump into a game I'd played before initially.
I pondered Serious Sam. I've been recording runthrough's of the first two encounters that I'll be uploading eventually, but it just didn't feel... fun.
I skimmed through the list of games I own on GOG in search of something that seemed better. Something that'd distract me enough. Something with an imaginative world I could truly escape into for a moment or two. Alan Wake lured, but I've played it before, and I wasn't really looking for horror.
I've had a few games bookmarked there for a while now; intending to play.
There's Mirror's Edge - that parkour action game that reminds me a bit of Oni - which I love. Saint's Row 2 - which is a clear rip-off on the GTA games of the time - which I love. Sudeki - a more family-friendly kind of adventure. And Jade Empire, and Konung - games both one and two (Konung = King in Swedish)... but Konung didn't feel simple enough. I started pondering Diablo 2 instead. But that too felt overly complicated to get into.
And then there was Venetica, a hack and slash adventure that at least visually looked pretty promising...
I started watching trailers. Then screenshots. I skimmed through all those aforementioned games again, but wasn't sure any one really would let me get away as well as I wanted to. And then I started checking filesizes, since download speed is limited, and I did not want to wait too long, and Venetica was maybe the most promising of the contenders I still pondered in that regard. Konung was though smaller out of the picture, and Saint's Row felt a bit over-the-top, so Venetica it was...
And what a game Venetica was! So far. I chose right. I really got away. I played just two hours but it felt like much longer. In a good way.
I went to bed feeling content, and relaxed, and enveloped in the mysteries of the monsters and assassins of San Pasquale - a fictional mountainside town, and the comfort of companionship, the armor of love, the subtle grind and discovery, the winding pathways, and puzzles, the simple and noble sword-to-sword combat, the steep ravines and edges that for some reason you couldn't jump down, the pros and cons and the beautiful Venice lingering beyond the long bridge and pond...
So far I'm high on this one. It's lively. It's lovely.
The main character's lovely too. She copes with her tragic loss admirably - as do the rest of the villagers - who you can sometimes drag a couple assassins towards if you need some help fighting them.
You can hone your skills, you can battle and level up, you can learn new things, you can traverse the path between life and death with an intriguing kind of twilight energy - and you speak to a stranger that reminds me of the mysterious one in Dishonored - which I was actually considering playing again whenst looking for a game now too.
The character enhancements, the items, the pick-ups and missions are simple, but seemingly plentiful. The world so far is small, but with a promise that it'll grow, and it seems I'll soon be at the big city, just a couple hours into the game...
The visuals aren't totally up-to-date, but they're good enough, movements feel more outdated than the visuals. The characters are expressive, rich in personality and beauty, and the sceneries are a fantasy.
It's not all utopian but it definitely is adventurous, wild and wonderful, and exactly the kind of game world I was hoping to get lost in for a while as I traverse my ongoing existential crisis/off-spring Spring and figure things out otherwise.
The game menu's a little basic. The transition effects and sounds are an odd choice. First impressions get lowered straight away, but once you get into the game itself it's amazing.
I wish there was a quicksave feature, and for a while I wish I could jump - I get over that though, and it does seem like the game saves automatically at key locations. When you enter new places maybe. Not sure yet.
It seems like saves are possibly a feature you don't even have to worry about. I've died a few times so far, but thanks to that mysterious twilight energy I haven't stayed dead yet, I'm starting to wonder if you ever do, might find out soon...
I appreciate how there's no superfluous words or grind involved in the game either thus far - though plenty of interactions. Both interface and story seems perfected. You pick up items, loot, trade, upgrade, hone yourself and learn a little along the way, but it's never excessive. It's easy to get into. It's homely. It's familiar and fun but also a real fantasy.
It's an adventure, pure and simple. Another age. Another face. An intriguing world and story thus far.
Might not have much more time to play right now, but I'm looking forward to jumping into this world and venture once again soon.
Venetica - it's a boon.
6 Anticipated Game Sequels 2023
Here are six games I'm really looking forward to this year!
Had intended to write up a way more in-depth post about 'em, but this shall suffice, before the year's over or they're out.
They're all either story-wise a sequel, or part of a bigger; ongoing franchise.
In order of anticipation...
- Alan Wake 2
- Advance Wars™ 1+2: Re-Boot Camp
- RoboCop: Rogue City
- Diablo 4
- Metal Slug Tactics
- Pokémon Sleep
I've played plentiful prequels for all of these but RoboCop.
RoboCop: Rogue City
With RoboCop I just loved the movies. The early ones. And it seems they're bringing back the grittiest; greatest aesthetic they had with this particular game.
There have been RoboCop games in the past, but apart from the one that came out along with the last movie (which was not like the old movies) they've all been platformers, and both visually and functionally very basic.
This is new. This is both shoot-em-up and cinematic experience all in one. A game that both plays on the movies and seems to stay true, truly.
Alan Wake 2
I played through Alan Wake recently, and it was great, but ended disappointingly. Without resolution - though maybe that's the only way a good horror game can end. It certainly left a lasting impression.
I'm hoping the sequel remedies that end though! Or if naught else provides a similarly dark, dreamy and exhilarating experience.
Advance Wars™ 1+2: Re-Boot Camp
I've spent way too much time on the portable Advance Wars games for GBA and NDS. After that the franchise kind of ran into the mud, jumping to both the wrong form and the wrong visual style; interfaces.
The last truly good one came out in 2005. I'm hoping this is the reboot that spectacular story-based strategy game deserves.
Metal Slug Tactics
The old Metal Slug games were awesome. Visually so meticulous. Functionally so scrappy and fun to play.
Haven't kept up with the franchise but I'd like to try this one too.
I have fond memories of Diablo 2 in particular - don't think I've played neither the first nor the third.
They recently came out with a remake on the second one - hands down the most popular (and thus possibly best one) of all - and one that hasn't been easy to play the original version of with modern hardware.
Since the remake I have a feeling maybe they've been going back to origins a bit, and maybe this one will evoke a similar sensation of grand, gritty adventure and grind. If so definitely worth a play then too.
As for Pokémon Sleep? Well I like Pokémon. It's a fun idea. The first true idle game for a console? Don't think I'll play this one but it's definitely interesting.
Let's see if any of these actually make it out this year though for starters!
And that none succumb to the budgetary restrictions or production issues that lead to some games not seeing the light of day they're intended to. But these are all big names so...
Here's hoping that doesn't happen to any of these.