It’s been quite the twelve months for my humble little blog; although I’ve been in existence for a little over two years, 2017 has shown a new level of consistency hitting my goal of at least one post a week (usually Wednesday or Thursday… mark it in your diary everyone) pretty much without fail. I’ve even managed to top that up with the odd “Bonus” article and all important community event, and whilst on the subject, “Community” has been the word of the year. Hundstrasse has proudly, if not very successfully, been a regular fixture in the excellent “Question of the Month” event which is enthusiastically organised by Later Levels and has grown to be a platform for a varied spectrum of gaming bloggers to come together in order to tackle some of our past-time’s most hotly debated conundrums.
The amazing Adventure Rules organised the Blogger Blitz event which knocked me out of my writing comfort zone with a hefty shove, pitching each blogger’s chosen in-game champion against another in a series of obscure scenarios. The most valuable part of the experience were the bridges with other bloggers that I managed to build through it… although, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t also quite proud of my second round, go-for-broke entry coining the phrase “Pulling a Hundstrasse“. Adventure Rules was also the architect of the “Charming and Open” event whose counter-question inspired me to write something a little more personal than I had really touched upon before. Throw in to that mix a couple of “Later Levels Blog Parties” & “Assorted 10 Happies” to round off that “Community” icing that has been on this year’s cake.
2017 also saw the start of the “Please Insert Disk Two” podcast which has been another scary, yet enjoyable, experience. For anyone who’s interested, there will be more episodes in future, it just takes time to put them together and we’re working on a pretty relaxed “as and when” type arrangement. Tangentially, I’ve also somehow smooshed together and released three Arduboy games.
So thank-you for reading, commenting, sharing, and joining in with the conversion this year. As I ‘may’ have mumbled in the past, this site began as a way for me to unload the various winding thoughts I have about my favourite pastime. Finding that there are like minded people out there, people who want to start conversations, agree or disagree with me, and people who just seem to enjoy reading these rambles, has been a surprising but welcome bonus.
One objective that I always try to stick to in my articles is to stay on topic and hopefully keep each post focused on a specific gaming angle or theme. I’ve also in recent weeks decided that I’d like to cultivate a more conversational tone, and hopefully inject a bit more personality into the blog… So I’d like to introduce the newest regular Hundstrasse feature:
… The Monthly Editorial!! …
… Ok, maybe the title of the post gave away the surprise. Provisionally appearing on the first Friday of each month, the Editorial will give me the chance to chat about last month’s posts, my current gaming, anything important coming up in the future… Maybe even a comment or two on recent games related news… so let’s fire it up!
A quirk of the calendar has left November neatly book-ended by “Question of the Month” posts. Way back at the start of the month I looked at the poor wardrobe choices made by Vega from the Street Fighter series. It’s a question that brought out a wide range of answers from my fellow bloggers because there are very few characters that really dress for practicality; I particularly liked the nomination by Power Bomb Attack of Donkey Kong.
For December’s question I selected Max (from Sam & Max) as my chosen Santa substitute. “Sam & Max” are a duo that I find really appealing and it’s pretty guiltily that I still have to own up to not having played the original LucasArts outings… or indeed actually sampled much of Steve Purcell’s original comic books. I know that the Telltale games were certainly divisive amongst fans of the originals and although I felt series one was a little underwhelming, I thought they gradually improved with “The Devil’s Playhouse” being a solid series of funny, bizarre, and clever adventure titles. “Hit the Road” is on my list of “I’d love to get around to playing these finally,” and having not so long ago sampled “Grim Fandango” it could be a good time to try and tick that one off the list.
Still on a retro theme, but this time one that I did play, I reminisced about my Mega Drive days and NBA Jam: Tournament Edition. Certainly an oddball in my early gaming history, but did go to show that a good game is a good game and it didn’t matter that I essentially had little prior knowledge of the sport.
The remaining two posts of November sum up nicely my gaming habits for the month. I returned to Hyrule for (I suspect) not the last time and resumed exploration of “Breath of the Wild” on Switch. Rather than try and review the entire game I decided to write a piece covering a specific aspect; in this case the plot. My PC gaming endeavours have largely been focused on surviving “Fortnite: Battle Royale” which has included some weird moments when spinning-the-wheel to gather teammates.
Looking Ahead to December
The Steam sale has of course brought some impulse purchased goodies, although I’m more underwhelmed by it this year than I have been previously. Nonetheless I caved and picked up both “Wolfenstein 2” & “Life is Strange: Before the Storm” in recent days. I’ll probably hold off playing LiS until I’m in the right mood; I can only take so much hard hitting plot and having not long finished watching Fargo season 2, and Stranger Things 2 (Yes, my obsession with small town happenings extends to Netflix also) I don’t think I can face it just at the moment. “Wolfenstein: The New Order” is one of my favourite single-player FPS experiences of recent years, so I have high hopes for the sequel (although I wasn’t impressed with “The Old Blood”). The trailers hooked me in a while back, but the early community reviews are mixed sighting problems with performance, the plot, and some aspects of the gameplay. The overall consensus does seem to be that it is still a “spectacle” so I’m going in with an open mind and can’t say (after only a couple of hours) that I’ve hit any major deal-breakers just yet. I’ve also still got a handful of games in the virtual “to-be-played” pile, including finishing Telltale’s “Guardians of the Galaxy”, so I’m not going to run short of things to play any time soon.
Blogging might become a little inconsistent towards the end of the year until early January, but hopefully I’ll settle back in to 2018 after a week or two. Keep a look out for my traditional “Top 5 Games I’ve Played This Year” post which should appear sometime around the 20th.
Well, that’s the end of my first Editorial! What did you think? See you next month, and I hope whatever you’re doing and wherever you are you have a happy and relaxed festive time!