March has been a mixed bag for me over here at Hundstrasse. I guess I’ll kick off with the bad stuff which is me breaking my three month streak of meeting my Wednesday posting regime. I missed a week somewhere in the middle of the month for the arguably weak excuse of just being quite busy and not getting around to writing it. Heck, this kind of thing happens but, whilst nobody was kicking my door down demanding a post, I’m still disappointed with myself that I couldn’t meet my own.. pretty relaxed… schedule. I’ve also felt a little less engaged with the community this past month; I know that I haven’t been as chatty with my blogging comrades, my twitter activity has been low, and I’m generally behind on keeping up with my reading. I do as much as I can with interaction, and I’m sorry if you’ve felt that I’ve been absent recently, but I’ve always been there in the background taking in what I can handle.
… that’s the bad stuff out of the way…
I had a fairly extraordinary month in terms of views entirely due to this post about F:BR which seems to be picking up a good handful of hits each day, largely (I’m guessing) because of the popularity of the title and almost all from search engines. Unfortunately, the views feel pretty hollow without the engagement to go with them and I’m doubtful that many of those wandering readers are sticking around to absorb that darn fine piece of videogame commentary – I mean, graphs are interesting… right?
Question of the Month
One of the excellent community activities I have been involved in was the tasking of this months question; I asked the community to put forward their favourite example of the videogame crossover and I enjoyed not only reading everyone’s answers & arguments, but also how different people decided to interpret the question. Ultimately I selected the appearance of Crash Bandicoot in Uncharted 4 as nominated by “Reviews by Quinn”. I enjoyed how the crossover was not only a neat nod to another game, but how it bought the game full circle to tie together the experiences of the different characters; it’s not a crossover I was aware of before, but hats off to our victorious blogger this month.
Special Effect Volunteering @ Insomnia 62
Special Effect are an excellent charity and if you’re not aware of their work you should go and check out their website. Their aim is to make gaming as inclusive as possible by developing bespoke control methods for people whose physical disability doesn’t allow them to use a traditional controller. Their work really does improve people’s lives and it was a pleasure to be able to volunteer on their stand during Insomnia62 at Birmingham’s NEC last week.
… that’s me at the back…
Volunteering was not only a fun way to spread the word about Special Effect’s work, but introduced me to some pretty excellent people who I had the pleasure of spending the day with. Hopefully I’ll have the chance to volounteer again in the future.
It’s also a good moment to mention that Later Levels will be partaking in this years GameBlast this weekend with a 24 hour stream for Special Effect (a little later in the year than originally planned) – you can find out all the details here!
… so the one thing I did learn from Insomnia was how out of the loop I am about streamers and youtubers… there were sooo many people who I spoke to who were only there to catch sight of their favourite personality…
Sunshine Blogger Award
It’s already been a good year for community awards and I’ve been lucky enough to have been nominated for another, the Sunshine Blogger Award, from the excellent blog; The Daily Rager. I’m always thrilled to be recognised by a fellow blogger and I’m happy to accept the nomination! As I’ve been quite recently nominated however, I’ll limit my response to answering the questions; so here goes:
- What is your name?
Luke… but generally known online as Dogstreet or Hundstrasse
- What is your quest?
Tends to meander about, but at the moment it’s to try and convince people who don’t like dandelion & burdock of its superiority as a softdrink.
- What is the air speed of an unladen swallow?
I retort with… what exactly is a “laden” swallow?.. i mean, what are they carrying that would significantly slow them down?
- Dysentery or Cholera?
…erm…. I’ll have the chicken…
- Why do you blog?
… because if I don’t then I tend to bore people in real life with whatever random game or gaming thought I happen to be mulling over at any one time. At least this way people get to choose if they want to know my opinions on the relevance of health bars in the modern fighting genre. (Note to self: would make a good article…)
- What game made you wish you had brain bleach?
I … I don’t know what brain bleach is, but it sounds bad… is this like a game that I wish I could unplay for bad reasons? or is it a game I wish I could unplay to enjoy it again?
- Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
- Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle?
I know that these are Pokemon, but only just. Weirdly it’s one franchise that has just passed me by. I was never historically a Nintendo gamer and just a little too old for the show & trading cards. I’ll go Charmander… that’s fiery right?
- Worst game you have actually completed?
Urgh, this is a tricky one. I have reached a point now where I really don’t complete games unless I’m enjoying them. Even my recent foray into the flawed Jurassic Park Trespasser was fun. I guess I’d have to go back a bit to find a game that I just kind of slogged through. The only thing springing to mind is Devil May Cry 2… likely not the worst game I’ve completed, but it was pretty joyless and had none of the flair of the original … or subsequent games.
- What’s your guilty pleasure game?
I think at least 50% of my gaming time is guilty pleasure and over the past few years PayDay2 had eaten a good chunk of that guilty pleasure time. It’s basically FPS trash; log-in, commit crimes, rack up xp…
March Wrap Up
I kicked the month off looking at my time with Resident Evil VII; I had been pretty nervous going in as I’m a bit of a coward when it comes to horror these days, and sure enough there were a number of short play sessions where I had to just save and get out of there to calm down. Having said that it is an excellent game, worthy of the praise it received around its release and in many ways returning to the roots of the series.
Following that, my wife and I decided to try The Wild Eight, an open world, low-poly, crafting.. type thing… and it was enjoyable enough, with enough intriguing bits to keep us just about interested throughout. Unfortunately it currently suffers from early access niggles and there doesn’t seem to be any kind of urgency to the updates.
Amongst all of that I’ve still been hitting Fortnite regularly, and was forced to update my mouse when the scroll wheel problems of my former faithful desktop companion became too much of a hindrance. Getting that setup right again is a tricky thing and I’m still finding my feet with the CMMM530… or whatever… Finally I mused on rain in games; I’m just a fan of weather effects in general and rain is easily one of my favourites…
April Look Ahead
I’m currently playing Rockstar’s controversial title “Bully” (Also known as “Canis Canem Edit”) as it was on sale a few weeks ago. I’ve got a lot of mixed feelings about it, the controversy it caused, and what it’s like going in to it now knowing essentially very little about the actual game. Hopefully I’ll be able to share some of that with you in the next few weeks. Other than that there is still a hefty backlog that I don’t ever seem to be tackling, but maybe I’ll get around to some of those rather than buying new games. I’m quite tempted to write something about guilty gaming pleasures as many of my recent gaming hours seem to be spent on those games that maybe we wouldn’t want to admit enjoying quite as much as we do … spoiler, I’m including Bully in that list… which I am very sheepish about admitting…
I’m also heading off to Rezzed in London in a week’s time! It’s been a few years since I’ve made it to Rezzed, but it has always been an excellent event in the past, particularly because I get to discover some indie gems that might otherwise have passed me by. Hopefully my mad day dash to the Tobacco Dock will be successful and worthwhile.