Hello and a happy July to you all; doesn’t seem like so long ago that I was wrapped up warm in the middle of a blizzard writing March’s Editorial and now the UK is in the sweaty grip of a heatwave with people standing on street corners tutting disapprovingly at hose users and making statements about liking it hot, but not this hot.
… of course from a gaming point of view the past month has held the joy of E3, seemingly endless logos and carefully scripted trailers being paraded out to the cheers of a crowd somewhere in the press conference at an unsocial time for anyone in the UK to watch; not that I’m bitter. I don’t generally get caught up too caught up in the E3 hype, but this year I think I enjoyed that collective sense of anticipation in the community more than in the past and there were a few things that caught my attention even at this early stage. I’m was very excited to finally see some of the Resident Evil 2 remake and thrilled that it looks really… really… good. Within the list of other announcements I’m quietly intrigued by Wolfenstein: The Young Blood; TNO was excellent, but neither Old Blood or New Colossus quite captured that same feeling. At this stage there are very few details other than it being a co-op experience so I’ve quietly been trying to convince my wife that she should play TNO in preparation for Young Blood’s release.
From a blogging standpoint I’ve just about managed to keep up with my meagre one post a week schedule despite being increasingly busy at work ahead of a job shuffle at the end of the month that will see me move over to a different team/department/project. The upshot of this is that I’ve voluntarily (and reluctantly) benched myself from this summer’s “Blogger Blitz” event hosted by Adventure Rules. I had a heap of fun competing last year, but I do remember that it was an additional strain on my blogging time that I don’t want to commit to without being able to know that I’ll see it through – having said that I ‘think’ there is still some time to sign up, so if you’re a blogger who’d like to be involved in a fun, quirky, different community even then head on over and check out the details.
On the topic of community, I was picked by the excellent Luna over at GamersUnitedGG as the winner of this months gaming blogger “Question of the Month” hosted by those purveyors of metaphorical sorbet over at Later Levels. My fiasco like web of political manipulation to conquer three of the best known gaming worlds seemed to go down well… also remember that if you are a blogger and have a gaming question that you think needs to be the subject of community consultation consider getting in touch with Later Levels.
I kicked off the month looking at Spy Party; despite not returning to it much since, it is still a standout title and one of the most unique online multiplayer experiences around at the moment (along with having a top-notch community). Following that, I *ahem*… “may” have once again fallen down a bit of a Fortnite hole again for a week or two. That brand of gentle multiplayer action wrapped up in a a distinctive visual style is easy to fall in to after a hard day, and I can’t help but be slightly impressed how it’s grown into such a phenomenon since I first gave it a shot some time last year. In the same vein I decided to try out the free-to-play “Darwin Project” a little while ago. The few hours I spent with it were pretty fun; it’s set aside from other Battle Royale titles with it’s relatively small starting player count, lite survival elements, and “Game Director” who gets to govern certain game elements in the spirit of keeping everything moving & interesting. Hands-on the combat feels much more balanced than Fortnite with archery and axes serving to remove some of the “dice-roll” feel of the latter. Sadly it doesn’t seem to be picking up much traction despite having been around for a while – maybe there’s just not enough variety to maintain a loyal player base.
… at the same time I was taking you all through my second by second thoughts on the Resident Evil 2 remake trailers… it was like you were all sat there with me.. right?…
This month’s Steam Summer Sale wasn’t as jaw-dropping as in previous years, but I did pick up the excellent Night in the Woods which is an excellent game that certainly made me feel things; I did my best to articulate this, but don’t think it really worked. In the same ‘feelings’ bracket I’ve recently gotten around to playing “Life is Strange: Before the Storm” in preparation for the release of LiS2. As with the original (that picked up my 2015 game of the year), I thoroughly enjoyed it for the world it creates, the beauty in presentation, but above all the bittersweetness of the story it tells. The plot isn’t maybe quite as gut-wrenchingly hard hitting as the original, but (along with the bonus episode) it serves to provide backstory and more of what made the original great.
Finally, this week, in a hastily blurted out piece, I suddenly remembered an old Atari ST Postman Pat game that I played as a young child… chilling stuff…
Looking Ahead to July:
Well, because of how the days/weeks have mystically played out this month we’ve already had about a week of July so it won’t be so long before I’m back here writing August’s Editorial. I’m hoping to play the free “The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit”, set in the same world as Life is Strange (yet another reason I wanted to play Before the Storm). Aside form that I’m sure I have backlog to get through, but weirdly in recent months I have been chipping away at that, and there are some on the list that I think I’m going to just cross-off… mostly because I’ve tried them for a short time and wasn’t captivated. Work is going to get busier before it gets quieter, but I have booked some time off toward the end of the month for a short holiday (wooh!) and some lazy days before I start the new role – I’m pretty determined to hit it fresh and hopefully that’ll give me some time for some gaming related activities… just not sure what yet…
Happy July All!