Editorial: December 2018 – Urgh, I Have to Remember to Write ‘9’ After This…

Merry Happy Winter to you all! … except anyone reading in the southern hemisphere… in which case… Merry Happy Summer to you all! 

How’s everyone’s gaming going out there? Are any of you embroiled in the Fallout 76 fiasco? I was pretty curious about the game; sure, Fallout 4 was nowhere near my favourite entry in to the series, but I did at least play it to “completion” … well, the end of the main story. 76 seems to be ricocheting from problem to problem from severe technical issues at every turn, the canvas bag caper, leaked player account details, and roaming homophobic gangs… overall it would be an understatement to describe its first few weeks as shaky. The problem is that so many games are now “released” in a state less than finished that it’s tricky to know if the concept is flawed or these are just release jitters.

Whatever the explanation I don’t think I’ll be exiting vault 76 anytime soon… 

Much of my November gaming time has been of the retro variety; I’ve had a real PS2 kick, going back and revisiting some old favourites including a playthrough of that horror classic Silent Hill 2. I’m happy to report that it does hold up after all of these years. Sure, it suffers a few control & camera oddities of the time, but the core experience is the same chilling descent in to James Sunderland’s mental state as it ever was complete with a few sequences that I’d pretty much forgotten about.

The big blogging news has been that ongoing collaboration over at Normal Happenings: “The Games that Define Us“. My own Resident Evil 2 based entry was on the 13th of the month, but do go and explore everyone’s contributions. It’s been an excellent project to be a part of.

On a less gaming related note, my wife and I took the sleeper train to Glasgow for a wedding last weekend… I guess I wouldn’t normally mention it except that we spent an afternoon geek shopping on Sunday ably guided by Pix1001’s Gamer’s guide to Glasgow. We hit most of the geeky gaming shops and the guide served as an excellent checklist for our foraging!

Other Blogger’s blogging of note:

When is a game ready?: This piece by ‘Clangeek’ inspired that opening paragraph and it’s a topic worth thinking about in this age of early access and post-release updates.

Ten Games I am Thankful For: HannieBee Games went all thankful for thanksgiving and came up with a top notch list of classics… many of which I’m also thankful for!

A to Z of Gaming Me: Z: ‘Upon Completion’ draws the alphabet to a close with Zoo Tycoon. I’ve really enjoyed reading the 26 entries in their personal alphabetised anthology.

It’s Official… I Have a Switch!: ‘Virtual Bastion’ has joined the handheld/non-handheld/console/tablet generation with Nintendo’s latest console. Their initial impressions echoed many of my thoughts when I first unpacked that tiny & tidy  powerhouse!

Mark of the Ninja: Remastered (2018) [Switch]Over at ‘The Well Red Mage’ they took a look at Klei stealth-em-up Mark of the Ninja. I’m not a natural stealth gamer, but I can appreciate a masterfully played stealth stage and this review captures the appeal of this often overlooked title.

I, Mercy: The younger members of the audience out there may find it hard to believe that age slows you down… but it does… I couldn’t help but smile reading this account over at ‘Baud Attitude’ of someone taking a small victory because heck I’ve had the same thoughts myself!

How to Go to Bed After Playing a Horror Game: ‘A Geeky Gal’ offers up some sound & sage advice (especially considering my Silent Hill 2 binge) about taking the edge off those nerves after an evening of horror gaming.

A Year of My Life in Games – 1991: Over at ‘A Reluctant Hero’ Thero159 reminded me of my own “play-n-pass” house rule with my Sister growing up when we took charge of the blue spinning ball of attitude!

November Wrap Up

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I kicked off November with a VR gaming stint. As I mentioned in last month’s editorial I picked up “The Invisible Hours” for HTC Vive. This Agatha Christie inspired VR play was an engrossing experience (especially considering I’m a bit of a fan of the genre). Sure it’s not a “game” in the traditional sense, but is pretty unique and provided hours of immersive entertainment as I strolled through these virtual events; my thoughts even caught the eye of one of the game’s writers.

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Having spent a good chunk of VR time floating around as a body-less being I went looking for the exact opposite and explored some of the games that give you a full virtual presence. I pondered the reasons why so few games choose to do this and in truth there are some pretty strong technical arguments against giving player any more than a pair of floating hands but I still find myself missing having some kind of physical form as I’m VR-ing about so wish more games provided one.

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Towards the middle of the month I picked up Resident Evil Outbreak; Capcom’s foray in to multiplayer Resident Evil back on the PS2. Sure it’s an odd game, but given my affinity for those original titles I enjoyed checking out these mini-episodes of zombie survival set in Raccoon City. It’s nowhere near perfect, but like its characters, maybe the flaws make it special…

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Finally an exploration of my family home loft revealed that cache of PS2 games that I’d been searching for and (after a brief stint on Guitar Hero) I game you all a not so brief rundown of the titles in the collection

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… before following that up this week with some of those games that I let go over the years.

Looking Ahead to December

Wow! we’re already pretty in to the month… at least a week right? December is generally a little sparse on the blogging front. The festivities tend to disrupt the normal schedule, so expect thing to be a little sporadic. The big news of course is my top 5 games I’ve played this year! (oh yes, forget your game of the year awards, this is the big list). I usually publish this around the middle of the month so I gueeessss.. it’ll be published on the 19th of the month…

Happy December Everyone! 

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