Editorial: February 2019 – Downstream

Wow! I’ve really hit the ground running this year with a crazy busy time blogging; I managed to fit in two bonus blog posts (but more about those later) along with following through on my promise last month to do some streaming.

The original idea was that I wanted to have one more revisit of Resident Evil 2 (PS1) before the remake landed last week and as it’s a game I know *ahem* pretty well I thought it would be nice to invite people along for the ride by streaming the event. Now, I have streamed in the past, most notably my dive in to Jurassic Park: Trespasser, but this felt a little different as I wanted to actually add some value with my narration rather than just laughing at the weird-legged dinosaurs. The goal was to share why I love this game so much and hopefully provide a few interesting crumbs of trivia along the way. I also managed to stream from the original hardware; yes, the stream featured my original copy of the game, original PS1, original controller, and even the original memory card that I dedicated to this game. Technically it was a little bit fiddly to set up and I discovered in a test (luckily) that you couldn’t stream the piracy warning stream without the whole thing falling over (I never worked out if this was OBS or the cheap USB capture device I picked up).

The original hardware held up for the entire four hour event, the only slight wobble was when my PS1 failed to load a room early on in the lab, but the ol’ popping the PS1 hood and closing again trick worked and it recovered.  

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I kind of rambled on (mostly coherently) throughout the entire thing and I’d like to thank everyone who stopped in to watch for a while or just say ‘Hi’; special thanks to Khinjarsi from Upon Completion who stuck with me right the way through until the end of the Leon A scenario (finishing a scenario wasn’t originally planned)… how’s that knitting going? As a stream it felt pretty good; I was able to keep moving forward through the game at a good pace which kept me chatting and stopped everyone getting bored.

Although I’m unlikely to become a regular streamer, I think doing the odd special event like this could become a ‘thing’ so I’ve compiled a short list of stuff to take away from the experience:

  1. Test that Setup! – Luckily I caught most of the problems, but actually running a short test stream certainly meant that the evening wasn’t a colossal failure.
  2. Keep an eye on those sound levels – Being slouched on the couch I didn’t want to set up a proper mic with a pop-filter, but I was getting a bit “poppy” as I would move the mic toward my mouth rather than standing up to change the slider.
  3. Prepare Drink and Snack Supply – Sorry, I had to pause halfway through to go and grab a drink from the fridge.
  4. Have a pre-stream Checklist – I did remember everything (more or less) but I also worried for about 15 minutes beforehand that I hadn’t remembered everything. A checklist would’ve stopped that
  5. Prepare Some Notes – Unlike previous streamings, I did have various things I kind of wanted to say/point out along the way. Sure, I wasn’t going to write a script, but having a few prompts would’ve made sure that I hit every point I wanted to.

… anywho, feel free to let me know if you stopped by and have any comments on the stream, I’d love to have some feedback!


Other Blog Blogging-ses of Note:

It’s around this point in the editorial that I recommend some great reads from around the community which you should check out at some point… and also which offer an escape route if you’re attention span isn’t going to last out for the remainder of this piece:

Game Over, Man – The Lion King; Pet Wolf Gaming: Taking a critical look at the Lion King (SMD) under the cold light of 2019 eyes certainly reveals some flaws, but even those bring back smiles at my frustrations of childhood in this well-written piece about a 16-bit classic.

Fitness Boxing: Switch Fit; Moe Gamer: Boxercise to Aqua’s Cartoon Heroes… it’s a tempting offer…

My Favourite Series, Part 1: Resident Evil; Shoot the Rookie: Pix1001 launches a new regular feature with a series I thoroughly approve of bringing together some of the things about the series that I also find appealing.

Triple A: Down or Up?; LaterLevels: Taking another shrewd look at the gaming market, Kim unpicks some thoughts on the upcoming years’ fortunes for the triple-A market.

Geeky Ways to Recover From Burnout; A Geeky Girls Guide: Yes, we’re gamers, but we’re also people too and we all feel that burnout from time to time. Michelle sets out some top geeky ways to regroup.

Monday Memories: Video Game Nights; Double Jump: A nostalgic and charming look back at some childhood memories spent crammed around a console with friends.

Testimony of an Apocalypse – Fondly Remembering Resident Evil 2; 3PStart: A topical and very familiar story about those first frantic dashes through the streets of Raccoon City. I really enjoy these types of articles where someone shares a personal gaming memory.


The January Wrap-Up

Streaming aside, it was a super-busy blogging month. I kicked things off by taking a retrospective look at the many hours I spent with Team Fortress 2; a game I’ve spent more hours playing than any other. It was an odd feeling pulling together a post covering events over several years that was so dominated by a single title in my gaming history. Yes, I did play other things, but TF2 was always there and I think the piece serves to highlight that the relationship I had with the game wasn’t always a healthy one. Despite that however it is a game that I have mostly good memories of although it has been a long time since I strolled the corridors of 2-Fort or climbed the Badlands pinnacles.

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From this point in the month things did get a bit Resident-Evil-ey. I guess the impending release of the Resident Evil 2 remake, coupled with my streaming efforts, infused that flavour in to my articles. First up I took a retrospective look at one of the more bizarre Resi-titles, the often ridiculed “Resident Evil Survivor“. It’s a game that’s taken a lot of flak over the years and not without good cause… it’s also one of those games that I really wanted to be good and I really wanted to like. Sadly the ambition and the promise ultimately gave way to disappointment in the actual product, but there’s still a part of me that admires Capcom for taking the chance on such an experimental concept.

surviv_2

Next up in the Resident Evil related posts I ended up falling down a rabbit hole related to one particular window in Resident Evil 2. This was not a planned post. I ended up with a browser full of open YouTube tabs accidentally trying to make some sense of this whole fiasco which still doesn’t make that much sense. In the end I blurted my evening out in to a blog post (which I guess is the online equivalent of screaming in to a pillow) and set the community on trying to figure out what was going on. There were some good theories, but the jury is still out so feel free to follow the link above and give your thoughts!

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The final Resident-evilly-influence articles was a brief look at my personal top 5 unreleased Resident Evil games that I would like to have seen released to the public. It’s not often a series has so many cancelled games that you can shortlist five as being the ones you would most like to have seen. I guess I should at some point look at those titles in the series that were released but probably shouldn’t have been, but I would need to force myself to play numbers 5 and 6 in the series before embarking upon that…. I have always been curious about Operation Raccoon City however

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In amongst that I also wrote my “Deep Sea, Deep Space” take on January’s community Question of the Month (2019 QotM is sponsored by Later Levels and Overthinker Y). This year QotM is taking a slightly different format with an overarching goal that as a community winning entries will combine to form some kind of super video game concept. This month entries focused on the setting of this mythical game and there were some great entries from across the blogging community. If you’re curious then why not keep an eye on the Later Levels Site for February’s question and get typing! 


Late Breaking Update: Eeeeep! My entry was actually selected as the winning concept by the honourable judges. Thank-you so much and make sure you check out how they came to that decision over on this post on OverThinker Y


The final January post was a short but… well… not sweet, but more like hilariously gruesome review of Nidhogg II. It’s a game I picked up over the Christmas break and played a good few rounds with my brother. The gameplay of the original has been tweaked and it’s a bizarre and addictive 2-player experience.

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Another exciting moment in the last couple of days of January was being honoured by being featured in the fantastic “Reading Your Blogs” video by Michael Neale for my bizarre attempt at Zelda Fan Fiction. There are many excellent bloggers featured and I really like the concept of a video blog review so check it out if you get a moment.

Looking Ahead to February

In a move that will surprise nobody I’ve been playing the Resident Evil 2 remake. I can’t really remember the last time I was this excited for a big release. At the time of writing I’ve completed Leon A and I’m a little over half way through Claire B… and just soaking up every second of it. To be honest I think I’ll struggle to add anything new to the volume of positive reviews sprinkled with praise for almost every aspect of this game. Capcom really did deliver, and it is some relief that this remake was handled with such care and attention. I think I’ll end up writing about some specific aspect or take on it that isn’t a traditional review (I can’t really compete in that arena) so look out for that in February.

Aside from that I’m also taking a short holiday towards the end of the month so I may end up skipping a week… or maybe writing will be part of that unwinding process…

… Happy February Everyone! …  

18 thoughts on “Editorial: February 2019 – Downstream

  1. Thanks for the link!

    Can’t remember if I asked you this before, but have you considered doing Let’s Plays as well as/instead of streams? They’re a good fit if you have particular stories and anecdotes you want to tell that aren’t necessarily dependent on other people being present “live” for you to bounce discussion off. This is why I tend to do Let’s Plays rather than streaming — that and the fact that I’m in a different time zone to most of the people who might want to show up to watch what I’m up to!

    So far as mic placement and technique goes, it’s helpful to invest in a boom arm for the mic if you don’t already have one. I play on the sofa and with the boom arm I can sit comfortably and still be able to speak into my mic without having to move around too much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not a problem! 😉

      Hmmmm… I’ll have a think. I quite enjoyed having people along for the ride. There was a nice amount of chatter going on that I could respond to (actually one thing I didn’t mention is that it would have been good to have the chat messages popping up in the corner of the stream for those not watching the window).

      Boom arm is a good shout, but tbh my recording is so sporadic that it feels excessive. Keep in mind that my “pop-filter” is actually a pair of tights stretched over a bent coat hanger… that’s the level of pro we’re talking here! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed your Resident Evil stream! It came across as really chatty yet knowledgeable; almost as if you’d invited a group of friends over and were huddled on the sofa while playing a game. The only downside is that I haven’t been able to sleep since for thinking about windows… or the lack of them. 🤔

    Let us know when the next stream is and we’ll tune in. And thank you for the mention!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 Thanks! I’m still working out what I might do next, but I’ll make sure that I give plenty of warning again. I’ll certainly be along to say hello on the LaterLevels Gameblast stream in a few weeks at some strange time no doubt!

      Like

  3. It was a pretty busy month for me as well. With Oscars season upon us, I suddenly had quite a lot of films to review. I’ve seen all but one of them now, but playing catch-up wasn’t easy. In fact, I think January of 2019 is the second month in which there were more days in which I posted an article than there were days in which I posted nothing.

    As I said, your look at the Game Boy Color Resident Evil was fascinating. It was pretty ambitious of Capcom to attempt to translate the 3D gameplay to that console, though there were understandably (and unavoidably) execution issues. Ironically, porting that game to a portable console would be trivial these days; I think even the original DS would handle the task easily.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m really glad you enjoyed the post! I’m also a little sad that we haven’t found anything on this “window” situation yet…

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you have coming up shortly, vacation hiatus or not. 🙂 Hope your month is going well so far!

    Liked by 1 person

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