In the last few years, I've come to the understanding that a bit of narrative surrealism might well be up there as one of my favourite genres in gaming. When I was younger, all I needed was some fun first person shooting action from id Software or Epic Games to keep me amused. These days however, I really appreciate how deep a good narrative game can take you.
As much as I'd like to claim otherwise, it's impossible for me to distance myself from when I was a kid spending hours fixated by LucasArts point-and-click adventures. I know I'm not alone, so it's nothing new, but I'd like to think that even though nostalgia can spark interest in a game, it doesn't dictate one's enjoyment. The thing is though, I'm not sure if I love Thimbleweed Park because it takes me back to being a kid, or because it's a fantastic iteration on the genre. I guess I'm pretty sure that it's both.
Ah, the magic number of everything, as taught to us by the great Douglas Adams who showed us all how a different perspective can save the world. In fact, one of the reasons I love science fiction as a genre, is that it always manages to frame the reality we know, as a small part of something greater than we could ever imagine. In some ways it's scary to think of the endless possibilities in existence, but in another way it can be the most liberating feeling to realise just how insignificant you are.
I've been debating whether or not I had anything useful to say about a game that's now been surpassed by its sequel, and ultimately relegated to a terminal wind-down period. It won't be long before we see the Destiny servers shut down in favour of Destiny 2, or even a third by the time it all rolls around. Despite there being an active community of players stuck on the first Destiny, it's no secret that the title is on its way out.
Sometimes having a good idea isn't enough to really make an impression among the myriad of indie games released on a regular basis. Most of the time, a game really needs to be the complete package if it's going to catch your eye, but there are always exceptions to the rule.
As much as I dislike the idea of doing another doodle dump, this is basically what's happening. I mean, if I don't say anything then anyone reading this in the future will be completely unaware that I'm posting this a couple of days late. If I hadn't said that, nobody would know.
It always surprises me to hear gamers complain about sports games, as if they have no place in the gaming world. Whenever Madden of FIFA comes up at E3, the commentators groan and joke that it's time for a toilet break or some other derisive remark. It surprises me because not only are sports games some of the highest selling games in the world every year, but they still games and playing games is pretty much the MO of a gamer.
We've almost hit December already, which managed to sneak up a bit sooner than feels necessary. Thankfully though, there are still a bunch of opportunities to try and wrestle some conceptualisation to the ground and beat it into submission.
Whenever I think about Steep, it causes me to furrow my brow and wonder about the nature of its release. It came out at the end of last year after a short announcement at E3, but in the wake of some pretty big titles. This unexpected game from one of the biggest publishers in the world just kind of came out, then disappeared again with little fanfare.
Another doodle dump this week.
You know when you face a long week of living, and expect certain things to happen, but they don’t? It's nice to have expectations countered when those expectations are of let downs and disappointment. So let's revel in the fact that the world can still continue to surprise us, no matter how well we think we know what's going on.
I knew the day would eventually come when I'd be ready to tackle the controversial existence of No Man's Sky. I've been following the game's story and keeping up with the good and the bad, the lies and the hype. Oh, and you might be surprised to know that I've actually spent a fair bit of time playing the game as well.
I'm pleased to report that Inktober was a bit of a success this year, as I managed to do all 31 drawings without many hiccups. Of course, there was a wide range of quality and execution, so the main achievement to be had was fulfilling a prompted drawing every day for a month. I've tried it before, but this is the first time I've made it all the way, which is pretty cool.
Let's do something a little different this week and have a look at books instead of the sketches. I've still been drawing a whole lot, but I was putting my books back on their shelf, and I remembered how much I love a good notebook for writing or drawing. So I scanned the ones I have on hand and the doodles can wait until next week.
One of the coolest things about any form of art, is that it often defies any rational justification for why we like it. Sure we can point to likely culprits, such as quality and detail, but sometimes something hits you harder than expected. I often think that these odd connections with creativity are all the more powerful, as they defy logic and rationale.
Lately I've been thinking a bit about the difference between sex and violence in our society, but I think I'll save that for next time. Truth is that I just couldn't be bothered right now to get stuck into something that should by all accounts be an obvious assessment of something so ordinary. The world works in messed up ways, which is one way of saying that the world kind of sucks sometimes.
There's a short list somewhere of super hype crazes that I completely missed out growing up. I never knew what a Pokémon was until recently, I've never played a Metal Gear game, and I've never played either a Metroid, or Castlevania game. It's funny how even though I've been playing games since the 80s, there are some major mainstream holes in my experience.
This will be posted a little late due to some technical difficulties, which is kind of cool because it fits with this week's theme. I've been getting to know technology again, and reaffirming how enjoyable it can be.
Having a large backlog of games to get through means that every now and then you come across something that you wish you'd found much earlier. It's the whole reason I'm determined to play every game I have access to, because there's no telling how many gems are hidden away in the pile.
I should probably attempt to draw a link between existential tangents and the pursuit of creative practice. At least then I can make excuses for why I tend to go off the rails a bit in these posts and get all abstract up in this blog.