PAX East 2018

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PAX is now less than a month away.  This year it lasts four days.  Four days. I’m going to let that sink in.

Four days.

It has historically only taken two days for the event to take its toll on me, and last year, no joke, in January I started going to the gym daily to work up the endurance and immuno-fortitude to endure the event.

The subsequent year has not been nearly as kind to me.  Or, perhaps what would be more truthful to say, is that I have not been nearly as kind to myself.  The couch has been a far too accommodating companion, and the gym is a distant memory of some long-ago place I had once frequented in childhood but haven’t visited in years.  I’d say I’ve added a little over two stones to my bottom line, which if you are a doctor or fluent in arcane units of measurement, you know is not insignificant, or, in fact, good.

So what does this year hold?  I’m not really sure.  I think this time I am the least prepared, not exactly ambivalent,  but not entirely engaged.  I hope to have the good fortune of dining with the Twitch crew I’ve met up with for the last two years (which seems likely as I’ve been made responsible for finding the place we’re all going to dine at), and staying in the hotel attached to the venue for two nights presents me with the opportunity to partake of some of the evening events without all that mucking about in Ubers, trains, and busses.

I’m sure there will be much to see and much to do.  I will use my skills honed at previous PAX to get the good stuff at the merch booth first thing on the first day before I do anything else.  I’ll pack my cliff bars and my water bottle, and I will bravely go forth into the frothy ocean of humanity, PAX Pox be damned.  I will endeavour to post  my exploits and perhaps I’ll even have a video or two.  I hope to do all of that and share it with you because, well, you’re my kind of folk.

And with that I shall end this post.  Marmotinnians, I bid you a good day.

-Stu

 

Annihilation: A Review in Brief

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With a cast whose chemistry is like mixing water with more water, pacing that would make a sloth consider taking up running, and an ending that is as predictable as contracting food poisoning from a mid-summer dashboard aged egg salad sandwich, Annihilation is…not good.

March-ing Forward

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Yup. It’s March. January and February happened. I can’t say that I have much in the way of things to report, but what the hell, here we go:

Monster Hunter has finally arrived on a platform that I actually use. All of the reviews I’ve read have spoken of it very favorably, praising it’s visuals and appreciating the streamlining of certain mechanics. I’ve always been intrigued by the series but I’ve never played it. I bit the bullet, preordered it (the day before) and now it sits on my XB1X, languishing on my hard drive.

I played it the day it was released, but I really wanted to experience the multiplayer aspect of it and that was broken. And besides, whenever I asked around, everyone said they were on PS4. Once it was fixed I didn’t want to jump in with strangers because, well, stranger danger. Social awkwardness doesn’t end at the face-to-face.

And in playing I think I discovered something about my gaming habits at this point in my life. I just wanted to kill some time. I didn’t want to invest the effort to plan ahead, to craft my inventory to match the creature I was preparing to hunt. Now, it might be that over time I’ve lost my ability to focus and immerse myself in a game, or it might be that my now semi-pro level of alcoholism has destroyed my critical thinking abilities, but I just can’t sink my teeth in a deep game like Monster Hunter like I used to. If I’m not interacting with a real person or group to plan strategy and have a solid back-and-forth, I just want mindless, frantic action. I keep telling myself that Witcher 3 is going to the the play through that it deserves (f#^÷ing amazing game on so many levels) but in the end I’ve been playing a lot of Titanfall 2. (a special shout out to Elite Dangerous and Minecraft for some mindless grind-time)

On the tabletop front, I have finally received my copy of WETA Workshop’s Giant Killer Robots: Heavy Hitters. I’ll do a second post with pics. It’s an impressive package and I’m really happy with the miniatures. The GIANT miniatures. I’ve picked up some additional games, one Steve Jackson game on Kickstarter, and there is a new Star Wars miniatures game in pre-release which I could see sucking up more of my income than I would like to admit, but at the moment I’m in a holding pattern with new purchases. The need to pay down the credit card before PAX East 2018 is great. In an ideal world the revenue from my Patreon and my Twitch stream would offset some of the costs, but for that to happen I would need a Patreon and a Twich stream, neither of which actually exist.

Here we are. This is the end of the post. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Your coat should be in the back room, but I’ve had a problem with security in the tunnels lately so if you can’t find yours just grab one. That sort of makes it like game, yeah?

March-ing Forward

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Yup. It’s March. January and February happened. I can’t say that I have much in the way of things to report, but what the hell, here we go:

Monster Hunter has finally arrived on a platform that I actually use. All of the reviews I’ve read have spoken of it very favorably, praising it’s visuals and appreciating the streamlining of certain mechanics. I’ve always been intrigued by the series but I’ve never played it. I bit the bullet, preordered it (the day before) and now it sits on my XB1X, languishing on my hard drive.

I played it the day it was released, but I really wanted to experience the multiplayer aspect of it and that was broken. And besides, whenever I asked around, everyone said they were on PS4. Once it was fixed I didn’t want to jump in with strangers because, well, stranger danger. Social awkwardness doesn’t end at the face-to-face.

And in playing I think I discovered something about my gaming habits at this point in my life. I just wanted to kill some time. I didn’t want to invest the effort to plan ahead, to craft my inventory to match the creature I was preparing to hunt. Now, it might be that over time I’ve lost my ability to focus and immerse myself in a game, or it might be that my now semi-pro level of alcoholism has destroyed my critical thinking abilities, but I just can’t sink my teeth in a deep game like Monster Hunter like I used to. If I’m not interacting with a real person or group to plan strategy and have a solid back-and-forth, I just want mindless, frantic action. I keep telling myself that Witcher 3 is going to the the play through that it deserves (f#^÷ing amazing game on so many levels) but in the end I’ve been playing a lot of Titanfall 2. (a special shout out to Elite Dangerous and Minecraft for some mindless grind-time)

On the tabletop front, I have finally received my copy of WETA Workshop’s Giant Killer Robots: Heavy Hitters. I’ll do a second post with pics. It’s an impressive package and I’m really happy with the miniatures. The GIANT miniatures. I’ve picked up some additional games, one Steve Jackson game on Kickstarter, and there is a new Star Wars miniatures game in pre-release which I could see sucking up more of my income than I would like to admit, but at the moment I’m in a holding pattern with new purchases. The need to pay down the credit card before PAX East 2018 is great. In an ideal world the revenue from my Patreon and my Twitch stream would offset some of the costs, but for that to happen I would need a Patreon and a Twich stream, neither of which actually exist.

Here we are. This is the end of the post. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Your coat should be in the back room, but I’ve had a problem with security in the tunnels lately so if you can’t find yours just grab one. That sort of makes it like game, yeah?

The End of the Year is Near

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With Christmas and the new year nipping at our heels, I wanted to take a moment to wish all of you out there Happy Holidays, no matter what holiday it happens to be. Be safe, be well, and be good to one another.

-Stu

And Now a Word From October

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October is National Journaling Month, so why not give it a shot? Once a day, take a few minutes to jot down whatever happens to be on your mind, or use it as an opportunity to get something off your chest, or even have a little stream of thought about a project you’ve always wanted to do.

Pens are cheap, so why not give it a shot?
#NaJoWriMo

Autumn, the Noble Season

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Ah, autumn. It is my favorite season, when the days are still warm and the evenings are cool. Though I’m long since past my schoolboy days, I still think of fall as a period of rebirth, the start of a new school year bringing new people, reuniting friends, and opening up a new chapter of life and experiences. Holding hands with your crush as you walk down the street, crunching leaves under foot and rekindled fireplaces scenting the air. This doesn’t actually have anything to do with gaming, but I put it out there to balance out this somewhat sour post.

Now that summer is essentially over, this little corner of the earth will soon be covered in Halloween decorations and our Facebook feeds will be inundated with unusual ways to prepare squash and gifs of deep fried turkey explosions. Pumpkin spice will insinuate itself into every possible foodstuff to the delight of only the most troubled minds. The leaves will begin to turn. Blade Runner will return to the big screen to remind us why not every movie needs a sequel. Or a remake. Or a reboot.

Fall, or The Noble Season, as I like to refer to it, also brings some very important questions. Will Destiny 2 be any good? Will the indentation that the Xbox One X places on my credit card be worth it? (I mean, with a name like “Scorpio Edition”, how can it not be?) Will Kingsman 2 overload the over-the-top sight gags and use their bevy of a-list actors as a crutch to prop up an otherwise forgettable story? Will the sunken area on my couch magically restore itself if I start going back to the gym? Will It be “it” for It? All of these questions, save one, will be answered in time.

I’m seriously wondering if I should get Destiny 2. I enjoyed the first one to the extent that I played it. The meat of the game was in its multiplayer and my experience with the game was playing solo. It was a good looking game and the mechanics felt right, but I never had an opportunity to experience the game as intended.  This is due to the difficulty of creating a team as most of my friends are long since married an deep in the throes of child rearing. The open beta for D2 makes me inclined to think the situation will be similar this time around, a good looking, potentially fun game, but still a multi-player affair.

Elite: Dangerous has taken up far too much of my time. Though it has not taken up as many life-minutes as Game of Thrones (I’m still working on season 5, I should be caught up by the time session 8 airs in 2034), the galactic simulator has robbed me of more than 9 days of my life. Real, actual, hey it’s beautiful outside shouldn’t you maybe go out and be among the living, days. It’s a beautiful game and the controls on the Xbox work extremely well. The majority of my time has been spent exploring within the bubble of inhabited planets, but now I’m doing boom missions to grind out cash for insurance.  Crashing into a planet is easy to do when you’re not paying attention. I’m interested to see how it will be enhanced for the XBOX (Xbox One X….oh, I see what they did there). That said, I really need to get outside more.

After all, it is The Noble Season.

Till next time,

-Stu

(P.S. I don’t have a copy editor and I drafted this on a phone during my train ride into work so…yeah)