Monthly Archives: May 2024

Yew kin dew eet!

Hey there, reader. It’s been a while since we just stopped to chat a bit about you. By the way, you’re looking great. Is that a new hairstyle? It’s nice. I’d offer you a cookie, but this web site is a strict no cookie zone. And before I get into talking about you, can I just point out that there are no auto-play videos trying to distract you with ads? There’s no flashing banners or attempts to monetize you, my dearest, most favoritest (totally a real word, shut up spell-check) person in the whole world. You come here to read me, and because of that, all of this lack of exploitation is because I respect you. No, it’s because I love you. Because you are special.

So, I want to talk to you about A.I. and you. By now, other artists have told you our side of things. Corporations are stealing their work and feeding it into machines to “train them.” You also have to have seen by now that what gets cranked out is pure shit. But the same corporations keep insisting that with enough time, all that crap will somehow become quality.

Set that aside. Continue reading

Game review: Islets for EGS

Metroidvanias are a hard sell for me, existing well outside of my preferred styles of game. The problem is mine, as I have little patience for hitting a literal wall and having to backtrack to find the new tool I need to make progress. Once I do have the needed upgrade, I struggle to remember where I was supposed to backtrack in order to use it.

Islets won me over with its whimsical animation style and combination of side scrolling platforming mixed with bullet hell aerial boss battles. But what kept me playing until the credits was its willingness to cater to my needs at every step of the journey. For instance, when I got lost, I could go to an NPC and pay a small fee to have my current goal marked on the map. Be it a new upgrade, a boss, or whatever I was struggling to find, having a little question mark on the map made it possible to avoid getting lost. There were other accessibility features, and I’ll cover those later.

Let’s get into the story first, which is about a floating island made up of several smaller islets that drifted together and created a perfect biome. A group of industrious critters decided to keep them held together with huge electromagnets, as the combined island was perfect for promoting biodiversity. Some unsavory varmints conspired to shut down the magnets, and the islets drifted apart, making each biome more barren and hostile as a result. Continue reading

Hey look, Fallout 4 got “upgraded!”

I had another review planned for this week, a positive one at that. But then I remembered that after the launch of the highly enjoyable Fallout on Amazon Prime, Bethesda promised an update to Fallout 4 with the bait, quote, “bug fixes.” That update arrived, and like a noob, I downloaded it hoping for the best.

Some of you might be new to my blog and don’t know that I don’t care much for Bethesda, but I also rather liked Fallout 4 because it was the most stable of the 3D Fallout games. (Okay, also because I like the music. I’ve actually played sometimes just to listen to Diamond City Radio a few hours before erasing my save file.) Granted, it always has been buggier than an ant farm, but it rarely crashed on my PS4 (RIP) or on my PC with the settings all locked to Medium.

So “bug fixes” called me back because I wondered, could I finally recruit Tina DeLuca to join me at Sanctuary Hills? Would I finally get Sanctuary to 100 percent happiness even if I recruited The Concord Five? Could I convince Marcy and Jun to work for more than one day on farming instead of watching them pound a hammer on a rusted metal wall?

But of course, nothing got fixed, and Bethesda went and Bethesda’d so hard that no one besides Mr. Matty is happy. Continue reading

The Big Con for EGS

Looking at the video trailer for The Big Con, I didn’t really feel like it would be a game for me. But then I read a longer description and decided to give a shot. The story goes that Ali is a small town girl living in a looonely wooorld. She took the midnight…whoops, wrong notes.

Right, Ali is a small town girl working with her single mother in a video store. She learns that the store is going to be taken over by loan sharks, and that her mother owes ninety-seven thousand dollars. So Ali hooks up with a complete stranger to try and gather enough money through pick-pocketing, shoplifting and fencing garbage in pawn shops. So, a high fantasy setting.

Before I get to the gameplay itself, I should mention that Ali has a hallucinatory friend named Rad Ghost, the kind of mascot D.A.R.E. would think up who frequently says stuff like “Thank you for not doing drugs!” Despite the hallucinations and questionable setup, I felt for Ali. As a teen I spent a lot of time hanging out in video stores and at the dollar theater, so like her, I’m something of a film nerd. Add in her desire to get out of her small town and do ANYTHING combined with her crush on a friend, and she really hit all my feels in the best way to make her an endearing protagonist. Continue reading