To Boldly Go…

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Star Trek, and have been for a long time.  Naturally I was looking forward to the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery, but with trepidation moreso than excitement.  The most recent entries in the Star Trek franchise have been middling to outright bad, and the most recent series prior had a rough start.  On top of the shaky ground on which it was building the franchise the trailer just… didn’t look that much like Star Trek to me.  I think I might’ve actually been more interested had the Star Trek name not been attached, because they looked like perfectly good sci-fi action/drama, but were lacking in the personality and optimism that made Star Trek what it is.

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Retrospective: Child of Light

It isn’t often one encounters
games entirely in rhyme,
but such a game here is presented
which I played, once upon a time.

A little girl, the “Child of Light”
falls deathly ill, her body dying.
She then awakens, lost and lonely
soon finding she can move by flying.

Along the way she makes new friends,
discovers who she is and more.
The story much like fairy tales
delivered whimsically, for sure.

Combat is fun, characters varied,
graphics great, much like it’s painted.
The story twists, there are some changes,
some you predict, some unexpected.

A solid game for those to find
an RPG you might find splendid.
For those who might be so inclined,
this game comes highly… endorsed.



The Last Metroid Is In Captivity…

Samus Returns Title Card

I talked about this game just last week, so this post will probably be fairly brief.

I finished Metroid: Samus Returns this weekend, and enjoyed it start to finish.  There was an initial bit of learning to get out of the way before I was used to the new mechanics introduced in the game — specifically using the free-aim and melee counter — but once I got used to those was quite happy with how they worked out.

The familiarity of the sound design continued throughout the game, to my enjoyment, including one particular musical track that appeared toward the end unexpectedly.  Also speaking of the end, the “post-game” is extended slightly, though not to the same extent as in Zero Mission it was still a welcome addition.

Thanks for reading, and see you next mission!

Ramblings: Aliens On Paper, With Extra Physics On The Side

This post might seem to come a little out of left field, but I’m going to talk about a book.  Specifically, Dragon’s Egg, by Robert L. Forward.

Neutron StarThe premise, in barest terms, is that in the near future a neutron star is discovered close enough to the solar system to send a expedition, and upon the surface of this star the research team discovers life.  The story of the book is more the story of the rise of a civilization on the surface of the star than it is about any individual characters.  It’s almost more of a physics & sociology thought experiment than a story.

Naturally, being a near-future science fiction novel written in 1980 there is going to be an eclectic mix of whimsical future technology and bizarre anachronisms, peppered with guesses about how things were going to develop that turned out to be just plain incorrect, but that’s all part of the charm.  Just accept that people don’t own computers in the year 2020, we rent out CPU time on central mainframes instead, it’s fine.

I’ll try to avoid spoilers, just in case anyone who reads this decides to take a look.

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Report: The Return of the Return of Samus

Samus ReturnsI’ve been waiting for this one for a long time.

The Metroid series has long been a favourite of mine. While I found the original a little hard to digest when I was little I enjoyed it nevertheless, even if I did have to resort to using other people’s passwords in order to see the ending. Later on was lucky enough to receive the SNES hardware bundle that included Super Metroid, which solidified my love of the series.  From then on I’ve played every new Metroid that has been released, some great, others not.  But there was a gap.  I never owned an original Game Boy, so never had the opportunity to play Metroid II: The Return of Samus when it was current.  I did attempt to purchase a used copy years later when I had a Game Boy Advance, but the package was lost in the mail and later retrieved and delivered… torn open, and empty.

Last week that changed.

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Ramblings: Once More Unto The Breach

Well.  That took a while.

I was randomly reminded of my aborted attempt to blog about my gaming recently, and thought I would take another stab at this.  Third time’s the charm, perhaps?

I’ll be trying to structure things a little better this time around with an actual schedule.  Three posts per week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with this being the inaugural Friday post.  Monday posts will be “report” posts, where I talk about what I’m currently playing or have recently finished.  Wednesday will be “retrospective”, looking back at games I’ve played in the past, for good or ill.  Finally Fridays will be “rambling”, just talking about whatever comes to mind, but likely still within the topic space of gaming.

Currently on my plate are World of Warcraft, Elite Dangerous, XCOM 2: War of the Chosen, and Metroid: Samus Returns, so it’s very likely that I will talk about one or all of those on Monday.  All four are either new, or are getting new content added soon, and I’m looking forward to it all.  Oddly, they all involve aliens as well… yes, even World of Warcraft.  Kind of.

Catch you again soon, hopefully in less than four years!

Finished: The Unfinished Swan

GatewayOk, it’s been a while. Yes, this game doesn’t strictly belong here because it’s not on Steam. It was a very interesting experience though, so I wanted to say something about it.

The Unfinished Swan starts in a featureless white space, in which you have one ability: throwing a ball of black paint. It is the first, and possibly the most striking, of several different “throw stuff to explore your environment” mechanics that the game uses, and it’s every bit as interesting as it sounds.  I would give this game a strong recommendation to anyone who appreciates a different sort of exploration, a striking visual aesthetic, or a beautiful classical/synth soundtrack.  My only real criticism would be a fairly small length:price ratio.  Fifteen dollars isn’t very expensive, but then 2-3 hours isn’t very long.  Your mileage may vary.

As an aside, I first heard about this game through a “Games you might not have tried” segment on Extra Credits.  If you’re interested in the gaming industry and would like a developer/designer perspective, I suggest checking them out.

Finished: Bioshock Infinite

Property of Booker Dewitt, 7th Cavalry, Wounded KneeAbsolutely fantastic, from start to finish.  The visuals and atmosphere breathtaking, I found myself just standing around at the beginning listening to Will The Circle Be Unbroken for a while before moving on.

I have to say though, aside from being massive racists (not entirely unexpected in 1912) I found the people of Columbia fairly likable, and felt pretty bad about how probably most all of them had their lives ruined at some point in this game.*

Elizabeth not being a massive liability was a nice change from other games that pair you with an AI companion that you are ostensibly protecting.  If anything having her around makes things substantially easier, what with all the ammo, health, and salts she keeps finding.

My only complaint is the same tried and true complaint for any excellent game.  I just wish there was more.

*Spoiler-ish: Though given how the game ended, I suppose the argument could be made that none of them were ever there in the first place.

Finished: Skyrim + 1

Take Elder Scroll

It is done, Alduin is defeated and Tamriel is safe.  Ish.  Sort of.  If you don’t worry about all the side quests and DLC I didn’t do.

It was fun, I enjoyed it.  With a few mods installed the game looked fantastic.  I don’t really have a lot to say about Skyrim that hasn’t already been said though, so I’ll leave it at that.

Also, I finished Bulletstorm.  Turns out when I last played it I had stopped about 30 minutes from the end.  So there’s that.