Mighty = Fallen

I’ve never had any delusion that I’m special. In fact, considering that there are roughly eight billion of us humans, I’m of the mind that nobody is special.

But I did hope, for a wonderful, fleeting moment, that perhaps there was something special about me. Specifically, after three and a half years of COVID-19 being a thing, and having been in close proximity to infected folks on a number of occasions but still never contracting it myself, I hoped that I might have a natural immunity to the virus.

And then last week I caught it.

Thankfully, I didn’t end up in an iron lung or anything. It’s actually been fairly bearable -not nearly as dire as it was made out to be in those early days (which could be because I’m a generally healthy person, and/or caught a weaker variant). That’s not to say it’s been fun! No, sir! For a week now, I’ve been almost completely without energy, essentially glued to the couch and wishing that I could sleep for more than two hours at a time. Add to that a cocktail of cold and flu symptoms that seem to come and go as they please, and you’ve got a recipe for a pretty miserable Ryan.

Well, I mean, my physical self has been miserable. I like to think that I’ve been in reasonably good spirits, considering all the horrible things happening inside my body. It also probably doesn’t help that I haven’t been sick at all since before the whole pandemic thing started, so I likely perceived it as being worse than it actually was. Also also, you know that stereotype of how men aren’t very good at handling being sick? Yeah, I embody that trope. Hell, I probably caused it.

Which is all to say: I’m good. I got knocked down for a while but I feel like I’ll be back to 100% before too long. There’s honestly not much else I feel like I need to write about the experience; it was basically a kaiju-scaled cold that hung around longer than usual. I just wanted to make sure that I recorded that it happened. I need to write about something, after all.

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: July 2023

~ Game Over ~

Akane the Kunoichi (PC) – I remember playing the demo of this waaaaay back on Xbox 360. It’s a very 2011 indie platformer. Which is to say that it’s very simplistic in both visuals and gameplay. Not bad, but nothing special.

Peglin (PC) – Peglin a while, Peglin forever!!

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch) – What an incredible ride. In my opinion, there’s absolutely no competition for Game of the Year 2023.

Continue reading Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: July 2023

The Dogsman

I wrote about some things that I like about Final Fantasy XVI a few days ago. Here’s another thing:

While travelling around Valisthea, Clive will have a number of party members cycle in and out as the story dictates. For just about the entire duration of the game, though, Clive is joined by his loyal companion and fine hound, Torgal.

As a dog, Torgal doesn’t contribute a whole lot to the story, but he’s a big help in combat and Clive will even talk to him when no human party members are around. No matter what Clive says or asks, Torgal’s response is simply:


I don’t know why I enjoy this so much, but I do.

The Huntsman

I’ve been playing Final Fantasy XVI a lot lately. I haven’t been completely absorbed in it like I was that other big fantasy game from a few months ago, but I’ve been putting aside roughly an hour a day to plug away at it. It’s a very good game! The combat is pretty fun, the story is wild, and the soundtrack is incredible. It is also shockingly linear, which I understand is a divisive trait, but I’ve been fairly happy with FFXVI keeping me (mostly) focused on the task at hand. Remember, Final Fantasy XIII is my second-favourite in the series, so linear isn’t a problem for me.

However! Clive’s adventure isn’t so set on rails that you’re only ever barreling toward the next objective. There are side quests to distract you! And, yeah, of course there are. Can you imagine the uproar from the internet nerds if an RPG was made in the modern day and did not include side quests? “Refunded!” I can hear them chanting. Side quests are great and all, but what really got me going was when the hunt board was introduced… I don’t know, a third of the way through the game? And yes, I know that hunts are effectively just side quests without the NPC chatter. But they’re more fun! And rewarding!

Continue reading The Huntsman

The Menu – Someone else’s movie review

One of my most anticipated movies of 2022 was The Menu. Now, that’s not saying much, because to be honest I don’t follow movies anymore and at this very moment I cannot name a single other movie that released last year. Based on that, you could probably even say that The Menu was my most anticipated movie of 2022.

So, I didn’t actually watch it until a couple months ago. And I’m not writing about it until a couple months after watching it. You would probably think that I didn’t like it all that much. Untrue! In fact, I thought that it was excellent! I just haven’t been a very good blogger in 2023.

I don’t know if the marketing for The Menu was bad, or purposely misleading, or I was just taking the wrong things from it, but the movie was not at all what I expected from commercials. In fact, one of the things that I liked most about it is that it actually kept me in suspense the entire time. Like, sure, it telegraphs some things, but for the most part I was very unsure of where it was going, and many of my preconceptions of how scenes would play out ended up being wrong.

That said, I’m actually going to continue being a poor blogger and not finish reviewing The Menu. No, rather I’m just going to embed an existing review by someone else. Because it’s right on point, and me trying to write my own review would quite likely amount to little more than me subconsciously regurgitating this one. Poorly. And that’s just as good as plagiarism.

I See You – A Movie Review?

Yesterday evening -or at least, at some point prior to this post going live- I watched a movie called I See You.

This was largely spurred on by the fact that I’ve spent too many nights watching let’s plays of horror games on YouTube over the last six years, and as such I’ve been completely desensitized to them. I decided that to slake my thirst for terror, I’d need to turn to professionally produced content, and so Netflix. I clicked on the first movie that seemed even vaguely interesting, and so I See You.

A 95-ish-minute-long film released in 2019, I See You is not a movie that I had so much as heard the title of previous to the evening in question. But, it was described as a dramatic film wherein a detective is investigating murders and spooky things begin happening, so I was like, yeah, okay, I can dig on this. Little did I know!

As I sit here typing, and pondering what I am about to type, my mind is weirdly overcome by the thought of how my ex-wife’s eyes would have lit up at that plot summary.

I am a sad fellow. But pay that no heed. This is a movie review!

I See You follows the story of a small, dysfunctional suburban family. The husband, a cop on the trail of a child abductor. The wife, a therapist (I think?) who has recently cheated on her spouse. The son, trying to cope with the breakdown of his parents’ marriage. We learn these details pretty much right out of the gate, and that’s basically all that that they are for the entire duration of the film.

I may have made a poor selection.

Continue reading I See You – A Movie Review?

Nine Years at Freddy’s

The original Five Nights at Freddy’s video game was released in August of 2014. I don’t remember when it was first announced that a movie adaptation was in the works, but let’s say it wasn’t long after. So roughly nine long years later, it’s finally going to happen. Finally.

The jury’s obviously still out on whether it’s going to be good or not, but you know, it sure seems like it’s going to make me happy. We’ve got security cameras, we’ve got a sneaky li’l Balloon Boy drawing, we’ve got murdered children (presumably) stuffed into animatronic suits, we’ve got a big ol’ menacing Springtrap. What else could you even ask for?

Oh, a coherent plot? Relatable characters? Yeah, I guess those are things that FNAF hasn’t really had (albeit usually on purpose) in the video games space. But the novel trilogy, while not really to my taste, did have those things, so I’m not terribly worried on that front. Plus, like I said up above, this thing has been cooking for nine-ish years. It had better at least be decent with the amount of time and money that have been invested into it!

If absolutely nothing else, I’ll finally get to see a real, physical Freddy Fazbear animatronic running amok for a while. And that’s all I’ve ever really wanted.

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: June 2023

~ Game Over ~

Peglin (PC) – Well, it’s a roguelike. And therefore highly replayable. Especially since it’s got a mode that adds a new handicap every time you beat it.

Inhabit (Switch) – A cute puzzle game about taking care of yourself. It took less than two hours to beat, so it was really just a li’l appetizer of a game, but it was fun. Also, I recorded my playthrough for YouTube.

Gargoyle’s Quest (GB) – An action-RPG spin-off of the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series, and much more enjoyable in my opinion. While it’s got blind jumps and cheap deaths for sure, I did have fun revisiting this one for the first time in well over a decade.

Continue reading Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: June 2023

Nintendo Direct 6.21.2023

Normally, when there’s a Nintendo Direct, I like to write down all my knee-jerk reactions while watching it. You know, give my honest first impressions of all the trailers shown. But I find that lately those reactions have either been “That looks great, I’m going to buy it,” “That looks great but I don’t have time to play it,” or “I have no interest in this.”

So today I’m going to do it differently. While there were plenty of cool-looking games in today’s Direct presentation, only two really made my pants get tighter. So I’ll just post the trailers for those and maybe some words, too.

A remake of Super Mario RPG is on the way! This year! In November!

Now, I’ve played this game at least a dozen times through over the years, so I’m really hoping that it’s going to have a little more than a touched-up paint job. There appear to be fully-animated cutscenes and a redone soundtrack, which are very nice to have. But otherwise, it looks like it’s going to be incredibly faithful to the original. At least, at a glance. I haven’t done a frame-by-frame analysis yet.

So what would I like to see changed? Well, maybe… better mini-games? Yeah, that would be really good. It would be nice if the puzzles were remixed, maybe some new spells would be nice. Definitely some additional text clarifying what some of the existing spells actually do. I don’t think there needs to be any new towns or dungeons or whatnot, but it would be great if some of the maps saw a little bit of change. Just to keep things fresh, you know?

Actually, a great example would be the sunken ship dungeon. When replaying the original game, I can just walk straight to the end, bypassing all the puzzles and monsters, and input the password (PEARLS) to the boss room. I would like for at least the password to be changed so that I’d have to engage with the dungeon as intended on my first playthrough of the remake. Ideally, the password is randomized every time, or the individual puzzles are changed so that learning the password is exciting again. Nothing that would materially change the dungeon itself, just some tweaks to make it feel fresh even for people who have already played the game into the ground.

Super Mario Bros Wonder, the first new Super Mario game since 2017, and the first new 2D Mario game since… 2012? Unless you count Super Mario Run, which I kinda don’t. I’m not really a big fan of the title, but man does the gameplay ever look solid!

Also, I have so many questions. Why does Mario turn into an elephant? Do the other characters turn into elephants, or do they all get their own animal? Are there more, unrevealed playable characters? What’s the deal with all those chatty flower-things? Why is there a goomba wearing a Toad hat? Is this game just one massive drug trip?

Fortunately, I won’t have to wait long to find out, as SMBW is due out in October of this very same year. How nice! While I was expecting something more along the lines of Odyssey 2, this is also very good. You will hear no complaints from me.

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: May 2023

~ Game Over ~

Peglin (PC) – Imagine Peggle, but as a roguelike. Not something I’d normally give a second thought, but it’s so much more fun than it has any right to be. It’s a bit short, but still in Early Access, so there’s potentially a lot of room to grow.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Future Redeemed (Switch) – Now THIS is the heaping helping of fanservice that I was hoping the base game would be. Simply being able to go on another adventure with Shulk (and Rex too, I guess) made my heart so happy. Plus they added a similar system as the last few Ys games had that tracks all the collectibles and treasures you’ve found, which really should be in every RPG.

Lost Alone Ultimate (PC) – I watched let’s plays of all three chapters of Lost Alone when they were originally released last year, and really enjoyed them, so I was very excited to play this remade collection. Easily one (three?) of my favourite Steam horror games in recent years.

Continue reading Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: May 2023