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Desire: A Follow-up

You know that meme, “how it started/how it’s going”? I’m doing that today, but in text form!

Basically, I just want to take a quick look back at my “24 Days of Desire” feature and see how many of them have been fulfilled. It’s been almost a year now, I should have been able to get everything I wanted, right? Let’s see!

Day 1: Television – This was about me wanting to have cable, and if I recall correctly, it was specifically so I could watch the Chucky series. Well, I never got cable, because that would be stupid, and I still haven’t watched Chucky, because I don’t pirate TV shows or movies any more. Chucky is also on Paramount+, which has other things I want to watch, so I’m thinking about a subscription to that… But probably won’t bother.

Day 2: A better GPU – Ain’t got this. I’ve heard that prices are going down, but I haven’t bothered to look in many months. Besides, I only wanted it to beef up my Quest 2, so it’s right down at the bottom of my priority ladder.

Day 3: Star Wars sequels box set – I haven’t looked to see if this exists, and I don’t actually care enough to check. This was a filler episode, for sure.

Continue reading Desire: A Follow-up

2021 Reflections: Part 4: The Runners-up.

“But Ryan!” you shout, incredulously “Where was Part 3??”

I’ll tell you where Part 3 is. It’s here. I just didn’t add it to the post title, because I didn’t want to. There you go. There’s no lost chapter or anything. Just me being silly and inconsistent.

Anyway, just for kicks, here is the list of video games that I had considered for my 2021 Top 10 list, but didn’t quite make the cut. I think that these are all great games, but they just didn’t affect me the same way that the winners did. I would absolutely recommend any game from this list.

  • Downfall (PC)
  • Ys Origin (Switch)
  • Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished ~ Omen (PC)
  • Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished ~ The Final Chapter (PC)
  • Power Wash Simulator (PC)
  • Deltarune: Chapter II (PC)
  • Alisa (PC)
  • Kathy Rain: The Director’s Cut (PC)
Continue reading 2021 Reflections: Part 4: The Runners-up.

24 Days of Desire (23): Resident Evil VR

It seems like there was a very long time where VR was just something I’d never be able to have for myself. It needs a huge room, an expensive headset, an even more expensive computer… There were just so many barriers to entry that I just ignored VR as a thing that existed.

Then Facebook started bombarding me with Oculus Quest 2 ads, and at some point I decided to see what it was all about. Now here we are a year later, and I’m enjoying a… fairly limited library of VR games. There just aren’t all that many games available for Quest 2. But that actually doesn’t matter, because it has the best game of them all: Resident Evil 4.

Continue reading 24 Days of Desire (23): Resident Evil VR

24 Days of Desire (2): A better GPU

Last December I got a lot of extra money from sources I will not mention, and since I was planning to start creating more video content for my YouTube channel, I decided to spend a bunch of said money on a new computer. In this sense, it was a complete success! The new machine was more than capable of taking on the heavy video processing load that was making my old PC wheeze worse than me after 20 seconds of light jogging.

However! When I selected my new computer, I did not put any consideration into VR capabilities. Any why would I? I bought an Oculus Quest 2 specifically for the fact that it doesn’t need to be tethered to a PC. Fast forward to summer 2021 when I bought an (off-brand) Oculus link cable for reasons I can’t remember, and through some sequence of events ended up trying to play some PC VR games. It did not go well.

Continue reading 24 Days of Desire (2): A better GPU

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: September 2021

~ Game Over ~

Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim (PC) – This one is in the same gameplay style as The Oath in Felghana and Ys Origin, and while I like it more than the former, I don’t think it’s quite as good as the latter. It’s a brisk, fun game, but a good quarter of its runtime is still caught up in level/money grinding. As usual, the soundtrack is pretty boss.

Deltarune: Chapter 1 (PC) – When the second chapter released this month, I opted to refresh myself on the first, since I last played it about two years ago. Three hours well spent, and I even beat the secret boss this time!

Deltarune: Chapter 2 (PC) – I had no idea how Toby Fox planned to continue this story, and what happened in Chapter 2 is nothing at all like I would have expected. But it was still excellent! And I’m happy that the secret boss in this one wasn’t quite as difficult as the last one… Looking forward to Chapters 3-7 being released over the next 999 years!

Continue reading Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: September 2021

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: July 2021

~ Game Over ~

Doki Doki Literature Club Plus (Switch) – It loses a little bit of its punch once you know all the twists, but still a “good” time. The additional content was worth the purchase, and the way that it was made to work on console wasn’t nearly as janky as I’d worried it would be, and actually added a lot to the experience.

Robo Recall (Oculus) – Finished this one off at long last. That final stage has been outstanding for months now, but I finally did it. It’s a super fun game, though I don’t know that I’ll go back to complete the extra objectives.

Shutter (PC) – Boop.

Ys: Memories of Celceta (PS4) – One of four versions of Ys IV, and the most modern. While all the Ys games are fast-paced action RPGs, this one might be the ideal fast-paced action RPG. It’s an absolute joy to play, as movement and combat feel great, and there are so many completion percentage trackers. Not to mention that the main gameplay conceit is exploration, which I think is my absolute favourite thing about video games.

Continue reading Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: July 2021

One Step Forward…

I’ve typed a heck of a lot of words about Five Nights at Freddy’s VR over the last few months, and to date, most of those words have been very positive. Unfortunately, today I have to put some words to page that veer just a wee bit in the other direction.

I think it was late December when FNAF VR’s expansion, The Curse of Dreadbear was released for Oculus. Right around Xmastime. For a Halloween-themed DLC pack. Maybe not the most timely of releases, but holding it back for another year to release around Halloween would have been silly. Might as well make those bucks. It’s not as if there’s a whole lot else to for people to buy in the Oculus store. (Zoom!)

But Dreadbear’s issues only begin with the late release. Having been totally obsessed with FNAF VR at the time, I was keeping a close eye on news of when that DLC would drop. Then it did, and the bad reviews piled up quickly. Well, maybe not bad reviews per se, but a lot of complaints in the reviews section about how buying and installing the DLC would wipe your save data. Having a completed save file, I opted to wait it out until there was a patch that would stop the save deletion.

January rolled around, and I checked in from time to time until finally I saw that comment I was looking for: Steel Wool Games had released a patch, and downloading Dreadbear would no longer delete your existing save file! I immediately purchased and installed the Dreadbear DLC and… my save file was gone. All progress: vanished, never to return. I’d have to somehow survive that impossibly hard Funtime Foxy minigame again. So much for the patch.

But worse things could happen. After all, FNAF VR is a heck of a lot of fun, so having a reason to play through it again was actually kind of welcome… is how I looked at it after forcing myself to take an optimistic point of view. When I actually started playing, though, something was off. It didn’t quite hit me until I won my first “food” prize, though, and I was barely able to make out what the item was: after installing the DLC, most of the textures in the game -the entire game, not just the DLC parts- had gone to absolute crap.

While FNAF VR was never going to look as good on Oculus as it did on PC-powered VR systems, it was certainly passable. Things were a bit smudgy here and there, but none of it was outright bad. Now, though? Now it looks awful. And this is coming from me, a guy who really doesn’t care all that much about graphical fidelity. But the downgrade has had a major effect on my enjoyment of this video game, since all I can think about now is how much worse it looks. Suddenly that Funtime Foxy level doesn’t seem so bad, because it’s all pitch-black most of the time.

I don’t think that the grossly deteriorated textures will be a long-term problem during main gameplay, as I’m sure I’ll just get used to them. But it’s a really weird thing that happened, and I can’t fathom why Steel Wool Games would have changed them in the first place. Maybe they needed to scale down the texture resolution to keep the file size under some arbitrary limit? The game didn’t have any major performance issues before the DLC, so I doubt it has anything to do with that. It’s mind-boggling.

All that said, I’m going to continue playing FNAF VR. I mean, I haven’t even started on that DLC that I paid for yet. I’ve just been playing the main game again to restore my completion percentage to 100. It’s still a lot of fun, and I still can’t play for more than like 10 minutes at a time for fear of my heart exploding. It’s just too bad that the experience had to be soured a bit.

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: February 2021

~ Game Over ~

Vader Immortal: Episode 1 (Oculus) – It’s cool to hang out in the Star Wars universe for a while, but there’s not a lot to do there, and the combat isn’t terribly satisfying. Which is a problem when 95% of the game is 40 levels worth of combat challenges.

Contra (NES) – Would you believe that I’ve never played this game before? And that it took me about 50 lives to get to the end. Thank goodness for that Konami code. Fun game, though. I see why it’s so highly regarded.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Wii) – Have I mentioned enough times how much I like this randomizer?

Continue reading Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: February 2021

TE’s Top Games of 2020

2020, as I’m sure you’ve heard many times, was a heck of a strange year. And to cap it off, I’ve got a heck of a strange Top 10 Video Games list for you.

Longtime readers might know that I don’t always play by the same rules for this annual listicle. The rule for candidacy this time around is simple: It must be a game that I played for the first time in 2020. That is it. That is the one and only criteria that I’m using to decide which titles are eligible. I’ve also decided to do away with the “must have beaten it” rule, because it seems unnecessary.

My selection process was this: I made a big spreadsheet of every game I played in 2020 (total of 118), removed any that didn’t meet my specification (47), and then narrowed it down to 28 frontrunners. From there, I simply looked at the list and picked the ones that I had the most positive emotional reactions to while reading their titles. By some wonderful coincidence, that left me with a clean list of 10 games. Neat!

And here are my selections, presented in the order that I played them:

Continue reading TE’s Top Games of 2020

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: November 2020

~ Game Over ~

The Void (PC) – Artsy horror-ish game that I may have liked if not for three factors: 1. Gesture-based commands that don’t work very well. 2. Overcomplicated gameplay systems that make no sense. 3. Your character moves slower than molasses – at running speed. Into the bin with ye!

Stories Untold (Switch) – A text-based adventure game anthology that takes place over four separate mini-episodes. Each one introduces some new gameplay element and a new scenario. While the gameplay can be a little tedious, the stories are great and go off in wildly unexpected directions. I bought this on sale for $7 and I kind of want to give the developer the difference because it was fantastic. Likely to be on my 2020 GOTY list.

Continue reading Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: November 2020