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Blog: Me3 2021 – 06/16/21

ust got slapped in the face with video games, which as well know can only mean that E3 has taken place once again. But don’t confuse that with Game Fest, a thing that I think started before E3 and is lasting long after it. We’ve got like a dozen game-focused events popping off all summer, so this whole thing is a lot clumsier than it normally is. It’s a mess that’s only gotten messier thanks to a certain pandemic, and will only get worse as E3 flails around trying to grasp at those precious last breaths of relevance. But until that day comes, I guess I’m gonna just keep looking at headlines and trailers and regurgitating that stuff back onto this site with that patented “Ari Spice,” which sounds grosser than I wanted it to, but oh well…

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Blog: Up Next – 06/09/21

weeks ago, I’ve suddenly found myself with an overwhelming amount of games I want to play but haven’t made much time for just yet. Even worse is the fact that they didn’t miraculously appear on my various hard drives because I distinctly remember spending money on them, so I really should at least launch these games at some point. With that said, here are some of the games that are currently squatting on my hard drive, that I should probably address…

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Blog: Achievements & Site Updates – 06/02/21

There was a period of time, specifically before 2016 when I built my gaming computer, that I was deeply invested in the concept of Gamerscore and the achievement hunting that came along with it. I primarily played on Xbox and the Pavlovian response of hearing that delightful chime and getting a functionally useless reward that indicated I had unlocked an achievement was very exciting and fulfilling for me. But once I gravitated away from consoles and onto PC, I had to shake that particular monkey off of my back. Unfortunately for me and my sanity, I now own a modern Xbox console and have their subscription service which essentially just blasts me with new games every few weeks to play, keeping me planted squarely back on the achievement treadmill whether I like it or not…

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Blog: Knockout City – 05/26/21

It’s no secret that I’ve lost my passion for online competitive games as I’ve gotten older, but that doesn’t mean this old man isn’t still capable of stepping into the virtual ring and wreaking some havoc from time to time. While most people are playing those gun-shooting games I’ve opted to spend my time with EA’s newly released competitive dodge ball game, Knockout City, as opposed to the more murder-centric games people usually play. Much to my surprise, Knockout City is actually a pretty fun, albeit slim offering that was well worth the price of “free with Game Pass…”

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Blog: Down on the Town – 05/19/21

I initially planned on doing this two months ago, but time is an illusion at best these days and I just kind of missed it, but now seems as good as a time as any to talk about Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Like I said, this would’ve been more apt had it been the 1-year anniversary of its release, but I feel like the things I wanted to say then are still applicable a few months on. So with that said, I’d like to go over my brief love affair with the game and where our relationship stands today…

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Blog: Dinoslayers – 05/12/21

When I think about horde modes in video games, things like Call of Duty’s zombies modes and the aptly named horde mode from the Gears of War series spring to mind. While I’ve never really resonated with them at all, it’s impossible to deny how popular and successful these modes have been, so much so that there are games that are completely built around the concept itself like Left 4 Dead and the upcoming Back 4 Blood. These games are not my jam at all, but somehow I’ve managed to spend a couple of hours with one of these styled games this past week. If you haven’t heard about Second Extinction yet, prepare to be informed by someone with a middling at best level of interest in the genre and an even shoddier level of knowledge about dinosaurs…

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Blog: A Game of Chicken – 05/05/21

There are moments in life when you’re absolutely positive that one thing will happen, yet against all odds, something entirely unexpected occurs. That’s basically the story of how I ended up purchasing an Xbox Series S in a nutshell. I recall months of following various Twitter accounts to clue me into stock drops at various retailers, only to see the “Out of Stock” message appear within seconds of clicking the link. I would have never expected to be able to purchase a next-generation console on a whim, but here we are, $325 later, and a new Xbox is on its way to me…

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Blog: TaleSpire’d – 04/21/21

After a few years of getting increasingly obsessed with Dungeons & Dragons along with the entire concept of TTRPGs in general, one thing I’ve always wanted was a comprehensive tool or piece of software that could house my campaign in its entirety. Ideally I wanted a video game styled, easy to use virtual tabletop that could do everything from making maps to just playing a session within it. Most of these programs manage to excel at one thing while fumbling other elements of playing a TTRPG, but that won’t deter me from checking out a new one when it comes along. Enter TaleSpire…

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Gut Check: Core

No one is quite sure how video games are actually made, with many scientists believing them to be the result of some sort of dark magic or inter-planar phenomenon, but I’m here to present my latest findings on the matter. All of my evidence suggests that people make video games on their computers, utilizing software like Unity or the Unreal Engine to accomplish the laborious task of crafting a game from nothing but bits and bytes. Then there are the people who are using Core to make bad versions of much better and more popular games, except these versions are loaded with micro-transactions and terrible controls. Sounds fun, right?

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Blog: Back in the Ring – 04/14/21

Like most folks, I’ve played a lot of really hard games throughout my life that I might even call punishing or unfair, but none of them have challenged me anywhere near as much as Ring Fit Adventures does. While Ring Fit Adventures isn’t going to throw endless hordes of bloodthirsty enemies at me or require pixel perfect platforming and reaction times, it does do something more sinister than any other video game I’ve ever played before: it puts my in physical pain…

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Blog: Vaccination Station – 04/07/21

At the beginning of March I managed to get myself the first dosage of the two-shot Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, followed up by the second dose I received yesterday. Since the moment I made my first appointment right on through to today, I’ve felt a genuinely high amount of anxiety about the whole situation. I fully believe in the efficacy of vaccines and think everyone should be rushing to get their own COVID vaccination scheduled and administered, but there’s just a gravitas to this whole situation that was and continues to be intimidating to me…

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Blog: Crowdfunder – 03/31/21

Crowdfunding can be a beautiful thing that allows people to directly support the ideas and products they believe in, giving folks the chance to truly vote with their wallets. Aside from the dystopian nightmare of people crowdfunding their medical and legal bills through services like GoFundMe, as well as the vaporware projects that either never make it to market or are just flat out scams, crowdfunding is a great concept. It’s also a really good way to get me to spend even more money on tabletop role-playing game systems and paraphernalia than I already do. So here are some of the money-pits that I’ve recently tossed my cash into that luckily for you and your wallet, are either finished or about to finish up their funding campaigns. You’re welcome…

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Review: Adios

I don’t know if I’ve ever actually experienced anything quite like what I did when I played through Adios. I don’t mean to imply that I was awestruck by it by any means, because I genuinely found it to be an incredibly underwhelming game to play. Yet despite its numerous mechanical shortcomings, this narrative-focused, first-person adventure game delivered a really impactful story that left me feeling pretty raw emotionally…

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Blog: Poor Planning – 03/24/21

Over the past month or two, I’ve purchased a handful of video games that I’ve been dying to play for one reason or another. Often these are games that I just never had the time to get around to when they released but decided with this lull in the release calendar (at least in my eyes), I could finally see what all the fuss was about. The problem is, despite how much I enjoyed any single game that I purchased, I eventually bounced off of each of them and returned to doing nothing instead…

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Blog: St. Drizzt’s Day – 03/17/21

Well it’s Saint Patrick’s Day already, which means it’s time to go out to the pub with the lads and knock back a couple of brews and eat your body weight in bar nachos. Oh wait, it’s a pandemic still, don’t do that. I can’t say I’ve ever really celebrated St. Patrick’s day in any real capacity at any point in my life, and this year doesn’t seem like the best time to start. So instead I’ll just sit here and talk about an upcoming game that has nothing to do with Ireland or even the color green at all. We’re talking about the upcoming cooperative action game, Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance…