First up, best wishes do I send to our stalwart and honorable recappers for Monday, Lord Spencer, and for Wednesday, "Plain" Dere. May they recover rapidly and wholly from their respective surgery and illness. Thank you both for your dedication and resolve!
Now then, before commencing this comprehensive 4-day recap, let's make one thing clear, citizens:
Truer terror hath ne'er Larx known.
See, I rock at Project DIVA Future Tone, to the tune of "top percentile in North America," enough to confidently perfect a great majority of FT's challenging charts and flat-out clear every single one of 'em. Even the dreaded "boss battle" struggle within the sadistic music factory fell vanquished after a deluge of determination. They gave me...no trouble.
That is, until this past week. I had again languished on shredding robot dinosaurs and unearthing modern relics from Colorado and Utah, opting to chill with equally-challenging rhythmic gameplay instead. I took up the mantle of pro once again and strutted through a few as-yet unplayed songs with nary an exhale. Everything proceeded as planned. On whimsy, I undertook that risky trek through the factory once more. Twice had I conquered it; what opposition could withstand the third success?
Turns out, age conquers all pride. My post-birthday self failed to a spectacular degree to keep my thumbs gliding rapidly enough to clear the track's punishing gauntlet. Again, again, and again, I speared an attempt. I knew the notes by heart and by mind! I...just couldn't press fast enough. No matter what tricks I employed, I wound up gazing upon the rejection of the failure screen.
Now, I likely had encountered one of those 'off nights' that pro athletes mention recurringly in their plastique interviews. I doubt the passing of a few months would've eroded my thumb joints enough to reduce my measurable competence...uh, barring surprise arthritic shutdown. Nonetheless, I do believe I now 'get it' when those athletes mentioned above speak of disappointments where their aging bodies quit keeping pace with their lucid minds.
[Pictured above: Chris Chelios gearing up for the 2007 NHL season.]
Everyone ages. If you eschew aging, then jostle thyself and awaken, 'cause you sure ain't livin' in the waking world. Someday, you and I will lose our capacity to keep pace with several of our favorite games, be they twitch-paced platformers or artisanal strategic simulators, or even the simple plummet-to-plop of Tetris. You will tighten your grip, and the grip will slake; you'll tackle a ready challenge, and your eyes will move much faster than your digits. We just won't have it anymore - and I sure won't take satisfaction in that.
In a sense, I already had understood this from reading of incredible gaming feats and viewing stunts beyond fathoming in electronic works of old. "The kids" these days, those 19-year-olds, those 15-year-olds, those non-taxpaying whelps, can devastate gaming challenges to such an astonishing degree that I'd swear we inhabit an approximation of reality, rather than the real deal. They'll even bypass Mario 64's stairs before long! It keeps happening! I TOLD you about stairs.
Yet that process toward a softened dusk must we all overwatch. I can see why to tackle our fiercest life endeavors at the outset. By the time we deign to lower the plow, we welcome the comfort of the blanket and the bed, and we snuggle into a warm embrace of easygoing serenity...or, uh, we'll pitch fits at the obstinance of gov't services to afford us our invested dues. What a world to ponder, then: to take a crack at the ol' Super Mario Bros. 1 once again, assurance overflowing, until that first mistimed bounce over a Koopa Troopa, floundering into the narrowest bottomless pit.
Ah, geez. You know what they say:
What d'ya think? Have you already encountered a gaming ceiling where you feel unable to keep pace with the darn whippersnappers? Are you, in fact, a lithe whippersnapper who's got the world and its snake-oils full in front of you? Where do you expect you'll turn in your gaming lifetime as you journey into erosion? Tell me, and quickly now - 2018 ain't gettin' any younger!
And brace: lotsa text for lotsa filled categories. Hunker down for 15 recaps, aaand go.
* - I topsauce this for you, community. You reveled in Vadicta's twist-filled tale of romantic chaos, outlandish feline fulcrums, and the candle on the hearthstone of the human heart. I can honor that esteem. Put mildly, the dating game's not for me. It's absolutely, positively, 100% not for me. Subjectively, I...will reserve my broader opinions on the lovin' paradigm. Objectively, this dude writes most of us under both table and courtroom sentencing procedure, which must surely equal our next juncture on this dyed taxi ride. Vad-Dad, wherever you roam, let nothing extinguish that unbanded spirit, sire.
* - I do so relish an expressive, comprehensive blog. So it is with gladdened heart that I trekked through this grateful 2017 gaming retrospective by the savvy JPF720. Truly, the man under the Portugal sun spanned a bounty of remarkable games during the past 12 months. He explains his selections with both contagious cheer and sharp appreciation for their sundry talents. I concur here. Across three decades or so of my own personal gaming, last year's flock indeed soared above most, to a gracefully illustrious sky. Can't compliment it enough!
S - Kerrik52 continues to hurtle through the time-space continuum at an alarming rate. I fear for the integrity of his vital organs. Anyway, the bloke sandwiched between Norway and Finland nails a 1440º tailwag nosegrab stalefish BIG AIR BONUS with this hearty rundown of SSX 3 for PS2. Much applause directs its way for mechanics, audio, and the plucky playable cast. Ace job, then! Daggone, should I have invested more into this series beyond Tricky. (It's never too late...)
S - Strider has begun to summarize the madcap exploits of our site's small yet infallible D&D group, aptly dubbed D&Dtoid. Only within could you read the misadventures of such lovable schlubs as Yondola and Yog, both of which sound like characters from TV-Ontario children's programming. Will they survive the first blows? The first step? Lunch?? Find your answers within, you rascally voyeurs.
Still 100% serious: deciper, then explain, to win.
S - Cedi, Cedi, ever heady: how does your writing glow? With adverbs and nouns, from cities and towns, to adjectives dotting the snow. No chance would I spoil any iota of Cedi's writing project in my verbose recap. Go read his words yourself, kids! He spins their tale for the benefit of readers far and wide. (Kinda neat how the Internet extends our audience, eh? Any and all time zones can read whatever and whenever they like.)
C - Ever reticent in commentary, Charles nonetheless returns repeatedly to blog and to inquire, this time asking of our dappled community which media altered their lives after consumption. For Charles, 'twas Pokémon which sparked a social energization. For me, plenty of games did so. Recent Larxian examples = Yakuza for competitive mahjong fever & Future Tone for Vocaloid devotion to eternity.
R - Impressions make the man, as it were; in blogging instances, reviews make the mold. Our affluent spelunker JuIc3 mines into the core of Super Lucky's Tale on XBox One, yielding chunks of teflon alongside more pleasing solid gold, yet ascertaining enough valuables to satisfy - at deep discount. Sounds odd that such a basic engine runs poorly on standard XB1 models, however. Not much for the processor to wring out, it'd seem. Well, surely our XBox crowd can avail themselves of these Juicy impressions either way. So go forth!
R - Hot on the heels of one review lands another, as Spazzh20 chips away at Treyarch's decade-old (yeesh, time *does* fly!) Call of Duty entry, World at War. The reviewer finds it much to their liking, noting how it compares favorably to the 2017 product in several manners. These games sit entirely outside my zone of interest, I'll fully admit, but if they reside within yours, then why hesitate? Read, and agree, or disagree, but either way, make something of this day, soldier.
P - Jetfandam, an amazing fighting game devotee, offers a welcoming introduction to the hotly-anticipated Dragon Ball Fighter Z, from Arc Sys themselves. DBZ left me behind over a decade ago, but for everyone else, drink deeply of Jet's sage wisdom, that you too may learn the way of the Z-Fighter. This dude knows his stuff, I can attest to that. Gotta say, we've attracted a healthy crop of fighting gurus between Jet, Virtua Kazama, Strider, Leona, and YOU. That's right: you're next.
R - Our sheep in sheep's clothing, Lexingtongue, sadly met a fount of frustration and dissatisfaction upon sampling DJ Max Respect, the upcoming PS4 rhythm game. I have kept my eyes and ears attuned to this future release for some months now, and so it saddens to hear strong disappointment from a fellow rhythm game aficionado. The grievances stand reasoned, to be sure. I may need to stash away fervor for this title until further notice. In any event, better luck next investment, Lexing.
T - Please welcome Arlyeon to the fold. One of our newest members explores the quite frankly gut-churning consequences of a...tactless?...Dishonored 2 act of choice. Gotta say, if the scriptwriter intended to distress the player, they may attribute 'success' to their execution, if not 'victory' - for what felt lost in the process did reveal in the learning thereafter. Brrr. Seriously, give the analysis a read, but thin stomachs beware: the game plays it grim.
R - Disclosure here: if "half" or three-quarter topsauces existed, GM3434 would seize command of that category. I still while typing this waffle between Topping and not. I suppose only the exclusion of Horizon: Zero Dawn's underlying narrative basis explains my reluctance, although in his defense, GM appears to have likely checked out of the game before it unveiled its full hand. Whatever one's feelings toward HZD, take a stout look at this well-defensed expression of letdown. Dude can voice his stances rationally. Hey, I feel the pain: disappointment sours me too whenever I play a letdown.
F - Cinema your game? Bend an ear - well, eyeball - toward this overview of the films Dwavenhobble viewed across the past 12 moon cycles. I will speak truthfully: I've viewed none of these yet, with only one or two planned at most, but I've never felt as enamored with film as I have with reading and gaming. That in no way means any movie-munching DToiders should ignore this blog. On the contrary, please, partake. (I, uh, *did* watch the original Jumanji, ages back...)
C - WishKaril jots down a short snippet regarding a section of Plants vs. Zombies. I almost wanna I.D. this as spam, but my reluctance speaks to my uncertainty, and so it escapes to the Other pile instead. 'Tis grand to include at least one image, no matter how small. 'Tis less so to eschew the standard benchmark: expand and expound.
C - Divisive Shinobi phones up a quickie query 'bout Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. Suits that game, I s'pose. Suits the blogger's avatar, also. Please, folks: expand and expound. The C-blogs exist to longform blog.
Yet here I sit, having never sped once in my lifetime. Sheesh. Drab. Dull. Bor-ing. (I really gotta watch the Sonic Boom cartoon sometime. I really gotta watch...um, *anything*...sometime. La-dee-dah...)
Larx out, homeslice~
Never let your troubles twist your stay.