Two days ago, my mind's ether struck me like a fastball to the temple: I have never eaten a churro. This may have been inspired by a recent Recap hire - who can say? Anyway, it's not for lack of wanting - no shoppe around this county sells any churros of sturdy quality, and I'm not about to settle for store-brand frozen pastry dough. I could learn to concoct one myself, but I'd prefer to sample an artisan's take as my initial foray into the sweetness pile. That's on my future to-do list now: sample a churro. What further startled me lay in wait later as I booted up the PS4 and touched down in Lucis again to reorient myself in FFXV:
I have never played an XBox.
That factoid, in itself, may not be so notably unusual. Countless gamers have stuck solely to PC, Nintendo, or so forth. No, see, it's unusual for me precisely *because* I've been gaming multiplatform since the first days I teeteringly handled a controller. Beginning with Atari 2600 and spanning 2nd-gen to 8th, I've possessed and relished a cornucopia of systems manufactured by Sega, Nintendo, Sony, and so forth. I've owned more than a couple gaming PCs, including my current pseudo-setup. For crying out loud, I own a WonderSwan and a Neo-Geo Pocket Color! They only contain one cart with each of them, but hey! Still count.
So what's the excuse for the absence of the XBox? I sincerely haven't the foggiest. I'm unopposed to the brand, and I'm widely open to video games as a cardinal rule. As an exercise, then, I'll pare down the occluding layers encompassing this mystery.
Firstly, right around the time the original XBox was debuting, I wasn't of financial means to support more than one console + PC combo. I'd understandably gravitated toward the PlayStation 2 after reveling in dozens of PS1 titles. By the time I'd secured a trifle more funding, the lure of the GameCube's library unmistakably beckoned me, and I hearkened with elated ears. Gems such as Sonic Adventure 2, Smash Bros. Melee, Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, and the unimpeachable Metroid Prime justified that decision unreservedly. SEGA had sadly retired from the console business, yet their offerings had rapidly become readily available between PS2 and GCN. In terms of my chief interests, I was set. A relatively capable gaming PC only sealed the deal.
Did any XBox-OG exclusives pique my interest? Yep. Steel Battalion surely did. MechWarrior and Armored Core had dutifully filled my thirst for mech action, yet the premise of Steel Battalion and its unmatched complex controller spoke to me in wizardry and whetstone. That game looked to be a revelation, review scores be dithered. Other morsels such as Blinx, Gun Valkyrie, Metal Wolf Chaos, and Panzer Dragoon Orta staked their claim to sampling. I just never got around to picking up a slightly-used console to employ them. Of the three existent XBox generations, the original aligns most closely to this day.
Secondly, during the genesis of 7th-gen, Wii mania seized me like bronchitis: deep and penetrating. I sank far too many hours into the passable launch title Excite Truck alone, and I nearly drowned in glory upon first playing the bastion of punk and misanthropes that is No More Heroes. It was about this time that I was tending more to Steam as my third-party conduit. Neither Sony nor Microsoft held much interest from me for a couple years. That all changed when I unexpectedly received a PlayStation 3 as a gift from a cabal of family and acquaintances after a stark personal downfall. Through the PS3, I regained my connection to FromSoft's Armored Core series - yet it'd be their subsequent output, Demon's Souls, that'd sell me on the library's potential. Not that I was much *good* at it, but oh, was I *amazed* at it. The next two offerings I'd buy for the system comprised Yakuza 3 and Dark Souls. Again did a deal thus seal.
In terms of 360 exclusives, a few caught my waking eyes. Tales of Vesperia summoned me time and again, in spite of inability to answer. Chromehounds looked groovy; Lost Odyssey looked snazzy; Infinite Undiscovery looked...murky, yet I sought it nonetheless. Alas, as with the line's progenitor, the 360 eluded my sphere of necessity among the triple threat of PC, Wii, and PS3.
Thirdly, we arrive at the present. My aging video card's unable to keep pace with modern releases; I half-jokingly refer to my PC's attempt at Geralt's latest as "The Witcher 3 FPS." (In truth, it scrapes by at 4-8 FPS. Eesh.) The Vita's a delight, whenever candies dot its yearnful Passover landscape. The Switch looks appealing enough, now that Mario Odyssey and an upcoming mainline Pokémon tempt me. Then we've got our trusty Sony rhomboid. To wit, the PS4's expansive library increasingly resembles the embarrassing wealth of the PS2's. Sony's resurfacing arrogance and tone-deaf vocals notwithstanding, it's as if the platform's curators hew masterstrokes directly greenlit for me. Its crossover with the PC library ensures that two massive audiences realize access to a plethora of quality titles from both Eastern shores and Western halls. What's left, then, for the One? Its ecosystem and backward-compatibility may yet rescue it. Much has been made of the latter, and for great reasons: Microsoft's reforming their machine to perform more like a computer, with unfettered access to joys prior in the past, and they're excellent for that. It's super that an XBox One can act as a surrogate 360.
As for the former, perhaps therein lies a slice of the indisputable rub. Switching of ecosystem isn't for fainter of spirit. My trifecta of PS3, PS4, and PS Vita firmly entrenches me within the Sony biosphere. Nearly all of my pals and desirable family flock cohabit it. I've got a Steam and a GoG account besides, and moreover, a likely tether back to the heart of the Big N if I enact a more literal Switching of ecosystem. Multiplying's a potential maneuver, yet it'd require significant investment and punch. It's an oddity, for sure, in my voluminous elder scroll of gaming history, that no steps have trod the Halo'd halls of the XBox. Under many moons, that course may humbly change. Paths uncharted meet raucous adventure anon. For now, I'll recline into my current confines, as the black and green whispers my discontinuous heart:
"Look this way, baby~"
Which gaming apparatus have you longed to try yet overlooked? Which platforms, if any, have felt most like missed opportunities? If you've stuck to PC or console, when has the other side most strongly flirted with your sensibilities? Tell me these tidbits, and tell me them true, as recaps endeavored I'm bringing to you.
Eggman's upside-down sprite inside the spider mech boss of Sonic Mania inspired the postulate of the bad Doctor's niece: Omelette! (Or Eggette, but I prefer the Om-nom.) A wealth of fascinating fanart has followed, and I, for one, am bloody well lovin' it.
S - One of our recent converts to all things PlayStation 4 is the inimitable Gamemaniac3434, whose trip through total Yharnam triggered tantamount thoughts to the trek. Here, his first portion of a micro-series details his response to the game's combat, healing, and geographical blueprint. For a fair volume of it, I concur on the matter. Certainly could've expanded the vial pouch. Kudos for securing that elusive Platinum trophy, by the by - not something I'd seek the fortitude to pursue, if only owed to the Chalice dungeons (to be covered later).
The Assassin's Creed crossover with Final Fantasy XV supplied moderate fun, which is to say, more than it had any right to offer. Noctis himself looks snappy in the regalia in the Regalia. Ignis, conversely, cared little for the flunky's getup since he's bashful. Aww.
I ate one. Without PUBG. Truly, these are transcendent times.
D - Savage: The Shard of Gosen exists as one of those 2D action titles everyone likes - or should! Or not - I mean, it's your life. The game's developer, toborprime, unveils design documentation and meaty gifs for the reading and viewing pleasure of all. Directional attacking looks solid, and the weather effects for a small-team 2D title honestly kind of amaze. Give it a look-see, for sating your skull-crackin' curiosity!
R - Tireless reviewer Blanchimont, whose account dates back 9(!) years, turns gaze onto the recent "crossover" (from the same creator) Accel World vs. Sword Art Online. While the RPG earns a passable grade in the review, lowlights irksomely include the overexposure of SAO mainstays, which unsurprises yet dissatisfies me - much as SAO'd horridly dissatisfied me, outside of Silica and Lisbeth and basically all the neglected (so, non-Kirito) people.
Rarely have I entertained the notion, "This music could've been crafted specifically for me." Music's much too limitless for egomania. That said, this intricate upbeat tune's so in sync with my verve and Lifestream that I'll allow the impulse this time.
"Rest (almost) in fish, in sauce, and in four cheeses." Poetry of the angels, if you ask me.
This isn't actually a Failtoid; I just harbor the unshakable belief that the lasting image of Goro Majima pole-dancing should burrow into the vision-mind of all onlookers. You are welcome!
Larx out, homeslice~
Never let your troubles twist your stay.
Today's title track: Look This Way, Baby
Producer: Ryo (Supercell)
Vocaloid: Hatsune Miku