This week I tried to bring a little change in my life. Yep, this shady dudeís trying to do something positive for a change.
I was starting to notice that I spent almost all of my days being incredibly tired and not doing anything productive, so I figured Iíd try to turn this around. At first Iíd go to sleep at like 1 or 2 AM, got up at 11 and was actually ready to go out and do things no earlier than 12, if that. That means I was always tired during the day and wasted lots of my time on stupid shit. Because really, everything you do between midnight and 2 is complete bullshit. I didnít even play games in those hours, because I often donít feel like gaming anymore past 11 or so. So instead I watched series which I can watch perfectly well at a slower pace and at more appropriate times, or I surfed the web aimlessly. I didnít even make sense to me, because I certainly wasnít having any fun so late at night, so why the hell was I doing it anyway? So I didnít have to go to sleep yet? Am I fucking twelve?
On top of that, to make up for lost time I was often working until pretty late, up to 9PM or later if need be. Again, not the best time to be doing important stuff for school. Trust me, trying to make sense of a Court of Justice case at 9PM is no fun. During the day, I lost focus easily due to tiredness, and Iíve even gained some weight in the past months due to what I call ďstress-eatingĒ. I started noticing that not only was I not benefiting from my daily routine, it was actively making me unhappy. I got sick and tired of it.
I wouldíve gone with ďHeal Round!Ē, because Xenoblade, but I was worried no one would get it.
So starting this week Iíve decided to cut the bullshit and actually get myself back on track. Now Iím going to sleep at midnight on the dot, get up (and I do mean get up) at 9 or 10 and try my best to start doing things at normal times. Iím still not exactly where I want to be, but even after just a week I can already see it having some effect. I was noticeably less tired this week, and I got some more work done than usual (although there is still room for improvement here, Iím hoping to see that as I go along). Iím having more fun during my evenings now, because since I start with my work earlier I can also quit earlier to play games. I have the time to play video games for a good few hours before I turn in for the night, meaning that I actually go to sleep right after something I genuinely enjoy, rather than after some stupid crap I only do for the sake of it.
Itís only been a week so far, but Iím already seeing some changes in my life, I already feel better, which encourages me all the more to keep this up. And like I said last week, my family has a reputation of being headstrong, and letís just say I can live up to my familyís reputation if I set my mind to it. When I get something like this in my head, thereís no getting it out. With that hopefully I can get myself where I want to be, with the strength of mind I used to have to produce quality stuff. Because really, anything I fuck up now will be fucked up forever. In two years tops I want to start a PhD, and I would never forgive myself if I screwed myself out of that opportunity. Anyway, all seems to be going well, and Iím interested in seeing the kind of effect this may have on my life if I keep it up. Who knows, maybe I'll even find time to put some blogs out!
Oh, and I think I asked a girl out yesterday. Iím not even sure, I donít understand these things.
Anyway, with the heavy stuff out of the way, let's talk teh vidya. From the games Iíve found new time for to play, thereís one in particular Iíd like to mention, because it was a lot more fun than I imagined it would be. Other games Iím sure to discuss in another timeís Shadeisms. The one Iíd like to talk about now is The Book of Unwritten Tales.
The Book of Unwritten Tales is a relatively straightforward Point & Click adventure game set in a fantasy world like the ones we all know and love. Thereís Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Trolls, whatever the hell Critter is, and all the other things no fantasy story can do without. It has gorgeous artwork in the background, and the characters are all very likeable. Thereís a Gnome who against all odds wants to be a mage, a sexy Elf with her rather condescending bird friend and a Human airship pilot who most definitely isnít Han Solo. Nor is his hairy unintelligible animal friend Chewy, for that matter. Not at all.
Apart from this, the game features some great moments and has razorsharp writing. There are lots of little references and jokes, but they donít come from such a wide range of backgrounds that it starts to feel like a Family Guy episode. Itís the kinds of jokes that appeal to me, focusing a lot on fantasy tropes and LotR, RPGs, some meta-video game jokes and even a hint of Star Wars and Indiana Jones.
One joke I think particularly well represents the references in this game is in one of the earliest chapters, and in fact the very first line said in the demo. Upon being asked his name, the Gnome Wilbur Weathervane can choose from three responses. He can just give his real name, but he can also choose:
1 Ė Call me mister Underhill 2 Ė My name is Wilbrush Weatherwood, and I want to become a pirate!
Upon choosing a name, the town guard will refer to you by that name through the rest of the adventure, which is a nice touch. But really, it quite struck me that the game, in one quick conversation, managed to touch upon both LotR and Monkey Island without it feeling forced. There are also great gags on gamersí expense, or dealing with video games in general. Thereís one occasion where the local mage teacher and some other dude are too busy playing an MMORPG set in our world where ďGet a tax refundĒ is the most amazingly intricate quest ever, and another where one of the characters has to grind endlessly to get to ďBlacksmithing level 98Ē in order to reforge an important sword. A particularly memorable moment was when I came across the Grim Reaper, who was sulking in the corner because, wellÖ.
And indeed, one of the puzzles involves getting Death to kill you. There are lots of clever little things like these, and while I guess that is sort of standard fare for the Point & Click genre, it really does come out well in The Book of Unwritten Tales.
As for the puzzles, they really arenít that difficult, but I kind of appreciate that in a way. At least it makes sure that they never become obtuse or ridiculous (well, some are ridiculous, but in the good way); so far all of them have been relatively straightforward, and Iím nearing the end of the game. Even when you do get stumped, you can simply press the space bar, and the game will helpfully highlight every object you can interact with. On top of that, every clickable object that isnít useful in the current situation will become unclickable after youíve examined it once. So really, in the end thereís not much you can do wrong here. One thing I did notice about the puzzles is that many of them can be ďsolvedĒ before youíve even found them. What I mean is that you can often pick up objects that you really shouldnít be needing right now, and even combine them with others. At one point I was walking around with a pink pom-pom on a string for a good hour or so before I came to the puzzle where I needed it. Still, a simple gripe like that canít spoil my fun.
In short, you could compare The Book of Unwritten Tales to the Sam & Max Seasons, although it is a bit easier. Personally though, I think I prefer this because of its art and clever writing. Not that Sam & Max doesnít have the latter, but those games tend to recycle the ďMax is a psychopathĒ-joke a bit too often for my tastes. Anyway, if you like point and click games with good writing, some clever gaming and RPG jokes and amazing art direction, give this one a shot. Now all thatís left for me to do is get Critter Chronicles, the prequel. Doesnít look like that oneís got the sexy Elf in it thoughÖ
This month's bloggers wanted prompt is something we stole. You see, by stealing this idea, you have no idea how truly inept I actually am. By pretending to know what I'm doing, I have clearly used my ill-gotten status to meet such big-time celebrities as Darlington Woolie "Pie Stealer" Madden or Sara from [insert pixel indie game studio here].
This month's bloggers wanted was inspired by the internal enjoyment we had at reading TheBlondeBass' promoted blog on faking conversational anime knowledge. And now it seems as good a time as ever to pretend to know what's going on since the new Fate/Grand Order game launched and qtoid is talking about it. I am a big fan of the character design of Artoria in the blue dress, or Artoria in the suit, or Artoria in the red dress. But seriously, we enjoyed the format so much that we want to ask the community for their own ideas at faking it at all sorts of things.
But this prompt is not just for anime, of course. The video game industry is fractured with all sorts of niche interests that only an insane rich person with no job could realistically know everything about. This month's bloggers wanted is about taking a subject you want to offer advice on faking knowledge about in order to help the greater community, for better or for worse. If this doesn't sound serious, don't worry, you're not supposed to take it seriously. You don't have to be an expert in whatever you talk about any more than Bass is an expert in anime.
I seriously don't know if that was a compliment or an insult.
Offer advice on anything you can expand your mind on. Want to help people get into character action games? The more Ss you put into its grading system, the cooler it is! Want to convince people to get into the Neptunia series? Just say "Nep-Nep!" and you're all set to convince people of your technical knowledge! Can you get someone into RTS game by just talking about your APM? Someone's bound to believe some random technical jargon you made up!
To get started, start a blog and title it "Faking it: [your blog title here]." Then you can be as serious or facetious as you want as you provide advice on any number of things: learning how to play fighting games, trying a long-running franchise you've probably neglected, or even explaining a game's timeline. Heck, you can probably seriously try on that last one and we still wouldn't believe you.
Good luck this month. Only true cowards rely on facts. Real heroes pretend to know what they're doing!
Good Morning/Evening/Yesterday, my Friends/Robots/INSERT WAIFU HERE,
More or less a week ago, the Master Gaming List turned one year old. I had a speech prepared, but the blog editor ate it four or five times over the last few days, so I'm kind of winging it now.
Despite all of the threatening and cajoling I initially made to get you all on the list, I never imagined I'd still be adding names a year later (and by "you all", I mostly mean GajKnight). It was kind of a ridiculous undertaking at first, trying to make a semi-permanent, easily-updatable list of everyone's contact info. I'm not even sure what everyone was being hyped over last year that got me to do this.
That said, I'm glad it came together, and this list has lead to many other things for me on Destructoid; whether it was me becoming our laziest, cuddliest Community Manager, or our laziest, cuddliest Reviews-type-person, I have always enjoyed the full love and support of this community.
In thanks, and with the assistance of quite a few others, I've gathered up a number of game keys to give away to you all.
I've never run a contest before, so let's keep things simple. Write me a haiku about your favorite game.
1. The haiku must not include the title of the game.
2. I will accept any other form of structured poetry if you are unable to haiku but can iambic pantameter (you monster).
3. Please state what key you are going for, and a backup if that one is taken (admittedly, it's quantity over variety here)
4. The tentative end date of the contest will be August 13th, and will be bumped at least once during that time.
-Aporia: Beyond The Valley (Multiple Keys)
-Citadel: Forged With Fire (Multiple Keys)
Thank you to all 282 of you who have made the Master List a successful project over the past year! I will continue updating it into the forseeable future.
Community Announcements We have a Twitter account! @CblogRecaps Help us spread the word out on these recaps and in turn, everyone's blogs too! (These tweets appear on Dtoid's official accounts as well)