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January 6, 2014

Dear Reader,

Who knew that temperatures went below 0?

I remember once in NYC we had a -2 degree wind chill.  Not an actual temperature, mind you, just the wind chill.  It was the first time I’d truly been uncomfortably cold.

It’s -16 here today, with a windchill near -40.  Good lord.

So I’m bundled up inside, playing a lot of computer games.  In fact, I finished a lot in the last few days.  The finishing is relevant because so often I don’t finish games.  For one, I finished Mirror’s Edge.  The last few levels were a pain, a ton of trying and retrying even though I felt like I was doing the same things over and over.  However, I have to admit the ending was satisfying and very cinematic.  So overall, it was worth what I paid and the endless suffering of not being able to tell what I was doing wrong, but only barely.

I also finished both the core Shadowrun Returns campaign as well as a handful of user generated campaigns.  All were thoroughly enjoyable.  I felt like Shadowrun got back to a more primal time of RPGs where multiple solutions were available to problems instead of just hopping on the rails and shooting your way out.  There was a great depth of character design options, story options, and strategic options, and I enjoyed exploring multiple outcomes from some of them.  It’s definitely a game that gives you your money’s worth.

I finished Van Helsing, too.  The early game was excellent, and my buddy and I were plowing through it, enjoying every step of the way.  We only stopped because a patch introduced a bug that prevented us from moving forward.  Then we picked up Path of Exile and didn’t look back.  I needed a PoE break, though, because nearly dying in hardcore in these super-tough levels had made me a little gunshy and searching for a less anxiety-producing thrill.  Van Helsing had been patched, so we went back to it.  The later game scaled incredibly to absurd levels of difficulty.  Between one board and another we went from massacring to being massacred.  Nothing overtly changed, but we died over and over on the last few boards.  The time to kill, too, got absurdly long, which made the game feel much more like a grind than it should have.  It’s too bad; so much of Van Helsing was “the best” that we’d come across, but the end game was among the worst.

Lastly, I started playing Don’t Starve.  I’d heard a lot of good things about it, and so far I’m enjoying it, but it’s tough, without a doubt.  I keep making mistakes and dying, and having to start over time and again can be a real struggle.  There’s monsters in there, too, that seem unkillable, so if one wanders into your camp in the middle of the night, you just get to kite him around for several minutes until day again, then move to a new camp site.  I assume there’s a ton of meta-game information I’m missing, but I don’t want to HAVE to go look it up; I want to try to explore and learn on my own, but that’s a huge time investment since I may learn one or two new things each game before I die.

However, I’m still excited about learning more, and I try to set goals about what I’m going to try next time.  My rabbit traps are keeping me moderately well fed, and since I made the crock pot, I’ve been doing pretty well on food.  Time to explore some of the fishing and beekeeping options, I guess.

At any rate, stay warm!


Stubborn (taurencicle)


One Comment leave one →
  1. January 6, 2014 5:51 pm

    As much as I hate New England winters, I can’t deny that being buried under a pile of blankets has helped me to get through my gaming backlog too.

    Stay warm, spring is just around the corner.

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