Play with me.

Recordkeeping: Watching Paint Dry - The Game COMPLETE

No, seriously.

So, in this Source-engine mod game thingie, you watch paint dry, in real time. Takes round about four hours. You do this in a little apartment with physics objects in it. Have fun!

Yes, there are other things you can do.
No, I am not talking about them.
Yes, I had a good time.
And saw credits.
That's critical. If you haven't seen credits, you aren't done. I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.
Moogle, Sqrl

Recordkeeping: Escape Lala 2 COMPLETE

A while back I played the first one of these, and called it "twenty minutes of puzzles, not bad".

This one was two and a half hours of puzzles and still not bad. Some are rather obtuse, and the game tracks achievements as completion, so you can finish the game but still have 85% complete marked on the in-game map. That's a little awkward!

Also the post-game puzzles are, uh. Harder.

Still. Puzzles, clicking, not bad at all. I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.
Moogle, Sqrl

Recordkeeping: Ayre and the Crystal Comet COMPLETE

One of those large, open-world sort of things, from an indie developer. I -think- I've finished this out as far as I'm likely to, so: Watching the trailer for this, reading the ad copy, you probably already know if this is for you. Dragon. Ring races. Collectables to collect. Big open world. No particular plot pressure.
It's good. That's what I wanted.

Sadly, for some reason there's a human in this and it's considered the viewpoint character. You have to dismount it from dragonback to interact with most things, and all the lore obelisks focuses on humans doing human things and how human they are, etc etc meh. I would advise the game designer consider next time leaving the human(s) out, to sharpen the focus on dragon-centered gameplay.

Also I'm not sure if I actually hit the ending, but I'm not getting any more goals and I'm not going to 100% this just to find out.

It's not bad, though. I had a good enough time with it. I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.
Bubbles

Recordkeeping: Minit COMPLETE

Xyzzy 'stop beating games for next year before it's actually next year' challenge FAILED I guess.

So the thing about Minit is that it's advertised as a game where you only have a minute to finish, which is a lie because A: it's a time loop, B: stuff you finish in one iteration carries over to the next, and C: you can unlock new bases to revive in around the world.

So you may have to play it for a minute at a time, but it'll take you considerably longer to actually play through. Took me about three hours.

Aside from that, it's basically a Zelda. In black and white. Kinda nice art. It's a good game. It's just very ... there. This was one of the most praised indie games of 2018 and nominated for a ton of awards and it's just kind of good.

Maybe some people just really enjoy black and white pixels. I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.
Lex Luthor

2021 wrap-up

And that was 2021, our year in stasis. A year where it felt like nothing happened, no progress, no movement, just a steady awkward "shouldn't something be doing something about the everything out there?" feeling, followed by the dawning realization that no, no one was going to do anything. At all, ever. Last year I called on us to shoot 2021 dead if it made any sudden moves, and it did not.

This is of course incongruous and minimalistic. People were doing things. I did things. My friends did things, some of which were very important to their hearts and comfort. Yet it just felt like a long, numb period that spread over twelve months. It honestly feels like yesterday I was playing through Halo co-op with a dear friend, and yet ... that was January.

Well. As traditional let's hit the game tally.

First, previous years in review:
2012 - 38 Complete, ?? Abandoned
2013 - 21 Complete, ?? Abandoned
2014 (No post, I had a bad year) - 29 Complete / 4 Abandoned
2015 - 67 Complete, 6 Abandoned
2016 - 44 Complete, 5 Abandoned
2017 - 102 Complete, 13 Abandoned
2018 - 88 Complete, 16 Abandoned
2019 - 44 Complete, 6 Abandoned
2020 - 30 Complete, 3 Abandoned

Which brings us to 2021, where I have 35 games tagged Complete and only 1 tagged Abandoned.

Which is interesting to me, because I feel like I'm starting to be more lenient with the Abandoned tag. It's not that I'm dropping certain games forever, I tell myself. They're on the back burner. I will get to them again. Six months later, they're still back-burnered. Normally I would sigh and write up a post for that but as I already covered it feels like no time has passed. They're really still there, floating in limbo. Just like everything and everyone else.

Lately I'm too mentally worn-down to write much. All my writing comes out in short blats on twitter where it does no one any good. I miss long-form writing but I don't have the mental space. Even this post has taken a few weeks to peck out, and look how short it is.

I don't quite know what I want out of 2022. I don't want to beg it to stop, because hey. I don't want to beg it to get back on track, because I want people to stop dying and that can only happen in safety.

Still, as always, I could pick worse people to be stuck here with. If you're reading this, you're probably someone I love and/or care about, or you're a web-scraping bot which achieved sentience. So either you're great and a major reason I'm still here at all, or you could be great someday. I'm not going to judge either way.

It feels ironic to use a five year old song for this, but as I face the dawn of 2022 soon I wonder when is 'the future' anyway? When will it get here? And then I realize I'm closing in on 40 years old and... oh, I guess it already is.

Well, damn.

[END OF YEAR] I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.
Play with me.

Recordkeeping: Titan Quest Anniversary Edition + Ragnarok + Atlantis COMPLETE

Titan Quest came back on my radar when I saw the newest expansion, "Eternal Embers", show up as just released. That's a surprising thing to see for a game that came out in 2006, but Titan Quest has always been surprisingly resistant to death, updated every handful of years with a new set of levels or a remastered edition. The new expansion played on that, requiring a character in the third-of-three difficulty modes to play through, and I started to wonder if I could get there. So I rolled up a character and started clicking on monsters.

Five or six acts and one hundred hours later, I have finished Normal difficulty with a single character, using two skill trees (Hunting and Storm) out of the ten in the expansions I own. (There's eleven if you've bought all of them.) Still, in the traditional mythological style of Sisyphus, I intend to roll that rock back up the hill. If I wanted to get to Legendary I would have to finish the entire slate again, then I'd have to get to the endgame of THAT before I could see the new stuff. There is too much, this is like eating an entire supermarket. The answer to "can I get there" is "not this year".

The animations may be stiff, the itemization a little imbalanced, and the stash size somewhat inadequate, but Titan Quest is still one of the better games of its kind out there. There's a reason it endures year after year. The formula hasn't gone away or staled. It's still Progress Quest with a GUI, but the GUI is nice and responsive. If you want hours and hours of jogging through fields whacking monsters in the face with weapons of myth and legend, it's very hard to replace this game. I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.
Moogle, Sqrl

Recordkeeping: The Henry Stickmin Collection COMPLETE

Way back in the days of Newgrounds, stick figures roamed the landscape. There was this problem, see: A lot of people wanted to be popular Flash animators but had either limited talent or simply no talent for human figures. Thus stickman animations were born, freeing up the animator from working on complex designs or backgrounds so they could focus on the motion and expressiveness of the figure.

That's not calling them low-effort, of course. Here in the Henry Stickmin Collection we find some of the higher-effort stick-figure games. Playing out like choose-your-own-adventure interactive movies, you could draw a straight line from FMV games of the past right to here. You're in a Situation. Some options appear. Pick one. Either you succeed or you fail. Keep going 'til the game is complete.

Reader, you want to fail. You want to fail dozens of times, so you can see Henry get disintegrated, blown into space, dumped in the ocean, thrown off cliffs, punched, get looked at funny and accidentally sink to the core of the Earth. The failures are why you're here, although eventually you'll want to actually finish the games in the collection too.

Grab a guide if you want the achievements, they're obscure. I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.
Moogle, Sqrl

Recordkeeping: Superliminal COMPLETE

Well this is a gem.

A puzzle game in the post-Portal style of "walk around in first-person 3D, solve puzzles that rely as much on you being clever as mechanical solutions". I got through it reasonably quickly (not enough so to trigger any speedrun achievements, mind) and enjoyed every moment.

The premise is that you're having some dream therapy and they would rather like you to wake up, but you have all these goddamn puzzles to solve and so you don't. You repeatedly don't wake up, so you can solve puzzles relating to perspective, forced-perspective, orientation, exploration, [redacted] and [super redacted]. You just really love puzzles okay.

Well that's why I was doing it, you may vary.

Absolutely time well-spent and I plan to go back and play again to listen to the developer commentary and whatnot. Strongly recommended if you enjoy dream logic, Portal-style puzzles and questioning what reality even is anymore, man. I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.
Moogle, Sqrl

Recordkeeping: Tales from the Borderlands REcomplete

Speaking of Telltale Games.
I did this one once before, but a friend reminded me of it so I streamed it at them. It was a good time!
Still my favorite Telltale, still not really an adventure game, but a fun interactive movie.
Still the best story told in the Borderlands universe, even. Man I hear Borderlands 3 screwed this particular pooch. Not even gonna find out myself. I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.
Moogle, Sqrl

Recordkeeping: Assassin's Creed Valhalla Discovery Tour COMPLETE

So...
I've marked DLC as 'complete' for game tally purposes before.
I've even marked AC DLC as completes for tally purposes!

The question is: is edutainment software DLC a 'game'?

Well, this had a narrative aspect. I spent a few hours on it. It's as much a game as half the Telltale crap I play. So, sure? Why not.

I had fun with it, anyway. Gave me some insight into... uh, Nordic Christianity, mostly. But there were a FEW other useful crumbs in there. I am no longer interested in comments on Livejournal. Please comment on Dreamwidth. Comments here will not be replied to and are unlikely to be read.