Last week was something of a leap week. It never happened. It’s apart of a month when, considered from a work and paycheck point of view, five weeks transpire. It’s also 2016, which is a leap year, so we got a day that did not exist. Well, for all intents and purposes, the entire week did not occur as far as I’m concerned.
Something happened that I have lost. I know not quite what occurred to make me loose so much time, but it happened, and I’m here with a bottle of liquor to tell the tale.
I spent a great deal of time playing Fire Emblem Fates–both Conquest and Birthright, the latter of which I’m focusing first. It’s a wonderful time strategizing your troops around the map, bonding troops together in hope of bountiful fruit. That means making them fuck so that they produce cool children COUGH AHEM EHHHH #flem #sick #vomit.
It’s a great DS game. Especially when you enjoy multi tasking.
But I slipped from one battle field to the next. One strategy and anime, the next Diablo and Cthulhu.
So when Diablo 3 came out people were disappointed. Rightfully so. The Auction House was fucked. The skills and classes were dumbed down. The game was unplayable on release night. Then you hear the phrase “It’s the true sequel to Diablo 2,” when people talk about games like Torchlight 2, which is a great game that I cannot get into. Enter Grim Dawn, the next sequel to Diablo 2.
The developers come from the team that developed Titan Quest, a game much in line with ARPG formula. Which is a RPG like Diablo. Loot. Large groups of Mobs. Character progression. Isometric. Mouse clicks. PC. You know. Indeed, you do know. If you don’t, then now you do. Learning.
The game has a much darker tone than Diablo 3 or Torchlight. The games visuals are slightly more realistic than the latter two, with a personal feeling story about betrayal and survival instead of PRIME EVILS FUCK ITS DIABLO SAVE THE WORLD. It’s a story worth listening to, and reading about, wrapped in lore equally worth reading and listening to.
The combat is great to, due to character building. Classes in this game can, and will, cross to create new classes, which creates replayability and variety while giving the player interesting tools to dispatch enemies with. I play a roguelike character with tons of buffs active at all times and the ability to teleport around, giving me the ability to constantly misdirect the flow of giant mobs. It’s fun, and feels active in the way Torchlight does not, and the way console Diablo 3 does not. Those are games I can sit back and chill while playing. With this game I don’t want to chill, because I have fun going fuckwild on bitches. I appreciate that. You also learn skills through a secondary skill tree, and you can learn skills by augmenting your weapons in certain ways.
Also the atmosphere is cool No I did not play much Path of Exile My vision began to fade until I was wearing fucking pig tails with a hoe in my hand For the garden you nut I was a farmer How Well let me tell you
This picture shows my character fishing. It’s a farming game. You can fish too, dumbass.
Harvest Moon is a cool game but the franchise sucks because almost every entry sucks fucks out of a garbage can because they’re trash understand did you even get my roguelike joke up there it wasn’t even a joke and it surely doesn’t qualify as a pun but do you think I care
Stardew Valley is crack. I love watching people play the game, I love playing the game, I love watching people play the game while I also play the game. It’s intoxicating to, on harvest day, reap your crops, sell them, and gain thousands of dollars for your hard work. The feeling of discovery in the game, of figuring out what works over what doesn’t, brings back memories of early Minecraft. It’s a well designed game front to back, with amazing music highlighting a soundtrack of atmospheric background noise. The upgrade path is satisfying, creating the illusion that you as a person are going somewhere. You’re not going anywhere you damn fool, you’re playing a video game. But while playing this game, you don’t have to think about how you’re not getting anything productive done, because it’s a video game ABOUT being productive. It’s adorable and you will feel adorable while playing it. If that crushes your idea of your own masculinity then you are a piece of shit.
Speaking of pieces of shit, I shall now review Devan for a second time.
The sequel of Devan is weird in a really awestriking way. You know how the first one felt lacking in the story department, was serviceable yet mediocre visually, and shines through with gameplay? Well the sequel is a fucking visual novel. Like, why throw out the only exceptional element of your game in favor of improving what you got wrong the first time? This either ends in complete disaster, or surprisingly insane genius.
Luckily it was the latter.
The story follows a young man devan who has to fight a bear in the snowy lands of Texas. He discovers several choices along the way that you, the player, must take, and they are all hard choices that show up as quick time events. I hate quick time events. But the way the game blasts them in your face, with little to no time to respond, is amazing. You don’t even really get to choose mentally. You just feverishly shove your face in the screen waiting for those quick time events to pop up and then you fucking mash whichever button you see first. Because if you make no choice, you die. Visual Novel with death? Yeah sure, I don’t know.
I’ve never played a visual novel quite like Devan 2. I have never played a Visual Novel. Is it a pronoun? Is this real? Are we really alive?
Devan 2 starts strong and ends strong. You start as a boy and end up as an alien. That’s pretty cool, and the pathway to get there is equally as cool. There’s a moment where you have to watch Devan reach into a blender to grab a carrot, and his father walks into the room to turn on the blender and cut off his hand. You spend several chapters wiping blood all over the damn place, then having to clean up your own streaks of rusty watery human juice. It’s everywhere, so this is fucking impossible, no matter what brand of cleaner you choose for Devan to use. For not complying with proper hygiene, your father then kills you. Then you come back as a robot to finish the job. Robots don’t bleed, so you eventually clean up everything no matter which Swiffer you choose. Devan’s Dad is overjoyed at this point. He hugs Devan, and pets his robot frame. This section taught me a lot about my own life, and I’m only spoiling it because the game is so long that this entire section, about twenty chapters long, is minuscule. And each section is dripping with quality you don’t see anywhere else in the video gaming world.
There’s a part where you punch a shark with your robot hand from twenty feet away while it flies down from Saturn, because that shark insulted your girl friend. That’s cool, and honestly it makes Devan look like a badass far more than him becoming a fucking lion boy in the first game.
Remember when I mentioned the quick time events? I fucking hate quick time events. Devan 2 gets a 0/10 throw it away as fast as possible but you must experience it because it’s so amazing it transcends video games. You get to see Devan shower. So many times. So bring a sock or a shirt or something you can deposit your seed into I give Devan 2 a 2/10. I wasn’t completely sold upon the onset of this video game, but toward the end I was in tears. If crying interferes with your masculinity then fuck you you’re a piece of shit. I give Devan 2 a 4/10. I loved the environments, the hand crafted cod piece that came with the game, the brilliant score composed of nothing but spoons. Literally, there’s not music that isn’t just some jackass hitting his fuckin’ knee with a pair of spoons. Masterful. I give Devan 2 a 6 out of 10. It wasn’t a perfect game, but my ass bled because of how happy I was. That doesn’t happen to you? Maybe you never ate a Taco Bell. Because of how many hair styles you can choose for your Devan, I want to give this game a 9/10, but I’ll settle with 8/10 because the boxart for the video game sucked like Niagara Falls. What does that mean? I don’t know, but during the entire experience playing this masterpiece I was wet. 10/10.
Try as I might, I cannot peel back my skull to inspect my brain. I wish I could. How, mind you, does an entire week vanish from comprehensive memory? All I have are these video game experiences. All I have is a journal, written from cover to back cover, in Latin. I fucking hate Latin. I give the language 0/10 because it sounds like Satan. Ech.
Here’s to a month of stuff.
The last Samurai