5. Ghost of Tsushima
4. Spelunky 2
1. Trials of Mana
Ghostrunner spoke to the speedrunner in me, particularly given its fast-paced gameplay that requires quick yet precise plays in order to beat each level. Said levels ramp up the intensity with each new enemy type possessing more at their disposal and more enemies to take out. Even in terms of fast-paced gameplay, Spelunky 2 maintained what had made the original an indie classic, with a focus on efficiency and adaptability that few games got right... except for Hades, although Hades was less arcade-y in its roguelike approach and more like a full-blown game. Hades having an utterly captivating story and that distinct Supergiant Games style certainly helped it edge out slightly over Spelunky 2.
This year certainly had its fast-paced hits, but it also had its larger, more meticulous cuts. Ghost of Tsushima shares with Hades its richly detailed storytelling, but stands out due to its slick hack and slash gameplay - particularly during its intense boss fights that err heavily towards the samurai simulation that Sekiro (the one of like two games from last year that was a hit) was wont to be. Speaking of cool old-school Japanese shit, Nioh 2 maintains what the original Nioh had - essentially, if Ninja Gaiden and Dark Souls had a baby together, resulting in a more meticulously-paced hack and slash that still brought me right on back to the golden age of that style.
Trials of Mana may seem like a controversial pick on the surface. For me, it represents everything that this year had gotten right - it's a fast-paced action game with larger than life boss fights and a goddamn charming storyline that, even with some not-so great voice acting, manages to be highly captivating throughout. It being a remake of Seiken Densetsu 3 - the best of the series, don't @ me - likely helps this judgement, but ultimately, what seals the deal is the overall replayability. The game's a good ~18 hours long - the longest on this list, definitely - and yet I could go and play this game many times since it's so goddamn fun to go through. I wasn't sure, though, whether it would be fair to place Trials of Mana above Ghostrunner. Both are banner great games that represent everything I love in games, but what cinched it out for me was length, which makes the former a real bang for my buck and absolutely the game of the year for the first year of the new decade.
(if there is any demand for me to write up lists for 2015-2019, I'll be more than happy to write up those lists)
a couple of guys and I started a project that aims to decode the rest of the SRAM format from SoE. Currently ~ 54% are still unknown.
For a full-capable savegame editor mostof the format needs to be decoded.
Community help is required for this project. The more people participate, the faster and better the results.
For this purpose, an open source tool for comparing SRAM (* .srm) files was developed.
If someone is interested in participating in the project,
they can find out more on the project page.
Forum | Discord
Thank you so much. SecretOfEvermore
Discord is the easiest way to communicate over voice, video, and text. Chat, hang out, and stay close with your friends and communities.
You can (almost) always change something bad to something better.
"It's 5 am April 24th 2018 and I've gotten next to nowhere since last time I blogged. I feel like my life is at a standstill. I'm still enjoying life as usual of course. However, I still have no job.
Listening to PH8 to clear my mind. Prepared to do it all over tomorrow like today.
Move forward with your life if you can. Being stuck is no good.
Life requires maintenance, and I'm off-schedule.
I'm going to bed.
So, on Christmas Day, the following family will be at the table......
Auntie Stella & Uncle Jameson, with cousin Bailey, Malibu & Smirnoff, & the twins Gin & Tonic,
Scottish cousins Johnny Walker and Glen Moray, & from across the pond, bringing some old fashioned southern comfort with them my old cousins, Jack Daniels and Jim Beam,
My French mate Remy Martin & his friend Pernod, my Spanish mate Jose Cuevro & his cousin Martini, & Bianco, & her daughter tequila my Greek friends Ouzo & Sambuca,
My friends Brandy, Fosters, Snowball & mickey slim,
My Neighbours Captain Morgan & the Grants, the Bells, & the Cointreau's, & the Henneseys,
Uncle Charlie cant make an appearance though.....not good around the kids... although Auntie Stella is on a warning!!
My video about it- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6q-hj073EuA
Links to grab them and for more info---
Epic Games Store- https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/
Epic Games News- https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/news/the-holiday-sale-returns-on-december-17-plus-15-free-games
Epic Games Tweet- https://twitter.com/EpicGames/status/1337064849285767170
The Epic Holiday Sale returns on December 17. Unwrap great deals and prepare for 15 Days of Free Games!
GOG.com (Prison Architect free to claim offer ends on Dec 19th, 2020! Claim to add it to your library today) – https://www.gog.com/game/prison_architect
GameSpot PlayStation games news- https://www.gamespot.com/articles/playstation-plus-free-games-for-december-2020/1100-6484877/
December 2020 PS Plus Free Games
Available December 1 to January 4
• Just Cause 4
• Rocket Arena
• Worms Rumble
• Bugsnax - PS5 version only
GameSpot Xbox Games news- https://www.gamespot.com/articles/xbox-games-with-gold-december-2020-grab-3-free-games-right-now/1100-6484825/
Xbox Games With Gold For December 2020
• The Raven Remastered: Available December 1 to 31 (Xbox One)
• Bleed 2: Available December 16 to January 15 (Xbox One)
• Stacking: December 16 to 31 (Xbox 360)
As always, both of December's free Xbox 360 games are playable on Xbox One thanks to backwards compatibility. Xbox Series X or Series S owners will also be able to download and play all four titles on their new consoles.
Check out great freebies from GOG, Epic Games Store for PC gamers, and PlayStation Plus & Xbox Game Pass games for console gamers as we head towards the end ...
Trying to decide who was the one in charge.
"I should be in charge," said the brain, "Because I run all the body's systems, so without me nothing would happen."
"I should be in charge," said the blood, "Because I circulate oxygen all over so without me you'd all waste away."
"I should be in charge," said the stomach," Because I process food and give all of you energy."
"I should be in charge," said the legs, "because I carry the body wherever it needs to go."
"I should be in charge," said the eyes, "Because I allow the body to see where it goes."
I should be in charge," said the rectum, "Because I'm responsible for waste removal."
All the other body parts laughed at the rectum
And insulted him,
So in a huff, he shut down tight.
Within a few days, the brain had a terrible headache,
The stomach was bloated,
The legs got wobbly,
The eyes got watery,
And the blood was toxic..
They all decided that the rectum should be the boss
The Moral of the story?
Even though the others do all the work...
An Arse Hole is usually in charge
I cannot see a future for myself here. The main remnants of the community and I have different opinions on pretty much everything. It is to the point where I no longer feel like I belong anywhere. Some of it is my own fault. I'll attest to that.
In short. I'm behind. I'm so far behind in so many areas. Technology. Social cues. Conversation. General knowledge. Bringing myself up to speed is futile. The best way forward for me is to go away.
I'm noticed a strain on my relationship with many of you who I called friends. Friends became people that didn't mind me being around. Acquaintances became people who didn't want me around. The rest of you didn't need to change your views since you already don't like me.
So that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to change my password to something impossible to remember and log out permanently. Why bother writing this? I guess there's still a few of you that I don't mind and if you care enough, I just one last "au revoir."
On one hand we don't remember the time we will cease to exist and on the other hand we don't remember the time we hadn't existed. We pretend as though we have been here forever, earth our home. While we full well know there was once a time in which we did not exist.
Imagine you suddenly awake in a boat with no idea as to where it's heading. What will you do? Ask questions. Where am I heading? Why am I here? How did I get here? Yet on the boat of life we've become so engrossed on the things within the boat itself that we've forgotten we're even on a boat. No, you did not always exist, nor will you continue to do so. You've awakened to life just as you would be awakened on a random boat. Don't get distracted by the boat itself, for it is insignificant compared to the vast ocean. Figure out your destination before the journey ends.
I don’t really know what to do here anymore. I don’t feel like running my little games. I don’t want to talk to half of the active members on here. I just don’t know anymore. I keep logging on because of habit I guess. I spend downtime at work just refreshing a page that isn’t going to have anything new on it. I get maybe a few notifications a day. I just wonder what the point of all this is anymore.
I know I’m not really wanted around some parts either. It might be best that I get a new hobby away from here. There’s only like 2 or 3 people I like here anyway.
I say this a lot but this time I really just don’t have a clue what more to do to reengage myself here.
COVID-19 has dramatically increased my free time in recent months, giving me an opportunity to catch up on a lot of things near the bottom of my personal backlog. The pandemic - and all the disruption it's caused - has also messed with my sense of time, and it's inspired me to reflect on some things.
There's no denying it: Old blog posts are seriously awkward! Especially things you wrote about when your age started with "1".
I was smarter than a lot of kids - or at least I had impeccable grammar and could fool people into thinking I possessed brain cells! However, I also didn't have a particularly vibrant social life (being home-schooled and living in a neighborhood full of senior citizens isn't too good for this), and I didn't have a clear idea about what I wanted to do next. I was also under the illusion that someone on the Internet actually cared about what I wrote!
I've given some thought to deleting my old blog posts - I don't think anyone's reading them, and since I often talked about politics, I worry about people digging up old posts and quoting things out of context. On the other hand, deleting old content feels like erasing history, and I probably haven't posted anything too horrible by the standards of Ancient Internet Posts.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Awkwardness aside, blogging is still a beautiful thing. While blogging certainly isn't dead (WordPress is the most popular content management system on the Internet, after all), most people doing personal blogging have abandoned it in favor of newer forms of social media. While modern social media is perceived as "easier" in some ways, there's a charm from old-school blogs and forums that's lacking in the generic blue-themed walled gardens of newer social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Blogs are also a lot more searchable than video content.
More importantly, blog posts are usually at least a few paragraphs in length. And that's something we need more than ever. While brevity has its place, one of the reasons why places like Twitter are so toxic is they thrive on controversy - when you only have 140 (or 280) characters to work with, you really can't back up your opinions with solid facts, so short, incendiary posts tend to be the most popular ones. (Politicians, including the current leader of the free world, are not helping in this regard, either!)
I miss the older era of the online world - back when the Internet was more experimental, playful, decentralized, text-based, and desktop-first. I prefer small forums and blogs run by hobbyists, rather than huge social networks focused on selling data to make Silicon Valley rich.
It also feels that the hobbyist user is getting squeezed out of the modern online world. When people aren't coming to blows about politics, everything's about building a brand and monetizing a product. A decade ago, the online world was more experimental and playful, and I miss that. I'm not putting down folks who earn some spending money - or a living - from their online presence. But I also think it's great to have some spaces where people are focused on having fun and not worrying about building a brand.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I miss the optimistic (and naive!) spirit of the older online world. I miss the days when people thought the Internet and social media were going to bring us together, not drive us apart; when the Information Age would usher in a new age of freedom and democracy, instead of becoming a tool for spreading misinformation. And with more people using their real names online, things can get a lot more vicious.
Now, I should be clear - the online world of the aughts had plenty of toxic attitudes. We've also made some progress - faster Internet speeds, far prettier cameras, and a stronger focus on accessibility are all positive steps. However, I miss the days when the online world was more carefree and upbeat.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
As previously mentioned, reading old blog posts is seriously awkward! Still, it's interesting to see how things have changed - or haven't.
December 2012: This is still an interesting post! I was wondering whether the Internet truly improve our lives. Modern digital technology now touches pretty much every aspect of our lives, and it's not feasible (or desirable) to try to eliminate PCs, smart phones, and high-speed Internet from our lives. Still, my conclusion to this post does a great job of summarizing how I still feel about this topic:
quote "Vinny"November 2012: More recent politicians have paid lip service to the declining state of many small towns/Rust Belt big cities. Whether any of their actions have been successful is another story!Even though I've always used the Internet in a relatively responsible way, I find my productivity, creativity, and personal sanity go in a positive direction when I keep my "plugged in" time to a healthy limit.
April 2010: There's been an increase in Black representation on TV commercials lately, though I still don't see a lot of Hispanic or Asian people. (That said, about the only TV I watch is football and baseball, which may not be a representative sample!)
March 2010: For the first and only time in my life, someone actually listened to one of my ideas. One of my proposals for fixing the old Bowl Championship Series for deciding the college football national champion is exactly what the modern College Football Playoff is now. I think the CFP is a very good model, and I hope they don't don't dilute it by adding another round.
August 2009: My town still isn't laid out well! In some ways it's probably gotten even worse.
May 2009: I wrote about a local leader of a religious organization who said and did some not-very-good things. A decade later, this same organization ran into dire financial straits, in part because they paid their leaders way too much instead of maintaining their buildings (or divesting property they no longer needed). There are so many ways this story could've had a happier ending.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
In other news, the pandemic has given me a lot more time to play games - and make some games of my own. Working from home and losing the 45-minute commute each way does wonders! So that's one of the few silver linings we've had in this crazy year.
Maybe I'll write some more stuff later. Or maybe I won't. Either way, thanks for reading this! I hope you're doing well and staying safe and all that good stuff.
More versions available at my Pixiv and FB pages
The purpose of the title is that's literally what the first Sims for console, or as I'm playing it on PS2, is. It's a test of patience and strong will. As a kid growing up, I've owned every Sims game for the PS2... other than the first one. So around in 2017, I decided to get it to FINALLY complete my collection! And how did I like it? Well, when I first played it in 2017, I only played a small amount -- not even completing the first level (Mom's house) before deciding to stop and not picking the game up again until 2020. Why am I playing it now? Since I own all the Sims games for PS2, I decided to create a challenge for myself and that's to 100% every Sims game for the PS2.
I regretted this decision and that's all because of this game.
Although it plays very similar to it's sequel, The Sims: Bustin' Out. It's far worse. While The Sims: Bustin' Out shares many of the same issues with this first one, which makes it not very fun either. The Sims is almost unbearable. The Sims (2002) does not have the same charm as Bustin' Out. Its graphics are a slight downgrade. The music is TERRIBLE. It doesn't share the same zaniness or iconic and recognizable soundtrack as the other Sims games have. In fact, its soundtrack resembles free stock music. Nothing creative, just boring. Unlike the advantage Bustin' Out does have, The Sims is lacking anything fun in gameplay wise. There's no man-eating plants, no work station to build your own gnomes, no killing your sim by deleting the pool as they jump off the ladder. Literally nothing fun for your sims to interact with. And the game... the game's "Get a Life" mode is sheer hell. I love a challenging game, most people (or "gamers") do. However, The Sims isn't even a satisfying kind of challenge. It's the TEDIOUS, boring kind. Your sims needs is the biggest flaw. The need meters go down FAR TOO QUICKLY. And the game expects you to beat it by: Getting promotions, and completing the goals for each household. It feels almost impossible to: Gain skill points, complete goals, clean the house, make friends, go to work, AND keep your sim happy. It's too many things to juggle at once when the needs drop quicker than flies. This could've been easier had their been days (like Saturday, Monday, etc. etc.) so that way you don't have to go to work literally EVERY DAY. Which your Sim spends so much time at work, you have to take care of your needs again... and also if the need meter just went down GRADUALLY. This is a problem they fixed in the later sims games, notably Urbz and The Sims 2. I recall completing those games and the need system never being that big of a deal.
And the fly sound effect from not cleaning the house because of dirty plates... it could drive me to insanity. More effective than the Chinese water torture.
I almost want to just SKIP this game and move on to Bustin' Out. Which has the same flaws, but also has some pros, at least. But I feel like I would be cheating the challenge I gave myself. So, alas, I must endure.
This game is lacking: Style, fairness, good music, and anything creative. Honestly, it feels JUST like real life. Never enough to do in one day... hard to keep up with everything... you're always miserable. And who wants to play a game that's frustrating in a real life manner? That's just depressing!