Games of the Year 2020

Ahh, another year gone by.

20201226111004_1

It’s that time again, for me to write up my favorite games in a somewhat unstructured article. I did not play very many different games this year, but I did find a few gems that I really enjoyed a lot. These are presented in chronological order, not in ranking.

Continue reading “Games of the Year 2020”

Cyberpunk 2077 Review: It’s Mostly Fine

I am sitting on a motorcycle parked behind a cab that is being controlled by a sentient AI run amok. It is one of many such AI that I have tracked down as part of a long term sidequest involving a sentient AI cab company trying to bring its “children” back into the fold.

20201209205458_1

The Delamain AI is subjecting me to an endless litany of warmed-over Portal jokes, using the same kind of voice modulation that GladOS did in that game, over a decade ago. There’s a line about cake, references to testing, it is absolutely awful and I sigh out loud while I wait for it to finally be over. Continue reading “Cyberpunk 2077 Review: It’s Mostly Fine”

Chapter 85: The Fountain

Alright, back into the weeds we go.

A still from the 2006 film The Fountain, unrelated to this post
Not that The Fountain

This week’s chapter is, as they say, a doozy. Not that it is especially long, but it is dense, and comes to a surprising conclusion at the end. We’re back to pure non-narrative stuff, pontification on the nature of whales, in this case a specific part of their biology: the breath. This one requires a bit of cutting through the underbrush of 19th century vocabulary, but if you can manage that, it’s quite fun. Continue reading “Chapter 85: The Fountain”

Chapter 84: Pitchpoling

Ah, after a couple of chapters of non-narrative philosophizing, we get back to a bit of whale hunting.

pitch2

This one is kind of tricky, I’m not sure if I’m really going to be able to wring a lot of philosophical meaning out of it, but there is a mystery to be solved. Namely: what the heck is pitchpoling, actually? Let’s get into it. Continue reading “Chapter 84: Pitchpoling”

Chapter 83: Jonah Historically Regarded

Man, sometimes this book is just fun to read.

jonah3

 

There are many chapters that are a slog, a real downright trudge through sentences chock-a-block with antiquated vocabulary, but others? A real joy to sit down and digest after a long week in this, the longest year of my life. Let’s get into it! Continue reading “Chapter 83: Jonah Historically Regarded”

Chapter 82: The Honor and Glory of Whaling

You’ll never guess what this chapter is about!

glory2

Ah, sometimes this book can get a bit repetitive. But it can be hard to tell if that’s the book’s fault, or mine for reading it so many times. I would say that Moby Dick is a kind of… mixed masterpiece. It is not a sort of perfect clockwork thing, where every spring and cog fits together in some flawless and immaculate design. No, it’s more of a great pile of ideas, rudely shaped into something transcendent. Here is another piece, for your perusal. Continue reading “Chapter 82: The Honor and Glory of Whaling”

Reflections in Reflections of Crystal: Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers and the Nature of Fiction

Most metafiction is bad, I find.

20201106190722_1

Almost always, when authors start getting into the weeds on the nature of reality, twisting things around and trying to play with the idea of characters within a story knowing that they’re fictional, I find it incredibly boring. It serves as a kind of excuse for not doing the hard work of writing actual characters or events with meaning. You simply point at the fourth wall and say “look at it! I’m doing something interesting here!” Continue reading “Reflections in Reflections of Crystal: Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers and the Nature of Fiction”

Chapter 81: The Pequod Meets The Virgin

Enough of this reflection and philosophizing, it’s time for more action!

virgin2

I do wonder if Melville was a bit self-conscious in writing this book, aware that he was a bit too heavy on the high-minded discourse, when his audience was expecting more of a rollicking action-adventure yarn. After all, his most successful previous books, Typee and Omoo were more in that vein. Thus, the sudden shift in tone here, to a good ol’ fashioned whale hunt. Continue reading “Chapter 81: The Pequod Meets The Virgin”

Becoming Comfortable With Death: A Beginners’ Guide to Tanking in Final Fantasy XIV

I thought I’d try my hand at something different: A bit of informative writing.

tank3

After all, these Moby Dick posts are fun for me, but they do get a bit repetitive. I would write a review of a game, but there’s really only one game I’ve been playing for the past few months: Final Fantasy XIV, the second massively multiplayer entry in the venerable fantasy RPG series from Square Enix. So, I’m going to write about something I have become something of an expert in: tanking. Continue reading “Becoming Comfortable With Death: A Beginners’ Guide to Tanking in Final Fantasy XIV”

Chapter 80: The Nut

The jokes, they write themselves.

nuts-1

Now that the choking, toxic smoke in the air of Seattle has been replaced with the more traditional water, I find myself in a writerly mood once again. And a readerly one, I suppose. A torrential downpour outside does tend to push one towards cozier pastimes, I find. Continue reading “Chapter 80: The Nut”