And so, 2019 is well underway and we’re already into the first day of February. With time passing by SO quickly, I thought I’d pause and look back at the month of January. (Hint: It involves a lot of Dark Souls).
I started the new year running by immediately taking on my New Year’s Resolutions to complete Dark Souls III. Progress has been slow, but steady. I have bypassed the Pontiff Sulyvahn-shaped brick wall that halted my progress back in 2017, and am currently three boss fights from not only completing the game, but defeating every boss without summoning any ‘help’. I’ve been documenting my progress with every victory and through every frustration. It’s a huge bonus as blogging about Dark Souls, at least stops me from throwing the controller across the room.
I’m hoping to finish up with Dark Souls III in a week or so (although The Nameless King is doing his upmost to ensure this doesn’t happen). I have one eye on the 26th February when Nier Automata: Game of the YoRHa is released, and so there should be window before then to slot an extra game in.
To ‘fill the gap’ before the re-release of Nier: Automata, I’m hoping to grab a smaller indie title. I’m very interested in Celeste, the 2018 indie smash hit that was shortlisted alongside the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2 and God of War for 2018’s Game of the Year. I’ve read that it’s quite difficult however, and after the countless hours spent dying in Dark Souls III, I may be tempted with something a little ‘lighter’.
Oxenfree is a definite possibility. Developed by Night School Studios I’d like to play through this graphic ‘mini-adventure’, as a taster for Afterparty which is scheduled for release later in the year. Anyone following my blog will know that this is one of my highly anticipated Four Picks for 2019. I’m *really* looking forward to a bar crawl through Hell!
I do enjoy some turn-based strategy, having invested countless hours in the Civilization and XCOM games over the last 20 years. The indie title currently in development, Overland, caught my eye recently and seems like a great strategy game to dive into without being massively invested in a complex narrative.
So my Dark Souls III playthrough blog has become as extensive as an Anor Londo staircase. By the time I’m finished, it’s likely that the four-part blog post will be approaching a 10 000 word essay! (I’m tempted to turn it into a miniature PDF ‘novella’).
In the first couple of weeks of January, I also blogged about my thoughts on the Netflix Black Mirror event Bandersnatch. As Netflix explores this area of ‘interactive television’, I thought it would be fun to compare the experience to Quantic Dream’s Detroit: Become Human; a game that I also played through over the festive period.
I thought it would also be interesting to write about ‘The Rise, Fall & Rise of the Adventure Game‘. Looking back at the history of the genre, my own personal experiences, and how the ‘point & click’ adventure game is supported more than ever by smaller teams, ultimately influenced further writing…
I decided to raise awareness about the huge amount of indie projects currently in production. I was inspired to write the initial Support Originality post after witnessing the amount of ‘specifically-sequels’ that gamers were looking forward to during on online discussion. Coupled with the Mortal Kombat 11 social marketing frenzy that was happening at the time, I started to imagine a disturbing, dystopian future where original IP and works of creativity had been banished, and gamers were forced to consume only the latest iterations of existing franchises (I should start working on that script).
I started researching the ‘indie scene’ and was astounded by the quality level and imagination evident with these small teams. I felt compelled to include as many as I could in a weekend of blogging. Feeling like I’d barely scratched the surface, I most recently produced a follow-up post on the same subject, highlighting a further 12 titles in development. I would urge everyone to visit that page and watch every trailer. I guarantee there is something there for everyone!
…Kim at Later Levels for linking my ‘Rise, Fall & Rise of the Adventure Game‘ blog post and being a great help with my blogging questions on Twitter (despite organising a wedding at the same time it turns out!).
All the interactions and discussion from fellow bloggers! More than anything else, the inspiration that can be gained from everyone else’s blogs; it makes this a lot easier (and many of these amazing posts also provide me with so much more drive to write better!)
I should give a special mention to Red Metal from Extra Life who has provided an incredible amount of knowledge and intellect to a couple of my posts. (Quite honestly, I’d skip my ramblings and just read Red Metal‘s input :).
Everyone on Twitter (too many to mention) for providing hilarity, discussion, inspiration (again), information, or for watching my Dark Souls III victories, or reading my angry tweets when things don’t go to plan 🙂
Here’s to a productive February!