February: Recap

So in January’s recap I was nearing the end of Dark Souls III and looking forward to finally turning my attention to something other than my stamina bar. Those of you who follow my blog and social twitterings will know that I have achieved my goal.

I’ve been enjoying blogging so much that I decided to invest in a gaming laptop in February. This not only allows me to write wherever I want, but it also re-introduces me to the world of PC gaming! I guess it was also a birthday present to myself as I ‘levelled up’ to the grand old age of 39 in February. I’m expected a full ‘ascension’ next year, unlocking and granting access to a new skill-tree.

Gaming

I finished Dark Souls III a week or so into the month. I’d put myself under a certain amount of pressure by deciding to write the ‘Game Diary’, and had played almost nothing else since the start of January. With the Flame rekindled, I was finally able to spread my gaming wings a little. Or a lot…

If my laptop was my reward for finishing Dark Souls III, then I guess Oxenfree was the therapy required to counter-balance those 19 boss battles. I knew it was going to be a short, simple playthrough and was intrigued by the concept. I also wanted to know more about the developer, Night School Studio, as I’m hyped for the studio’s next release…

I may well play through Oxenfree again before Night School Studios releases Afterparty, and can’t wait to write a blog post comparing the two games later in the year.

As a side-note… I compared the pricing of Oxenfree and found that it was £15.99 on PSN, compared to £3.74 on Steam. Wow.

Moving on, I’d been a huge fan of the turn-based XCOM games since the original release of UFO: Enemy Unknown. I own XCOM 2 and the incredible expansion War of the Chosen for the PS4 but unfortunately, they run like an absolute dog. As luck would have it, Steam were having a sale on its 2K Games catalogue at just the right time! I’m now the proud owner of the complete XCOM 2 collection with all the DLC, allowing me to spend hours playing ‘dress-up’ rather than saving the human race from ADVENT suppression…

There was one other Steam purchase that I couldn’t help but secure for myself… Civilization VI! I remember spending many an hour attempting to lead my people to prosperity with Civ 4; thoroughly enjoying the decisions over which research path to take, and whether the focus should be on exploration, expansion or building an army. Choosing between establishing good relations and trade routes with neighbouring civilisations, or overpowering them. (I remember never having much success maintaining ‘good relations’ for too long).

I haven’t put many hours into the game just yet, aside from listening to Sean Bean explain some of the basics, but Civilization VI is a game that will be played ‘in the background’ for years to come…

Back on the PS4, having spent several weeks in a seemingly endless and repetitive grind of life and death, I’ve since realised what repetition truly is. The experience provided by Dark Souls and Celeste is strangely, very similar except Celeste turns the dial up to eleven (and then forces the dial further until the spring breaks).

Like the bonfires in Dark Souls, every time you reach a room’s exit in Celeste is a flag in the ground. After several hours I’ve cleared six out of Celeste‘s seven chapters, and it’s clear to see why this game is held in such high regard.

Finally, with Dark Souls III out of the way, I had three weeks or so to complete my Fortnite: Season 7 Battle Pass and gain all of the ‘rewards’ for doing so. I managed it, but have felt a little distanced from the game this season and I don’t think it’s just FromSoftware’s fault. I wrote about Fortnite: Season 7 shortly after it began back in November, commenting about the great job Epic have done in keeping the market’s attention on their game.

I also suggested that Fortnite‘s success had made them a huge target and it could prove difficult to stay ahead in a game-space that is inevitably becoming more crowded. February has seen EA drop their own entry into the Battle Royale war with APEX Legends, developed by Respawn Entertainment. I’ve yet to give it a try, but early indications seem to suggest that Fortnite can no longer rest on its laurels in this arena.


Blogging

So my Dark Souls Anthology is complete (for now). Looking back, it makes for a neat little story arc…

Dark Souls: My Truth – Defeat, Acceptance
Dark Souls III: Game Diary – Uncertainty, Frustration, Determination
Memories of Lothric – Reflection, Pride, Triumph

February also saw me post a #LoveYourBacklog response to Kim (Later Levels) and LighningEllen (Livid Lightning), as they called for bloggers to celebrate their game backlogs rather than look at them with a sense of shame or guilt. It was a great opportunity to discuss the subject, and I couldn’t help but wonder how large my backlog might be if I had been a consistent Steam user for the past 10 years…

I penned a discussion on Bad Sequels. A post inspired by someone describing Kingdom Hearts 3 as a bad sequel after being told that the previous titles should be played first to understand the narrative. A slightly obtuse statement possibly, but one that I didn’t completely disagree with.


Thanks to…

Kim (Later Levels) for publishing Adventures: not even their final form, a kind-of-response to my post The Rise, Fall and Rise of the Adventure Game, which in turn was a response to Kim‘s original post Long Live the Adventure Game… Phew! I guess it might be my turn again 🙂

Shane Battams from The Pixel Empire for including my response to his Twitter question “What makes a great sequel?“, especially as I gave less of an answer and more of an observation 🙂

Red Metal for providing me with further blogging material by including me in his list of nominations as part of the Sunshine Blogger Award Challenge. I accept the challenge and have began a response. Anyone familiar with the depth of Red Metal‘s articles won’t be surprised that the questions he’s posed require more than a little thought – which is why my answers are taking some time 🙂

Coming Up…

So March is going to be a busy month gaming-wise with Celeste to finish and my latest Steam purchases to keep me occupied. I’ve also just taken delivery of Nier: Automata, and we have Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice arriving on the 22nd, tempting me to start another FromSoftware playthrough diary…

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

Michael Corleone, The Godfather: Part III

3 thoughts on “February: Recap

  1. That’s the thing with me; I don’t settle for easy questions when doing these tags. I like to get my readers thinking. Thanks for the shout-out and I hope you enjoy answering the questions I proposed!

    Liked by 1 person

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