Rantings on games, software, books, music, movies and the internet.
Basically I have too many interests. I like to read, play PC games (ESO and various builder / factory type games), watch movies, listen to music, and tweak PC's, browse the web and read news on Reddit and hang out on twitch and discord. My dayjob is Software Engineer!
The main thing I wanted to change in 2022 (and subsequent years, hopefully ;)) was to actually finish games, instead of playing one for a few sessions and hop on to the next one. The hopping can still occur though, in search for a game I actually want to get stuck in with and finish to the end. On the other hand, I do play a lot of ‘open ended factory / builder’ type games, but the goal in those should be to get to the endgame.
The first two games that I actually finished at the start of the year were Star Wars Fallen Order and Ruined King. Both excellent games. The jedi one will see it’s follow up later this year. I started playing not long after it originally came out, and for some reason moved on to something else. I decided to finish it now though, and it was well worth it. Fun combat and the story was decent as well, though the ending was a bit odd. After the darth vader chase (spolier!) and back on the ship the story just sort of ended.
The games I played will be done from memory since I didn’t take any notes or used any software to keep track of what I played. I should start doing that to keep better track of things, since human memory can be misguided sometimes :). And post here more often !
In the past, I split these up by platform, PS4, Switch and PC, but I hardly touched the consoles this past year. For PS4 I only bought one game in a sale, Ghost of Tshusima, director’s cut , sort of my goodbye to the platform. It’s supposed to be one of the best games for it, and it still looks pretty nice. So far I only played the intro, but I am still planning on playing it more at some point. I finally did cancel the subscription for the PS4. I haven’t touched any of the games that come with it for almost 2 years, maybe even more, so even though it is good value for money (although the games were getting a bit weak that came with it) if you don’t use it at all, it’s wasted.
The switch I played a bit more. Checked out Animal Crossing every now and then and listened to the islanders complain about me not being there. They should really stop doing that, it makes me feel bad and not play at all :). I did buy a few games, Bravely Default II and Legend of Zelda, Skyward Sword. Loved BDII, but stopped playing it after a while. I should pick it up again. Zelda is good too, but didn’t touch it for more than a few sessions. I think that was about it for the consoles. I also want to continue playing Octopath Traveler which I just remembered when writing this!
Instead of posting this at the end of the year, or as of now, the start of a new one, I should just make a post when I am really enjoying, or have enjoyed a game. My new year’s resolution will be to do just that I guess this ;). Or at least try to.
Anyway, I’ll mention a few games that kept me busy in 2020. And what stood out for me.
Animal Crossings New Horizon
This was probably the game I put the most hours in, in 2020. Especially the start was a lot of fun. Getting a bigger house, more animals living on the island. Decorating the place … etc. Then it got a little stale and the events so far were not much to write home about. I still check in every now and then though, but it lost the initial sense of wonder. Maybe a future expansion or DLC can breathe some new life into it.
I was watching a few streamers on Twitch play this and wondered what the fun was in this game and it seemed like an annoying version of Euro truck sim, but once I tried it myself, I really got into this. It’s a lof of fun, especially unlocking new trucks and new equipment for your trucks. Although I enjoyed the initial maps more than the later (Russian and Alaska) ones.
I haven’t checked out too much of the new ones released later in the year, but what I saw so far, they tried to add some new gameplay elements, which is nice.
The year started off a bit slow for me gaming wise. I think I was a bit burned out by it and mainly watched Netflix series, I rewatched Friends if I remember well. Then in Febuary the Civ VI expansion Gathering Storm came out. After watching a few marbozir videos, I decided to get it and it made me finally ejoy Civ VI. I had tried a few runs before, but never really grabbed me, it didn’t seem like a complete game. In my opinion Gathering Storm made it complete.
In may Total War: Three Kingdoms came out, it was nice, but I found the campaigns / games dragging on a little too long. Also sometimes you got into a stallmate of some kind and the game didn’t really go anywhere. It was cool to see a strategy game in the top 10 most played games for a few days or weeks though. And it is a very good game regardless of my gripes.
Around the same time, by the end of April, one of my favourites for this year came out, the citybuilder / logistics game Anno 1800 by Ubisoft. I had a lot of fun with this game. The campaign was relatively short, though the story was decent. The sandbox mode is where it’s at. I usually disable the pirates too, since I don’t think the combat aspect is very good. It was more annoying than anything else to find your ships in ruins, because you overlooked a pirate attack.
The DLCs that came after the release, were nice as well, especially the first one Sunken Treasures. It gives you a very large new island in a new region to build on, and a vessel with a diving bell you can use to search for treasure. The second dlc, Botanica was a little underwhelming, bit short of content. The third one, the passage, was pretty big with a new region and a new story. Though I have to admit I haven’t played it much since I have the feeling I have pretty much seen and done most that the game has to offer. I have about 70hrs into it now. The first part of the game is the most fun part to me. Once you have eletricity and people that need it, you need to redesign your cities in order to be able to use the trains and move the oil to your power plant, which is pretty much a pain. All in all a great game and one of the best of the year for me.
Last month or so I finished rewatching The Office, all 9 seasons. Before that I rewatched Seinfeld again, think I started that run somewhere in the later months of last year. Both can be found on Amazon’s Primevideo service. At least here in EU. The length of the episode (about 24mins give or take) makes it very easy to just squeeze a show in here and there.
In my (humble) opinion, these two are the best comedies made. With Seinfeld being a little more groundbreaking than The Office. It’s also notable that the internet doesn’t play any part in Seinfeld, and only slightly in The Office. The dunder mufflin personnel watches a few youtube videos, and there is an episode where Andy keeps looking at the comments on his banjo video, but there isn’t much more than that.
It’s pretty weird to realise that a lot of scenes and situations would have been different, when the characters would have had the opportunity to look at the blind date’s facebook page or just been able to email, instead of calling or stopping by. Watching these episodes again, makes you realise how much life has changed even since the late ’90s, simply because of the internet.
In 2010 his Cataclysm videos, talking while playing the game, made him more and more popular. I am assuming he wasn’t the 1st let’s player, but he certainly made the genre big. And with this newfound audience he started the excellent WTF IS series.
In the early 2000sÂ he started to do shoutcasts for his beloved Starcraf 2 as well, he was easily the best SC2 announcer with Apollo and Day9. Easily being the best voice in Esports for a long time to come !
Apollo || Shaun Clarke on twitter posted some nice pics from the past :
Sadly in 2015 TB tweeted the news that he was diagnosed with cancer. Strangely enough my dad was diagnosed with lymphoma not long thereafter, it was all a bit much. TB battled the disease well up till the point where the chemicals didn’t work any more. Last month, in april he tweeted it was pretty much over and he didn’t have long to go. On may 24th he passed away.
His passing leaves me with a big feeling of sadness. It’s not like a celeb you read about in the paper, this seems more personal and a more profound feeling of loss. Especially since he was still in his early 30s. TB you will definately be missed by many, he singlehandedly changed the game of youtube commenators / game critiquing, reviewing and shoutcasting to boot.
One of my fav series, TB and Jesse Cox play Terraria
Railway Empire is a new railroad tycoon game, in the spirit of the old railroad tycoon by Sid Meier. Made by Gaming Minds, in Germany. I have put in quite a few hours in this game, because I streamed it the past few weeks on twitch. So if you check the videos on my channel, you can see (almost) the entire campaign.
The game is quite enjoyable, the graphics, especially the locomotives, are nice, and the presentation is polished. The track editing itself is pretty good, one of the best I have seen in a train game to be honest. One thing though, you can’t cross tracks ! Which is very frustrating, especially at the start. Somewhere along the line you get used to it, and build around it (or above as the case may be), but it’s still very annoying.
There are four play modes, you should probably start off with the campaign, then there are a bunch of scenarios, that are quite like the campaign chapters, but they’re standalone and don’t have any cut scenes.Â Then there’s freemode, which leaves you with the most flexibility as you can pick the era to play in and one of the five maps, that you get to know in the campaign. Last (and least ;)) there is a sandbox mode without money and competition. Might be interesting to test something out, but it doesn’t sound very challenging to me.
The campaign is nice with a story to it, basically how the first Transcontinental RailroadÂ was build. Some funny moments are to be had, with the competition being cartoon like characters that talk banter every now and then. The objectives in the campaign aren’t always easy. I had to restart a few a few times to get a good understanding what needed to be done to complete a chapter. All in all the campaign is fun, but rather limited. Only 5 chapters in the US (5 maps in all that return in the other game modes) in the timespan of 1940 – 1910. No europe, asia and or japan or whatever. I assume some DLC or expansion packs will remedy this, but for a $50,- it’s a little limited to say the least.
Another annoying aspect is that the AI cheats. It’s literally on EASY mode. You can use this mode yourself as well, though I don’t know why anyone would as it takes all the fun out of a train game imho. This means that it only needs one track and the trains never collide, they just run straight through each other. So no need to track changes, double tracks, signals, multi track stations. It’s quite immersion breaking as well to look at. So you better don’t ;).
All in all I have been having a good time with the game, and spend quite a few hours in it, and I’ll definately will play it some more. I’ll probably also would buy some more campaign like content, if it’s somewhat reasonably priced. As of now it lacks content and a somewhat more sophisticated AI to warrent it’s big $50,- price tag. Put it on your wishlist and buy it when it’s on sale, that would be my recommendation.
The game is available on both GOG and steam. GOG is DRM free and comes with a kickback of almost 8 Euro in Europe, depending on your location. You can of course also buy a steam key at Greenman Gaming ;).