Return and Some Changes

Hey all I’m back! I’m sorry it’s later in the month, but I did warn that was within my expected time to return. There are some changes that will be occurring with my posts, and my reviews that will affect some things.

Posting Schedule: Until I get back into the swing, and I really hope I’ll be able to do it sooner rather than later, is that I’ll be doing posts every three days. I do plan on eventually going back to daily posts, but that isn’t a 100% sure thing at the moment. Currently I’m actually enjoying the hell out of Destiny 2: Forsaken, Final Fantasy XIV, and Fate Grand/Order (Blame Nero Fest), and since those all had major updates/releases in the past few weeks I’ve been focusing on that more than my writing while I was getting settled into my new home. I won’t promise that I’ll definitely get back to daily posts, but that is currently the plan.

Removal of Plot Synopses: I’m removing these from my posts for a few reasons, but one of the big reasons is that it just takes me way too much time to write these up if I have to hand craft them instead of using a carefully edited premade one by the publisher or author. In the past I tried to use some carefully pruned versions of ones you’d find on Amazon or other sites like that in order to give a brief idea of what the story is about for that given subject. But I won’t be doing that from now on.

What does that mean?: It means my posts will be shorter, and since some of them were already pretty short, that means they’ll be incredibly short. If I do get back to writing daily posts this will help me cut back on the time I spend on writing them, particularly the Translation Necessary Thursday and Serial Saturday posts as those almost always had me writing a custom synopsis. If this change proves to be highly unpopular, and I please ask all you readers to comment on this, I will reconsider it. Like I said there are other reasons why this is happening as well, and I’ll have to weigh the pros and cons before returning to them. This isn’t a change I made lightly, but frankly I think it’s best for me and my writing.

Addition of Grammar Section: This will apply to my Serial Saturday series only, at least for the most part but if I find it’s particularly grievous in any other medium I will make note of it. Since Serial Saturday deals with amateur authors for the most part, this will help you as a reader avoid those series which have particularly bad grammar.

Why are posts so short? Well there’s a good reason for that, frankly I’ve read tens of thousands of stories, and experienced at least a hundred thousand of them overall from various sources and mediums in my life. That number has only climbed higher and higher, and with greater speed, in the past few years since I’ve started writing posts. Most stories don’t particularly impress me, however that isn’t to say I don’t enjoy them. I enjoy pretty much any story with a few notable exceptions for certain genres, topics and authors.

But most aren’t all that impressive, and so I don’t have much to say about them. If you look at my game reviews on GiN you’ll note how different in length some of them are, and that’s because the ones that are longer are ones that made a big enough impression on me for me to comment about them. If I’m particularly impressed, and this is usually reserved to those I feel in a good way, you’ll find me writing a couple thousand words on them.

Ones that are just so-so, and aren’t all that impressive are ones who get smaller posts and reviews from me. It’s that simple, and if that offends you content creators, I’m sorry, but frankly if you don’t make an impression on me, your reviews aren’t going to get all that much comment from me. If I find them fun and enjoyable, I’ll say that, but unless something is particularly impressive it just doesn’t warrant me taking time to write fluff and nonsense just to pad the length for a review of that content. I hated doing that for school essays, and once I learned that almost all teachers hated reading that as well I stopped trying to hit word counts and just wrote to answer the questions posed by the essay.

That’s it for my changes that will be occuring. Look forward to my next post this Saturday with a series that I was asked to review by the Author!

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Hiatus Update

Hey guys I’m back with an update. I’m sorry it’s a week late, but things have been happening and I had little control over most of it.

What Happened?: Well it turns out that the Internet that I was getting wasn’t broken the way we thought it was and had hoped for a quick fix. It turns out that the Fiber Optics line that went to where I live is completely cut due to someone’s fuck up. As I live in a place that is having a lot of construction at the moment, it could be one of any number of people who is at fault.

However Frontier, the ISP we used, never notified us until the 20th of August, which was a full month of no Internet by that time, that they couldn’t fix it at all. Which is really quite a shitty thing to do on their part as we had to call them at least a dozen times trying to figure out what the hell was going on, and they knew at least two weeks prior into this situation that it was completely unfixable, but failed to notify us.

What happens now?: Well it turns out that we’re moving in the next couple of weeks. So while I have no internet now, I will hopefully have it by the middle of September after we finish getting all moved in. We won’t be using Frontier, and will be resorting to Comcast, which may or may not be better. We’ll see, but as it’s literally the only other service in the area we have little choice.

Regarding my daily posts: I won’t be able to write anything until I get fully moved in, which will be in the mid to late half of September. Sorry, I just can’t go to my local library and hog a computer for 10+ hours in order to punch out a bunch of posts for you guys. And I don’t own a laptop to use at a Starbucks or something similar, and I’d still have to loiter their for 10+ hours to do the writing. There are other reasons why those two options won’t work, but I’m not going to list them here.

Regarding reviews: I’ve got a game review written up that I’ll be sending off to my editor right after I get this scheduled to post. My book reviews will be delayed until I get back unfortunately as I’m busy getting ready to move, not reading.

Sorry once again for the late update, I really didn’t have much of a choice in the matter and with me moving it’ll be a bit less than a month hopefully before I start writing daily again.

 

Quick Announcement

Hey all so quick announcement. I’ll be taking an involuntary hiatus for at least a week, possibly more due to the fact that I’ve not had internet during the past week and a half and I am currently off doing some housesitting for family. In the mean time feel free to check out the book and game reviews I’ve done for Game Industry News as well as my colleagues work there as well. There will be one upcoming book review of mine this coming week and I’ve had a game and book review this past week. Hopefully by the time I’m done with the house sitting my internet will have been fixed by my local ISP.

Retro Game Friday: Splinter Cell

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with a game that really took the Stealth genre and made it popular. It’s Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell!

Plot Synopsis: In April 2004, the President of Georgia is assassinated, allowing Georgian billionaire Kombayn Nikoladze to seize power with a bloodless coup d’état. In August 2004, former U.S. Navy SEAL officer and Gulf War veteran Sam Fisher is recruited by the National Security Agency to work within its newly formed division, “Third Echelon.” Working with his old friend Irving Lambert, Fisher is introduced to technical expert Anna “Grim” Grimsdóttír, and field runner Vernon Wilkes Jr. In October 2004, Fisher is dispatched to Tbilisi, Georgia to investigate the disappearance of two CIA officers.

Plot: The plot is pretty standard Military Thriller which should come as no surprise as this is part of the Tom Clancy franchise.

Gameplay: This game took the stealth genre and made it mainstream paving the way for future games like Assassin’s Creed. The main draw of the gameplay was the use of the light and shadows. You were encouraged to take your time and carefully move from shadow to shadow to get around. You couldn’t really go in with guns blazing and just shoot your way through the game. You had limited ammo, and even than your armaments were usually more non-lethal than anything else.

Artwork: Sadly the art has aged incredibly poorly, but at the time they were pretty damn good.

Music: I don’t remember any of the music sadly.

Overall: A fun game, but with a very aged art and gameplay compared to modern day games, it’s probably best left in the bargain bin.

For those who like: Military-Thrillers, Tom Clancy, Stealth.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

TNT: House Magic Chapters 1-29 by Amaui Shiro

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m back with the first arc in another Isekai series. It’s House Magic Chapters 1-29 by Amaui Shiro!

Plot Synopsis: Living carefree at home is the greatest shortcut—- My house is the world’s greatest magic power spot, that being the case both my house and I were summoned to another world by some guys who were aiming for it. However, I’ve been living in this place for many years and my body is, apparently, abnormally overflowing with magic. Due to some unforeseen circumstances by those guys who summoned me, they quickly ran away….

Plot: The plot is really quite bland, which is made worse by the fact that the main character Daichi is a lazy ass bum. He wants nothing more than to sleep and that’s his driving goal in life.

Characters: Other than Daichi, who like I said above is very much a lazy bum and incredibly one dimensional, the rest of the cast is pretty okay. However due to how freaking dense the guy is, it makes only for a frustrating experience.

Overall: Skip this series, it’s really not that great.

For those who like: Fantasy, Isekai, Overpowered Protagonists, Lazy Protagonists.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or bland Plots.

Bookish Wednesday: Forming the Company by Daniel Schinhofen

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with the sequel to Gamer for Life. It’s Forming the Company, Alpha World Book 02, by Daniel Schinhofen!

Plot Synopsis: Having been given the option to live the rest of his life in the Virtual Reality game Alpha World in place of his prison sentence, Seamus is now known as the Summoner Alburet. He’s made friends and become close with multiple people, a thing he never thought to have again. However upon summoning his third demon it turns out to be Stacia…..

Plot: This entry in the series is quite good, but it also brought up a ton of questions about Alburet’s past and what really happened to get him into prison. The plot does keep plodding along and honestly was quite a fun entry.

Characters: We get to meet a few more people, including a certain expy of a favorite Archaeologist of mine and most likely many, many others. However my favorite has to be Alburet’s party. They are all great characters, and honestly I like the entire bunch of them.

Overall: A solid sequel and second entry in a series that’s shaping up to be one of the all time LitRPG greats.

Video Game Tuesday: Is Cayde-6 Really Dead for Good?

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with my answer to a question I’ve been asked by a few friends. It’s all about Is Cayde-6 Really Dead for Good?

Huh?: So in the upcoming Forsaken “Expansion” for Destiny 2 beloved character Cayde-6 is going to be killed, supposedly permanently. Many people, including his own voice actor Nathan Fillion, don’t buy that.

So what about you?: I don’t buy it for a second. There are multiple reasons, from gameplay to lore.

Gameplay: If they really kill Cayde for good, that will cause problems with people playing in the Tower. For those who haven’t done the expansion, Cayde will be showing up to do his usual giving out of activities and the like. But what happens when you have people who have done the expansion and haven’t done it in the same fireteam load into the Tower? If they really mean to kill him off they’ll remove him from the tower, which would require a completely separate instance of the Tower which would cause issues with players in fireteams. Otherwise the impact of Cayde’s loss will be meaningless if we can just waltz up to him and grab a treasure map from him like usual every week after he supposedly dies.

Storytelling: Cayde is a wiseass, and that’s a good thing because honestly Destiny needs someone to lighten stuff up. Cayde has always been the one to do that, and if you kill off that character you lose a huge part to the story. Things will get incredibly dark, and even some darker series like Game of Thrones need some lighter moments and characters interspersed to balance the story out.

Lore: First off, it’s supposed to be really freaking hard to kill a Guardian, which Cayde is. Even more is the fact that he’s an Exo, which means every time he dies he loses a few memories and gains a new number. Cayde’s died 5 times before, but Banshee the gunsmith has died 43 times. Finally, Time Travel has always been a thing in Destiny lore. It’s central to the plot, as both the Exo Stranger AND the Vex travel through time. We even get Cayde out of Vex time warp shenanigans in Destiny 2, and that isn’t even touching upon the whole Osiris expansion, which heavily touches upon the time travel aspect of the Vex in great detail. If Cayde were to die for good, we could just hijack a vex machine to prevent it. Boom done deal, Cayde doesn’t die. It wouldn’t be the first time we messed with the timeline in Destiny to our advantage, that’s the whole point of us going into the Vault of Glass back in Vanilla Destiny in the first place. So I’m not buying into the whole Cayde is really dead for good thing Bungie is spouting. Because from gameplay, storytelling, and lore standpoints, it’s total bullshit. Now Bungie could really kill off Cayde, but it’d be a huge mistake on their part. We’ll see how they decide to play their cards, but I would expect Cayde to be sticking around.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday.