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User is offline Dec 25 2019 11:59 AM

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March 14

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  1. In Topic: Top Games of the Decade

    16 December 2019 - 09:57 PM

    That's a really, really difficult question. I am quite uncertain as to which games could possibly stand the test of time and go down as 'the classics' of this decade. I don't know if it's my warped perception/nostalgia, but I get the distinct feeling that, ten years ago, I could've confidently named quite a couple games in that vein for 2000-2009 (Warcraft 3, World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Silent Hill 2, Mass Effect, Dragon Age: Origins, Baldur's Gate 2: Shadow of Amn, Gothic 2 etc.).

    As for the 2010s, I feel that on the one hand the market has been flooded with far too many games for anyone to keep track of, and on the other hand, most of the real game changers (no pun intended) are more related to the industry than to individual games. Games like Minecraft or Fortnite I feel won't necessarily be remembered as some of the greatest stuff in and of themselves, but as hugely impactful symptoms of changes in the way we think about video games. Or how video games are marketed, played etc. The same could arguably be said for the rise of trends like "games as live-services", microtransactions, Kickstarter, Twitch/Streaming (and possibly now Stadia), increasing politicization. What I'm getting at is that this decade was probably one which we'll remember as a time of great changes in the way we think about games and maybe not one as closely tied to individual iconic games that we think of.

    That being said, there are handful of titles which I enjoyed immensely during that period.

    Witcher 3 satisfied a craving for good, mature, well written roleplaying games which I've carried within me ever since my first experiences with gaming. It looks great, has a mesmerizing soundtrack, fantastic side stories, memorable characters - if one game in that decade actually redefined a quality standard within its genre, it's Witcher 3.

    Divnity Original Sin 2 is a love letter to everything I cherish about isometric RPGs. Aside from being one of the greatest positive examples of Kickstarter games, it's just an all-around well designed game. Like Witcher 3 it looks gorgeous, sounds great, has an intriguing story, and fun characters. In addition, it's funny, quirky, made me laugh on several occasions. It's ridiculous how often I've read reviews of people who absolutely adore this game and start their review with "usually I don't play this kind of game". That I think sums it up perfectly.

    Dark Souls was an experience unlike any that had come before it. It kicked off a wave of copy cats that continues to this day and for good reason. It made difficult games sexy and it did that by emphasizing what difficulty should ideally be about - rewarding skillful play and attentiveness. Lore geeks will tell you how they love the indirect, cryptic story telling, explorers will talk about the interconnected world design - the list goes on. This one, like Witcher 3, stands a very good chance of actually going down in history.

    There are also several games that I feel might be unjustly forgotten a decade from now. Or rather, won't be cherished enough. NieR: Automata, What Remains of Edith Finch, Disco Elysium, the Blackwell series, Wasteland 2, Pathologic, Senua's Sacrifice, The Banner Saga, Undertale, To The Moon, Finding Paradise, and Rimworld come to mind - just to give a few examples.
    I would wholeheartedly recommend each of these to any of you - especially since I fear that in the future some of them might go unnoticed, which makes now a good time to recommend them.

    Lastly, there are like three bajillion really solid games, that would be great in any decade but didn't do anything outstanding to warrant lasting fame. Mario Galaxy, Persona 4 + 5, Yakuza 0, Total Warhammer, Wolfenstein: The New Order, Doom, Metro Exodus, some Assassin's Creed, Darkest Dungeon, Hollow Knight, Cities: Skylines, Arkham City, Cuphead ...

    Also, I don't own any consoles. Sorry.
  2. In Topic: The Malazan Empire's Bestest Reads of 2019 (and the opposites of that)

    06 December 2019 - 10:42 AM

    Hey there, been a while since I last logged in.

    The best book thing I read all year was - easily - The Library at Mount Char. It's been months by now and I still find the thought of "man, that was a great book" sporadically entering my mind.

    Aside from that, I thoroughly enjoyed Robert Jackson Bennett's Foundryside. RJB's really got a knack for crafting immensely entertaining, woke stories based on refreshing concepts. Very much looking forward to the upcoming second entry in the series.

    A while back I started on James S. A. Corey's Expanse Series, and though I'm currently only on Book 4, Cibola Burn, I can already say that I'm completely sold on it. I don't recall ever reading scifi but this could be a game changer for me. Really love the intricate, distinct characters and their voices.

    Worst thing I read all year is not even really bad, but rather underwhelming: The Powder Mage trilogy is full of wasted potential, underdeveloped ideas, and sub-par revelations. Not a bad by a long shot, mind you. Forgettable.

    Lastly, I think I personally failed to appreciate The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. Read it immediately after Library at Mount Char and this might've been a mistake. In any other circumstance I would have liked Harry August much more, I think. Definitely a very, very good novel.

    "Sudden Appearance of Hope" is already on the "to read" pile for next year. Amazon keeps pestering me with the German translation of the book, which oddly enough has a title that translates to "The Day Hope disappeared". What's going on there?

    Edit: Going back, I just remembered that I dedicated like 4 months of 2019 to reading all of the Black Company main series. Guess the fact that it already slipped my mind says nothing all too good about the series. Or my take on it, rather. It was...worthwhile. Glad I read it, but not too impressed beyond that.
  3. In Topic: Reading at t'moment?

    15 June 2019 - 09:43 AM

    View PostTiste Simeon, on 13 June 2019 - 04:23 AM, said:

    View PostAbyss, on 13 June 2019 - 12:43 AM, said:

    View Postpat5150, on 12 June 2019 - 11:21 PM, said:

    Go get yourself The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky, which are both even better reads!




    Been a while since I last posted here. I think I followed Simeon's suggestion/imperative and read First Fifteen Lives of Harry August.
    Still not sure what to make of it, though. I mean, I really enjoyed it for a number of reasons. For one thing, I just love books that are so singlemindedly dedicated to a single premise/concept. From what I can gather, Claire North regularly writes books around certain 'gimmicks', and at least in this book, it really pays off. Now while Harry did indeed get fleshed out rather nicely as a character - after all, we spend the entire novel and centuries of his lifetimes with him, I couldn't help but feel some distance towards him. The humour is probably part of the reason why: this sober/dark British kind of humour is not exactly my cup of tea. The melancholy, though, was beautifully integrated. As were the moral dilemmas that Harry has to face over the course of his lives. If there's one thing I would arguably fault the novel for, it would have to be a lack of suspense. partly due to the way Harry narrates his story, it isn't really 'exciting' because there is always this implicit assurance that Harry will figure stuff out eventually, and so the story becomes moreso about experience how he does it rather if he will pull through. That said, these are minor complaints in an otherwise pretty good book.

    After reading Mt. Char, maybe I was a little spoiled.

    Right now, I'm at the halfway point in Perdido Street Station and it's pretty great. Prose as rich as Mieville's is the kind of thing that belongs in a museum.
  4. In Topic: The sheer amount of new words and quotes

    15 June 2019 - 09:04 AM

    As a non-native speaker, I can definitely see what you mean. Actually, I'm currently having a similar experience reading Mieville's Perdido Street Station. I think what both Mieville and Erikson have going for them is how their choice of words is not only broad/diverse but that it is very evocative. Although I guess the difference between the two is that Erikson is moreso about using phrases and rhetorical devices to that end whereas Mieville has a knack for finding the right (obscure) terms to descibe very specific sentiments.


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    13 Mar 2020 - 18:47
    and again
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    14 Mar 2019 - 07:32
    Happy birthday dude
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