Splatoon 3 Is A Bunch Of Wholesome Joy

In the days since Splatoon 3 came out (keep in mind I write these a week before they post), I’ve played the game more and less than I expected to. The relatively smooth and straight-forward nature of the game lends itself to pick-up-and-play gaming, with me fitting in a couple matches by myself or some time working through the challenges in story mode into whatever spare fifteen minutes I have. At the same time, the often-times frustrating nature of repetitive losses or getting stuck on a challenge that requires a level of skill you just don’t have can make the game incredibly easy to put down. Over all, though, I’d say the fun, light-hearted nature of the game and relatively swift matches tips the scales so that I find myself enjoying my time with the game far more fequently than I find myself putting the game aside in frustration. In my experience with online, mostly player versus player games, that’s about as good a result as you could ever hope for.

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A Splatfestival Of Friendship

I spent almost 12 solid hours on Saturday the 27th of August playing Splatoon 3’s free demo with two of my friends. I’m talking maybe 30-ish minutes of breaks in there, though there was a bit more downtime considering the average queue time for a match was about 45 seconds and I kept getting booted out of matches right around the top of the hour. Any match that started within 2 minutes of a new hour, before or after, would end prematurely with me getting kicked out due to a communication error. It was too dependable to be an internet issue on my end (not to mention my voice call didn’t drop once), so it was clearly some kind of odd communication bug. Aside from that and the way that Team Scissors got absolutely massacred by the unbalanced Tricolor Battles, it was an amazing and fun experience.

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Whiling Away My Hours With Reflections on Death and Stories

While I’ve been waiting on patches that will hopefully fix Cult of the Lamb, I’ve turned to other games to occupy my time. I’ve begun to dip my toe into Wildermyth on the PC and my impression from two hours of gameplay is that the writing is some of the best I’ve seen in a video game. Perfect balance between longer sentences, clipped fragments, and the natural warping of language that occurs when people who know each other talk in a relaxed or tense manner. Beautiful turns of phrase that reach past the awkward, stylistic structure of some of the prose to land a beautiful image in your mind that compliments the storybook style cutscenes and events. Just an absolute treat to experience.

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On Break From Cult of the Lamb

So, I spent a lot of time playing Cult of the Lamb. I even wrote about it last week. Unforuntaely, I got about halfway through the game (by my estimation, anyway. It might be longer than I think it is or shorter than I hope it to be) and a series of bugs rendered my save file almost unusable. Tack on constant performance issues, rituals failing to execute after selecting them, stuff disappearing from the game when I save and reload or between game launches, and various combat-related bugs that are responsible for all but one of my deaths, and it becomes clear that this was ready for cross-platform release. Also making it super clear is that many of these problems still exist on the PC version of the game, but with nowhere near the level of severity or consistency. I don’t know if I’ve ever played a game that felt as low-priority when it comes to console adaptions.

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I Tried Counting Sheep To Fall Asleep The Last Few Nights, But There’s Only One In Cult Of The Lamb

One of the reasons I’m taking it easy this week is because I’ve been short on sleep every single night since I got home from visiting a friend. Nothing’s wrong, I’ve just gotten completely absorbed into playing Cult of the Lamb every night. Sure, I’d probably be cutting myself off long before 1 or 2 in the morning if I had the chance to start playing before 1030 and wasn’t a little desperate to do anything enjoyable and relaxing with my evening. I’ve had errands, laundry, and Dungeons and Dragons games every night since I got home from visiting a friend, and while Dungeons and Dragons is enjoyable, it isn’t relaxing. It takes real effort and focus to run a game and while I don’t regret my decision to run a session this week, I do wish I was better rested going into the week. I would feel a lot less like rubbish if I was. And who knows, maybe I would have actually followed-through on my decision to “just play a bit” of this addictive combo rogue-lite and management sim instead of losing track of time until I started nodding off at 1 or 2 in the morning.

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Why I Return To Frustrating Video Games

Since last week, I’ve been reflecting on why I continue to play video games that frustrate me. I was pretty tired when I wrote last week’s post, so it did not initially occur to me that one of the main elements of video games is to present challenges to overcome and while failing to overcome a challenge can be frustrating, video games are usually set up to give you additional opportunities to attempt challenges you’ve failed. As someone who plays video games with a desire for a challenge, a certain amount of frustration goes hand-in-hand with attempting a challenge that actually feels like a challenge. Still, when I think about the moments of frustration in a game that cause me to set it aside, most of the time it has nothing to do with the challenge the game presents and everything to do with my experience as someone attempting to enjoy themselves. Last week’s post included examples of games I’m playing and frustrations that caused me to put the game aside, so I’m going to expand on those for simplicity’s sake.

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Video Games: The Only Entertainment I’ll Let Frustrate Me Repeatedly

I’ve been getting back into a few games I started earlier this spring and thenfell off of either when new games came out or I hit intense periods of stress that drove me from new experiences to old comforts. I’ve never finished Pokémon Legends: Arceus or Horizon: Forbidden West, for example. I hit a point with both games, stopped playing, and never quite got around to playing either game again despite having enjoyed my time with them. The same is true of the new Pokémon Snap game. I got a ways into that, a new game came out, and I set it aside because it wasn’t a game that I could fall asleep to. That and getting up to change games in my Switch a whole bunch has never been fun when I’m trying to calm down for the evening.

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I’m Tired and Sad, So Let’s Talk About The Legend of Zelda: Episode 17

Made it almost a month since the last installment in this series. Took a raft of nights with terrible sleep on top of the continued erosion of the rights of people I care about and a whole bunch of work stress, which just goes to show the number 1 factor in making me feel helplessly miserable is sleeping like shit. Which is a bit of a facetious joke, since I’m sure that just sleeping poorly wouldn’t make me feel miserable in the way I do today. Still, it’s not difficult to notice the pattern when you’re looking for it, which brings me to my today’s topic: dungeon puzzles in Breath of the Wild! Because I wasn’t kidding anytime I’ve suggested I could write a book about this video game. And once I’ve mined this game for useful topics, I can always turn to Majora’s Mask for another book’s worth of posts.

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The Appeal Of “Virtual Chore” Video Games

I’ve been playing a lot of Stardew Valley again. Starting a new file with my friend reminded me of how enjoyable it is to listen to podcasts and just grind through the early years of a Stardew Valley file. I’ve made it halfway into Year 2, earned almost two million as I’ve efficiently pursued a multi-faceted approach to completion of the original/core content. I’ve moved on to peripheral content, much of which I never got to the first time I played the game, and I’m trying to keep pushing myself forward without burning out or losing interest. It is a difficult line to walk, as I try to make sure I’m getting all of my bases covered during these early years so I can swap to efficient, repeat-yield crops later on that require less attention from me.

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I’m Tired and Sad, So Let’s Talk About The Legend of Zelda: Episode 16

It has been one fuck of a past 10 or so days for me (as of writing this) and I just need something enjoyable to focus on. So, instead of continuing to reflect on my traumas, things adjacent to my traumas, or traumas I’m starting to realize are becoming more and more common, I’m going to write about a game I’ve played many different times throughout my life and had a different reaction to every time. That’s right, I’m writing about The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening!

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