August of 2021 has been a pretty good month, all things considered. I had written enough posts to cover my schedule here until the first week of September less than a week in, and have written so much for work that I eventually became burned out on reading due to my own output. Ironically my writing guide was posted with numerous spelling errors, which I have since corrected, as a result. Normally I proof read my posts three times: Once immediately after completing and scheduling it, once after completing and scheduling whichever post will follow it and once literally nano-seconds before it goes up at 6pm every Sunday evening. However I didn’t proof read the guide once because, rather than write it with the intent of releasing it a week or so after completion (as I normally do), I actually decided to schedule it for later in the same week on a Friday because I didn’t want it to interrupt the flow of my already scheduled reviews. And while I did fully intend to proof read it at least once, I kind of just forgot. And while this is just a casual hobby of mine, which I’m sure even all five of my semi-regular viewers would forgive, I still felt a little bad having not proof read it. Even so, my proof reading is notoriously bad to the point where even my fully three-time proof read posts release with errors sometimes. It’s not one of my strong suits. Going forward I will be being stricter with myself in an effort to up the quality of what’s posted here not just because my readers deserve it but because, y’know, proofreading is the sort of thing I as a writer should always be practicing frequently.
Anyway, on top of my 4-5 regular reviews a month and whatever random brainstorms I decide to post into the “other” section of this blog, I also want to start doing brief posts summarising the month I’ve had regarding whatever is relevant to my corner. Hopefully future ones will be shorter than this one and not open with a tsunami of excuses regarding why my ability to make spelling corrections is so lacking.
Heroes of Might and Magic 3:
I am… Addicted. I powered though the Shadow of Death campaign over the course of many weeks that were both glorious and frustrating. Throughout, I completed levels so easy that a new-born could probably navigate it’s way to victory, and one’s so masochistically difficult that I found myself having to roleplay as a developer of the game in order to understand the exact strategy they had in mind for me completing the campaign. I found it interesting as, despite sinking over 100 hours in Heroes 3 before my review of it, I had never touched a campaign until recently. And, while objectively I would have to describe Shadow of Death as a mixed bag, I certainly enjoyed the challenge, was surprisingly enticed by the story and characters, and made some good memories along the way.
You see, me and my girlfriend were in a race of sorts to see who could complete it first. Both of us grew a fondness for a hero called Crag Hack who is so dumb that he doesn’t realise that when people refer to him as “Mister Hack” that they’re not, in fact, mispronouncing his forename. Despite his lack of intelligence, his upgrades allow him to become a fairly versatile hero with specialties in both might and magic skills with an insane amount of focus on the attack stat, which I got to well over 50 by the final level, which basically made me unbeatable to the point that the campaign arbitrarily spawns enemy heroes with level 5 spells just so that they don’t die in 0.5 seconds without inflicting losses upon me.
Most of all I enjoyed the fact that when you played as the villain for a few levels of this campaign it wasn’t solely for the purpose of just showing their side of the tale. You see, since all heroes carry their skills and experience across scenarios, it means that when you level the villain of this campaign to insane amounts of power so that you can defeat his own difficult levels, that you have to fight that very over powered version of him that you yourself crafted as the final boss. As a result, what is otherwise a generic good vs evil story becomes elevated by a creative use of gameplay and perspective. That said, if I didn’t get really lucky rolling Town Portal and Dimension Door (two overworld teleoport spells) from the same mage guild in one scenaro, I probably wouldn’t have beaten this campaign so convincingly. I still struggled, found myself loading saves and reevaluating my tactics. Heroes 3 never ceases to please.
If you haven’t, please dear god paly this game.
My Xbox One took a fat L and died for no disenable reason. So, to quench my thirst to play this game, I bought it on steam and immediately became aware of how poorly thought out the keyboard bindings were. Listen to this: To exit a menu the game prompts you to press TAB. But then it asks if you are sure that is what you want to do, but to accept you have to click ENTER, which is on the other side of the keyboard. Small things like this, while insignificant for 5 or so minutes of gameplay, really add up across the course of the whole game and I soon found myself plugging in a controller.
I had some fun by challenging myself to make a melee only build on survival difficulty – with throwable explosives permitted for taking out turrets that cannot be targeted in melee – and had a great amount of fun. However, as with most playthroughs of Fallout 4, I eventually became bored. I literally went from 100% invested in my playthrough to not being at all interested in picking it up again over night. And I think the fact that Fallout 4 isn’t really about anything other than preaching about the fact that robots are people too, with almost no redeeming side content aside from one singular DLC pack, had something to do with that. It just goes to show that, when it comes to RPG’s, the gameplay loop can only carry for so long. The writing needs to be there.
Morrowind and Halo Combat Evolved:
Despite the reviews for these games going up this month I actually wrote them a VERY long time ago. I wrote the Morrowind one in mid-July and the Halo one some time before that. This is a common trend on this blog so don’t be surprised if I omit games or movies I have released the reviews of on future monthly reviews.
Anyway, Morrowind is great and Halo is… Okay, I suppose.
This is a childhood favourite of mine. And even if the intense moments don’t get me the same way as when I was a kid, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the atmosphere still had me in suspense despite the fact that I had seen the film roughly 527498 times prior to watching it for my review.
Fun fact: I took English Language at A-Level and did an analysis of teenagers talking (Or something like that, I don’t know anymore), and compared it to the modern language in the 2007 version. It was the highest grade I received on a piece of coursework that year, which I was very happy about.
Other than Halloween I’ve had a bit of a dry spell not really watching any movies. However as my scheduled posts start to run thin that will have to change.
Rick and Morty
I’ve been mostly enjoying season 5 of Rick and Morty. Though it opened with a very, very strong episode, everything afterwards felt a little off. A lot of fans sensed this and, while I don’t think it’s quite as bad as others seem to, I can’t argue there seems to have been a dip in quality this season. Although the latest episode wherein Rick goes into Bird Person’s mind is quite good. A little rushed, in my opinion, but good.
Better Call Saul
This is cheating a bit. I haven’t watched the show recently but am going to be marathoning it ready for the release of season 6, which I hope airs okay after poor Bob Odenkirk suffered a heart attack on set. Either way, I’ll be watching the previous seasons of the show and probably posting reviews of each season as I go.
The Handmaid’s Tale
I am not going to say too much about it here, but suffice it to say I have a lot to say regarding the latest season that just finished airing earlier this month. The review of it will be my first post of September and, well, there’s a lot to swallow.
This one is also cheating because I haven’t actually watched it. Given that I have reviewed all the other Disney+ Marvel shows I thought about giving this one a go but when I clicked on it and saw that the thumbnail for the first episode was Peggy Carter riding a massive Iron Man suit through the sky, I thought… No. No, this is not for me, unfortunately. Although I do like the weirder stuff we sometimes get from Marvel, like in Guardians of the Galaxy or Loki, neither of the opening episodes of this show had premises that even slightly interested me. I don’t really care about Peggy Carter, and Black Panther isn’t a hero I particularly like, so him going into space doesn’t interest me either. Maybe I’ll just tune in for the eventual zombie episode.
Next month I need to start reading again. I need to read a few posts I’ve missed from people I follow on here, and start a book I pre-ordered a very long time ago and never started reading. The book is called The Things We Don’t See, by Savannah Brown. On top of that I need to watch more of the Halloween films for my new review series of them.
Anyways, I hope you had a good August and have a better September if you didn’t.