It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? It’s already midway through October and I’m still unable to process that, so here’s yet another blog/life update.
I had every intention of using Blaugust as a momentum-builder going into the autumn months with the hope of maintaining some semblance of consistency, not just with blogging, but with streaming and…life in general, I guess?
Spoiler Alert: that was clearly some wishful thinking didn’t quite work out like that. I published my half of the Elden Ring collab post with Meghan going over all the enemies(well, some of) we found most annoying while playing the game; I’m still really pleased with how the post turned out and it’s one of my blog highlights from this year. I wanted to keep the momentum rolling and had come up with a number of ideas for blog posts that I had in mind and had even gotten a few beyond the initial ‘That’s a decent idea…’ step and had *actual words written* and then suddenly just felt…like I couldn’t do it. I haven’t been able to write more than a handful of paragraphs in the last month and a half. At first I kinda shrugged it off as “meh, it’s fine. I’m not gonna force myself to sit at my computer and not leave until I have some arbitrary number of words written; this really isn’t the first time this has happened.” Fast forward to six weeks later and…
When this happens, I usually find myself caught somewhere between “I’m not gonna force myself to write up something just to say I accomplished something” and “Fuck, it’s hard to pick up where I left off after this long”. I realize this is compounded by the fact I possess the special ability to make EVERY.SINGLE.THING I attempt much harder than it needs to be – i.e. overthinking the shit out of everything. I’ll randomly think of something over the course of the day that I feel like I could wrestle into some sort of almost-coherent post, but it’s usually negated by stressing myself out over something that I…haven’t even attempted yet? I eventually arrived at the conclusion that writing, just WRITING anything is bound to be better than nothing and will make it easier to get back to where I had hoped to be by now. What’s the easiest way to get back into a rhythm of writing for me? Update posts or lists, usually. Anyways, here’s what I’ve been playing recently…
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
I first played Sekiro…well, attempted to, after picking it up back in 2019. I immediately loved the setting and overall art style of the game, but two things prevented me from ever getting very far in the game: possessing the attention span of a hamster and the fact the game was hard as hell. I played the game here and there over the next couple years and still appreciated everything the game offered, but felt like I had neither the skill or patience to make it very far in the game – in my original playthrough I made it TO, but not PAST the Genichiro fight in Ashina Castle. It wasn’t until 2022 that I fully entered my From Software Era. I obsessively played Elden Ring this past March/April, followed immediately by another playthrough of Bloodborne, which I documented with a series of blog posts. I then dabbled in some Persona 5 Royal, which I’m still currently chipping away at, before I began my next challenge – playing through Dark Souls. It was around the time I made it to the New Londo Ruins that I felt like I had hit a bit of a brick wall and decided to shake things up, so in typical deranged fashion, I started playing Sekiro again.
I’m not sure what it was this time around, but everything about the game started to make greater sense to me. Make no mistake, the game is still among one of the more difficult modern games I’ve played, but I felt like I had a better understanding of the way the game encourages(demands?) you to approach enemy encounters as well as combat mechanics than my previous attempts. The boss battles – which are quite fucking spectacular, became more about rhythm than using brute force and aggression, which is how most of my hours are spent in other FromSoft games. There’s something so satisfying as well as intoxicating the way a boss fight can go from feeling completely insurmountable to being merely another obstacle that you’ve overcome on your journey…if only that translated as easily to real life, right? I’m still finishing up some endgame areas but can confidently say Sekiro has 1000% become a favorite From Software experience(alongside Bloodborne, of course).
This past week I had been feeling a little drained by the end of the day and wanted to play a shorter, more relaxing game. I’d still been playing a fair amout of Sekiro & Persona 5 Royal, so something concise sounded like a good idea. I eventually decided to play Hoa, which was highly recommended by my wife, and quite the pleasant surprise as it’s an excellent indie game. Hoa is a pretty straightforward platformer, but still very much worth playing as it manages to highlight how sometimes complexity in game mechanics or story aren’t required for a game to be memorable. Gameplay-wise it’s very similar to Gris in the way you progress from one area to the next, acquiring several new abilities along the way. It incorporates some wonderfully charming animation that looks like a Studio Ghibli movie, and there’s also a whimsical, yet spirited soundtrack similar to games like Ori and the Blind Forest and Death’s Door. It only took me a couple hours to complete Hoa, but it was a perfect change-of-pace game that I greatly enjoyed.
It’s that time of year again – Blogtober! Here’s what I have planned for this year…
Nah, I’m just kidding…you’d think I’d have learned my lesson about setting goals I have no earthly possibility of achieving by now, right?
Since I began blogging over three and a half years ago now, I’ve usually dedicated the month of October to writing about a range of different spooky and/or scary games, some of which I’ve played before, and others for the first time. The past couple years I’ve incorporated this into my Twitch schedule(using this very loosely) as I’d stream some of the games from my ‘Blogtober’ list. This past year I wasn’t able to do as much blogging/streaming as I’d intended, so I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen again this year. Well…I *haven’t* been as productive as I wanted to be – whether because of rarely feeling in an adequate headspace to get anything written or pure laziness(50/50 maybe?). I am, however, going to get a few things crossed off my list and not just concede defeat halfway through the month. I’ve played a little bit of Resident Evil 0 and Little Nightmares on stream so far and there’s a few blog posts in the works that I WILL get posted before the month is over. So, this is essentially me saying I’m *not* making (too many)plans and just taking things one at a time.
Thanks for reading!