Chaos and Uncertainty - February 2023
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In the news, the war in Ukraine turned a year old, angering Republicans. A train derailment in Ohio raised environmental and health concerns for nearby residents. Lawyers and politicians flocked to the scene to help with the cleanup. Former President Jimmy Carter, arguably the last remaining living president to lead the U.S. before it collapsed into civil war, entered hospice care, angering Republicans, who may now be forced to say something nice about him on camera (but probably won’t). The New York Times, still reeling from its years-long internal identity crisis and journalism generation gap, published literally anything (paywall), angering literally everyone, again.
The ongoing saga of Microsoft trying to acquire Activision-Blizzard is over a year old now. The UK doesn’t like it.
Returnal launched on PC, screwing anyone who bought a PS5 yet again. Wild Hearts, apparently a Monster Hunter clone, is a game I heard people bought and played for some reason. Atomic Heart, a completely different game, also launched, confusing me a lot. Wo Long, from the Nioh folks, is causing some excitement for a March release, but I tried the demo and it has all the bad parts of Nioh again, so that’s a hard pass from me. There’s a new Destiny 2 Lightfall thingy launching on the 28th but I’ve only played about two hours of Destiny 2 ever and that was enough for me.
In Steam Early Access, Kerbal Space Program 2 apparently disappointed. Sons Of The Forest appeared, from the makers of The Forest, a rare new game that I’m interested in playing, because The Forest was among the best of the survival games.
Speaking of Activision-Blizzard, Diablo IV will begin an open beta in March, but I haven’t been interested in that genre of game for many years. I realized one day that those isometric action RPGs contain roughly the same intellectual stimulus for me as an idle clicker or slot machine. If I don’t want to think, it’s usually faster and easier for me to find a Netflix documentary on an unsolved murder than to play a game.
Chaos and uncertainty. A major reorganization means I’m essentially starting a new job with a new team, but as yet I don’t know exactly when, or what I or the team will be working on, or what to do with the existing projects I was working on. Still employed though, so can’t really complain too much.
Finished Resident Evil 0 HD. It’s an okay game at best, with an abominably bad story filled with sexist cliches and what I will charitably call intentionally cheesy acting. Nothing particularly noteworthy added to the Resident Evil lore, except the name of the person who invented the T-Virus (John Marcus). Didn’t really need a whole game for that. They did nothing to flesh out the backstory of Rebecca Chambers while focusing mostly on lovable bad boy trope Billy Coen. Skippable, in other words.
With that out of the way, I returned to the Resident Evil 2 remake. (I started it briefly when I thought I was going to skip the first game entirely.) And finished it. Once, at least, playing as Leon Kennedy. Apparently you have to play this game four times to get all the story bits, which I doubt I’ll do.
But I do want to play again as Claire Redfield, because I didn’t realize at first that she is the sister of protagonist Chris Redfield from the first game. It’s a whole soap opera up in here with this series!
Anyway, the Resident Evil 2 remake is a pretty good game, which is something I remember hearing when it first came out, and I can now confirm. It would be nice if more studios made games like this, but I suspect those days are gone forever.
I didn’t really set out to play every game in the Resident Evil series, but it’s rapidly turning into a project like that. To recap, my modern Resident Evil journey began in 2020 with the PS4 demo of 3, then 7 on Stadia in 2021, finishing in 2023, then 1 (twice), then 0, and now 2 (twice). With some occasional bits of the original Playstation versions of 1 and 2 thrown in for variety.
I’m tired of it. I’m no longer interested in loading up Davinci Resolve or any other video editor, which is a minor problem because I have a small backlog of about a half dozen game recordings left to edit before they’re ready for uploading. I might end up hitting the eject button and rendering the raw recordings as-is.
Still, as previously threatened, I published my first video essay. There are about a hundred things in it that need improvement, but for a brief time, before I actually pushed the “publish” button and realized other people would be able to see it, I was quite pleased with it. Not surprisingly for the creative content that you put the most work into, viewers didn’t seem to care. Not enough controversy, I guess.
Technically it wasn’t really an essay, but it doesn’t really fit the mold of a vlog either, because at no point am I talking to camera. (I tried, and it didn’t work, because reading an 8-minute script directly to camera is way harder than you might think. It’s why all the vlogs on YouTube have jump cuts every three words, like a Max Headroom show. You need to train and practice for that.) It’s more of a behind-the-scenes featurette, I suppose.
Same as before. Vox Machina season 2 is over now. Still watching The Last Of Us and Critical Role and occasional UK panel shows and that’s about it.
I finally rented Top Gun Maverick. Renting movies now feels like the same sort of antiquated experience as going to a drive-in movie. Or going to a movie. But Top Gun Maverick is a “one of the best action movies of all time” sort of movie, so it was worth it. Glad I didn’t see it in a theater or in IMAX though, because I definitely would have been violently motion sick.
I also saw Everything Everywhere All At Once. It was among the only original movies I’ve seen in a while–the answer to that burning question, what if Monty Python had made The Matrix, and then Rick and Morty had parodied it? It made no logical sense at any point from beginning to end, but somehow you were emotionally invested anyway. Good movie.
I bought a Ninja personal blender thingy so I can make fruit smoothies again, in a modest effort to not feel like crap all the time. It’s cool, but the first thing I saw on the box when I opened it was a warning label that it could cause cancer. Neato.
I’ve had great success making fruit smoothies in the past, but my old blender broke, so I haven’t been making them for a couple of years. The recipe I evolved is: Orange juice + a banana + frozen berries + vanilla yogurt. It’s tasty. In the past I’ve added cinamon and peanut butter (or peanuts, which is easier) and even some spinach leaves, in an effort to jam more things that are supposed to be good for you into the mix.
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