Month in Review – March

I really don’t have anything intelligent to say. It’s been a year. At least with the time change happening I get to see sunlight again. Speaking of, can we please abolish the concept of daylight saving time? It’s such a useless concept and I don’t know anyone who likes it, nor do I know of anyone who stands to benefit from our continuing to observe it. Balls to DST.

Blog

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Best performer: Rogue-likes Taught Me to Love Hitman

March was an interesting month overall. I didn’t manage to break any records, but I still did well stats wise. Not to be outdone by Mike I decided very deliberately to do a longer form post in the form of Rogue-likes Taught Me to Love Hitman. I think it turned out really well, but good lord does writing longer posts take more effort than shorter ones. Editing was already a huge time sink, but it becomes exponentially longer when a post increases in size. I still believe it was a great exercise and the post that came out of it is one of my favourites to date.

Other than Hitman, I generally hit a bit of a lull in March. When I get really burned out from work the effects seep into my non-work life. It had been a while since my last vacation so I booked some time off and was able to recover in the middle of March. I also took the opportunity to pen in the rest of my vacations for the year so hopefully I can avoid any future burn-out related to work.

Also, I noticed a LOT of different sunshine blogger award posts using the goofy ass banner I quickly threw together in paint and that keeps making me laugh. There’s nothing wrong with that I’m just surprised that no one went online and scooped up any one of the numerous better looking banners. Maybe y’all think more highly of it than I do?

Other than that I’m not sure I have much else to report on blogging wise. I don’t really know what’s coming up in April so the posts will be a surprise to both myself and all of you out there.

Gaming

Hitman 2

After two months of playing through the various levels in Hitman 2 I finally concluded my time with it. I had a lot of fun getting to know each level and messing around with all the different available eliminations. I think, in general, Hitman 2 is more consistent than Hitman (2016) in terms of level quality as the lows aren’t quite as low. Hitman 2 also has what is arguably the best stage in the whole trilogy: Miami. It’s a really fun game and is currently the front-runner for my end of year wrap up as the best game I played this year. I know it may sound premature to say something like that, but we are a quarter of the way through the year already.

One thing I did notice throughout my time with Hitman 2 was my disdain for more fortress oriented levels. I really don’t like when things are extremely locked down as I find that stifled my creativity. It’s all well and good to lockdown certain parts of a level, but locking off the majority of the space forces the player into luring targets to extremely specific locations and a lot of trailing which isn’t super fun. Luckily only two levels in the suite of eight exhibit this sort of design and only one of those two is truly awful to play.

Anyway, Hitman 2 comes highly recommended, though make sure you grab the gold edition so you get the seventh and eighth level as those are DLC and are two of the better levels in the game.

Loop Hero

Loop Hero is such a fucking weird game. It was weirdly compelling at first, but the more I think about my time with the game the more negatively I view it. I think the most sensible way I can describe it is like eating a bag of potato chips. It feels good while you’re doing it, but the more you eat the sicker you feel until eventually you want to roll over and die because you’ve been stuffing your face with garbage. That’s what Loop Hero is…really addictive garbage.

Granted, I think the devs found a REALLY compelling gameplay loop and writing it off is a little unfair. Loop Hero is an odd duck.

Anyway, if you want the longer version of my thoughts on Loop Hero: review here.

Mail Mole

The only other game I wanted to touch on is Mail Mole. It’s about a mole who delivers mail. Despite the name and the theming the concept of delivering mail doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Each level ends with a mailbox, but you’re turning on power generators. Why the fuck is a postal worker turning on the power generators? I suppose you could rightfully level the same complaint about loose theming against A Hat in Time for having almost no time based power-ups and I love that game so I shouldn’t give Mail Mole such a hard time.

For what it is Mail Mole is alright. It didn’t light my world on fire, but I also didn’t hate it. I think there is a lot of room in it for speed-running potential, but I could never quite get a handle on how to reliably maintain speed. Still, there is depth there if you’re willing to dig into it, but I finished it up and swiftly moved onto other games.

Art

I was so disappointed by the last piece I made in February that I decided to break myself in March. I needed to come up with something that I could look at and enjoy instead of constantly hating every piece of art I put out. So several nights were spent researching all of my favourite artists and identifying what about their art I liked and why. This involved copying their styles to figure out what about them I liked. Eventually I took some of my favourite pieces and tied that into my style and came up with the following:

Once I had a single face that I liked I set out to duplicate it a few times. The idea here was to make sure I could reliably replicate the original’s feel and style. I decided to practice this with a new drawing of Meg from Hades and Rosalina from Mario. Both of these doodles put my old ones to shame. The older ones look like hot trash in a side by side comparison. Kind of funny what a little bit of focused practice can do for your art.

Next up was trying to learn to do better anatomy and that is an on-going battle. I’m very heavily making use of reference photos to the point where I might as well be tracing them. I can’t yet deviate from them because my artistic abilities are a little too weak when it comes to anatomy. With more practice I’m sure I’ll get better. Either way, here are the two drawings that came out of anatomy practice. Should probably do a few headless bodies, but these are a little more fun even if they are more time consuming.

Community

As always here are five posts from around the community that you should check out, which were written in March.

Kim | Later Levels – Do you need to complete a game before reviewing it?

AK | Everything is Bad for You – A review of Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk (PS4)

Quietschisto | RNG – Carrion – My Wayward Son

Naithan | Time to Loot – Loopin’ Back

Stephen Brown | Honest Gamer – FromSoftware Games Ranked


That about does it for March. Good luck out there in April and thanks for reading.

6 thoughts on “Month in Review – March

  1. “Why the fuck is a postal worker turning on the power generators?”

    Who else do you wanna do it, the oversized Skunk?

    Nah let the cute mole do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the link! I’m having a good time plowing through the Atelier series righ tnow, and the developer puts out a new game every year so my to-play list keeps growing.

    I played some Hitman way back on the Gamecube and remember liking it, but it’s been a while. Mail Mole also sounds like a nice concept at least. His service seems more efficient than our own post office is at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re quite welcome.

      Yeah I’ve noticed as much. Never a bad thing when you can get more of something you already enjoy though, eh?

      I’m of the mindset that the most recent trilogy of Hitman games kind of hits on the vision IOI was always aiming for because the technology finally caught up to their idea. Might be talking out my ass there, but I had a lot of fun playing through Hitman 2 over the past several weekends.

      Aint that the truth. It is definitely neat for what it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the mention. I’ve been replaying dome more the FromSoftware games recently (Sekiro and Bloodborne), so I wanted to do a ranked list, especially after completing the Demon’s Souls remake.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re quite welcome.

      As someone who has only played Sekiro it was neat to read through your thoughts on all the FromSoft games from the past several years. It’ll be interesting to see what Elden Ring (or whatever their next game is called) looks like when it finally manifests.

      Like

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