Currently Playing

As I mentioned the other day, I’ve been mostly playing Metroid Samus Returns lately. You can read my “impressions” of that game here. But before the remake came out, I started playing Alundra.

Alundra is a weird game. Like many unhappy RPGs that happened to get released around the time Final Fantasy VII arrived, it got swept under the rug. I had heard about it back then, and years ago got the PSOne “Classic” version for my Vita. After playing through FFVII, I thought it was time to give this hidden gem (by reputation) a try.

It’s essentially a Zelda clone, and not an overly well done one. The best part so far is the amusing game manual. Anyhow, I only got about 2 hours in before I switched to Metroid. When I’m done with Samus’ adventure on SR388, I’ll return to Alundra.

To close out the year here I’m probably due to pay some time in Cuphead. The buzz and post release controversy is proving too hard to resist. I also want to spend more time with Fire Pro Wrestling and some other PS4 games I missed out on due to the Read From Memory series.

Knights of the Round FFXIV

I discovered that Square-Enix did a little throwback to the Knights of the Round summon in FFXIV. I’ve never played this game and have no idea what the battle is about, but the the throwback is awesome.

Just a reminder, I’m on break this weekend. I’ll return Monday with the penultimate Fantasy Baseball update for this season, and we’ll get back to FFVII on Tuesday.

Intermission Continued

Yes I decided to extend my break from FFVII another day. Tomorrow I’ll post the Fantasy Baseball Update, right now – to my surprise – I’m leading my opponent by about 20 points. I still don’t expect to win, but at least if I do lose it won’t be a lopsided defeat like the last time I faced him.

On Tuesday I’ll resume the RFM series with Disc Two.

Intermission: FFVII

It took me just a few minutes shy of 45 hours to get to the end of Disc One of FFVII. If I had an operable PlayStation still, I could actually check my original timestamp from 1997 (assuming the memory cart still worked). My gut feeling is it took me about 25 hours to get there the first time around. Now that we’re on Disc Two, I have some leveling to take care of. I already went to Fort Condor for the next battle. I may make another stop or two before I head back to Corral Valley, and the Snow Fields beyond.

So while I take care of those errands, I’ll be taking a break from Read From Memory. I may post part 27 before the Fantasy Baseball Update. But more likely I’ll be back in the swing of things the day after. Thanks for reading the series so far!

Break Day

I’ve played FFVII every day for the last week, and while I said I was going to post the summary of the story every day, it’s not going to happen today. I need to gather my strength before I get into the epic confrontation at the lost capitol of the ancients. I also need to play a different game or two before I become too much of a Square fanboi. And take care of some other work too.

Tomorrow we’ll cover the Fantasy Baseball Update, but in a brief preview the Makers are down about 30 points, and with no pitchers scheduled to go today and the waiver wire looking like trash, I think I’m going to eat a loss to the 12th place team. Hey, they need to win too every once in a while. That assures me a losing record this season, but what are you gonna do? But the full post will be tomorrow.

We will return to Read From Memory starting Tuesday and have a good run. We’ll definitely make a dent in Disc Two. It’s my intention to finish the game by the 20th anniversary of the North American release. That gives me a month to strike down the One Winged Angel. I believe I can do it.

Paintbrushes for Minis

I’m in the midst of creating my work area for my hobby crafting, but it was time to consider learning about paintbrushes.

Here’s a video from Wargamers Shut Up & Jam Gaiden about this topic. It’s about 12 minutes long and gives an overview of the philosophy behind selecting brands.

My gaming group is fortunate enough to have a professional artist in its ranks, so many of us knew some of this from him. But since it’s been many years since I gave any thought to paintbrushes, it was time for a refresher.


Blog Update Notes

Normally I post about my Fantasy Baseball team today (Monday), but since it’s the Break, this matchup won’t be over until the weekend. So instead I’ll talk about the state of the blog. I’ve been reviewing a few templates to finally update this basic one. At some point you’ll see this one come up. I’ve also been reorganizing the categories and tags, which will make for easier searching.

The most popular categories, interesting enough, remain my strategy posts. I wrote about the Norway campaign in Panzer General and OODA loops. I wrote about OODA loops during my attempt to implement them against AI in Metal Gear Solid 2. Some people also liked the coverage about Kickstarters, and the various indie games I’ve discovered.

So I’m guessing the message here is: more useful content! This is my personal blog so I won’t be putting too much time into tailoring content for traffic. But I’m always looking to add useful content for people. I consider my readers to be my friends!

We’ve just about reached the 300 post mark and despite what WordPress metrics tell me, I’ve done a post every day since January 1. That’s 190 posts as of this one. I’ll continue with another 175 posts by the end of this year, and reassess the daily posting then. If you’re thinking about making your own blog, let me tell you that the rumors you’ve heard are true: daily posting is hard. Ranking content is even harder. This isn’t a niche site per se, but the video game niche is crowded. I suspect the vast majority of eyes have been captured by streamers and YouTubers. A few friends and I predicted this nearly a decade ago, but that’s a story for another time.

Anyhow if you’re one of the 1,000 or so that have made your way to my personal space over the last two years, I thank you. Changes are coming soon and I hope you enjoy them.

Mini Painting tutorial

For those considering getting into the wargaming hobby, here’s an introductory video series to painting by Miniwargamer Jay:

I recently acquired a battle box of Cygnar with the newer plastic models, and Captain Haley, my preferred warcaster back during my brief career in minis. I’m considering going through many of these tutorials and seeing how well they work for me. Though I dabbled almost 10 years ago, whatever skills I picked up them have long since rusted over, and I was a neophyte to begin with. So if there’s interest in that I may make it a regular series on here.

Metal Gear Solid 2 Gameplay and Anniversary

Two years ago I started blogging on this site, and my first post was about Metal Gear Solid 2, since it was April 29. Get it? In honor of both, here’s a walkthrough of the entire game via Tactical Dinner Roll. (Includes all cutscenes and codec conversations)

Tactical Dinner Roll was kind enough to split the gameplay up into 23 parts in a playlist. Most of the clips are less than 20 minutes long, so it’s all digestible. Better than the hours long let’s plays, filled with commentary and editorializing. Nice touch too to have all the boss battles labeled.

A good thing about these walkthroughs is that you can see how others play old and familiar games. You would think that especially in such a small game (compared to today’s games) there’s only so many ways to play it,. And you know them all. A reasonable assumption. But I’m always surprised by somebody’s innovation or little trick I didn’t catch before.

Metal Gear Solid 2 Posts

This wasn’t intended to be a Metal Gear fan blog, but since it is one of my favorite series I ended up posting a lot about it. For those interested here’s a list of the posts I wrote that are specific about MGS2:

For the record, I have yet to get the Virtually Impossible achievement on the PS3 port. I also have not reviewed Kangaroo Notebook. But there are a few more anniversaries for the game coming up, so I can manage them. Certainly by the 20th anniversary.

Thanks for everyone who has read my blog and given me feedback in the last two years. Here’s to many more.

I have something special planned for tomorrow (you do know what day it is tomorrow, right?)