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there's a frog in my snake oil
Elite Dangerous is going free on Epic btw.

It’s still just a niche space pilot game. But hey, it’s free

(The update adding ropey RPG stuff next year will probably be £35 though )
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A system of cells interlinked





A couple more bosses down in Bloodborne. At this point, the difficulty curve, which is very much peaks and valleys throughout the entire game, has each new area being quite punishing, with some brutal traps and enemies that are very tough to deal with, offset by bosses that are just somewhat challenging, but don't require many, if any, subsequent attempts to beat them. The Amygdala fight was quite easy, while the Micolash fight was more tedious than challenging, as the boss ran around and hid/avoided the player for much of the fight.

That said, the areas are brutal, well designed, and atmospheric, so I guess it all balances out in the end. Pretty sure I only have 3-4 more bosses total to get through, with a couple of them being optional. Hoping to finish up this game this week!
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there's a frog in my snake oil
So I've fallen back into Elite again. For some classically Elite reasons...



I joined a war, because it was offering free rank with a major faction. Military rank is an absolute pain to grind out. You have to kill a ton of stuff.

So I went and killed a ton of stuff. To end up in the 'top 75%' (and earn my rank). This is very Elite.

I enjoyed it though. I'm getting better at aiming the fixed railguns on my giant-killing ship. So I decided to try out some other builds. I remembered there's a special effect you can put on fixed plasma cannons that makes them more powerful the hotter you get. And plasmas make you hot. (The downside being that things ping off your ship and key items stop working. But it sounded like fun )

So I went about the absurd grind involved in accessing the Engineer who could hook me up. He wanted Bromellite. Which can only be mined. Ok, guess I'm going mining...

And it went ok. I found what I needed. The new system of scanning and splicing the big rocks is fun, atmospheric, and takes some skill. I even dipped back in to make some money, and the creds did fountain. (Well, 8m from busting a single big rock is fine by me).

Loading out my lil giant-killer ship as a miner however took foreverrrr. And ferrying ship parts around the galaxy is dull as anything.

So I think I'm going to buy a mining ship now... (to go with my other 4 ships). Just to avoid doing that ever again. (It's kinda fun to tinker with ship loadouts, but I really don't want to do it every time I go mining...)

So yeah. The basic Python costs 50m, moves alright, and can land anywhere. I should earn that back in no time. (Earning money to earn money, and doing chores to avoid bigger chores. This is absolutely the Elite way ).

And I reckon I'll enjoy it to be honest. Tunes, a new cockpit view, and a new ship shape to steer between spinning obstacles.

But then I'll want to do something about that jump range. Probably see an Engineer about making it better too...

Someday I might even get back to that plasma build...

Damn you Elite. Damn you.

(You're alright though sometimes. You stupid game )



there's a frog in my snake oil
A quick ode to MINING



And damn if it isn't as OP as everyone said. I went a bit nuts and near A-classed my new mining Python, which cost about 100m. Then I earned about 85m+ with one 2hr session floating through the icy mists.

(For comparison, a high end combat assassination mission nets you about 1.5m tops. Minus costs if you set fire to your ship . And can take like half an hour easy, depending on where you track them down.)

I'll still totally go back to combat as my main Elite thing to do. But mining my way out of mining debt has been a chill thing to do



The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope - 8/10
Another QTE-centric horror walkathon. Some cheesy dialogue, but an engrossing time-bending mystery that doesn't resort to cliches too often (it is derivative of Silent Hill though). My only minor gameplay gripes are those occasional wonky camera changes, and awkward flashlight movement (I played with a controller). The story rewards you for reading & personally deliberating over old newspaper snippets and whatnot, but I expect
WARNING: "ending" spoilers below
some will see the ending as a big middle finger.
I liked it more than Man of Medan. The preview for the next game in the series looks great (Arabian desert horror ).



Is Super Mario Sunshine regarded as the hardest Mario? I'm having quite a challenge with it. I think I have 13 sprites left until I can reach the endpoint.



Tough call, but I think it's up there, except for some of the really old ones at least (since games were just in general a lot harder back then, I'd say). I remember thinking it was harder than usual, though, yeah.



The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope - 8/10
Another QTE-centric horror walkathon. Some cheesy dialogue, but an engrossing time-bending mystery that doesn't resort to cliches too often (it is derivative of Silent Hill though). My only minor gameplay gripes are those occasional wonky camera changes, and awkward flashlight movement (I played with a controller). The story rewards you for reading & personally deliberating over old newspaper snippets and whatnot, but I expect
WARNING: "ending" spoilers below
some will see the ending as a big middle finger.
I liked it more than Man of Medan. The preview for the next game in the series looks great (Arabian desert horror ).

Lucky duck. I'm still waiting for a patch that fixes the endless loading screen. But the bit I did play wasn't bad. Definitely better than Medan.



Lucky duck. I'm still waiting for a patch that fixes the endless loading screen. But the bit I did play wasn't bad. Definitely better than Medan.
Really? The game ran perfectly on my middling PC. I didn't play co-op though.



Really? The game ran perfectly on my middling PC. I didn't play co-op though.

Yeah, seems to be a co-op issue. I can wait it out, though. Thinking of picking up Control in the meantime.



The People's Republic of Clogher
My game of the year is Animal Crossing, which surprised me.

Any other year it wouldn't be (it'd be on my list though, just not at the top) but 2020 is ... well ... 2020 and I found myself having racked up 400 hours in it. It's the most good hearted thing I've seen in years, and perfect for our fractious times.

Hades was second.
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Please don’t shout at my clouds
My game of the year is Animal Crossing, which surprised me.

Any other year it wouldn't be (it'd be on my list though, just not at the top) but 2020 is ... well ... 2020 and I found myself having racked up 400 hours in it. It's the most good hearted thing I've seen in years, and perfect for our fractious times.

Hades was second.
Must not have been any Yakuza games this year.



The People's Republic of Clogher
Must not have been any Yakuza games this year.


Not played Like A Dragon yet, tbf.

Bought the steelbook in order to play through once, then again next year when the PS5 upgraded version is released. Turns out the free upgrade is only for owners of the digital game, which is a bit BS.

My PS5 has been delayed 24 hours. Got an email saying it's here tomorrow.



Welcome to the human race...
I played Animal Crossing on a regular basis from May through September but once I missed a day or two then the gaps started getting wider and now the only time I seem to log into it is to clock a new K.K. concert every Saturday (and that's just to chase the Nook Miles achievement even though I already have over 300,000 unused miles and could be earning them in other ways anyway so why am I even bothering). Have to wonder what it'd take for me to get back into it (though I wonder if it's a coincidence that it overlapped with restrictions easing up around here).

There was also the matter of how for October I decided I'd play at least one horror game that I've had in my backlog. I ultimately settled on Until Dawn since hey it's basically an interactive horror movie and watching horror movies is what I do every October. The much-vaunted "butterfly effect" mechanics, while not quite as far-reaching as I'd have expected, were still novel enough and I found it a thrilling (but not too intimidating) experience. Probably helps that the game moves forward no matter what and you just have to live with bad consequences or else restart the whole thing. Only real problem seems to be that, despite the dozens upon dozens of different ways that things could play out depending on choices or active gameplay, the prospect of wading through the whole thing again in the hopes of getting a golden ending or achievement hunting (and it is funny to see how many trophies are for bad experiences) is a little slim. But what can you do about that? The real question is whether I decide to check out Supermassive's Dark Pictures games that seem to promise more of the same.

I also made a start on playing the Resident Evil remake - something about the sheer unfamiliarity of those old-school controls and cameras (to say nothing of the actual survival horror where you can't expect to kill every single enemy you encounter) made it a challenge and part of me definitely wants to push on with it, but also I think the fact that it feels like something I only ever seem to play in fits and starts means I may never get around to finishing it - especially not that I've resorted to playing more comfortable fare again like Mortal Kombat X or Mortal Kombat 11.
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I really just want you all angry and confused the whole time.



I bought Animal Crossing. Maybe played an hour. I thought I could get into it but that hasn't happened at least yet.



Please don’t shout at my clouds

There was also the matter of how for October I decided I'd play at least one horror game that I've had in my backlog. I ultimately settled on Until Dawn since hey it's basically an interactive horror movie and watching horror movies is what I do every October.

Championed Until Dawn to everyone I knew. Really enjoyed a high-quality game with a straight forward premise. Not a fetch-quest, side-mission laden slog like many games of a decent production value tend to be. Throw in some recognizable actors and it was a fun experience to take in.



The People's Republic of Clogher
I played Animal Crossing on a regular basis from May through September but once I missed a day or two then the gaps started getting wider and now the only time I seem to log into it is to clock a new K.K. concert every Saturday (and that's just to chase the Nook Miles achievement even though I already have over 300,000 unused miles and could be earning them in other ways anyway so why am I even bothering). Have to wonder what it'd take for me to get back into it (though I wonder if it's a coincidence that it overlapped with restrictions easing up around here).
Yep, I'm pretty much the same on AC. Loved the game to bits but I'm going back less and less now, even though the live aspect of it is still in full swing. Still. 400 hours ain't bad



Hah. I only logged 143 hours on my switch since last September. But pretty impressive with 2 kids.



A quick ode to MINING



And damn if it isn't as OP as everyone said. I went a bit nuts and near A-classed my new mining Python, which cost about 100m. Then I earned about 85m+ with one 2hr session floating through the icy mists.

(For comparison, a high end combat assassination mission nets you about 1.5m tops. Minus costs if you set fire to your ship . And can take like half an hour easy, depending on where you track them down.)

I'll still totally go back to combat as my main Elite thing to do. But mining my way out of mining debt has been a chill thing to do
reminds me of no mans sky
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