Valheim is all the rage right now and I’ve been having a fantastic time with it and our friends who are also playing. It’s the first game my boyfriend and I have found mutual interest in, in like… 5 years? (It’s tragic that we have nearly opposite tastes in games.)
In fact, I’ve never felt drawn to the survival game genre. The only one I’ve ever really enjoyed is Ark: Survival Evolved, and that’s only because I’m highly dinosaur (and dragon) motivated. Spent the whole game taming dinos and nothing else. Valheim, however. Valheim I find so enjoyable that it’s inspired me to write about games for the first time in over a year!
Regular Backlog Crusader readers might have noticed a banner ad on the last dozen posts or so for an innovative, robust product called Switchblades. This Nintendo Switch kickstand accessory is one I had been using so much that I had actually reached out the manufacturer, Gravilogic, personally to see if they wanted to support Backlog Crusader for a while, and they did. Thanks, Gravilogic! I use my Switchblade all the time when I play my Switch. Seriously. All. The Time. Here’s my review!
Yennefer. Who is she, really? In the Witcher 3 we see her relentlessly pursuing her goals across multiple continents, taking down any obstacles in her way. Yes, she cares passionately for her love, Geralt, but he won’t distract her from her ultimate goals. Despite their closeness, she keeps extremely important secrets from the Witcher during their travels, yet he trusts her implicitly. She is strong and wise, confident and skilled, and a timeless beauty. Their romance is legendary in the Witcher universe, literally.
Almost 20 years ago, Planescape: Torment made a promise. It demonstrated that video games as an art form are capable of delivering writing on par with the best narratives that exist over all forms of media. The world of Planescape offered prose so invigorating and eloquent, storytelling so pristine and cohesive that it captivated creative minds for decades to come.
In its stead, many games posed to be the promised heroes, ready to cash in on that promise but unfortunately, no one managed to soar as high… until now. Of all iterations that could have been, few could imagine that the savior of video gaming prose would take upon such an interesting form: bare naked, hungover, laying in his filth in the middle of a ravaged motel room, awoken from eternal slumber by a hellish clarion call. Rise and shine, detective. Welcome to Revachol.
The Autumn colors outside have had me feeling somewhat nostalgic lately and I wanted to expand a little on my older piece about how video games influenced the different phases of my life. It is less common than you’d expect for a non-sport hobby to stay with a child into their later adult life. What is it about video games that allow them to stick with us on such a deep, sentimental level for so many years?
I must confess: I am a sucker for all things cyberpunk, so enthusiasm might cloud my judgment, but I cannot help but feel that Neo Cab is one of the coolest games I’ve played in a while. It is a game that does not only capture the general aesthetic of the setting (think neon lights, cheesy synths, high-tech gizmos), but its fundamental core: a struggle of an individual faced with a soul-crushing march of high-tech corporations. And Neo Cab achieves that not by projecting an image of some distant dystopian future. Instead, it narrows the gap between reality and the imagination until I could not help but think that the world it has described is waiting for us just around the corner.
It seems I’m fighting off a bit of writer’s block this week so instead of a text article I’ve got some official Fire Emblem illustrations to share with you from the concept art book that was included with the collector’s edition of the Three Houses. Obviously don’t view the rest of this post if you haven’t finished the game because some of the images have spoilers. In case you missed it, you can find my review of Fire Emblem Three Houses here.
Sayonara Wild Hearts incorporates all 22 Major Arcana of the Tarot in its fast paced, pop-arcade, cosmic wonderland. You can check out my full review of the game here. I cannot understate how creative and ambitious studio Simogo is to have given us such a spectacularly beautiful, mesmerizing rendition of the Fool’s Journey in video game form.
I wanted to do a deep dive into the significance of Tarot cards and their meanings are used in Sayonara Wild Hearts to add a hidden layer of depth for those in know, so that’s what you’ll find in this article! I’ll be covering the entire game from start to finish (including a short explanation of Tarot at the start) so please be sure to complete the game before reading to avoid spoilers. You can also watch a play through of the game here.
I wanted to make it easier for gaming writers to connect with the gaming blogger community, so I started the “Rising Stars” series where both veteran bloggers and readers can discover and welcome new or relatively unknown gaming writers into the community. I hope this will help to encourage and support individuals as well as maintain the health of the gaming blogger ecosystem overall!
You can find the previous Rising Stars posts here, and now let’s take a look at this week’s featured bloggers…
In a month overflowing with anticipated, high quality releases, Sayonara Wild Hearts is a shining gem you should have on your radar. This game is an expertly shaken cocktail of neon colors, trippy, dreamlike environments, a catchy synth-pop soundtrack, and skillful level design. While Sayonara is on the brief side with about an hour of total playtime required to complete the campaign, it is a truly magical experience that blew me away with its dynamic art style, captivating music, generous variety of mechanics, and heart-pumping action!