You may have noticed, but I have been on hiatus over the past several months, for which I apologize profusely. I wanted to thank those who continue to stop by and catch up on my posts. I started this blog back in spring of 2019 and I was writing so much, so frequently, that eventually I hit burnout about two months after my PAX West trip last year.
In addition, my hobby interests have turned away from gaming and writing to other things for a time, namely Tarot (the happy fault of Sayonara Wild Hearts), drawing, and online community building. I tend to go through periods of “hobby rotation” where I’m really into one thing or another for a half year or so and then move to something else, eventually circling back to an intense focus on gaming. I do plan on writing more in the future when the burnout wears off.
It would warm my heart to see some of you on Instagram in the mean time. I’ve included a few of my art posts from Instagram between paragraphs below for anyone interested. 🙂
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!
Untitled Goose Game is best described as the virtual, interactive embodiment of the AnimalsBeingJerks subreddit, and it is extremely entertaining! Not only is it is highly likely to linger in your mind as one of the most amusing titles you’ve ever played, but gameplay is also a blast to watch as a bystander. This deceptively complicated, low stress puzzle game hatches from a simple concept: You’re a gleefully mischievous goose who’s life’s mission seems to be to drive the residents of a small town completely bonkers.
Now that I’ve had some time to decompress after the most insane, busiest several weeks in a row I’ve had in many years, I wanted to share my favorite titles from Expo West earlier this month. I would include Creature in the Well, but it launched shortly after PAX West, so I’d suggest checking out my review of Creature in the Well instead. Here are my top top non-triple A games in alphabetical order since I couldn’t decide on a best to least best arrangement of the list. They’re all great for different reasons!
When I first saw the announcement trailer for Creature in the Well during the Nindies showcase earlier this year, it immediately piqued my interest with its derelict setting and intriguing pinball-based gameplay. When I tried the Creature in the Well at Flight School Studio’s booth at PAX West recently, I loved it and figured it would be a hit upon release. Now that it’s out and I’m going to double down on that opinion. Put on your dungeon spelunking gear and get ready to delve into the darkness of Creature in the Well, one of my favorite indie releases of 2019!
Vambrace: Cold Soul, is a roguelike that caught my interest because of its highly stylized, graphic novel-esque art style and grimdark atmosphere. You play as Lyric, a young woman searching for clues about her late father’s mysterious past, who ends up trapped in Icenaire, a city surrounded by enchanted walls of ice that kill anyone who touches them…