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Death Stranding Is Far Weirder And Better Than I Could Have Hoped

After waiting the better part of a year for the PC release, a friend and I got drunk last night and played Death Stranding for 6 straight hours, and I am delighted.

This is the first game from Hideo Kojima after his messy break up with Konami and founding his own game development company. Not since Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain released in 2015, have we had any exposure to his particular brand of weirdness. So, in a weirdly small America, after some kind of global supernatural apocalypse, you're a very rare and special type of person that basically can't die, and doesn't age. As such, you work as a courier by loading hundreds of pounds of boxes on your back, and walking them from place to place. You can eventually get vehicles, but you're going to spend most of your time walking. The mechanics of just trying to keep your balance, and not falling over and damaging any of your precious cargo are fully engaging. Not only do you have shoulder straps on each side tha…
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Cats is a terrible movie in more ways than I can likely remember

Against my better judgment, or perhaps more accurately, succumbing to my self-hate tendencies, I saw Cats last night in a theater. It was a discount theater, I paid $4 for my ticket, and they served beer, but no hard alcohol. I couldn't get drunk fast enough, and I kind of want my $4 back.

I'll preface this by saying that I've never seen the stageplay, so I'll try and avoid criticizing what I think is the core conceipt, save this: Most musicals have a more traditionally told story, that threads song and dance scenes together. Cats has song and dance numbers, one right after another, for nearly two hours. If you there is ever more than two minutes of the movie between songs, I would be surprised. I don't think the original stage production would be for me either.

Okay, so what's left of the movie to talk about? It feels like it's an entirely too faithful adaptation of the play. There are ways to frame a scene that make sense on a stage, but they don't fe…

Hades is already a fabulous game, and it's still being developed!

Supergiant Games makes absolutely brilliant and gorgeous games, that I just never really click with.

They made Bastion, which took everyone's hearts at E3 one year, and it's a perfectly fine game, but for some reason just didn't click with me.

They followed that up with Transistor, which I want to like so very badly, but it's kind of dauntingly complex really fast. I should try that again.

Then they made Pyre, to which most people said "What the fuck?" It's a story heavy sports game... kind of?

Supergiant is an independent studio, but they have way more polish and heart than I've come to expect from a lot of indie titles. All of their games are lavishly animated with sprites, fully and wonderfully voiceacted, and feature completely rocking soundtracks by the amazing Darren Korb (seriously, if you're not familiar, go listen to the Bastion Soundtrack). I think a big part of why I love their games, but don't actually enjoy playing them all that m…

Borderlands 3!

If you've ever talked to me about videogames, odds are high that I've mentioned Borderlands AKA probably my favorite franchise of all time. To say that I'm a little excited about the recent gameplay reveal they did for Borderlands 3, which doesn't come out for another FOUR MONTHS, is probably an understatement.
I'm probably not going to talk about any of the new features in Borderlands 3 in this post, because there are probably better places you can go to read that, and it's not my silly blog for ranting is a news site. Instead, I wanted to summarize the various games so far, and explain the weird niche that the series fills in the gaming world.
Way back in the primitive and uncultured year of 2009 the first Borderlands game came out, and it was good. If you're unfamiliar with the series, the easiest way to sum it up is that it's Diablo, with guns instead of swords. You pick one of four characters (at least to start, the later games started adding two a…

In Which I Decide My "Social Anxiety" Is Actually Low Self-Esteem

Time to exercise some more naval gazing!

I often tell people that I have a small amount of social anxiety. I often dread going to group functions, and will agonize over whether or not I'll actually go up until the moment I actually arrive. I have shown up, and just turned around and gone home before actually finding parking, although that's a pretty rare and extreme occurrence.

When I tell people about this, they often have the response: "Well, you don't seem anxious". Thank you, but that's not really the point. It's almost like they associate social anxiety with social awkwardness. I'm sure there is quite a lot of crossover there, that's really not my issue. I don't end up with panic attacks, or lock up in front of people, I just really have to push myself to make it out on a given night.

For some reason I've been thinking about impostor syndrome a lot lately. My understanding of this is that it's a feeling that you don't deserve …

I Want To Talk About Pain

I think about pain a lot. Absolutely shocking, I know. Get a tattoo, you spend a lot of time looking at people's tattoos and thinking about them. Buy a van, suddenly that's all you can see on the road. Have a massive traumatic injury that gives you chronic pain for life, and you start noticing all of the pains, and classifying and quantifying the differences between them. So, here are my pretty broad categories of pain:

First up, the most basic: Sharp, instant pain. Stub your toe? Hit your thumb with a hammer? Cut yourself on a kitchen knife? You feel it right then and there, there's no build up, no question at the source. There are different levels of severity, of course. Maybe it's just enough to make you pull your hand away from that thumb tack. Maybe it stops you so completely in your tracks that you forget what you were doing. Sometimes, I see a flash of white, you'd think that's a head trauma thing, and it probably is, but I've had it happen from a fe…

Why Can't We Just Let Peter Parker Be Happy?

Long time writer Dan Slott has stepped down from writing Spider-Man, and Nick Spencer is now trying his hand with the new numbering Amazing Spider-Man. I'm about five issues in, and it's good, but there are a lot of things that are bothering me about how Peter Parker just can't keep anything good in his life moving.

I will preface this, spoiler alert, by saying that he is finally back with Mary Jane, apparently that deal with the devil (literal) has expired. While it's cool that the Marvel gods have finally relented to allow him to spend some time with his true love, they've unrelentingly fucked up everything else in his life once again.

Before we start about the new story arc's assaults on his self-esteem, let's take a walk down memory lane to go over the ways I can think of, off the top of my head, that Marvel's constantly taken away everything he's built.

In the beginning: Peter Parker was a high school student that got bit by a spider and became…