Boogieman117's Blog - Apr to Jun 19 (6 followers)
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Jun
21
PermalinkPost #13 – Nebulous
Greeting readers,

This week has been absolutely non-stop, so insane to the point that I damned near forgot to write this post. This week has included:

- Students graduating from school for the summer (I work at a public school)
- Teachers rapidly wanting to leave aforementioned school for the summer
- Preparing for the massive project I need to do for the summer
- The Women’s World Cup started
- The CONCACAF Gold Cup started
- The COMNEBOL Copa America started
- Videos that nicely put bowties on E3 are available for my eyes to consume
- Setting up my Extra Life 2019 fundraising page
- Destiny 2’s Season of Opulence started
- I created a Discord for my Destiny 2 clan
- I've been whoring my clan on the Destiny subreddits and clan recruitment pages on Bungie.net

So when in the blue hell have I had a chance to work on my backlog? Well, not at all.

At some point this week, after taking a break from building and playing with my Destiny 2 clan, I did have a chance to continue playing through “The Last of Us”, but 2 things happened simultaneously that caused me to stop that night; 1) there was a massive storm outside that was causing a brownout in the house and 2) I’m in the outside section of the beginning of the game where
*** Spoiler - click to reveal ***
. Imagine my night when a hidden Cordyceps gets me from behind and thunder from the real-life storm outside happens within 5 seconds of each other = a case of slightly brown pants and feeling silly. With that brief interlude and a careful, smelly and shameful walk to my bedroom, that put a stop to “The Last of Us” that night and every other night for the foreseeable future. From now on, I pledge to only play TLoU when the sun is out/every light in the room is on with the volume turned down a bit.

Normally this is where I’d copy/paste the trophies I’ve unlocked from my backlog, but “The Last of Us” doesn’t like story-based trophies – it’s a collect-a-thon that I’m not aiming for and the only trophy I foresee unlocking is the ‘you completed the game on easy’ because I’m a scardy-cat and don’t like scary things. TLoU commands my respect to play it again, so damn you Naughty Dog for creating such a everlasting and visceral game; I love you as much as my washing machine loved my underwear that night.

I did unlock a trophy in the past few days, see below.

Destiny 2Darkness FallsBoogieman117The Darkness Falls trophy in Destiny 2 worth 28 pointsDefeat a Forsaken Nightfall Boss.


As someone who has played Destiny since the D1 Beta 5 years ago, I show this as an example of either how badly far behind I am in this game or how quickly I’ve been able to spin up a functioning clan. Either way, I’m a happy dude.

On a slightly off-topic note (as if this blog post isn't already off the rails), I had a small trip down memory lane; a friend of mine acquired a PS2 (yes, you read that right), a copy of Guitar Hero 3 and 2 working guitars from a local game shop. As he was playing, I could feel the magnetic pull of 'you're almost 35 years old' pull on my bones while my eyes watched the falling notes and my hands began to tap in time on a table from muscle memory formed a decade ago. Naturally, after my friend beat another friend in a multiplayer game, he challenged me. This went poorly for my friend who accepted a challenge of playing "Stricken" on Hard mode (apparently, he'd never played Hard mode before - the 'orange' notes are "hard to get to"). I think I activated Star Power once, but it was more than enough to have my friend look at me in a gase of wonder, thinking 'how in the hell did he do that?' - it was quite enjoyable. :)

This weekend, the family and I will be going on vacation for a week, and I'll be nowhere near my PlayStation 4. There's a slight chance that I might bring my PS Vita (IT LIVES) with me, but with 2 small children and a beach, there'll be many places for me to be and sand in places it shouldn't be.

As mentioned, I started an Extra Life fundraiser - this is my 7th consecutive year doing it and will continue to do it until I'm physically unable to. If you have a few dollars to spare, please consider donating - kids at Children's National in Washington DC will appreciate it.
https://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.p...

I also mentioned that I'd been working on my Destiny 2 clan - I've provided links to the clan's page on Bungie.net and our Discord below if interested:

Clan: https://www.bungie.net/en/ClanV2/?groupId=2942177
Discord: https://discord.gg/3tRna7F

See you next time!
Posted by Boogieman117 on 21 June 19 at 03:20 | Last edited on 21 June 19 at 03:30 | There are no comments on this blog - Please log in to comment on this blog.
Jun
11
PermalinkPost #12 – Scratching the Itch
Greeting readers,

This week has brought some stability back into my journey through the backlog, and I think I’ve hit a few milestones along the way.

At this point, I’ve gone through about 15 games since the beginning of the backlog journey and the ratio of games purchased vs. games ‘done with’ is steadily going in the right direction. Thank goodness I’m broke right now, otherwise the recent Sony “State of Play” sale would drastically throw that ratio wildly in the other direction. Also, I think I’m unofficially 5 months into the journey (started with Assassins Creed: Black Flag in January 2019). 15 games in 5 months… seems like a solid ratio… until I realized that I still have 120+ games to go. What a time to be a gamer.

Speaking of time, something most gamers have realized over the past few years that there isn’t enough time of, I’m feeling the Destiny 2 itch starting to what to be scratched again. Seeing the latest Twitch stream from Bungie about their Year 3 content named ‘Shadowkeep’ has reinvigorated my urge to play Destiny 2 again and kick the mud of my Hunter (and clan’s) boots. Of course, I've been down this road before, and decided to start a small, grassroots community with my clan. In due time, my goal is to convert my clan from the communication system called “Band” to a modern Discord server. From there, I’m looking to invite Destiny 2 players from all platforms (Stadia, PS4, Xbox, and PC) to hang out in our Discord server and play amongst the clan members. This is a nice thought and would balance nicely for the times that I need to take a break from the solo journey through the backlog** and be more social with clanmates.

** Note to self - I’ve got to come up with a unique and catchy term instead of using ‘journey through the backlog’ – I’ve used in 3 times in the past few paragraphs and it’s getting old already in 12 blog posts to type it over and over. Hey readers: got any pithy ideas? Reply in the comments or shoot me a message over Twitter or Twitch.

With that, back to the [INSERT CATCHY REPLACEMENT FOR ‘JOURNEY THROUGH THE BACKLOG’ HERE]

Mousecraft – Released 08 July 2014
Mousecraft is a neat little puzzle game that initially grabbed my attention with it’s simple puzzles and minimal story, however after a little while, manipulating the Tetris-like pieces in order to get the mice from Point A to Point B while trying to get the extra ‘pieces’ became a tad boring. It’s a game that looks, acts, and feels like a decent indie game from 2014, but sadly, it’s just not for me.

Hohokum - Released 22 July 2014
There’s not a whole lot of bad things I can say about this game, the only thing I had issues with when starting this game was…. What in the hell am I doing? After looking at a few videos and figuring it out on my own, I ran into the same issue that I did with Mousecraft - an older game with a good hook and simple mechanics, but just doesn’t hold my interest. Again, this isn’t a knock on Hohokum or Mousecraft, it’s just not for me right now and with a myriad of games ahead, it’s going to fall by the wayside.

Oddworld: New and Tasty - Released 22 July 2014
Oddworld games are relatively new to me; I’m sure this is a blasphemous statement for long-term PlayStation gamers, but it’s true. After unlocking a few trophies and working through the first few levels, I found the game intriguing, but lackluster for me. Again, and maybe this is because it’s an older game and the last 2 games prior were puzzle-based games, but this just didn’t strike me as entertaining. Sorry Abe.

Oddworld: New 'n' TastyUnder New ManagementBoogieman117The Under New Management trophy in Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty worth 31 pointsDrop 2 Sligs down a single trapdoor at the same time

Oddworld: New 'n' TastyHidden TrophyBoogieman117The Hidden Trophy trophy in Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty worth 15 pointsContinue playing to unlock this hidden trophy

This were pretty amusing when they happened.

The Last of Us Remastered - Released 29 July 2014
Ahhh, this feels right. I played TLoU on the PS3 and I RARELY replay games, but there’s something about TLoU that I can’t help but replay. The details for the storyline are hazy enough for me to forget about some major plot points and some probable jump scares, but it’s too good to not play again. Naughty Dog remastered the game for the PS4, so the 60fps on a modern TV looks simply stunning and it feels like it’s adding some visual elements that really appeal to me.

I just started the game a few nights ago, so it’ll be a fun process to restart this story, especially with TLoU2 coming in a year or two.

"Are you Still There?" - GlaDOS
I’ve been enjoying writing these blogs, but I’m a little sad that the engagement for the site isn’t as high as I thought it’d be. Looking over the site, it seems like I’ve missed the ‘hayday’ of this site and even jumped into the Discord for the TrueGaming network in an attempt to keep an interest, but it’s waning. I’m really happy to document my progress here, but being in the Top 50 of the blogs for the site with only 4 followers tells me that this site is inactive as best. I’ve been playing with the idea of launching my own site and blogging there, but that’s a price I’m not interested in paying. Cross-posting on Reddit (looking at you /r/playstation) isn’t an option - apparently posts like these aren’t considered ‘original content’. So please, engage with me - tell me that I should give MouseCraft another shot. Tell me that Oddworld gets better if I keep going with it. Convince me that King Oddball isn’t the strangest damned game on the PSN.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now. I’m thinking about writing a nice, long (as if these aren’t long enough) post on E3 releases and announcements, but struggling to find the time to actually type it out. If I do decide to do it, expect a decent gap in blog entries while I work, volunteer, game, sleep, parent, and every other thing that comes before the blog. :-
Until next time!
Posted by Boogieman117 on 11 June 19 at 23:15 | There are 3 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.
Jun
05
PermalinkPost #11 - Damn It
Greetings readers,

Sorry about not posting last Friday, life got really hectic with multiple Memorial Day cookouts, soccer practices, swimming practices, work ramping up for the summer, my son’s birthday, and the nightly need for sleep, I completely blanked on this blog. I’m not going to say it won’t happen again - it probably will, but I’ve been kinda proud of posting on a steady weekly basis and started to feel a nagging, long-dormant bone in my body for creating content aka a new blog post to the point to where I'm staying up past my normal workweek bedtime to type up this entry just to get back into the swing of things.

I’d like to think that someone is enjoying reading these blog entries, so to you, I thank you for continuing this far.

By the way, my son absolutely loved his gift of Skylanders Imaginators (thanks Gamestop for brushing off the dust from the starter pack that was on the top shelf for 2-3 years, according to the sales guy, laugh). He’s been playing that non-stop since I opened it for him this weekend, King Pen FTW. :)

He got another game as well for the PS4 and his iPad, and I think between Skylanders and this game, I’m creating a little gaming monster. I’ll give you a guess as to what it is. :)

Minecraft: PlayStation 4 EditionTaking InventoryBoogieman117The Taking Inventory trophy in Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition worth 15 pointsOpen your inventory.

Minecraft: PlayStation 4 EditionGetting WoodBoogieman117The Getting Wood trophy in Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition worth 15 pointsPunch a tree until the block of wood pops out.

Yep, I’m screwed, but in a good way.

So, where’d we leave off in the backlog progress…

Trials Fusion did exactly what I figured it was going to do, but not in the way I was hoping. Turns out that you have to unlock medals to progress to the harder levels - ok, no big deal. Problem is that you need to do additional, much harder challenges within those levels in order to unlock more medals. I see where this game is going, but I’m swerving off at this point - I enjoyed what I played of it, but I’m not spending time in a game that I’m not getting much out of in the long run. It’s been fun, but time to bail on Trials Fusion.

Valiant Hearts - Released 25 June 2014

Valiant Hearts is one of those games that I started years ago and never finished; I personally hate doing this because I forget the controls, forget the story, and everything in-between. Thankfully, this game’s story is so damn gripping that a quick review of the character’s journal entries will suck you right back into the story, even 2 years after the last trophy earned.

Valiant Hearts: The Great WarKnowledge is powerBoogieman117The Knowledge is power trophy in Valiant Hearts: The Great War worth 21 pointsRead 30 historical facts

The historical facts spread out across the game are just as brutal as they are plentiful. This game hits you in the feels harder and harder as the game progresses.

Valiant Hearts: The Great WarTo those who fellThe To those who fell trophy in Valiant Hearts: The Great War worth 20 pointsFind 50 historical items

Similar to the facts, picking up the different hidden items reveal small bits of information about the war and the people who survived it (or didn’t).

Valiant Hearts: The Great WarHidden TrophyBoogieman117The Hidden Trophy trophy in Valiant Hearts: The Great War worth 22 pointsContinue playing to unlock this hidden trophy

Valiant Hearts: The Great WarHidden TrophyBoogieman117The Hidden Trophy trophy in Valiant Hearts: The Great War worth 44 pointsContinue playing to unlock this hidden trophy

No spoilers, but when you start Chapter 4, grab some tissues - this game is about to hit you very, very hard.

Next in this list, in order is Mousecraft, Hohokum, Oddworld, then Last of Us Remastered. At some point I want to try out Destiny 2’s Season of Opulence and see what’s going on there.

But let’s be honest - unless the stars align and I have time at home with my PlayStation, I’m going to be punching trees and mining with my son. Or making a small investment in Skylanders. Either way, my PS4’s are getting some well deserved attention. I wonder if I can leverage this into a PS5 in a few years… ;)

See you sometime soon. If I can find some time, I’ll make some awful E3 predictions since that doesn’t require time in front of a PS4 and game-time - I can type those up on my phone in another peaceful, tranquil, child-free area, the bathroom.
Posted by Boogieman117 on 05 June 19 at 03:12 | There are no comments on this blog - Please log in to comment on this blog.
May
24
PermalinkPost #10 - Bottlenecks and Birthdays
This week’s blog post will be a little bit more short than normal; preparations for my son turning 5 has been keeping the little time I do have to play games minimized at best. I have been keeping up on things with the PS5 rumors and might comment on them in a smaller post in the future, but with the birthday party and all the things that surround that quickly coming up on Saturday, I’m thankful for the little break I have at work to get this out.

In The Beginning


When I was younger, I was diagnosed with severe asthma – I would literally run around outside at my parent’s house and within 15 minutes, be gasping for air and require inhalers and breathing treatments to get myself back to normal. At this time, the NES had just been my 5th birthday gift and my fondest memories were playing the classic NES games of yore with a nebulizer between my lips, inhaling medication and looking past the vapor at the TV.

As I think about those days as an adult now 30 years older, I realized I lived in a perfect storm of sickness unbeknownst to me:
- the grass at the house, turns out I’m highly allergic to.
- the trees around the house = highly allergic to them as well.
- Dust? Yep – the old garage where kept my outdoor toys had it everywhere.
- Both parents smoked (this is late 80s – early 90s, nowhere near the health conscious times of today), but ‘smoked outside’ – problem is that secondhand smoke is what typically got me.

So, as I grew up, video games became an intertwined part of my childhood.
Now my son is turning 5, eager to play video games at every waking moment when we are home, and I’m looking at introducing him to Minecraft for his birthday. Sadly, my genetics have hit him as well – seasonal asthma triggered by allergens; they are nowhere near as bad as mine since my wife and I have learned how to prevent attacks, but the memories of my childhood worry me about his now.

So far, he’s only played games with very simple mechanics and a beginning-middle-end (Kirby and Super Mario on the NES Classic, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, Rocket League, and Donut County on the PS4 being his favorites). I have a few concerns; there is so much that can be done in Minecraft that I worry about his ability to control the character and get overwhelmed with what the possibilities are. I think I’m going to download it to his iPad so he can learn the game there and play with him local co-op to introduce him to building homes, eliminating enemies, and everything else that Minecraft has to offer. If all goes well, I’ll have a definite foundation on which to build (no the irony of ‘building isn’t lost on me here) a long lasting father-son hobby that I can easily look back and say, ‘this is definitely where it started’.

Backlog Update

I rolled credits on ‘Transistor’ this week, and I’ve got to say that the art style in this game is absolutely fantastic. The enemies became much more difficult near the endgame (and that’s even without using the limiters) and forced me to really think about how to setup (and work around the loss of) my combined skills I’d unlocked.

TransistorHidden TrophyBoogieman117The Hidden Trophy trophy in Transistor worth 51 pointsContinue playing to unlock this hidden trophy

This fight was well and truly the pinnacle of the game; a fight with the end boss and a fight that feels familiar and nerve-wracking at the same time. It took me at least 5-6 tries to finally figure out the best ‘loadout’ to defeat Royce.

TransistorBye()Boogieman117The Bye() trophy in Transistor worth 51 pointsComplete the story.

Great story and pretty solid ending if you paid attention to the voice coming from the Transistor you’ve used the entire game.

I’m looking forward to getting back to Trials Fusion and restarting Valiant Hearts: The Great War after trying it many years ago – both of those feel interesting to me for totally different reasons. After that, MouseCraft, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, and Hohokum are next, with The Last of Us Remastered being the first really big AAA game in my list to play. I'm really looking forward to them, but teaching my son the fundamentals of Minecraft feel so much more important.
Posted by Boogieman117 on 24 May 19 at 15:12 | Last edited on 24 May 19 at 15:12 | There are 2 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.
May
17
PermalinkPost #09 - Lazy Bones
Mrs. Boogieman117: “OK. I will drop them (the kids) off (at the babysitters) and let you sleep in.”

These are the words that any father will be stunned silent and have their jaws drop to the floor if they are coming from his significant others mouth. The idea of a father of 2 sleeping in on a workday (I scheduled off to be parent-of-the-day for my son’s nursery school) was a wonderful feeling and something I would DEFINITELY benefit from.

Here’s the thing: My body has forgotten how to sleep in. Stupid body. With an unusually wide-open morning and after a few minutes deciding not to be a responsible adult and do some laundry or something else productive as a homeowner/father/husband, I plopped my freshly fed and showered shelf on my basement couch like a 34-year-old teenager and fired up my PS4 Pro. Then I was hit with a familiar dilemma. What do I play?

After 8 posts and 2 months (damn, really?) of rambling on about arguments with myself, documenting my progress through my backlog, and touching other gaming-related nonsense, I found myself in a unique position - time at home to play games. Most of my gaming is done when I volunteer my time on an ambulance on a weekly basis between calls; this felt… old. I felt old. I hadn’t downloaded the games on my basement PS4 Pro I’ve been playing through; Transistor, Trials Fusion, King Oddball were all missing from the XMB - the games I’ve been queuing up to play weren’t available. Finally, after a few minutes of actively thinking about how to spend this uber-valuable time, I played an old friend in Destiny 2 for 3-4 hours straight until babysitter pickup and parent-of-the-day duty while downloading the games from 2014’s backlog on the Pro. Who knows, maybe lightning will strike twice - it happened for Sp*rs and Liverpool. :)

I used the word ‘old’ a few times in the previous paragraph to callback to Post #06 from a few weeks ago, and the clarity of what was missing hit me like the ton of bricks that hit Cersei and Jaime - I miss my clanmates. It’s a stupid, asinine thing in a community as large as it is wide in Destiny, but I miss the guys that I shot aliens and swapped stories with for 5 years.

All good things must come to an end I suppose, but there’s a small itch in the dormant part of my gaming brain that wants to attempt to revitalize my current group that have simply floated away from Destiny by taking the reins of the clan and restart the process of finding like-minded adults like us that are still active in the game and get back into the fun grind that is Destiny 2. Of course, restarting, recruiting, retaining clan members, scheduling events, and staying in touch with those people would simply consume even more time that I don’t have and it’s just so damn depressing to think about that I’m finding myself, literally as I type this, teetering back and forth emotionally about Destiny 2 - not because of the push/pull that this particular game has over me, but how socially satisfying it is when all the pieces of the ‘game as a service’ model comes into play. Maybe one day.

Until then…

Backlog Update

I think I’m done with King Oddball and possibly Trials Fusion - these are games that have the ‘creeping’ scale of difficulty that most gamers appreciate, however, these two particular games don’t really have the climatic ending that a slow grind would make me appreciate.

King Oddball got to a point to where the difficulty of the final 16-24 puzzles got a bit too much for me - what was a fun puzzle to figure out got past the point of ‘oh… wait… aww darn!’ and into the realm of smashing my hands together with my controller in-between. Oddball is enjoyable, but I’m stopping short of getting so frustrated about this game that I don’t want to remember what I enjoyed about it.

Trials Fusion has a very predictable feel to it, but there’s part of me that worries about getting to a point to where, like King Oddball, the charm will wear off. I may re-download it, simply because it’s not just the game that had it’s hooks in me - the visualizations and the worlds that you ride through were really, really well done. Many times during a race I would lose track of my ‘line’ because I my attention was drawn to something happening in the background. I think what ‘burned my finger on the stove’ was trying a custom track that someone had made and finding it way too hard from my amateur skillset in Trials. I think I will come back to Fusion and continue through the campaign, but not any time soon.

Transistor continues to be a story I take joy in; I’m about halfway through the game and starting to see how the story is shifting and I’m eagerly curious to see how it ends. The one thing about Transistor that baffles me most of the time is the non-gamer language that the game uses in order to keep it’s cyberpunk-like world as accurate as possible. Enemies are called ‘processes’, all of the upgrades called ‘functions’ end in (), and the different functions act differently depending on if they are used as a primary, secondary, or passive function. I think I’ve unlocked 8-9 functions now, and trying to figure out how to build my ‘loadout’ is getting confusing; combining functions is simple, but it requires you to plan out how you want to attack different processes.

Transistor’s only other Achilles heel for me is the hesitation between simply using the different attacks in ‘real time’ or using the ‘planning mode’ known as Turn(). I’m consistently using and abusing the Turn() mode in order to try to plan my attacks against multiple processes, with the issue of attack/defend while waiting for the Turn() gauge to refill. I notice that, when in a bind, I turn into more of a ‘hack and slash’ player, simply spamming the same type of attacks over and over, simply to apply damage to them in order to finish the fight. This tactic will likely not get me much farther since the processes are becoming more complex and more plentiful, forcing me to really plan out my attacks, which in turn will cause me to (with a high probability) over-think my functions. This game just might beat me without a single boss fight, so I’ve got that goin’ for me. :)

TransistorHidden TrophyBoogieman117The Hidden Trophy trophy in Transistor worth 46 pointsContinue playing to unlock this hidden trophy

This boss fight was tricky until the pattern was recognizable; hopefully I’ll be able to use the function from it. Maybe.

TransistorBet()Boogieman117The Bet() trophy in Transistor worth 21 pointsComplete five encounters with one or more Limiters in use.

If someone can explain limiters to me, or translate it into modern gamer jargon, I’d really appreciate it.

Can’t wait to use Turn(), Slash(), and my 6% limiter in order to fight Doggo 2.0 and Badcell 3.0. I think my own brain is going to need to be rebooted after finishing this game - I wonder what the error will be.

See you next week!
Posted by Boogieman117 on 17 May 19 at 03:12 | There are 2 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.