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2013: I finish New Vegas and start playing the DLC content. I leave Honest Hearts for last. As soon as I load into Zion the ending cutscene plays and I get a black screen. I have to load an old save and this bug occurs every time I try to enter Zion.
2015: I get a new laptop for university and replay New Vegas from the beginning. I decide to try Honest Hearts. My game crashes when I enter the Northern passage. I disable all of my mods. The same bug occurs. I do a clean install of the game and Windows. My game still crashes when I enter the Northern passage.
2017: Our apartment in Paris is robbed, including my laptop. With the insurance money received I build a new desktop. I install New Vegas on it. I decide to replay Old World Blues and Lonesome Road. They both work fine. I decide to try Honest Hearts. I am able to load into Zion. All of the NPCs in the initial firefight die except one White Legs ambusher. The quest does not progress to the 'Move into Zion Valley' stage. No NPC will talk to me. No NPC is hostile to me. I TCL throughout Zion and nothing progresses no matter what. I disable all mods, do a clean install of the game, and try a new save entirely. This still occurs upon entering Zion.
2018: I replay New Vegas. This time as soon as I leave Doc's house I beeline my way to Northern passage. I pick up nothing. I speak to no one. I fight no beast. I take a sip from my trusty Vault 13 canteen. I do not wish to let my save be altered in the slightest way lest I be denied the forbidden fruit I have gone without for over half a decade. I enter the Northern passage. I complete 'Happy Trails Expedition.' I begin 'Arrival at Zion.' I load into Zion. My heart beats faster and faster. My palms sweat. The firefight begins. The caravan is dropping like flies. I know now this is supposed to happen. in VATS I plug the White Legs full of lead. One remains. I cross the bridge to progress the quest. My lip quivers. Follows-Chalk approaches me. He stares at me. I take a sip from my trust Vault 13 canteen. I interact with Follows-Chalk. I am greeted with "Hoi! White Legs don't leave survivors often. You're some kind of lucky, let me tell you." But this is not in a dialogue box. Though the subtitles emblazon the bottom of my screen, I am given no opportunity here to press further. My quest draws to an end before it can even begin. I set flags to different states in the console to no avail. I TCL around only to have NPCs regard me with passive dialogue. My actions have no bearing on this godforsaken land. I am but an observer for a world I cannot, will not ever know. I have no mouth, and I must scream.
2022: In an envious last-ditch effort, I reinstall New Vegas with the Viva New Vegas modpack. In this instance, I figure I should not let the vanilla game hemorrhage and hope to progress before it crumbles under its own weight. Fallout: New Vegas will be wrapped in as many bandaid fixes as Joshua Graham. If it has allowed the Burned Man to survive in the face of certain death, perhaps I will be granted the Lord's blessing as well. I create a new character and help the people of Goodsprings against the Powder Gangers to refamiliarise myself with the wasteland. When the dust settles, I beeline it to New Vegas. Not for revenge, but for salvation. Warnings of deathclaws and radscorpions fall upon deaf ears. I kill a deathclaw caught between a chair and a wall to reach level 2. As with my previous attempts, I ultimately seek to reach Zion with minimal influence exerted on the land, lest some quest flag, some quirk of the game engine deny me the promised land. I come across Sloan, an outpost I had never known about, an outpost I will never know about as I must press onward. A Stealth Boy grants me passage beyond a final pack of deathclaws. I am proud of myself for making it through. I recall that Honest Hearts requires a low carry weight to begin, so I make a stop at the Crimson Caravan Company and nearby clinic to offload my wares. I have made a miscalculation.
Being only level 3 upon my arrival at the Northern passage I cannot meet the Speech check to get the others in the caravan to bear my burden. My Survival too is below par. Still, that I have made it this far is promising. I am insistent on bringing as many items into Zion as I can, so it's off to Freeside to do some short quests. I enter the Atomic Wrangler ready to collect some debts and hire some escorts when the one-armed bandit lures me closer with its siren song. My scant few caps become chips which become devastating loss. With only 7 Luck I am statistically likely to break even at Blackjack, so perhaps I can recuperate my funds in short order. Liquidating the rest of my inventory does not have the desired effect as my losses are doubled. Another level would grant me a perk, a chance to increase my Luck one point further. Mick and Ralph's nearby has the lustful Naughty Nightwear which will also increase my Luck. Or, penniless and with only my pistol at my side, I could leave for Zion at once.
I was never one to let bygones be bygones. With any number of options for earning coin in Freeside, my sloth gets the better of me and I recall that The Silver Rush across the street is comically easy to steal from. The plethora of guards watched me drag plasma rifles into the bathroom only to waddle out over-encumbered. With a fat pocket of caps, I purchase the Nightwear. Having veered so far from my intended path, I wrathfully murder Dixon and some Freeside addicts to level up. With 9 Luck, I cannot lose. In no time at all I clean out the Atomic Wrangler. The Strip calls.
I should have known my greed would lead me down this path, but no matter. I excuse my behaviour as a need to purchase a high-quality firearm from the Gun Runners, even if I know it to be a falsehood. In no time at all I am barred from Gomorrah, The Tops, and even the Ultra Luxe. When I had crossed paths with Benny in The Tops I paid him no mind, so absolute was my drive to reach Honest Hearts. By this point my pack was as full as my purse, bursting at the seams with drink and food. Why let it go to waste? Imbibing all I had won in an act of unbridled gluttony, I develop an alcohol addiction and make my way to the clinic outside of Freeside. All patched up and level 7, carrying few enough goods to meet the post-Survival check weight limit, I return to the Northern passage.
As my eyes adjust to the beauty of Zion, I hold my breath. I dare not do anything I am not expected to, lest I be cast from this proverbial Eden for my arrogance. The caravan is wiped out in the White Legs ambush. The corpses will have to remain untouched for now. I cross the bridge in anticipation. Follows-Chalk approaches. He speaks to me. I receive the next part of the quest. I make it to the Dead Horses camp. I speak to Joshua Graham. He and I are not so different. He and I do not belong here.
not belong here.
Nights of Azure
Need myself a gay lover to fight with over one of us getting sacrificed to a demon so that world peace can be achieved.
The game itself is serviceable, interesting for Gust's first attempt at an action-based system I believe. Lots of ideas that go nowhere, but the sequel could meaningfully expand on it I feel. But that's for another time.
The major issue is the unpolished translation. While the core yuri romance escapes unscathed by it, the larger gothic fantasy narrative is legitimately hampered by it. I still very much enjoyed the concepts it plays around with despite that, which I think speaks to the strength of its ideas, so perhaps this too is something the sequel can ameliorate.
Super Mario Sunshine
Originally posted here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cfso_vnA-FE/
An autobiographical story of a transgender woman and her traumatic experiences with sex work. Personal and intense in its prose, abstract in its presentation. Defamiliarization and impersonation as representation of the coping mechanism, with a melancholic, surreal sea of consciousness bringing life to fuzzy, drowned memories. And a fitting pixel-art aesthetic - not just a stylistic choice born from lack of resources but the representation of the raw feelings of an innocent, hurt mind
Hey there! I’ll be honest, I don’t have a great deal of interest in talking about Elden Ring in any formal capacity. If someone wants to pay me to do it, I might, but no-one likely does. :/
Anyway, instead of a write-up, I’m just gonna list my 10 favorite proper nouns in the game.
10. Vulgar Militiamen (keepsies on this one for my future hardcore punk band)
9. Shabriri Grape
8. Ancient Death Rancor
7. Morgott, The Omen King
6. Flame, Fall Upon Them (the choice to make spell names full sentences is always sick, regardless of property)
4. Land Squirt
3. Albinauric Bloodclot (I would ride around on Torrent just mouthing “albinauric bloodclot” a lot)
2. Bastard’s Stars
and finally, 1. Godskin Stitcher
This is a labor of love in every sense of the phrase. The creator of this project is highly involved in the community and has left it open so that modding is widely available for fans to experience. I've been following the project for years and it never ceases to fascinate me!
Ghibli-esque artstyle as a front for, no exaggeration, the game equivalent of fracking. Set your phone down on the table and do something else while it aggressively autoplays through quite literally all of its content. With blockchain integration and NFTs proudly on the game's roadmap, how can you not be excited to let this piece of shit suck your battery dry.
Haze's narrative is really cool, actually. A lot of people give Spec Ops: The Line credit for being the first game to really deconstruct the uber-patriotic, gung-ho military-nationalist psychopathy that had become present in games ever since the preset set by Modern Warfare 2 (ironic, given that COD4 had a staunch anti-war and anti-Bush message in the form of the fantastic nuke scene), but to my memory, it was actually Haze that was doing this even before MW2 even came out. The plot seemingly revolves around a conflict between the Mantel supersoldiers and the Promise Hand rebels, but in actuality, the plot actually revolves around Nectar, a drug that turns you into a killing machine at the cost of chipping away at your humanity.
The fact that Mantel's supersoldiers are actually a bunch of college frat boy psychos was a pretty brilliant decision - not only does it give Haze a kind of satirical undercurrent of black comedy, but it makes the message actually somewhat profound. They may be crazy frat boys, but they're just that, dumb college kids that were forcibly given a powerful drug that made them way stronger than they were ever equipped to handle, and it turns them into apex-predator monsters. Mantel isn't even fighting the Promise Hand out of any sense of xenophobia or anything, they just want the fields that the Promise Hand fight on because they can produce more Nectar in these fields. The war is just an excuse to engineer more wars, and like-- fuck, that's actually so cool, man! The fact that the main villain's final words are "don't tell my mom" (one of my favorite famous-last-words quotes in like, anything, ever) is not only incredibly sad and humanizing, but a genuinely profound anti-War message that ties beautifully into the game's themes.
Yeah, too bad the game is fucking shit, because the narrative rocks. But the game plays like trash. 2/5.
I probably didn’t need to add a full hour of playtime to this one hour game just grinding at the arena, but listen, what was I supposed to do? LET Doose hurt small businesses through his monster summoning, in some pathetic hunt for tourism? If Star Hollow falls, Lorelai would have to move back in with Emily and that be trapped in that abusive house all over again! Besides, getting Rory leveled up enough to use the game’s only master seal is the experience she needs if she’s gonna get to Harvard.
I’ve never watched Gilmore Girls. This was fun.
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