Monday, January 13, 2014

The Playlist - I Is Brain Surgeon!

The year is in full swing and, despite my holiday mindset protesting, I have picked up the pace with my writing again. To help keep things fresh, I grabbed the latest Humble Bundle and chuckled my way through a few rounds of Surgeon Simulator. Also, to complete the 'difficult controls' experience, I played some QWOP and CLOP.

What's Coming Up
I've been pretty good with getting up to speed to start the new year. A lighter than average real-work schedule has given me some rare time to think about my writing away from the sofa and facilitated an easy flow to my pieces. Whether this is actually reflected in my work is debatable but it felt nice to be writing again.

Aside from my Bioshock Infinite impressions, my work this past week has been primarily geared towards end of year content. For Geek Binge, the recent podcast where we discussed the best in gaming for 2013 went up. Fair warning, at the time of recording I still hadn't completed Bioshock Infinite or Gone Home so I sort of come off like a spaz with some of my votes. For the same site, I released a preview piece for 2014 themed around the Who, What, When, Where, and Why questions I want answered by the year's end. I actually had a lot of fun playing with the formatting on this one and tried to do my best to avoid falling into a straight list. For StudentCom, I did a short piece previewing Five games in 2014 and the reservations I have towards each them. Another list-like article but I did my best to focus on content over anything else.

Upcoming, I am working on a Danny's Descant for Geek Binge where I intend to revisit the topic of gender equality in games expanding on my previous exploration. This has been fueled by an article I edited for Geek Binge that discuses Anita Sarkeesian and may directly address that piece - final content to be determined. For StudentCom, I am hoping to put out a brief piece on why I am stoked for Titanfall. Depending on my mood, I may expand this to feature a few other 2014 titles I am excited for. For the Sofa, usual stuff with the outside chance of a Sofa Story this week. Also, just a brief note that I have moved my Twitch stream to Sundays for a pile of convenience reasons. Hopefully the shift won't be a problem to those who regularly tune in.

What I've Been Playing

Surgeon Simulator
I picked this up in the most recent Humble Bundle as it's been on my radar for a while but I just couldn't justify paying full price. I had such a blast that I had to share it on stream . The game is essentially a big boy version of the board game Operation and challenges players to overcome fiendish controls in order to succeed in a series of increasingly difficult surgeries. Despite the blood, the game takes a light-hearted tone as you role-play what can only be described as the most inept surgeon of all time. I honestly can't pinpoint why this game makes me laugh so-much but, then again, I really don't care either. Removing both lungs and the liver to 'successfully' complete a heart transplant brings me an esoteric joy.

Outlook: For as hilarious as this game is, it's not particularly deep and I really don't care to complete all of the surgeries. Mastering the controls would likely ruin the fun to be had here. As such, I'll take it in moderation and may let this game sit for a week before I pick it up again.

I also played these games on stream to round-out the collection of impossible to control games. I've mentioned these before and highly recommend spending a couple minutes with each of them to really understand what they are all about. They're free so what do you have to lose aside from your sanity?

Outlook: As stated before, I play these routinely when I need to kill five minutes and don't want to worry about failing hard.

Joe Danger 2
One of those random titles that came with the recent Humble Bundle that I was hoping would be a Trials rip-off. Instead I got some mediocre Xbox Live port of a vapid game that couldn't even be bothered to adjust the control overlays for the PC version to reflect a keyboard setup. Where the hell is the 'right bumper' button on my keyboard? More importantly, how the hell did the first game get enough support to warrant a sequel? In fairness, the game kept me entertained for about 30 minutes with it's seizure inducing fast-paced visuals and I can see it being a hit in the background at certain kinds of parties.

Outlook: Sometimes you get some lame stuff with the bundle. Doubt I'll play this one again.

Chrono Trigger
In my continuing bid to finish this game by the end of the month I only managed to fit in about an hour of play time. I really need to pick up the pace with an estimated 20 hours to go!

Outlook: Seriously, I'm going to play it this week! For real!