Blame Sonic (and zombies)

All right. No apologies or introductions this time.

Well, except for this one.

I’d love to say that I’ve been too busy with thrilling and wondrous stuff to update, but the truth is that things are pretty chill. I’ve been gaming a lot (a lot) with Sonic Mania 100%’ed and over 460 hours of 7 Days to Die under my belt. Needless to say I’ve enjoyed both of these games. They’re not without their flaws, but I don’t regret the time spent.

Sonic Mania was fun and an amazing return to form, although not without some criticism from me.

The level aesthetics were a bit jumbled at points which didn’t help any sense of cohesion. I appreciate that the maker was re-using assets from previous Sonic games and I respect the changes that were made to differentiate them. Nonetheless, it was jarring – I’m looking at you, Press Garden. I also felt that some parts were mean-spirited. Sonic games of my yoof relied more on Sonic’s speed with beautifully crafted jumps, whirls, and very fluid-feeling levels. At times in Sonic Mania, there was a lot of stop-starting, leaps of faith that sometimes worked, other times resulted in insta-death, and points where the player is forced to stop and wait. The lessons to be learned while interacting with new level elements and obstacles weren’t entirely consistent and some levels demanded the player (well, me specifically) to act on memory rather than instinct. In fact, sometimes instinct was penalised and that felt outright unfair.

Also: Let me make grumpy noises about the new sphere collecting special stages. Boy oh boy were they a bunch of arse. The bosses were also weirdly paced – some of the earlier ones felt harder than later ones. The last boss? I really didn’t think that was it. It was a disappointment to say the least.

The chaos emerald stages were fucking excellent. Whenever I made a mistake, I raged at me and not the game. Getting the hang of them felt like a genuine accomplishment.

Everything else: awesomesauce. The music was brilliant, the plot a bit unclear, but the sheer, blunt force nostalgia knocked me for six. I haven’t wanted to complete a game so hard for years.

I have nothing so extensive to say about 7 Days to Die. It’s good, brainless (ho ho), occasionally frustrating gameplay. I like playing it while watching other stuff. For a survival game lover like me, it ticks a lot of boxes with a strong learning curve.

As we rapidly approach the Christmas season, I am developing Keen. Much like many nerds online, I vastly prefer the winter months. I have a great many positive associations with this time of year and am looking forward to making new memories in the new house.

I’ll try and update again soon with something a little more substantial. I have a few subjects I’d like to blog about.

In the meantime, I’m trying to get back into game streaming again. If you want to listen to a lisping old English bird prattle on in a monotone while killing zombies/getting mauled by wolves, then follow me on Twitch for notifications.

I hope you’re all doing well!

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