It means nothing but it sounds good.

Iamthekidyouknowwhatimean

Since this summer’s first heatwave is almost upon us, I’m getting ready for a week-end far from my beloved PC. On top of Animal Crossing, I’ll try The Hotline Miami Collection on Switch (Nintendo & Steam).

I already had a ton of fun with the PC version and I’m curious about the Nintendo port. I hope that it plays as well with a joypad as it does with a keyboard and a mouse.

It’s the perfect opportunity to share another amazing song that I’ve discovered thanks to a video game: Iamthekidyouknowwhatimean – Run. (from the Hotline Miami: Wrong Number’s OST)

Stay Hydrated!

Edit: I don’t like the Switch version! I need a keyboard and a mouse for this game.

The Be Good Tanyas

The other day, as we were (re-re-re-)watching Breaking Bad during diner, I noticed the song Waiting Around to Die by The Be Good Tanyas. I already knew this great cover of the original song from Towns Van Zandt thanks to a game that we both completed not so long ago: The Walking Dead – The Final Season.

Lately, video games make me discover more music than… Well, it seems that video games are my only source of music since, you know, radios are dead.

Hours of Darkness

I’ve just completed the Far Cry 5 DLC – Hours of Darkness and it has been one of my best gaming time ever.

I forgot how much I loved to watch Vietnam-war era movies. From Full Metal Jacket to Apocalypse now, I was obsess by Vietnam when I was a kid. It was one of my longest phases, just after astronaut and before surfer. Yep, those were the days I would change my entire life (meaning re-decorating my bedroom) because of a movie. Trust me, you didn’t want to know me after Ghostbusters… Anyway, Vietnam movies had such an impact on me that my mum had to drive me to American supply shops on Saturday afternoons, so I could buy U.S. military gear.

Playing Hours of Darkness just brought me back to these times. Don’t worry, as tempting as it may be, I won’t run around my neighborhood dressed like a G.I., I’ve grown up! But it was nice completing objectives in a jungle setting. I really wish that a good Vietnam war game was made, but I understand that the topic might not be as popular as it once was…

The picture above is displayed at the end of the game, after you have successfully reached the extraction point. It gets populated in function of the challenges that you’ve completed during your run. Then, the credits start rolling and one of the most amazing song starts playing (it starts at 0:33):

Thank you, Ubisoft, for making me discover The Cambodian Space Project.

For the story, Kak Channthy (c.1980 – 20 March 2018) was a Cambodian singer and vocalist, she has been described as “the barefoot diva of the Cambodian rice fields”. She formed the Cambodian psychedelic rock band “The Cambodian Space Project” with her Australian husband Julien Poulson and worked as the lead singer and songwriter releasing 5 albums and touring 24 countries around the world. (source: Wikipedia)

Sometimes, you have the feeling that you’ve seen or heard it all but, really, you don’t.

Far Cry 5

Fighting cultists, liberating outposts, finding caches, making awesome friends (among which a bear named cheeseburger), fishing, hunting, driving all sorts of vehicles on the ground and in the air… All of that in beautiful Montana while wearing a crazy dog mask and using a sniper rifle with pink led lights, this game was made for me!

There are so many things to enjoy in Far Cry 5 but what I love most is the sense of humour. Here is the perfect example (content spoilers):

After liberating Hope’s end, the cook of the Spread Eagle asks you to help him restore the “Bull Testicle Festival” to its former glory. To do so, you must go cut a few bulls’ balls off for the barbecue. The tricky part is that you have to do it while they are mating, otherwise it wouldn’t taste as good (duh!). So, after following the quest tracker, you finally reach a farm where a bunch of unsuspecting bulls are living their best lives. Before doing the gruesome deed, you first have to free the cows that are kept behind a fence. As just as the padlock is broken, the cows start mixing with the bulls and, as the bulls and cows are mating right before your eyes, the game plays the song “Sexual Healing” by Lionel Ritchie. I don’t think that I’ve had such a fantastic moment in video games since… Ever!

It took me 60 hours to reach the end and I haven’t hundred-percented it yet.

My only regret was the lack of achievements on Steam. I’m now faced with a dilemma: should I purchase New Dawn on Ubisoft Connect or Steam? While I like to have all my games in one place, I enjoy unlocking achievements very much. In the end, I prefer to see how many hours I played a game from my Steam library than unlocking Ubisoft Connect achievement where I have zero friends. Meanwhile, Soforah is unlocking Steam achievements in AC Odyssey on Steam… Consistency, people!

Telltale’s The Walking Dead: The Final Season

In my backlog, there are the games that I bought because I’m loyal to a franchise, there are the games that I bought because of the hype, and there are the games that I’m so sure I’ll enjoy, I don’t dare to play. I keep them for a fabled perfect moment which, of course, never comes, so they stay in my backlog for years… Until the day I finally decide that it’s been long enough and I finally play them.

That day has come for the final season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead.

I love episodic adventure games, I love Telltale games and I love The Walking Dead, what could go wrong, right?! Well, beside Telltale shutting down right in the middle of the final season, absolutely nothing… The game is awesome, as good, if not even better than the other seasons.

Clementine is still amazing, a total badass, but it’s especially A.J. that surprised me. I get easily annoyed by kids, usually in movies, especially in games. It’s so rare that a kid as main protagonist doesn’t get so bratty that you want to yell at him (Gus in Sweet Tooth – the TV show, Daniel in Life is Strange 2,…), but A.J. isn’t like that. Beside a few moral conflicts, he doesn’t easily whine. In fact, he becomes the perfect side-kick and you’re the one who becomes dependent on him, not the other way around.

The game in itself is fantastic, it doesn’t overwhelm you neither with waves of monsters nor too long drama scenes. There are a few twists, sometimes sad, sometimes happy and sometimes OMFG! In short, the usual recipe for a perfect Telltale moment.

What I feared the most finally happened, I’ve finally reached the end of the adventure. Keeping it in my backlog was my way to keep it going on. Now that I’ve played it, even if I’m happy that it received the end that it deserved, I’m sad that I won’t get to live new adventures with Clem and A.J.. Until, of course, the new Telltale studios, announces a new season or, eventually, the day I’ll miss it so much that I’ll do a replay of the entire series.

Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy

We’ve played many games last year and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy was, hands down, our favourite.

Let me get this out of the way: we loved everything about the game except the combat, which we ended up tolerating. Everything else was over the top and made our first week of Christmas holidays unforgettable.

The game transitions between the youth of Peter Quill and his life aboard the Milano. The best thing to do in his past life is to visit his old bedroom which is, by far (and I can’t stress this enough), the most amazing place ever! I wish that I could visit it with my VR set. (Ian Livingstone’s Fighting Fantasy & Samantha Fox, is Peter my hidden brother?)

In his present life, Starlord is surrounded by the best crew in the universe. They’re constantly talking to each other in the background, sometimes joking, philosophising and often arguing, making you feel much less alone than you’d usually feel in a solo game.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t too hot playing a Marvel game. I’m not really a superhero fan and I hate The Avengers. I think that Marvel’s universe is to cinema what Mc Donald’s is to food: junk for a braindead generation that can only open its mouth to be fed explosions and battles that last so long that they make you sleep.

However, we had planned to begin December with this game, so we forgot our prejudices and we launched ourselves into the Galaxy that’s supposed to be saved by a bunch of misfits accompanied by an Alpaca (yep, you read well).

I could write about the plot, the characters and the beautiful landscapes for many pages but, let’s face it, no one would care and, anyway, it wouldn’t translate the most important thing in this game: the ambiance. The huge 80s vibe, the many props, the sense of humour, the retro sci-fi landscapes, everything contributes to creating an amazing ambiance that you can only experience in the game. So, quit reading this tedious post and go rescue the Galaxy, you won’t regret it!

Added bonus: As you can see above, there’s an in-game photo feature that allows you to customize your screenshots and it’s freaking awesome! I can tell you that I’ve made enough wallpapers for a few years.

Starlight & Moonglow

We compulsively bought 2 new Switch Oled just before December, so we would have them for our Mega Awesome Holidays. But why did we do such a thing while our vanilla Switch(es?) are still in perfect condition and we mostly play with the console docked?

Yep, that’s right, we did it to create a second Animal Crossing Island. Added bonus: they match the black & white theme of our PCs, yay!

My new island is named Moonglow and Soforah’s island is Starlight. We played every single day for a month and we’re progressing pretty nicely. The terraforming is complete and all the buildings have been moved to their right places. We both decided to go for a more “city” style and we’re using custom patterns all over the place. However, there’s still a lot of work to do before we can share our dream codes. So, I’ll go back to my bush planting now…

Where Were We At Midnight?

As usual, we’ve spent New Year’s Eve at home in our clean PJs, eating a ton of food prepared by Soforah and watching movies. We first watched Nobody (with Bob Odenkirk) and it was great, then we’ve watched No Time to Die and it was amazing.

At midnight, we logged into our Animal Crossing Islands where we enjoyed the fireworks with the other residents.

We hope that you (the few who have found their way here) had a great evening and we wish you an amazing year 2022.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

After years of instantly dismissing games like Assassin’s Creed for some made up stigmata; I solemnly swear that I’ll never be prejudice again. When AC Odyssey came out, I was quite negative without even having played it, but when I saw some breathtaking screenshots on twitter, I started doubting my negativity towards the AC franchise and all other games I’ve ever discarded without any valid reason. Now, I’m 60+ hours later in the game and I’m having a blast.

The game is so much fun for many reasons;

  1. It has a lot of diversity. You can go explore maps, quest, kill beasts, do naval battles, gather resources, complete objectives,… there’s always something for any kind of mood. 
  2. The gameplay in itself is great, intuitive and fun. You have the choice between warrior, hunter and assassin’s skills which you can mix up however you like. You can adapt your game to your own play style, I absolutely love this. Another plus is that you can reset your ability points whenever you want at a low cost. 
  3. The landscapes are jaw dropping, I sometimes stop everything to admire the beautiful view.
  4. The developers really went out of their way when it comes to detail. My advise is to play with a headset for the immersion. The sound of the environment and the interaction with it is so accurate and detailed, it feels lifelike.
  5. Swimming… It may sound weird, but I love to swim in Odyssey. The waves sometimes are threatening and daunting, but diving and swimming in general are so peaceful (if you can avoid the sharks and enemy ships hehe). Again the detail of the water, the way you shake off the water when climbing out of the sea, the sound of it,… they did an excellent job at Ubisoft creating this world.

If I may make just one suggestion: add a button “kick”. As you can see in the screenshot above, some of the bodies really don’t want to be disposed of and keep falling on the ledge where they remain… a little kick or push would do the trick though. It took me a while to get rid of that one. On another note, as you can see, some have a flair for dramatics when they die.

Another great thing that they’ve added to the game and that I’m going to mention here as a reminder for myself, is the screenshot mode within the game. I play AC Odyssey on Steam, so I can take screenshots with F12 which is great, but it doesn’t remove the interface. Since the game is always linked to a Ubisoft account, you can take screenshots by pressing F3. It makes your screen look like this:

As you can see, there are quite a few options for taking your perfect screenshot. Once you’ve taken it, it’ll be uploaded via your Ubisoft account for others to see. When you check out your map in game, you can see your screenshots as well as those of other people. The cool thing is you can drop a like on any of the pictures posted there.

Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m currently at 60+ hours in the game, and I’m only level 25. I’ve read somewhere that it usually takes 40+ hours, but I’m taking my time. When I check my map, more than half of it hasn’t been explored yet so, I guess I still have quite some fun ahead. I have to admit that I love to explore every nook and cranny, and complete every objective that crosses my path. At this rate I’ll be at a few hundreds of hours I think, but the longer it takes, the better. I wonder if AC Valhalla is as great. It certainly is on my list, and I will play it one day when I’ve completed Odyssey.

Happy Birthday, Lara Croft!

To celebrate Lara Croft’s 25th anniversary, I replayed Tomb Raider (2013). I think that of all the solo games I’ve ever played, Tomb Raider games are among my favorites. I remember when I was still living at my parent’s home, playing my very first Tomb Raider game during Christmas Holidays… It was 1996 and I was 22 years old. 25 years have passed and the adventurer with the British accent still gives me as much fun as back then.

There are several things that really make it amazing. First, the character is great: a young English girl with a past filled with secrets that she discovers through her adventures… Second, I love exploration and Tomb Raider has plenty. Third, I love to collect all the relics and to complete all the challenges. I’ve just completed Tomb Raider with a 100% completion and it feels fantastic.

The end of the year is coming and I have a ton of games to play, but I’ll probably make some time later this winter to complete again Rise and Shadow.

Anyway, Thank you, Lara, for 25 years of explorations, collections and impossible jumps. To 25 more!

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