This week I had an anxiety dream about standing on stage in front of hundreds of people and suddenly realising I don’t have anything prepared. That doesn’t even make basic sense because I’m going to be prerecording this one. My subconscious needs to get its facts straight.
I keep reminding myself that I’ll be glad to have done it when it’s done.
Number of times I made it to the gym this week: 0. Whoops.
I had some illicit fun by staying up past my bedtime to watch parts 7 & 8 of Simon Anthony’s The Witness streams as they happened. He did in fact finish the game, with some impressively fast puzzle-solving towards the end, and then got shown the secret ending after inviting spoilers in the chat. He hasn’t found the final challenge yet but I expect he’ll be guided there for next time.
I’d made a nice healthy list of reasons why I shouldn’t buy Deathloop. Everyone agreed the trailers looked terrible; it’s not a PlayStation (or even console) exclusive; Returnal massively soured me on time loops; I couldn’t get into Dishonored 2 and this was likely more of the same.
Then I saw all the five-star reviews and bought it anyway in a moment of FOMO-induced weakness. I will never learn.
It has the traditional problem: I hit all its annoyances immediately but haven’t got far enough to discover anything fun to balance them out yet. It goes without saying that the on-screen text is ridiculously small, which is more problematic than usual in a game with so much stuff to read. My heart also sank when I saw that the menus use the lethal “move a pretend mouse pointer around with the analogue stick” mechanic; there’s an unbelievably terrible UI tutorial early on which takes forever to walk you through all the unnecessary RPG busywork around loadouts and buffs and so on before you have any motivation to care about them.
Look, I understand that none of this incidental rubbish is the game, but so far I haven’t done anything interesting, just walk around and shoot people for no reason. The question is whether I can ignore all the frustrations for long enough to get to the good bit.
I already wish I hadn’t bought it because every time I waste money on an unenjoyable game — especially a universally well-reviewed one — it makes me sad. I’m comfortable missing out on straightforwardly uninteresting stuff like sport, but video games have so much promise as a medium that it’s galling when I can’t get any pleasure from a title that everyone else seems to love.
To fight back against this feeling I took the unusual (for me) step of watching a video review in the hope that it would kindle some enthusiasm after the initial disappointment. Hearing someone else be excited did help a little bit so I’m going to try spending more time with it and see if I can find anything fun.
We watched the whole first season of Kevin Can F**k Himself this weekend after a tip-off from Paul. I found it really enjoyable and was especially impressed by Annie Murphy’s performance — her Schitt’s Creek character was an unpleasant cartoon but she’s human and relatable in this.
I won’t spoil the show’s formal conceit but it worked way better than I’d expected and didn’t wear thin over eight episodes. The overall effect is like a cross between… well, two other great TV shows that I won’t mention. Definitely worth a look.
16.4kg down. 🎉
I’m happy and proud to have shed a whole bag of flour. I’ll stop this now.