Here is the article for the week. And given that the last two articles have been in Germany and more or less about the same important topic, let’s go back to English and what’s going on and important.

Maybe I am writing here a bit like Burnt Kryschler in his Open Tabs format (genuinely love that show and find it better than his podcast and all unfinished topics he starts, unnecessary rambling or overhyping something that has zero appeal to me is just part what makes it so fun to watch). So welcome to the open tabs of my life and what I find worthy of mentioning or what is going on in short and totally biased, but hopefully fun.

Yesterday I had a wasp riding shotgun with me in my car. 40 kilometers from work back home. I’d like to believe she flew out the open window at some point and found a way back to her family or maybe I have just given her a ride out of her horrible situation and friends that have a bad influence on her to find herself.

I’m the passenger

My new favorite netflix show is Queer Eye. It’s brilliant, I learn a bit from it, it makes me laugh, the soundtrack is great and it makes me cry. The show seems oddly honest despite the flashy characters and the American style format. Would love to have these guys available to send them to a couple of friends 🙂 

I have also finished Iron Fist Season 2 and it was way better than the first season with much improved acting and way better fight scenes and towards the end of the season it became great even. Really looking forward to Daredevil’s Season 3.

On a flight recently I have watched A Quiet Place and I would highly recommend that movie. Jim ähem John is fantastic in it and wrote a fantastic movie with great pacing and ideas and no dull moments. What a debut! War Dogs was another one I have somehow missed, but then saw on the flight and it was great. Miles Teller and Jonah Hill are believalble, funny and scared/scary at the same time and I recommend that one too. The Tomb Raider reboot however I cannot recommend. Whereas the games for me rebooted and surpassed the original games, this movie does not come close to the new games that it clearly draws inspiration from. The actress looks the part and does her job all around but the movie is just a narrative mess, everything is told with voice-over and or over-explained, the story meanders and just jumps from so-so-action-scen to explanatory boring scene to so-so-action-scene. Horrid, did enjoy it just as much as the Tomb Raider with Jolie (where she wasn’t the problem either).

So much for movies. Cable TV is something I do not watch anymore or chose to make time for. I prefer Netflix and Xbox to game a bit where I at least am involved and can chose to do and watch and game what I want (from what is available) and on a time I chose. Honestly, who has time for all that when you also want to read, meet up with friends, do a little bit of movement work, write and work for 40 hours a week.

The time I pick to enjoy. This brings me to something interesting and the reason I just dabble in mulit-player games once in a while… I play a lot more single-player games than I play online with friends/people who drop into the session. With single-player experiences I can completely get lost and experience a story, a world and narrative that I can completely lose myself in. Sometimes I force myself to get through a cutscene to then press pause and go for little tigers or my coffee gets cold or all of that happens. With multiplayer games even the ones where you can pretty much choose to not interact with other players (not to say that this is or isn’t fun) like Warframe even if I play alone the lack of a real pause during a mission/level exhausts me a bit more and I forget to take breaks. Worse is when I have 1 or more other Tenno in my squad (not playing with a headset, even though I do like to talk to people playing too) I take no breaks or basically have to apologetically hammer ‘srry got 2 pee’ into the in-game chat for the break. I played Destiny and attempted a raid once with my Argentinian friend a spanish kid in Japan and his Japanese buddy. We failed multiple times, there were language barriers, frustration and a lot of fun, but it happened completely by accident, as these 2 kids happened to log on when me and my mate were gaming and we were just ready to give that raid a try.

I could not schedule a raid with a couple of randoms or people in other time zones for a video game – that sounds a lot like work and that is not what I want to do when sitting on the couch and gaming. It would really help if all my game playing friends had an Xbox and internet and the games I play (would be close to 100 to choose from now) and a headset to jump on and tackle a multiplayer game when we all happen to play, but that rarely happens nor do I think the opportunity or timing for that will be right. So yeah, I like single-player games and would love to casually try some more multiplayer stuff but without all that organisational stuff.

Now to the games: I finally started Sleeping Dogs and it’s incredible how much more fun GTA is set in Hong Kong with a tight story (this came out before the infamous GTA 5) and just non-stop action and okay Batman-Arkham-Style-Fighting. I guess I am about half-way through, like with GTA5  which I find to be a bit more of a commitment but still really like. Warframe is still on the table and gets a couple of runs every time I turn on the Xbox, because the gameplay is just insane fun and again what about Space Ninjas Slide, Kick, Bullet Jump, Diablo-Style Looter with Magic The Gathering-Style Upgrading does not sound like fun? I actually made it (after about 200+ hours in the game, yes, it’s that much fun and with about 30 euros spent on the game) to the Second Dream quest and this is the first time the game shows the heart and story underneath the shooting, sliding and general awesomeness and it has a massive impact. Honestly, even without the story the gameplay is fast, loads fast, has people joining and leaving you for a few missions, helpful community websites and Tenno and again great sound, graphics and GAMEPLAY (it is just fun to play) and would be superb even without a story but this quest that I will not spoil and almost no one on the internet does (which I find incredible) adds another layer to the game and gives it another boost above games like Destiny.

I might even get Destiny 2 once it is fully fleshed out and discounted like when I got Destiny 1 and push through it with a friend or even alone, but I rarely go back to Destiny and I find repeating missions in Destiny while being alone a rather not-so-fun activity, whereas in Warframe I sometimes play a podcast or some on the side and grind through node after node on the planets and find stuff and run through stuff and upgrade stuff that even 1 mission or or 4 hours with podcasts running give me sense of progression and relaxation to a degree that no other online-only game gave me yet. Get Warframe! It’s available for pretty much anything and it’s free.

Finally the game that had me in it’s grip for about a week and still has: NieR: Automata, a game that debuted exclusively on Playstation at first and that I took notice off and filed under weird Japanese Anime game with typical protagonist female-catholic-schoolgirl-outfit-katana-wielding-seemingly-blind and did not give it a second look. Later I found a video where the game was mentioned as having one of the best soundtracks, after that I heard it gotten great reviews. Then a long time nothing and I see it dicounted in the online store. I fire it up and am hooked from the first minute of playing, it’s a gorgeous, visceral, perfectly scored RPG that really kicks into gear after the credits role (which is 12 hours or so of fantastic gameplay, story and characters) and then the game keeps on giving. I haven’t finished the first New Game+ yet (or better chapter 2) but this is up there with the Witcher 3 (even though I haven’t cried in NieR so far) and in terms of gameplay alone actually surpasses it. Here is a video that just nails every aspect of the game with some minor spoilers:

Buy it full price – it is definitely worth it! And experience the best fusion of gameplay, music, story and deep philosophical questions that are not apparent from looking at the characters. Play it!

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