Nerdly Musings – 15: Returning to writing & a year’s worth of gaming hot-takes.

Man, does it feel good to be here again.

I haven’t written an article since last February, so writing this now feels like finally standing up after a long-haul flight. For those who were unaware, this past academic year (2018/19) I’ve been training to become a physics teacher. It was a long, torturous journey that I didn’t know I was going to complete or not, but in July I finally passed my training and secured a permanent teaching position at a local secondary school. What followed next…well, let’s just say it sucked.

Though the new school had a wonderful environment and the most supportive colleagues I could ask for, I just couldn’t cope. The increased workload, the new responsibilities and protocols, the inability to take my mind off work even on weeknights/weekends and to a lesser extent, the extreme behavior of my most challenging classes all combined to form a toxic maelstrom of anxiety issues and low mood. Without going into too much detail about the low points, I made the decision that I was tired of feeling like a shell of my former self, tired of the fear and self-doubt every day, and tired of feeling that my wife and daughter deserved better but doing nothing about it. I handed my notice in about mid-December. One of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time.

Anyway, enough doom and gloom. My new job is awesome; I get to work with my wife, the work is fun and fast-paced and as soon I step out of the door, I go from work-mode to family-mode, which is the best thing I could ask for in a job. It also means I get my time back in the evenings, meaning I get to do this again! So without further prevarication, I’d like to use the remainder of this post to provide my thoughts on all things gaming-related (most of which will be quite dated) that made it on to my greatly diminished radar in 2019.

#1: Untitled Goose Game

Man, that goose is an asshole.

 

#2: E3 2019

Breathtaking.

 

#3: DOOM: Eternal release date pushed to March 2020

Little frustrated; would have been nice to be ripping and tearing right now but Bethesda and id are absolutely doing the right thing by prioritizing an awesome gameplay experience for fans rather than a shoddy pushed-out-the-door-too-quickly flop. This new trailer that dropped on Jan 14th looked amazing as well.

 

#4: Death Stranding

Probably one of the most interesting games to release in 2019. Opinion was definitely divided, but I think for the majority of players the grand universe created by Hideo Kojima, full of narrative-driven gameplay and exploration, outweighed the sense some people experienced of playing a walking-simulator. Definitely will be delving into at some point in the future.

 

#5: The Wolf Among Us (Season 2) announcement

Hell goddamn yes!! When Telltale announced they were going out of business in late 2018, I was absolutely livid. For a long time I’d been annoyed with other Telltale titles (initially released after TWAU) that were getting sequels, such as Batman, Minecraft: Story Mode and Game of Thrones, as well as a gazillion Walking Dead installments and always putting off TWAU‘s long overdue sequel. I’m not saying those games were bad or that they were undeserving of second installments, but it felt like a huge majority of Telltale’s fans were crying out for a return to Fabletown and were constantly getting ignored by Telltale brass. With many of their assets being picked up by LCG Entertainment in August 2019, Telltale finally has the opportunity to revisit and expand one their most beloved franchises. See the trailer here.

 

Well, I think that’s about it for gaming news that managed to pierce my self-made bubble over the past year. Since gaining back control of my free time, I’ve been able to play some games from my favourite genre: point-and-clicks, as well as some platformers and even a first-person horror for good measure, with the hope of a few new reviews in the near future. With that in mind, I hope to see you all soon.

Good to be back.

 

Z

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