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Tycho / 2 weeks ago

It's absolutely true that there is still an Xbox 360 with a Kinect hooked up in the living room. How else do you expect me to watch my Two Towers Director's Cut on DVD? Hang on, I gotta change the disc.

Double Fine Action Theater, and its sequel Kinect Party, might rule the stats for the venerable machine. Aside from Minecraft, I'm not sure there's another game that lasted as long as this one in the house. We played it so much that when other people come over and have never fucking heard of it - because it's a ten year old game that uses the Kinect - I'm always a little surprised, so deeply woven into our home culture it is. It's synonymous with some of the most carefree times in my life. I look back at that man, and I envy him, but think on some level that he doesn't think enough about the jaguar threat. It's possible that this new version of me thinks about them too much, but I wouldn't have to do that if jaguars weren't so inscrutable and omnipresent.

(I apologize for being who I am. It might help to know that I use the term Jaguar to describe the unrelenting animal terror the modern mind feels that is completely decoupled from the actual threat. These systems, designed to shield us from the evolutionary masterclass that is the large hunting cat, have been rerouted to things that feel like deadly existential but are not, like talking a little too much at a party.)

Dabe and I keep playing Storybook Brawl, because it is impossible to stop. Dabe couldn't help himself after Friday's stream and went super hard making an edit of our stream, complete with the "rad streamer preview," like so:

It's mostly me laughing when things go well and playing the skulking Wormtongue to Dabe's Theoden King. But! They must have heard of it, because they got hold of the channel and gave us some Fairy Dust to give away next time we stream. "Fairy Dust" doesn't mean cocaine in this context. But they also gave us some cocaine.


Tycho / 2 weeks ago

The first episode of The Book of Boba Fett was fine, but - like The Mandalorian - the first two episodes combine into the Actual Thing and now I'm in. This is pretty fun. It also seems like the people making it think Star Wars is kind of cool and don't feel ashamed of that, but they aren't so enthralled by it that they won't explore the margins of it and contribute. Dream job shit.

If you read Star Wars novels as a shrieking larva, you've always held a little faith that you'd see this show happen. It's still a little surprising that it has! I don't want to go into any particulars in case you haven't seen it, but there's some shit in this second chapter that is such a succor to the people who kept this setting alive. I think Boba Fett has potential, but it's the embroidery around him in this episode that really has hold of me. Ultimately though, what allowed him to escape the Great Pit of Carkoon was not martial prowess or unwavering mental strength but something a bit more cosmic.

I was out with Dabe last night, and it was then that we hatched the plan to play Storybook Brawl on stream. The truth is, we have been streaming it, but he just streams it to me over Discord and we talk over the plays. Well, now we're going to do that with our transmit beam pointed outwards. He's gonna start at ten a.m. Pacific, I'll wrap up the strip writing with Mork as soon as I can and join him on stream.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 3 weeks ago

We had hit a point with the first versions of Valheim where we'd done a bunch of cool stuff, but monsters were always pecking at it because it was live 24/7 and this was before we had Wards. There's sort of an upper bound on how many times you want to come back to a pile of crafting materials instead of a house.

Over at Gabe's house it was a family server back in the day, and they just started another one I have the credentials for but haven't been able to sign in yet. We weren't even around for Hearth and Home last time, so the part of the game Gabriel engages with - the building of elaborate, functional halls and towns - got a huge upgrade. His eldest child, Gabriel the Younger, has come in with a cadre of elite teens whose only desire is to wreck monsters and take their shit, so there's a virtuous cycle there. Kara's materials library is a masterclass in homespun efficiency. And Noah was apparently blessed with a keen eye for Norse real estate

Oh! If you are in the market for the exclusive PA comic and post that just went up excoriating Wordle Cheaters on the Club PA Patreon, it's never been easier. Or, it's as easy as it has been previously. It hasn't gotten more difficult, at any rate. There's a lot of other stuff in there, including the podcasts we do while looking through the archive you might enjoy.  Plus, you know...  everything else we've added to it for the last million years or so.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 3 weeks ago

That is, in fact, why I mentioned Wordle - because I thought he would be good at it. I didn't know he was even into this kind of shit, since it is generally considered my purview, but… maybe that's why he never told me. He got very cagey about it when I sent him the link, and then never revealed his performance, which would bolster the original theory. But I'm actually super bad at word games!

I'm not bad at this word game, the one where I take a blank page in Google Docs and turn it into… whatever the fuck this is. But that's only because I have an infinite supply of all the letters and there are no other confounding variables, except for maybe my childhood. A game like Scrabble - which has its dark apotheosis in Babble Royale - is about making words out of shrapnel, under time pressure. That is not my skillset, but it is definitely his somehow.

Wordle comes at it from another direction, and it's the letter version of a game I used to play with the kids and also as a kid called Mastermind. It wasn't until I was looking around for the weird covers of the old boardgame that I learned there was a word version of the game already! It's called "Word Mastermind," if you can believe it. So, Wordle (which is impossible for me to type correctly the first time, apparently) is Word Mastermind, but you only get six tries and you don't have to trick your sister into playing it with you. Terms accepted.

The best tip I can give you is that the screen that comes up at first is a tutorial screen! It's not the game. Man, I really thought I was doing something there for a minute. The real game is like this: you enter a five letter word, and then the game tells you which of those letters is either

Green - A correct letter in the correct place
Yellow - A valid letter in the wrong place
Dark Grey - This letter is not in the word.

It even puts these colors on the letters of the digital keyboard below the game, which is very humane. But that really is the whole thing, and there's only one puzzle per day. There's a "Hard Mode," where you can't just fish for valid letters making words with ones you already know are wrong, but… that's how I was already playing it. That's not a flex, it just hadn't occurred to me to play it that way. Like I said, I'm not good at word games generally. But I'm okay at word games, as long as you make them puzzle games…?  Anyway, you should play it.  I got today's in three, if you would like to assert your dominion.   

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 3 weeks ago

Just for comparison's sake, if we're talking about lists:

What's funny is that he and I would both have Halo Infinite on our shortlists, the only difference is that he has it for the campaign (which I won't play until co-op) and I have it for the Multiplayer, whose reward structure he finds stingy wherever it isn't just weird. I play it every day, if I can. Not with him, though! Look earlier in this very paragraph for why.

I thought Inscryption was very cool, even before you get involved in any of the… experiences, outside the game. This is the sort of game about which one hesitates to say too much. But I feel like it was money well spent, and even if he isn't the type of dude to make direct sequels there's so much headroom left in this. I'm willing to simply fantasize about it, that's fine.

Across the Obelisk is in fact a real game, and it's only gotten better since it was released. If you like Slay the Spire but want to slay spires with another person - or even three other people - I hope you know about this game, because that's exactly what it is. It's amazing. Yeah, it's the Roguelite shit I'm always going on about, but games where you can do that and set up killer turns for your allies are few and far between. Another big one for me is still Storybook Brawl, which I lost a portion of my mind to earlier this year. Battle Royale, but a deckbuilder. What I'm saying is that cards are important and I like cards.

(CW)TB out.

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