weekend recap: the transformation

I’ve been feeling weird this month.  A little disconnected, perhaps; a little bit untethered.  I haven’t been sleeping particularly well, and it’s entirely possible that my excitement about being a new dad is starting to turn itself into these late-night, staring-at-the-ceiling worry-fests about all the millions of things there are to worry about when you become a parent for the first time – am I making enough money?  Can we actually afford day care, even though we don’t really have a choice?  How much baby poop am I prepared to handle?  Am I going to be a good father?

Consequently, my brain has been all over the place.  My plan for this weekend was supposed to be focused on working on some songwriting for an upcoming project, but everything I did sounded terrible.  This happens, sometimes, and I try not to get too discouraged about it, but I also know that my window for indulging in shitty songwriting sessions is rapidly closing, and so I’m feeling a bit of pressure, now, to get my act together and make something happen.

In any event, I’ve been spending more time in my music room, which is also where my gaming PC happens to be; and, well, it turns out that I’ve turned into a PC gamer.  I haven’t turned my Xbox on since Christmas, when I plowed through the DLC for Mass Effect 3.  My ever-increasing bounty from the winter Steam sale means that I’ve got a ton of great stuff to play, and so I’ve been kinda playing all of it.

Well, that’s not entirely true, I suppose.  FTL intimidates the shit out of me; even the tutorial feels overwhelming.  I suppose I’m glad that I bought it, if only to support the indie developer, but I don’t think I’ll be playing it.

Also, I ended up buying Hitman Absolution even though I said I wasn’t going to; Steam sales trump the weak-willed, even when the weak-willed are taking principled stands on abhorrent marketing campaigns.  I’ve played through the first few levels, and my experience is largely similar to my previous experiences playing the earlier Hitman games; the first tutorial level holds my hand while showing me all my different options and paths to my objective, and everything makes sense; and then I get to my first open-ended mission and suddenly everything goes to hell immediately.  I get suspicious looks from people 50 yards away; bodies that I thought I’d disposed of are found by people who couldn’t possibly have been looking for them; my disguises are largely useless.  I do appreciate that the missions are designed to be played multiple times, trying different tactics and experimenting with different methods, but in my multiple fail-throughs of these missions I do try alternate tactics and methods and I still get found out.  It’s all very frustrating.  (Ironically, the stand-alone Sniper Challenge is a lot more enjoyable, even though it’s only one mission that can be finished in under 3 minutes.  I played that for around an hour or so, finishing a bunch of meta-challenges and killing henchmen in increasingly bizarre ways.)

So, instead, I’ve been playing through a bunch of stuff that I’ve already played through.  I finished Batman: Arkham City again, including the DLC, and I may continue to nibble away at various Riddler challenges over the coming months. I’ve also been replaying Mark of the Ninja, and MAN that game continues to impress.  (It also looks phenomenal on my PC.)  I’ve been giving Bastion another look; I bought it for the iPad a few months back, too, but I’m not crazy about the touch controls.  That game works with a controller; it is what it is.  I’ve been trying out Borderlands 2 as a Gunzerker, though I haven’t yet unlocked his special ability, so I haven’t yet noticed a difference.  And last night I tried Darksiders 2 again; the PC port feels a bit janky, unfortunately – I don’t recall the camera being quite so terrible on the 360.

On the iPhone, I’ve been playing the shit out of Joe Danger Touch, which might be the best version of that game on any platform.  It looks fantastic and utilizes touch controls perfectly – because you’re no longer worried about speed, you can simply focus on obstacle avoidance and stunts, and it just works beautifully.  Also – Hundreds, which has been getting lots of buzz of late.  Word of advice – if you have the option, play it on an iPad; the iPhone’s screen is too small and makes some of the puzzles a lot harder than they need to be.  (Maybe it’s a little easier on the iPhone 5’s wider screen; I’m still rocking an iPhone 4, though.)

You can maybe start to appreciate how weird I’ve been feeling lately by seeing how much different stuff I’ve been playing; I feel like I’m unable to focus on any one particular game.  Or, maybe, I’m anticipating not being able to play anything once the baby arrives, and so I’m trying to play everything?

Daddy needs some sleep.

Author: Jeremy Voss

Musician, wanna-be writer, suburban husband and father. I'll occasionally tweet from @couchshouts. You can find me on XBL, PSN and Steam as JervoNYC.

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