1. We were away for a wedding this weekend, and so there isn’t much going on in the way of SFTC-relevant posting. But I must reiterate how wonderful it is to be away from the internet these days. No hashtags, no doxxing, no bullshit; just a few beautiful autumn days with good friends, free of day job worries and parental responsibilities.
2. I’ve been down on the Xbox One a lot on this blog, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want one; even though I’m really happy with my PS4, I’m still an Xbox fanboy at heart, and I’ve been hoping for something to push me over the edge (and being able to import all of my Pinball FX2 tables from the 360, while much appreciated, wasn’t quite enough.) As it happens, Microsoft’s finally delivered the one-two punch I needed: both Sunset Overdrive and Forza Horizon 2 have been getting good-to-great reviews, and now Microsoft has announced a temporary $50 price cut starting this weekend. Would it surprise you to learn, then, that all of my dreams last night were about buying an Xbox One?
3. So last week I said I’d been debating putting Alien Isolation down, and last night I finally made the decision to pull the plug. I think I’m about halfway through it; I’m currently in the level where I’m trying to access the APOLLO core, and I had to turn in all my weaponry, and all the Working Joes are immune to EMP mines. The “turn in all your weapons” trope felt a little contrived, frankly, and progressing through the level was becoming more frustrating than anything else, and I don’t particularly care about the game’s fiction to keep butting my head against the wall. I’ve kept my save file just in case I get the itch to finish it down the road, but I sent the disc back to GameFly and, for the moment, I’m considering myself done with it.
4. This means that, barring a spontaneous Xbox One purchase this weekend, I’ve got a little bit of time to try and get back into Shadow of Mordor before this year’s final 3 AAA GOTY contenders arrive in November (i.e., Assassin’s Creed Unity (or “AssUnit”), Far Cry 4, and Dragon Age Inquisition). It’s been so long since I last tried playing it that I might as well start over from scratch – I don’t think I was that far into it, and hopefully I’ll now have an easier time figure out what the hell I’m supposed to do.
5. I didn’t quite know what to read after getting turned upside down by The Bone Clocks last week; I’d started reading John Le Carre’s A Perfect Spy but that’s not exactly a palate cleanser. So, instead, I started Annihilation, the first book in the “Southern Reach trilogy” by Jeff VanderMeer. And that was, in fact, the correct choice. Each book in the trilogy is incredibly short (at least when compared to everything else I’ve been reading lately); I think it only took me 2 days to finish that first book (and I had a busy weekend). I’m now 3 chapters into the 2nd book, Authority, and I’m hooked.