The Last Weekend Recap of 2014

2015 will be upon us in just a few days.  This would be an opportune time to whip up a “Top 10 Games I’m Looking Forward To” post, or even a “New Year’s Resolution” post, and perhaps I’ll get one of those going before long.  I do have material for both of those posts, because I am nothing if not over-prepared.

But I’m finding it hard to be upbeat about gaming right now, and it’s hard to look forward when the present is still dragging me down.  We’re still in 2014, after all, only a few days removed from the PSN/XBL hack that ruined everyone’s Christmas break.

So as far as a weekend recap is concerned, well:  what could any of us do?  As it was, pretty much every game I have stored on my PS4 and XB1 was impossible to play, given that everything needed an internet connection, even the single-player stuff.  Thank God I’d already finished my Dragon Age campaign, or else I would’ve lost my friggin’ mind.    (Speaking of which, for a few days there I thought my Vita was broken, too – although now that the networks are back up, it appears all is well.)

In any event, because Xbox Live came back faster than PSN – and it’s more than a little distressing at how Sony still doesn’t have their online shit together – I did end up getting back into Forza Horizon 2; I’m now only 2 championships away from the Finale.  Goddamn, I love that game.  I can’t tell if the computer AI is too easy, or if I’m really good at it, or what – I win nearly every race, but they’re always close, and they’re almost always really entertaining.

I only found out that PSN was starting to come back online because I’ve been waking up at 3am every night for the last 2 weeks, and so during Saturday’s insomnia I decided to check my iPhone and see if I could log into the PSN app, and – lo and behold – I could.  So I downloaded Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (which was part of the PSN Holiday Sale), and… it’s good?  I liked the first one a lot, and this one seems like more of that same thing, but it seems like it’d be much better with friends, so I think I’ll save that for online buddies.

And speaking of sales, I succumbed to my better judgment and picked up a few things in the Steam Holiday Sale:

  • Divinity: Original Sin
  • Secrets of Raetikon
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Super Time Force Ultra

Of those four, Divinity is the biggest pickup on my list, though after Dragon Age I can’t help but wonder if I’m epic-RPG’d out.

What else… oh yeah, I’m nearly finished with Michel Faber’s “The Book of Strange New Things“, which is absolutely heartbreaking and devastating and maybe not the best thing to read at 3 in the morning during a seasonal depression.  But it’s also really good, and I’m looking forward to diving into his back catalog.

Speaking of which, I already have a sizable book backlog to get to, though I also can’t help but notice that the Your Face Tomorrow trilogy by Javier Marías is finally available on Kindle, and so I’m kinda itching to get started on that, given that I’ve been wanting to read it for several years now.  I’m really trying to not buy anything new until I finish everything old (and this goes for games, too) but this is a special case, and I’ve got some Amazon credit burning a hole in my wishlist.

Also also:  the wife and I watched Don Hertzfeldt’s “It’s Such A Beautiful Day“, which is available on Netflix streaming.  I’ve been a fan of his work for years, and I’ve been eyeing his progress on this film for quite a long time, and then to suddenly find out it was on Netflix was a very happy accidental Christmas present.  The film itself?  Not necessarily what you’d call “happy.”  But it’s utterly brilliant and dark and amazing and considering it was basically one dude working in isolation for 10 years doing these incredible in-camera hand-drawn animations, it makes me feel like I’ve been wasting my creative life.

So look forward to my new album, which I am determined to start and finish next year.

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