September to December 2017

The last summary for the year.

That said, I’m not entirely sure that these summary posts will return next year. I’m planning to make numerous changes over the next few weeks and after those these may not be necessary. I might continue with them as I quite enjoy writing them and looking back over the last few months, but I may not need to rely on them. I’m hoping that the innumerable presentation changes have helped with that, too. In that content is now easier to find and we won’t need to use a post to summarise things. But we’ll see how things look in the New Year.

I may even have new art to share in January.

I would agree that the content has been entirely underwhelming in the last three months. There are many different reasons for that, but primarily that was because I didn’t want to force content out when there was no content to share. I’ve done that before and it doesn’t work. I’d rather have nothing than have a stream of useless filler content that doesn’t add to anything.

I was also committed to letting this year come to an end with whatever content I had available or could make available, and then letting the New Year dictate the new schedules and whatnot. The last couple of years have been interesting in that there have been many changes to things. Many changes which I wasn’t intending to make but that happened regardless. These have meant that things will be different as the collection of sites continues to evolve. I’m hoping that these changes will influence more creative content and less gaming content, but I can’t always be sure I’ll have time to work on different creative projects. I’m rather hoping that digital painting will help to bridge that gap. But, again, I won’t know until I try to do that.

The first of the few posts we did have looked at the brutally punishing yet oddly enjoyable Dark Souls III as a Purloiner of Cinders, which was followed by the excellent Ashes of Malmouth expansion for Grim Dawn in From the Ashes, which was ultimately concluded by Return of the Wang that looks at the ridiculous and indescribable Shadow Warrior 2. I had hoped to squeeze in the deliciously dark Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus before the year ended, but I’ve yet to finish it. Which is a shame as it is a really great sequel.

Just need to keep exploring those districts!

Aside from those there was Momentary Disappearance (Pt. 1) and Momentary Disappearance (Pt. 2) which hoped to explain where I’d gone, what I’d been doing, and when I’d be back. I hope they make a little more sense than my nonsensical rambling above. It’s hard to focus on where I want things to go when I don’t know where that is. As I really don’t these days.

All I can really say about the next few months is that I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful that things will change for the better. But I don’t really know. It could end up being the case that I stop doing these things entirely, as I don’t really have any immediate plans on where these things will ultimately end up. They’re just moving along. Slowly but surely. It’s likely that I’d keep the blog regardless and at least keep posting about my creative efforts. It might just mean that there will be literal months between posts and the content comes as and when it comes. But, again, I’m hopeful that it won’t come to that and that things will continue to a similar schedule as they have had previously. I guess we’ll see what happens in the New Year, huh?

Have a nice Christmas, all!

Moggie

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Return of the Wang

The Way of the Wang is long, and hard, and ribbed for her pleasure.

Shadow Warrior 2 is an excellent example of everything you would want from a sequel. You’ve got deeper character development mechanics, a greater selection of upgrades, numerous skills to unlock, a greater selection of weapons (with new weapon types), and an extensive story that offers more freedom. The swordplay might even be better in the sequel, too. But, if that’s not enough, they’ve even thrown in free DLC, which will not only add new missions as you progress through the story but offer greater customisation of weapons and upgrade gems.

It’s also ridiculously fun in the silliest way possible.

The close combat options are just as enjoyable as they were in Shadow Warrior. I’m particularly keen on the dual wielding options that allow me to slice, dice, and observe giblets as my foes fall to literal pieces. You also get more chances to burn, freeze, electrocute, and poison foes when swinging these. I’m not sure what that calculated murderous intent says about me.

Upgrading weapons is a particularly important mechanic for unlocking their full potential in combat. Upgrading Wang is pretty important, too. Both of these sets of mechanics will allow you to specialise in the things you want to do best and give you the ability to handle different situations. Likewise, investing in certain skills will give you better results with certain techniques or styles of combat. Sting, Vortex, and Force Slash comprise your active weapon techniques. While Healing Flame, Chi-Blast, Grip of Darkness, and Vanish comprise your active chi techniques. Each has a specific situation in which it will perform at its best, but they’re all equally useful in helping you survive the countless demons you’ll need to slay on your lengthier adventure.

It’s a lovely day to go to the video store.

The best surprise in Shadow Warrior 2 would have to be the final boss fight music. It was one of those perfect moments in video game history, where you’re trying to take this particularly important fight seriously but you’re somewhere between smiling and laughing at the absurdity of the situation. I loved it, though. Which is, in my opinion, what makes Shadow Warrior (as a series) so great, as it never takes itself too seriously but is always enjoyable. There might be more grinding in the sequel but it’s enjoyable grinding.

Even the randomised loot was handled well.

Weapons (and some upgrade gems) will have specific statistics, while everything else will have randomised combinations of affixes which can create some truly unique (and powerful) bonuses for certain weapons. I’m not sure if it works from a set of prefixes and suffixes as an ARPG would but it does work quite well. You rarely find something that is completely useless.

That said, even if you do, you can easily reforge it with two other upgrade gems and have another chance to roll something usable. There is so much more to Shadow Warrior 2 than the previous instalment and it really helps to deliver a more enjoyable adventure. I can’t recommend it enough. I’m also starting to wonder when other first person action titles will start to employ as enjoyable close combat mechanics, rather than the repetitive left click spam. I’m particularly fond of swords in the first place but I’m more fond of them when you can do awesome things with them. Such as twirling around until you get motion sickness and your vision is clouded with blood and viscera. I’m also not sure what enjoying that sensation says about me.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie