A Successful, Signature Flash Thompson “Hail Mary” Play

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Hey, look at that! I finally found Agent Venom! And he can stand next to my only-good-Kyle-Rayner-there-is figure! Awesome!

My new books are delayed, because I had a job interview and social activities (through the internet, and gaming, but whatever). I’ve read the Marvel stuff, and my thoughts are the usual on the titles that were released, but rather than sell them off in single words, I’ll leave that to future actual writing tomorrow.

The game in question, since I rarely succeed at discussing these things, is the semi-infamous Payday 2. I started a bunch of friends on the original Payday: The Heist after pre-ordering it, and did the same with this one. I’m now playing with friends who were friends-of-friends, because it’s been very cyclical with the Payday-ing. A lot of folks quit with me when the stealth mechanic was changed significantly, and when the heist payouts became absurdly untenable, and when cloakers were added in.

Some people love an obnoxious challenge–indeed, a recent bump in those aforementioned payouts to a more palatable level earned plenty of “Noooo! Now new players will catch up quickly and they will be terrible and ruin my gamessss!!!” complaints, but those people can pretty much go sit in shit.

The risk/reward is finally at a good place again–at least, for average players like myself. The challenge-lovers can smash their faces against the Deathwish difficulty (regular++++ difficulty, the highest) and otherwise shut up. Niche-ing a game until it appeals to only a very, very select few is a horrible idea. Terrible.

Anyway, in the interest of mask collecting, I’ve been running every mission in “Hard” to get all of them done at that difficulty, to great success. I decided to do the Bank: Pro Job today by myself, and had this exciting result:

 

There’s a good chance you can’t tell what the point is. Well, notice two things: 1) Escape is available, and 2) There are customers still in the bank unawares.

Yup. I emptied the vault without the front of the bank noticing. It’s not something ultra-rare, but it was pretty exciting for me, so sod off. I also pulled off the hilarious trick of throwing a guard’s body off the roof, not realizing it would land at the feet of another guard. Who I leapt down and shot in the face as I fell, then ran upstairs for the last guard. Cleaned his clock and that was that. Sat and waited on the drill, unbeknownst to the folks in front, and emptied it out then sneaked the bags up the street. Good times.

I’ve also been hitting Legacy of Kain (in general) pretty hard, but mostly via Blood Omen, which I never finished. I’ve gotten further already than I did when I bought it (sometime in the mid 2000s, in a large box, back when those and PC game stores still existed in the physical world). I really love Templeman’s characterization of Kain, and the dialogue written for the game. Probably my favourite overall marriage of tone, atmosphere, and characters.

I booted up Soul Reaver first just to glance back at a game I found frustrating but mostly rewarding, and decided I’d hit up Blood Omen instead to be “chronological” about it, hoping it would run on 8.1. Well, short of a known issue with installing on modern hard drives, which I assume relates to either the file system or the previous “maximum” size confusing the installer’s perception of free space (for which there’s a fan-fix), not a problem at all. It’s hilarious going down to 640×480, too, but, hey. I love the design of the game in general and sprite work tends to suffer less in pixellated form, anyway.

Off to read the Valiant and Dark Horse Books!

Make me into a sincere mess dummkopf hopeless hypocrite

I think the nicest part of doing things this new way is that it allows for my extremely incoherent kinds of rambling, leaping from topic to topic as desires warrant. Which is what I’m about to do, of course.

I mentioned the onelinedrawing album The Volunteers, recently, but was distracted by the Wombats. I can’t say I’ve gone all the way through the album enough more times to discuss it, but dear lord that track everyone seems to like–“Over It”.

Was it a single, in any sense? I don’t know. As a physical release? No. But then, I don’t think Jade Tree ever did an awful lot of physical singles. I doubt they did an awful lot of “radio airplay” singles, either. This could’ve been. Should’ve been. Maybe it was. I don’t know, but ah, it’s one of those songs that just fits driving, particularly night driving. I managed to get the electric part to kick in just as I left a parking lot–ahh, good times. I wonder, sometimes, how we arrive at these things–did we have directors placing music that way because we all already appreciated it, or do we appreciate it because we’ve seen it in all of those things? Mogwai’s “Xmas Steps” does the same thing, of course, catch the real kick-in at the right moment, and it’s a pure adrenaline rush, a moment of ridiculous synchronicity.

I can at least say that, like AmRep (or DeSoto, or a few others), Jade Tree has rarely if ever done wrong by me, so I kind of said to myself (by kind of, I of course mean “completely literally”) “Oh, of course.” Seems the album is not well-liked by many of Jonah Matranga (née onelinedrawing) and/or Far (his prior/currentish band), but I hadn’t given a solid listen to any other onelinedrawing stuff, had listened to the one album Jonah released under his own name that Arctic Rodeo picked up, and have given Far some cursory listens.

On an entirely unrelated note (that I could probably tie in if I tried really hard, but fuck it), I just saw more footage from Alien: Isolation, and dear lord is that exactly what I want from an Alien game. My preference for Alien over Aliens is not secret at all (it tends to also include a lot of criticism of James Cameron, and the changes he made to both the creature and the universe in the second movie). An Amnesia-styled Alien game, with an advanced approach to AI, which is allowed by the set-up of the game? Hell yes. I know at a distance some people have suggested (bafflingly) that it’s an insult to the series, and someone joked in the video I saw about their “mech suit”, and it’s only increased the notion that my tolerance for (and thus my need to interact with) people with approximately zero or less perceptive ability has found some kind of limit. Sod off, folks, y’don’t get it, in such a way as to be objectively incorrect.

Anyway: about your business, everyone. I’ve still got those pictures of my sweet-ass mail collection coming, but I want to enjoy the rest of my night before hitting Moogfest tomorrow (thank you kindly, current-employer connections!)