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Showing posts from 2019

I have boxes full of signed books to giveaway FREE!

So a little backstory here. I self-publish all of my books through Amazon, and my books are printed-on-demand to keep overhead costs down and prevent me from needing a huge stock of books on hand. Works out great, overall I like it—but I didn't always  do print-on-demand. When Tale of the Wisconsin Werewolf  first launched, I went directly to a printer and had a bunch of copies made up ahead of time. This didn't end up as the most efficient way for me going forward, and the formatting on those first prints aren't as professional as they are now, but it was a start. Anyway, I thought all that old stock was gone by now—but I just stumbled upon two full boxes of them! So here's the thing... I don't really want to keep this much stock around, and it's harder than its worth to sell them separately on Amazon. Which means it's time for some really awesome giveaways! I hereby decree all Wednesdays in the near future to be "Werewolf Wednesday,"

Vampires will always be cool

Not long ago, vampires were everywhere. From Twilight to Trueblood , pop culture was saturated with the undead. But as with everything that gets insanely popular, it hits a breaking point—and suddenly everyone was sick of it. A lot of people would say that's what happened with vampires; culture on the whole is burnt out on the idea. They're past the "best if used by" date, and writing a story based around them is no longer worth it. For many passing fads that's probably true. But vampires are different. The cultural significance of the vampire is just as hard to slay as the creatures themselves. What some people forget is that vampire popularity has ebbed and flowed for literal centuries , and I doubt that's going to change anytime soon. They may be in a downward trend of interest now, but they are only lying torpid until their next night to shine. As a self-proclaimed vampire nerd, let's take a look at the history of vampires in fiction. I'

Enoc Anthologies: Complete Collection out now, & American Immortal coming!

That's right—all five seasons of Enoc Anthologies are available now, and boy are you in for a treat! Whether you're a fan of the Enoc Tales or stumbling upon these books for the first time, Enoc Anthologies is worth checking out. (You can check out the rest of the books in the series here ). You can grab the paperback version here , or the digital Kindle version here . But let's backtrack a minute, because it's been awhile  since I've talked about my book series.  A little backstory on mental health Those of you who have known me for awhile hopefully know that I've struggled with depression for years. It's not always active, but it's never entirely gone either. Sometimes I go a month or two without an episode, but eventually it rears its ugly head and sends me to a dark place.  Don't worry, though! As much as it isn't pleasant, I've come to peace with the condition. I now know that depressive episodes will  happen, yes—but th

Why Do I Suddenly Hate Minecraft?

I have a long  history with Minecraft. My introduction to the game was also my first time playing or discussing games over the internet. It's no exaggeration to say Minecraft changed the trajectory of my life, and over the years I've clocked in countless hours in that blocky world. So... why can I suddenly not stand it? Why Minecraft Is Amazing First, let's discuss all the things I love about the game. The thing that's always stood out to me with Minecraft is how creative  it is. Not that the game  is creative—it presents a fairly generic world with a few clever designs peppered in—but that the game allows for player creativity. Arguably, the whole point of Minecraft is expression. You are given a limitless world and a vast palette of materials to turn this "generic" world into something of your creation. Once while pondering Minecraft, I realized how much it captures the deeply human desire to make a mark on the world. Here you are, dropped into

Can I Gush About Hollow Knight For A Minute?

Hollow Knight is good. Like, really  good. This isn't news; since the game's release in early 2017, it has received almost nothing but praise. If you follow gaming trends at all, chances are you've at least heard  of this game, and that it's good. That's one of the reasons put off reviewing Hollow Knight. At this point, what more is there to say? Is it worth rehashing the points others have said a hundred times already? That's why this isn't really a review of Hollow Knight—this is a love letter to what, in my opinion, is one of the greatest games ever made. My History With Hollow Knight I was late to the party. I only picked up Hollow Knight back in November, long  after its initial release. I was looking for a new game on my Nintendo Switch, which I only had a handful of titles for.  I had heard about Hollow Knight. That was basically Bug Souls , right? A 2D "ripoff" of the Dark Souls formula, but featuring some nice artwork and bu

New Hat in Time "Nyakuza Metro" DLC Announced + Online Party Mode!

I never knew I needed gangster cats in A Hat in Time, but now I wonder how I ever lived without them. Gears for Breakfast just announced the second DLC for their Mario-like platformer, and it looks fantastic. Nyakuza Metro Hat Kid is headed to the big city, where a sinister cat (who I swear is a relative of Beerus) runs the show. With a thuggin' makeover, Hat Kid embraces a life of crime and explores this new locale.  The gameplay at Nyakuza Metro looks fun as heck. You jump around between cat trains in a dark, almost noir style city. Very different from anything else in A Hat in Time, and that's what makes it so fresh. The voice acting for this new character is awesome, as I've come to expect from the game by now. Nyakuza Metro promises 10 new Time Pieces, a new baseball bat weapon, flares, dyes, badges, and even stickers you can place on the map or use as emotes in multiplayer. Which leads into the next big reveal...  Online Party Mode I've

Something Big Is Coming For A Hat In Time Tomorrow

As you may already know , I'm a big fan of A Hat in Time—which is why I'm so hyped that they have a big announcement coming tomorrow! This image was posted to Gears for Breakfast's official Twitter account a few days back. To me it teases a "Nintendo Direct" style livestream announcement. I'm sure it won't be as massive as Nintendo's live events—this is a small indie team, after all—but the hype is no less real for it. The livestream will begin at 3pm EDT / 12pm PDT tomorrow, April 25th on their Twitch channel . Go follow them on Twitch to catch it live yourself. I will be tuned in, and posting my summary and thoughts shortly after the stream , so if you can't make it I'll be sure to update you on what went down. As for what they could be announcing... it could be any number of things. A new DLC? A release date for the Switch port? Something really radical, like a sequel or a new game by Gears for Breakfast? The biggest clues we h

8BitDo SN30 Pro Controller Review: Retro Style Meets Modern Features

My poor wife. She humors my gaming hobby so well, despite not being a gamer herself. She has also inadvertently helped me realize how crazy us gamers sound sometimes, when explaining why we need  something that we clearly don't. Case in point is this retro-style Switch controller by 8BitDo. I kept eyeing this thing up. The Super Nintendo aesthetic really did it for me, and despite having all the gaming accessories I needed , I found myself wanting this for no good reason. She didn't complain when I grabbed the overpriced Switch Pro Controller, because I had a valid need—trying to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with a pair of joy cons was far from ideal. But as I explained how I had no practical need for this new controller, but wanted it anyway, she gave me some very confused looks. Thankfully my wife is amazing, and ended up buying me the controller as a surprise birthday present. And I'm glad she did, because I really like this thing! I've clocked in some

Katana Zero Review: Tight, Mature Action Platformer That's A Hell Of A Good Time (Switch Version)

All I knew about Katana Zero was what I gleamed from its Nintendo Switch launch trailer. It looked like a beautifully-pixelated, action-packed adventure—and that sounded good to me. Turns out Katana Zero is that and more. I found everything I expected in this game. Lots of high-paced fights, a great soundtrack, and wonderful sprite work. But it was the things I didn't  expect that impressed me the most from this game. So let's dive in and see why Katana Zero is a cut above the rest. Gameplay To me, gameplay is the most critical part of a game. You could have something with terrible graphics and a lackluster plot, but if the experience of playing the game is fun it will still be great. The best NES games prove this with Mario's timeless control scheme, or more recent classics such as Minecraft. On the flipside, a game with clumsy mechanics is likely to turn me away from the best stories. And oh boy  is Katana Zero fun to play. I mean, just look  at this traile

Hey, Elder Scrolls: Blades Is Actually Pretty Boring

When Bethesda announced a free-to-play mobile Elder Scrolls game at E3 last year, my reaction was a resounding, "Eh, why not?" F2P games are a guilty pleasure of mine. I like to dabble in different games, so being able to try something out without shelling out money can make for a good time. I don't even really mind wait timers that much, because these games usually aren't interesting enough that I care to play for more than a couple minutes once or twice a day. So the thought of a mobile dungeon crawler by Bethesda sounded like an okay idea to me. Nothing to get hyped over, but at least worth checking out when it launches. Well, that time has finally come. This isn't a full review of The Elder Scrolls: Blades. Rather, this is a first impressions article, as well as a discussion about what it does (and doesn't) do right. The Good The basic premise for Blades is alright. This takes place in between Oblivion and Skyrim in the timeline, at a point wher

Should Hard Games Have An Easy Mode? A Level-Headed Take On A Heated Debate

Do difficult games need an easy mode? Nope.  Video games are art, and game developers are free to make the artistic choices they feel are best. However, a much more interesting question is should  they include difficulty options? The recent release of Samurai Souls (er, I mean Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice ) has everyone talking about difficulty. It mostly boils down to the question of having an "easy" mode for games that are savagely hard. What I find fascinating is how vehemently people take sides on this; you're either a damn dirty casual or a git gud elitist, with little gray area in between. This is weird because, obviously, there is no objective right answer. Like I said at the start, games are art, and are inherently subjective. No art will ever please everyone, nor should it try. That's not to say there's no point in talking about it. Discussing art of all forms is a time-honored tradition. Not only is it fun to pick apart a recent movie with a friend,

Minit Review: Addictive Bite-Sized Adventure

Minit reminded me of something important; bigger isn't always better. Right now games brag about the size of their worlds and the length of their campaigns like that was the only thing that mattered. Don't get me wrong, those things are important. I love me a game world I can get lost in for dozens of hours. But too often I start a game and it overstays its welcome. That core spark of creativity gets stretched too thin to hold my interest. Sometimes it even feels like a chore to finish a game, but you don't want to leave it incomplete after all the hours you put into it. Hardly any game is released without filler. The exception is Minit.

A Hat In Time is coming to Nintendo Switch—with DLC and co-op!

Fantastic news for Switch owners. A Hat in Time, an indie "Mario-like" 3D platformer (which, in my opinion, gives the plumber a run for his money ) has been "on its way" to the Nintendo Switch for some time now. However, we've had no release date, and few updates from the team at Gears for Breakfast. But now there's something to be excited about. It's just been revealed that the Switch port is getting the local co-op mode (which was added to the PC version as a post-release update), as well as the Seal the Deal DLC! We have an exciting new sneak peak for A Hat in Time on Nintendo Switch! There's some seals and deals that may have taken a bit more time to develop than we originally anticipated... yep, A Hat in Time: Seal the Deal DLC will be arriving on Nintendo Switch!! — A HAT IN TIME | Gears for Breakfast (@HatInTime) April 9, 2019 Although there's still no release date, I'm really pumped fo

Does Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Look Better Without Cel Shading?

When the first trailer for the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild hit, I was equal parts excited and disappointed. Simply put, it looked  epic . It was the first time in years I was really pumped to get into a Zelda game. The disappointment came from the use of cel shading. Don't get me wrong; Breath of the Wild turned out beautiful. I don't mind games that focus on  style  over realism, and that's clearly the direction they took. Breath of the Wild is like a compromise between two radically different art directions—it has the cel shading made famous in Wind Waker, but with more realistically proportioned character models. It's a good middle ground, but it wasn't what  I  wanted. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking how a less anime style would look so much better in Breath of the Wild. Thanks to gratuitous modding, we can now see for ourselves. If you didn't know, yes—mods are possible in Breath of the Wild. I've seen some goofy applicat

What Skyrim Still Does BETTER Than Other Open World Games (Assassin's Creed Odyssey, The Witcher 3, Breath of the Wild)

Despite the constant cycle of re-releases, Skyrim is getting old by video game standards. Although revolutionary at the time, years of reflection have not been kind to this game. It's hard to play it now and not notice the stiff animations, copy-pasted quest lines, and of  course  all the bugs and quirks of the engine. But Skyrim paved the way for bigger, more ambitious open world games to come. In the years following games like The Witcher 3, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild took the idea of non-linear gameplay and expanded upon it immensely. Each of these games are masterpieces in their own right, and leave the Elder Scrolls franchise feeling more than a little dated.

10 Reasons Why A Hat In Time Is Better Than Mario Odyssey

Don't get me wrong—I love Super Mario Odyssey. There's no denying the level of polish and care put into that game, and it truly is the best Mario game in years. It's just that there's this little indie game that's better.

Aragami Switch Review: Great Game, Disappointing Port

I almost bought Aragami for the PC several times, but never pulled the trigger. It certainly looked interesting; a pure stealth game where you jump through shadows and assassinate bad guys. The art style and the premise intrigued me, but for one reason or another I put off buying it.