Month in Review – June

Another month over and so we have another month in review. We’re now halfway through the year which is when I did my midyear posts, so consider this a replacement for it. I hope everyone is doing well. With the loosening up of restrictions in my local area I’ve seen more of my friends and family this month than I had over the past three months. It was nice, but also incredibly tiring. Evidently I’m built for social isolation more so than the normal of everyday adult life.

In addition, I noticed this was post one hundred while editing it. I only took about three years to get there, but I finally hit that milestone. I appreciate everyone who has accompanied me at various points throughout this journey. I didn’t have many expectations when starting my blog back in 2017, but it has been fantastic thus far.

Thank you.

Now…onto the rest of the post.

Blog

June was the best month I’ve had all year and I think that was entirely down to random chance. I’m really pleased with the reception that various posts I put out received and I had a lot of fun writing most of what I put out this month.

That said, I examined and categorized my blog posts from throughout the year into what I called on-brand and off-brand to figure out how much “core” content I was putting out. Before running up the numbers I figured that I’d put out more tag or community focused posts than I had doodles or video game centric posts. And it turns out I was correct. So with that I’m going to try and focus a bit more on the latter as those are the ones I enjoy writing the most. I’ll be trimming down the gaming section of these posts and making a concerted effort to expand on my thoughts in full length posts. Here’s hoping that works out.

I also added a portfolio tab to my blog to track art that isn’t presently available in any of my posts. Most of the pieces on display (there aren’t many) were commission pieces and after finishing my last commission I received advice that I should really have an information page for such work. Check it out to see a few additional doodles that previously only appeared on Twitter.

Gaming

June was a bit more focused than May in terms of gaming. Instead of talking about everything I played I’ll be listing off a highlight reel from the month. I found last month’s post a bit too laborious to go through while editing and if I found it tiring I can’t imagine how other folks found it. So here are the gaming highlights of June.

Helltaker

This is a bit of a strange one. Helltaker is a free game that was released onto Steam in May. AK from Everything is Bad for You and I were chatting about Helltaker during one of my FrostiFriday streams. Afterward, I checked out his article on the game and played it for myself. It’s a short puzzle game about navigating hell in search of seductive demon ladies for your personal harem. It’s incredibly goofy, but reminded me a lot of the experimental browser games I used to play growing up. I rather enjoyed it for what it was.

Helltaker is definitely worth a look provided you have a device that can run it and it sounds like your cup of tea. It’s an hour or two of time well spent.

Hollow Knight

After several weeks of streaming Hollow Knight every Friday I finally finished it. I hadn’t planned to go after the harder true ending, but I did. That took…a very long time. GD and Solarayo were with me through the whole of it and together we seized victory.

Despite the unreasonably large number of times I had to retry the Radiance, I don’t actually think it is that hard of a fight. It’s extremely punishing, but not super challenging. The attacks are all rather simple to dodge, but failing to do so sees you taking two points of damage rather than the standard one. This means you have half the mistakes you’d normally have and also makes healing incredibly difficult. In fact, I usually had greater success if I ignored healing entirely as that was usually creating a cascading waterfall of errors.

I also had a number of viewers point out how annoying it was for them that I had to re-fight the Hollow Knight every single time I wanted to attempt fighting the Radiance again. After reflecting on it in post, I’m inclined to agree. I get what Team Cherry was going for, but repeating a fight that you’ve already bested only serves to make the Radiance obnoxious especially when you consider how punishing the it is.

That said, it was still a fun journey and I’m glad I was able to share Hollow Knight with some folks.

Timelie

Not much to say on this one. I played through the entirety of Timelie with Mir. It’s a puzzle game where you use time manipulation to stealth your way through levels. It’s a neat concept but only really gets interesting in the final chapters. It’s alright as a chill Saturday afternoon puzzle game that you sit down and play through in one or two sessions.

Also there’s a kitty.

Dicey Dungeons

I don’t have much to add about Dicey Dungeons that I didn’t already cover in a post I wrote this past month. It’s a finely made game, but it just didn’t click with me. And after about thirteen hours and finishing a little over a quarter of the game I decided I’d given it a fair shake.

Neat concept, but not my cup of tea.

Supraland

Another game I finished in June and similar to Dicey I wrote a post related to my time with it. I spoil part of the game in said post so play it before you give it a read if you have a desire to play the game. It’s neat, but I think it is locked on PC and I know a fair amount of my reader base aren’t fellow PC players. If you’re into Metroidvanias and don’t mind a bit of indie jank I’d recommend checking it out.

Art

I actually did a couple arts this month. The biggest things were that I finished off a commission piece I had and I also broke in my new drawing tablet. The commission piece was for my buddy Mr MKL who I know through Fantasy Strike. He is one of the people who organizes and runs things with the Toronto Top Tier crowd and wanted a piece of him getting bodied by his favourite character Jaina. Thus this was born.

And Mir bought me a tablet. Unfortunately, the fear that kept me from buying one myself was realized. My experience with using my mouse for drawing did not immediately translate over to the tablet, nor did my experience drawing with pen. The tablet was kind of like a weird half-step between both. Regardless, after a couple hours of getting my feet wet I was using the tablet with ease. The biggest change so far is that I find it way easier to draw with and as such I can whip through art pieces much faster than I could with the mouse. Looking forward to using it more.

If you’re reading this before or on Friday July 3rd, then you can catch me over on my Twitch channel at 4pm ET on July 3rd as I’ll be streaming some doodling. Drop by if that sounds like something you’d be interested in.

Community

As with every month here are five posts from around the community that I enjoyed reading. If you haven’t already given them a look know that they come highly recommended.

DanamesX | Tales from the Backlog – How to “Level Up” in Monster Hunter. Personal Growth over Artificial.

Meghan | Meghan Plays Games – Demon’s Souls Remake – Discussion

AK | Everything is Bad for You – Does fun belong in “serious” video games?

Adrian | Thoughts on Video Games & More – Finding Comfort in Repetition

Quietshisto | RNG – Eating Everywhere Else – Austria: The Schnitzel-Week

For what it’s worth, it was really tough to narrow down just five posts this month. There was a lot of interesting work put out in June. Keep it up.

Goals

Given I’m treating this as a midyear I also wanted to add in a section on progress I’ve made toward my singular goal of 2020: have fun while playing games. Over the past six months I’ve spent more time with games that I thought deserved it, stepped back from constantly trying to review the newest releases, and written a handful of opinion pieces. I’d say thus far I have been meeting my goal. I’m enjoying my hobby of gaming again as a hobby and that’s been refreshing.

That said, I’ve still had days, or weeks go by where I was feeling particularly drained. I think that has more to do with personal problems rather than anything specifically related to the blog or gaming. 2020 has been a weird one, but here’s hoping that the remaining half of the year will continue on like the front half of the year, or be better.


And with that I’ll wrap up another month. We’re halfway through what has already proven to be a challenging year. Hang in there, folks. And thank you, as always, for taking the time to read my work.

11 thoughts on “Month in Review – June

    1. Because I only now just wrote about it and it came out very under the radar of most folks.

      Worth a looksie. I wish more of the game had been like the later chapters, but I feel the surprise of what happens in those is better left as one so I’ll keep quiet on that. 😛

      Like

  1. Gutted I missed the final victory on Hollow Knight, I just had to sleep for once!

    You’ve got serious gaming stamina to keep at that final boss for so long, also having the fight the Hollow Knight again and again and again was just silly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re quite welcome. I was torn between Demon’s Souls and your characters that define us piece, but I figured Normal Happenings probably advertised the heck outta the latter already. If anyone is reading this comment, go also read Meghan’s characters that define us post!

      To your question, yes I do. It’s satisfying to sit down and actually get your thoughts onto paper (er…digital paper) and I never start writing with a clear idea of what I want to write about. I just sit and write. Then the next day I take the pieces and edit them together into whatever makes sense. I’m oversimplifying the process, but it is nice to just sit and write out your thoughts on a subject instead of trying to tailor them to a specific argument or thought. In that way it’s a lot more freeing and creative instead of constrained.

      Plus reviews aren’t nearly as fun because they don’t often incite discussion. I find their more declarative. “I think X about game Y because evidence Z”. The opinion pieces invite people to share their own thoughts and that leads to some really interesting discussions in the comments section, which I think make the articles better overall. Plus I have a lot of fun continuing to talk about ideas with people in the comments.

      That’s all a long way of saying, “I’m having more fun”. And when you’re doing something as a hobby finding enjoyment in it is kind of important. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the shoutout! And yeah, Helltaker was a good time for what it was, as you say. The demon girl harem concept is definitely one that can be expanded on.

    It can be hard to keep things fun sometimes when playing games and writing about them at the same time, especially when personal stuff gets in the way. Occasionally I also get the feeling that I might just be playing a game so I can write about it — there’s one game in particular right now that I’m sort of hate-playing out of spite just to say I beat it, though I’m still hoping I come around and end up liking it somehow.

    Thank God I’m getting tomorrow off to make up for July 4 being a Saturday, so I might drop into the stream. All the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh man that’s the worst. I’ve been making a concerted effort to just drop games if I’m not enjoying them. There is only so long I can play a game while not enjoying it before it really isn’t worth it. If something like Helltaker can be entertaining for the whole of its ~2h runtime then I don’t really see giving another game 10 hours before I give up on it as a bad thing.

      And I’ll be happy to have you along if you decide to drop in. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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