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Updates: Instagram & Green Team!

Updates: Instagram & Green Team!

Oh, hello!

I didn’t see you there!

I know it’s been a while, but things have happened. First off, I decided to spend my efforts establishing myself on Instagram, and if you aren’t following me there yet, please do! I post 3-4 times a week on average, and I try to keep it relevant / interesting!

After reading about the Green Man Gaming “Green Team” affiliate program, I decided to not just post pictures on Instagram, but video as well! You can see my first IG video “Indie Essentials” (about Thomas Was Alone, one of my all-time favorite indie games) right here.

I have settled on sending out Indie Essentials every Thursday, so look out for the next video in a few days! I might also do a gaming news video once a week – though the 1 minute length definitely sets some restrictions on what and how much I can cover!

If you feel like supporting me, feel free to click the image below – it’ll save a cookie on your computer for 30 days and give me a kickback on any purchases you make on Green Man Gaming in that time!


I might also upload the videos I create for Instagram to YouTube / Twitter in the future, but for now I’m trying to just make regular video content on Instagram happen – one 58-60 second video at a time!

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Switching to YouTube / Teaser

Switching to YouTube / Teaser

As some of you may know, I’ve been a writer for IGN Denmark for a few years now.

Recently, IGN made the decision to close down the individual Scandinavian IGN sites in favor of one hub site (IGN Nordics) which is meant to service the same countries as before. Among other things, this means that it’ll be nigh on impossible for me to get to review games for IGN any more, since there is a policy of 1 review in English across all their sites.

Since I’ve already been sort of toying with the idea of creating content here, and since I’ve been wanting to cover more than just video games, I feel like now is the time to make the switch from strictly written content and shitposting on Instagram to also creating video content on YouTube.

Since I’ve had a hard time keeping to a regular posting schedule for my blog on this site, I’ve decided to see if I can stick to a more regular schedule of producing content for YouTube.

Planned content includes reviews of video games, music, collectibles as well as vlogs about stuff like podcasts, books, movies or whatever else strikes my fancy – as long as it’s nerd-adjacent.

I hope you’ll join me on this adventure in creating stuff to entertain hopefully not only myself, but you as well!

 

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Why I love the Gravity Rush series (+bonus Gravity Rush 2 gallery)

Why I love the Gravity Rush series (+bonus Gravity Rush 2 gallery)

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing Gravity Rush 2 for IGN Denmark.

I’ve been looking forward to the game for some time, and it was (almost) everything I could have wanted it to be.

It’s no secret that I love the Gravity Rush series. It was the first game I completed fully on my Playstation Vita, and I’ve now reviewed both Gravity Rush Remastered and Gravity Rush 2 for IGN Denmark.

I love the game(s) – it’s one of those series I can lose myself in, and just feel good.

That’s sort of the core of Gravity Rush for me – there might be danger, there might be villains, and there certainly are high stakes. But danger is usually averted, villains are either defeated or redeemed, and friendship – even in  the face of adversity – wins every time.

Kat is a great character, even if she sort of lets herself be a doormat to some of the side mission NPC’s (Eugie and Aujean, anyone?). Usually she’ll know that she’s being taken advantage of, but she goes along with it, hoping her efforts will let the NPC’s grow as people along the way.

The art style goes a long way towards helping the charming characters and world work, in my opinion. I’ve never been much into anime, but the art style just sort of looks like you’re in an anime – and it works.

On that note, I am impressed with Gravity Rush 2 – it feels like the same engine as Gravity Rush Remastered (and probably is), but I was impressed with how rarely I’d have textures pop in even though I was moving at a fast clip through the game’s world.

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I apologize for the wonky pictures among the gallery – I played around with the different Instagram-type filters that become available as you progress through the game and its online component.

Now I just need someone to help me get that damn Kat Figma that was exclusive to the Japanese Collector’s Edition of Gravity Rush Remastered!

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Rambling about love, hate and inclusivity.

Rambling about love, hate and inclusivity.

I woke up today to the news that Donald Trump is going to be the next president of the United States.

As so many others, I could not believe that such a hatemonger could win such an important position. I’ve seen the way Trump supporters act on the internet, heard the man himself on TV, for the past year. I simply could not believe that a majority would rather have a person such as him hold such power.

Now, as for myself – I’m a straight, white Danish guy. I’m unlikely to be directly negatively influenced by this outside of the worldwide economical ramifications this presidency is going to have. But as a nerd, this turn of events is troubling to me.

I – as so many others – grew up being bullied for what I liked. I had a hellish childhood in school, years of mental torture at the tiny hands of the type of person who could grow up to be a Trump. Now, I’m so privileged that this was a situation I could grow out of. At the time of high school, I was met with people who just wanted to get along and figure out what everything was about. My time being bullied and mocked for what I liked to do or how I looked / acted / dressed was over.

Many others are not so lucky. And this is why I cannot fathom how people online – thinking of demographics like GamerGaters and the online alt right specifically – can have so little empathy for others. I don’t know why it’s such a blind spot for so many people – maybe it’s sort of a “Someone Else’s Problem” field  like in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Maybe it’s too painful to think back on what it felt like to be bullied for something out of your own control. But it’s not okay.

I spent my childhood being an underdog – my greatest hope outside of just being left alone was that someone would stand up for me, to empathise with me.That’s why I cannot as an adult bear to stand by when I see someone being bullied.

I remember the hopeless feeling of unfairness, of just wanting to exist without being bothered every day – and even though I thought it was hell at the time, I recognize that I am lucky enough that it ended. People of color, women, LGBTQIA people, are not so lucky.

I may be a goddamn pale, white and nerdy straight guy – but I stand with people of color, women, LGBTQIA and everyone else who is as terrified by the recent political turn of events.

As it happens, I’m going to the Capitol Wasteland over the weekend for a family wedding. I’ll try to take some  pictures of anything interesting, and maybe some video to re-create the teaser trailer for Fallout 3 linked below.

Now let’s play some goddamn video games.

 

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The Bright Sessions are back!

The Bright Sessions are back!

One of my favorite audiodrama podcasts has returned to active duty, after a hiatus between seasons.

The podcast in question is none other than The Bright Sessions, created by Lauren Shippen. Now, if you haven’t heard of The Bright Sessions yet, here’s the TL;DR:

The Bright Sessions is a science fiction podcast about people with supernatural abilities, and  the people who want to help – or use – them. It follows the titular Dr. Bright in her efforts in helping these people – so-called Atypicals – with dealing with and controlling their abilities.

That’s the short introduction to The Bright Sessions, but if you haven’t already subscribed to them, you should. The podcast is well-written, and well acted. The cast of characters are likeable, and  the premise is interesting as all hell.

That said, if you haven’t caught up to the podcast yet, you might want to stop reading here, as I’ll be writing about the first episode in the third and newest season of the podcast.

Still with me? Great.

I’ll try to keep off spoiler territory by talking about the episode and its contents in broad strokes, but you might still get spoiled a bit if you haven’t listened to it yet.

The episode is titled “Asset 43, Meetings 1-6”, and it sort of flips the tables on the regular format.

In the episode, Dr. Bright is being interviewed by her former friend / mentor / superior from the AM, in a series of disciplinary meetings. We gradually learn about what happened to Dr. Bright, and what made her want to leave the agency in the first place.

The episode is interesting, as it sheds some light both on Dr. Bright’s past, as well as on the ever-presently-lurking-in-the-shadows AM. As it turns out, the former friend / mentor is now a Director at the AM, and she has her reasons for not turning in Dr. Bright to her own superiors, despite knowing that she is behind the events of the Season 2 finale.

The episode features a new take on the theme (loved it), and strong performances from both Julia Morizawa (Dr. Bright) and Alex Marshall-Brown (Director Wadsworth).

The wait between Season 2 and Season 3 of The Bright Sessions feels longer than it was, but going by the first episode of this season, it was definitely worth the wait.

For now, I’m just looking forward to the next episode.

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My thoughts on the Copenhagen Comic Con

My thoughts on the Copenhagen Comic Con

Over this weekend, Denmark finally saw its first official Comic Con.

It’s pretty exciting, because being the tiny country we are, we don’t get a lot of these kinds of events. I was lucky enough to get a pass for both days the Con was on as a birthday present, which was pretty awesome.

Unfortunately, there were just a lot of things wrong with the event.

I’ll preface that last statement with this: As far as I saw, interactions between Con-goers were great, and people were generally happy. There were loads of cosplayers and nerds of all ages and makes.

I guess the biggest complaint about the Copenhagen Comic Con that I have is this: It wasn’t really about comics. Out of the booths at the convention, only a handful featured comic artists. Neither of the big comic book stores in Copenhagen were present. It feels kind of silly to have a Comic Con where there are so few comics even there. It’s not like there are a ton of Danish comic books, but we DO have some. I find it hard to believe that none (or so few of them as were present) would be interested in being there.

In fact, the focus seemed to be more on pop culture in general than comics per se…But then, Copenhagen Pop Culture Con just doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily, or come with the brand recognition of a Comic Con, does it?

My second complaint about the Con would have to be logistics. For a convention of any size to only have one vendor inside the Con hall that sells food or beverages of any kind seems silly. At times, the queue to get a bottle of water or a cup of coffee was longer than the line for any of the vendors, celebrity attendees or games present at the Convention.

Lastly, video games.

I’m a fairly big fan of video games, so I didn’t mind so much that they were there. I got to try out Playstation VR while I was there (and I pre-booked the appointment online so I didn’t have to stand in line), I tried out the Nosulus Rift for South Park: The Fractured But Whole, and visited the Razerbus to play a round of Overwatch on a computer which had difficulties keeping a framerate over 20.

The video game areas just kind of showed how much better prepared they were for a convention setting than the rest of the Con. The Playstation VR area was rather big and well-run, Ubisoft had a decently sized stage with constant crowds gathered to watch cosplayers play Just Dance 2017, and as previousuly mentioned, I tried out the Nosulus Rift.

The convention also hosted Guldbrikken (the Danish annual boardgame awards) which was a short but sweet event, with an area where Con-goers could try out both the runners up and winners of the awards.

I’m kind of sad to say that there were several disappointing things about the event – starting from the organizers’ lack of communication about events to come until a very short time before the actual event – but I still hope we get to have the event again next year. Hopefully, the organizers will have learned a bit more about running events from doing it this year, and hopefully some constructive criticism will help them make next year’s Comic Con even more fun.

 

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Going indie

Going indie

So, a lot has happened since I updated this page.

First off, I’ve finished my graduate program at the Copenhagen Business School – my thesis about CSR communication in online firestorm situations was  a smash hit, and I earned an A on it.

This means that I’m not officially looking for a full-time job in communications or writing.

On that note, I am going to phase my official writing away from IGN Denmark, and switch to making content here, both in text and video form. I am tired of having to deal with indirect contact with developers, as well as delays that I am unable to deal with.

This means that I am also focusing my efforts more on nerd adjacent content, rather than just on video games.  I have reviewed the works of Mega Ran in the past – I intend to start reviewing other kinds of music as well. Most notably, Skyblew recently released a new album titled “Skyblew the Cowardly Boy“which I intend to review. In another genre, one of my favorite Outrun artists, VHS Glitch, recently released an album titled “MORAL DECAY” which I also intend on reviewing.

I am not sure of where I will release video content primarily – the obvious choice is YouTube. I might also try to release content directly on Facebook. Lastly, I have been looking at Vid.Me as an alternative to YouTube.

Since I am no longer a graduate student, I believe I will finally have the time to dedicate to properly creating both text and video content, as an independent content creator.

If you’re one of the handful of people who have ever been here – thanks! – you’ll notice that there’s a new look to the site. Over the next few days I am going to tinker around with PhotoShop, and get a unified look across all my social media platforms, and try to create some more original content.

 

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Shouting into the void: May 2016 update

Shouting into the void: May 2016 update

It’s been a while since I had the energy to update this blog, but here goes.

It’s now a bit over a year since my family was  torn apart by one family member murdering another in his sleep. I won’t lie; It’s been rough. We’re still waiting for a trial against the family member, and being kept in suspense for so long sucks.

In the meantime, I’ve had two different therapists to help me deal with the situation. The first one was nice and well-meaning, but we just didn’t click. I then got a second therapist, who just gets me.

Around the end of March, we were told that the trial would definitely happen in April. Welp, it didn’t. It doesn’t help that the deadline for my final thesis is on May 17 – that added stress on top of the biggest study assignment of my life really hasn’t been helpful.

My supervisor shared with me a book called “The Now Habit” in order to help me overcome my problems with perfectionism and procrastination. It’s paid off, and what seemed like an impossible task to finish by May 17 is now looking (and feeling) possible.

Now that the serious stuff is done with (for this blog post at least), here’s what I have been up to, nerd-wise:

I’ve started posting game screenshots on Instagram (which you can find at the top of the sidebar  in my snazzy new widget). The most popular ones seem to be the Dark Souls 3 pics, but that game has the advantage of being awesome. Well, except for  the fact that I  have yet to be summoned a single time as a Watchdog of Farron, making it more or less impossible to get that faction’s rewards.

I’ve also upgraded to a New 3DS XL, and have finally gotten into Steamworld Heist as well as Xenoblade Chronicles 3D (both great titles).

I am hoping that the lessons I’ve learned from “The Now Habit” will help me actually create some kind of creative content on a regular basis. I have this idea for a podcast about internet stuff – legends such as that of the blood ninja, poor Denko and her inept stalker as well as famous copypasta and creepypasta. The format will likely be single-host, and between 10-20 minutes of content per episode.

That’s about it for this blog update. I hope to be able to create content on a regular basis following my handing in my thesis!

 

-Barl0we

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The Nerd Essentials Awards

The Nerd Essentials Awards

I’m not really one for  traditional GOTY awards, especially seeing as I’ve missed a few titles that I would’ve liked to play this year. That’s why I’ve taken a page from classic era Penny Arcade, and chosen a bunch of games that I really liked this year, and given them a We’re Right™ twist.

Without further ado, here are the winners of  the first Nerd Essentials Awards:

 

Best Game of Just One More Level, I Can Do This:

Spectra features arcadey gameplay with the eponymous chiptunes album by Chipzel. The music is great, the visuals are appealing…And it’s one of those games where I suddenly found myself a few hours after I should’ve gone to bed. But seriously, I’ll just try to nail this level ONE MORE TIME, okay? Okay.

 

Best Game I Ragequit, But I Swear I’ll Finish It, Some Day:

Bloodborne is my first serious foray into FROM Software games. I’d tried out the first Souls game a few years ago, but it never really got me. The aesthetic of Bloodborne is just so damn awesome that I had to try it out. After some time, I’v only managed to take down 3 bosses. At the moment, I’m stuck on either the Blood Starved Beast, or Vicar Amelia. The worst part is, I can see that I keep dying to them because I’m impatient. I might contain myself for a while, but then I’ll rush in and get myself killed because I don’t have the patience. I’ll get back there and complete the game someday, though.

 

Best Non-David Cage, David Cage Game:

Until Dawn is perhaps one of my favorite game experiences this year. Great writing  as a schlocky horror movie, great performances by the actors. I managed to save everyone but two in my first playthrough, and I still need to get a run where I save everyone as well as one where I do everything that horror tropes tells me I shouldn’t do. I could see this being a fun game to play with other people, too!

 

Best Game That Tricked Me Into Playing a Sports Game:

Rocket League came out this year, and being a PS+ subscriber, I got it for free. I checked it out, even though the concept seemed kind of dumb at first. Cue me suddenly finding out that it was the middle of the night, and wanting JUST ONE MORE MATCH. The game is on PC as well, and I fully intend to get it there some day (and hopefully convince some of my buddies to play it with me). This is also my pick for best quick-fix game of this year.

Best Early Access Game That I Use To Relax:

I’ve posted about Starbound before. There’s just something about it that gets me – the music is awesome, and the atmosphere is amazing. Starbound has been getting some significant updates this year, making it even more fun to play. I’ve put around 120 hours into Starbound since I bought it,  and I haven’t even seen all that the Colony and the Combat updates have brought to the game.

 

What were your favorite games of this year?

 

 

 

Posted by Barl0we in Blog, Gaming, 0 comments
Copyright claim and awesome customer service by Machinimasound

Copyright claim and awesome customer service by Machinimasound

A few years back, I decided that I wanted to get into creating Youtube videos. I never really found my niche doing that (I’m much more comfortable with writing than I am with actually having to be in front of a camera / microphone).

Having decided that I wanted to “do” the whole Youtube thing, I read up on what kind of difficulties I could face. One of these would be having music to use legally, and without getting copyright claims.

That’s where I decided to splurge on a license for a chiptunes track. I got my track, and all was well with the world. Of course, I hadn’t bothered turning that transaction into something where I had an account on the site.

Until a few days ago.

Continue reading →

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