Meet the new husbando (Tales of Arise)

Hello world, it’s been a while. I haven’t played FFXV in a long time, but recently bought/tried Tales of Arise. I’ve never played a previous Tales (seen ’em, never bought one). But this one, the combat sorta reminded me FFXV, ha, so I thought why not I’ll try it. Took me a while to warm up to some of the quirks of Tales story presentation and combat but overall I like it a fair bit – it at least gives me a bit of that screenshot obsession. Especially once Dohalim joined the party.  Double-ha. He uses spells and a 2H staff – then I stuck a pair of glasses on him. He’s like a lower rent Ignis. Pwahaha.

What have I been up to outside of that? Over a year ago I was sick for a week (initially thought it was food poisoning or something), rapidly lost 15+ pounds to become a skeleton, then was in the hospital (if I didn’t live with someone who decided I wasn’t getting better, to carry me to a hospital – hubby – I would have just stayed in bed and died probably). Near diabetic/pancreatic coma from undiagnosed Type2. Don’t remember drive to hospital or anything before waking up in a bed at some point, total blackout. They kept asking hubby and I if I was an alcoholic (no, don’t even like it, maybe once a year at most). So often the asked that I almost became offended, like they thought I was lying. I’ve heard other bad tales from others like that.

So, my life changed a bit. I’m currently on (mostly) Keto/only eat twice a day/zero snack/food in-between type of regimen and that got me off both insulin shots and statins (statins suck). Outside of not being able to eat more than the tiniest bit of sugar/any carbs, at this point I’m feeling almost normal. Well – I feel slower, not as sharp/quick – hubby noticed it right off. The brain. Not serious, and it did improve some over time but…oh well, I was never a genius anyway.

I don’t game a whole lot anymore most of the time, or blog. But Dohalim deserved a small post, because he’s adorable. Plus the game is (mostly) fun. And who knows, I might still try making that general “games I’m currently playing” screenshot blog one day, like if bored during winter.  I still don’t know why I love game screenshots so much, they serve me no long-term purpose for all the time spent taking them, and sometimes I still feel like I should just stick them somewhere for random ppl to run across now and then if they want. At least then I could pretend there’s a slight “use” for my screenshot madness, right.  We’ll see if I have the energy later.

Cheers, stay happy, game hard if ya got ’em, and stay safe!


Death Stranding – Photo mode

death stranding 4k photo mode wallpaper screenshot

I think they were going to add Photo Mode only to PC originally, but they added it to console today from demand. Of course it’s not as good as Ansel re: freedom of camera movement and other things, and of course on PC you’ll likely have a bit better fidelity/draw distance, but once you figure out settings it’s not bad on the PS4-Pro/4k screenies. Not bad at all. I don’t feel a need to take 100’s of screenshots of this game but always a nice feature for any game with a lot of visual pizazz, these days.

And yeah, I still haven’t created a “general entertainment” blog for stuff like this. Maybe later. 😛

Edit:  A few more.

Stay safe

Hubby is working from home, like many others. He’s had a cold for a week, doesn’t seem anything serious. We’re not out of toilet paper yet but at some point we’re going to have to do the run-all-over-town looking for some, I guess. Our situation is generally fine, we’re just waiting things out like everyone else. I’m a homebody to begin with, my life hasn’t changed much because of this pandemic crisis. I worry more about economy and infrastructure effects, social changes/attitudes.

I largely finished Death Stranding (great game but the ending story scenes went on forever and ever….). I occasionally dip into it for lack of better to do, but think I’ll wait a while to replay it. If you like sandboxy (mostly) open world games, it’s a keeper imo tho. Had such a great and obsessive time with it. Zip lines are so much fun.

What I’m playing now: Death Stranding

death stranding screenshot

What a beautiful game.
I’ve never played any of Kojima’s other games and hadn’t heard of this one at all. A streamer I follow on Twitch has been playing it for a while – at first I was all “wtf is this weird-ass game” but over several days of observing I became eager to try it myself. So when it was on sale for PS4 recently I bought it. On the Pro it’s gorgeous on the 43″ 4k TV and whenever you hit one of the spots where you get a new song to play, it’s the most wonderful visual/auditory experience.  The music tracks at those times are mostly by a group called Low Roar, (YouTube link) and I love all of them. So thanks, game, for introducing me to this musical group, as a side-bonus.

Death Stranding is kind of a walking-sim I suppose, but no more than all the traveling and fetch-questing in open world games like Skyrim, for example. You get vehicles to help out as well. There are elements of strategy, resource and time management, stealth and occasional combat sections. Outside of the main storyline it’s very sand-boxy. It is not an “action” game by any stretch but I feel like just calling it a walking-sim is too extreme. There are enemies and things to deal with – but it’s the type of scenario where most of the time you can avoid it all if you wish. Or you can decide to have fun with raiding the Mule (bandit) camps or the more supernatural BT’s as a break from all the deliveries or story missions.

Still, if one generally likes fast paced action or combat heavy games, Death Stranding probably won’t be a game for you. Myself, I love wandering the world delivering packages, reconnecting people, towns, and a vastly changed US continent, rebuilding the interstate (which takes forrrever if you don’t use the pseudo “online” feature that shares player structures, but I prefer no help). The story is very weird and very long (lots of long cutscenes sometimes, like a movie) but I find it interesting enough. There have been a couple delivery encounter missions that really touched me, re: small character stories, too.

Anyway, I started Feb. 20 and I’ve already put 50 hours into the game (with a couple 10 hr sessions which is a lot for me these days…). Once you hit episode 3 it opens up a lot more and I was completely sucked in. It feels different, it’s chill/meditative at times, and so weirdly addictive. When it comes to Steam/PC in June-ish, I may buy it there if it adds enough stuff (or is moddable). Otherwise this is a game that I’d be fine with never owning on PC.

Funny sidenote: this is exactly what happened to me with FFXV, where I watched someone on Twitch playing it (I had never played a previous FF or heard of FFXV) and the lengthy exposure is what eventually convinced me I had to have/play FFXV.  Sometimes it’s cool to discover a game randomly like that, where you know nothing and have no expectations, so it’s more of a clean feeling of discovery.  Death Stranding is definitely a game I can see myself spending at least 200-300 hours with, maybe more. 😀


Which one do you like better?

(I suggest to view full-size to get a better comparison)

If you picked the second/bottom one, we can’t be friends.  winkwink  😉

–The top picture has the game’s Filtering setting on Low. There’s a better sense of overall sharp focus.
–The bottom picture has Filtering on High (Average isn’t much less).  Notice the street lights are now big blobs of yellow glowing with “bloom,” and the palace in the background – and the tree, the road, and everything else – is more blurry and out of focus.  I can’t stand either effect. It’s the first damn type of thing I turn off in any game, whatever they call the setting, and if the game doesn’t let me turn it off (or at least greatly minimize it) I am an unhappy camper.  Ha.  I wish you could turn Filtering totally Off in FFXV, but at least Low is pretty darn close to off.

If it’s very subtle, bloom/similar used ONLY on things like lights would be ok. But it’s almost never that subtle, effects too many things, or worse it’s an overall soft-focus, bright glow over everything/the whole screen.
Background blurring just gives me a headache. Things in the background in real-life (barring atmospheric interface of some kind) don’t blur and game blurring gives me eye strain from my eyes/brain constantly thinking it should be in focus (eg, squinting). Now, I get it, sometimes it’s effective to selectively blur backgrounds, in order to put emphasis on a specific subject (in photography we call this “bokeh” ),  but having it active all the time (like in games) is blech. I suppose it helps performance at times tho, sometimes.

Anyway, I was messing with graphic settings tonight (mainly forcing things in the GPU, for example), wondering if the game could look a tad better (vs. performance).  Maybe a little. Probably not worth it tho.

Armiger Unleashed, Noctis, 4k

I have never used Armiger Unleashed before. I’ve seen it in use via YouTube so I know how it works, but I didn’t care about it and certainly didn’t need it to beat anything in the game to a pulp. But last night it was something “different” to Ansel so I finally used it – three times.  It’s more attractive at dusk or night. Hard to get the right “moment/angle” or choose which pics (as usual) and I might try it again with different fights someday.  Here comes the wallpaper spam:

armiger unleashed final fantasy xv wallpaper ffxv

final fantasy xv 4k wallpaper ffxv