I had typed out most of a post about Lost Ark, but there’s no way that even I, with my rampant verbosity, could do this game justice. I hadn’t followed it at all during it’s development or ensuring beta periods, and once I learned it was an MMO, I was content to put all mention of it on mute. Something, though, took my hand and clicked the “buy now” on a Founder’s Pack (I had a $25 Steam GC from my recent birthday, so it was practically free), and I haven’t stopped playing this damned game since.
There’s a lot that I should be hating here, starting with the ARPG aspect. There are too many systems to keep track of, from card collecting, multiple currencies, all kinds of gear refactoring, stronghold management, sailing, world bosses, instances both personal and group, PvP arenas, and that’s all just before the “game gets real at the end game”. Truth: the game is stupidly gorgeous, as befitting an Eastern import, but on the heels of that qualifier, it also suffers from gender-locking classes, stripper-quality armor designs, and anime-level, eye-roll-inducing dialog, plot, and characterizations.
My main, a bard, is currently at level 36, I believe, and there are only 50 levels to this game. I am already over the hump, and I was never aware that I had been progressing as quickly as I have (for me, at least). I have played with friends, and I suspect that has a lot to do with my enjoyment, but the game is far better than I had previously assumed.
Pokemon: Legend of Arceus
My daughter is a massive Pokemon fan, and I have been buying Pokemon games since I bought the OG GameBoy and concurrent Pokemon game on the same day. Of course, while my daughter has pretty much finished the game, I am still bumbling around the starter zone. I blame Lost Ark for taking all of my gaming bandwidth (even away from Star Citizen, which is a whole other post, really), but I am always eyeballing my Switch beneath the TV in the living room whenever I am sitting on the couch.
Are Cassettes the New Vinyl?
Anecdotal at best, but I’ve been seeing announcements of bands putting out new material or re-issues on cassette. The most recent was this morning, when the Twitter account for Iron Maiden posted that “The Number of the Beast” album was being re-released on reel-to-reel for our portable pleasure.
Cassettes were my formative musical media. I don’t have any cassettes to my name anymore (I do still have CDs, though, but no player) but after the music industry’s return to vinyl was so successful, it seems that cassettes might be next up for the ol’ necro treatment. Of course, audiophiles swear that vinyl is a superior format for listening and would probably say that cassettes are the least worthy format for resurrection, but I don’t think I’d mind. There’s a growing backlash to streaming services, not the least of which being that they screw over artists. If selling music in physical form is making a comeback, then sure, I’ll buy some cassettes like it’s the 80’s all over again and help maybe put the cash back into the appropriate pockets (if it works that way which, considering the system we live in, doesn’t).
I used to have an absolutely amazing portable cassette player, the Sony Walkman WM-FX50.
This thing was super-thin for the times and was practically bullet-proof. I owned two during my lifetime, and only recently lost the last one I had owned. I believe that during a cleaning fit, I accidentally tossed it out when I thought I was tossing out my Sharp MD-MT15 MiniDisc player/recorder. Now I’m kind of angry about it, because I can’t even find a working WM-FX50 on eBay.