Merry Christmas! I hope all of you are doing well and that your celebrations were filled with happiness, laughter, and good food! For our part, this year marked the 20th Christmas that Aaron and I have spent together. Like every one of those other Christmases, it was one of the best days of my life (despite the unusual circumstances and challenges this year has brought). We decided that with the world feeling so uncertain, and the need to remain socially distanced from others, it would be the perfect opportunity to stay home, wear knitted sweaters and jeans, and enjoy a classic early-to-mid twentieth century dinner; pure, old-school comfort food that envoked a sense of warmth and safety, friends and family, prosperity and peace.
We recently discovered that in 2017, the SpaceLab9 booth at New York Comic Con sold an extremely limited edition Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Ultimate Vinyl collection etched to look like the famous sweet rolls from the game. The collection, which was limited to only 95 copies, contains the full 52-tracks found in the game. The moment we learned it existed, we knew we had to have it. After some searching, in June 2020 we were able to track down one of those boxed sets. We immediately bought it for our music collection.
Unreal Engine 5 – one of the big video game development engines upon which the modern gaming industry is built – has been revealed. It looks spectacular. This is going to allow much smaller studios to develop titles that would have only been possible with far higher budgets and resources only a few years ago.
With so much of my time spent away from the site in the past 4-6 weeks, I thought I’d give a “here’s roughly what’s been going on” round-up. I had intended for a lot of this to turn into their own stand-alone posts but this will be faster.
I had so much work to do today, but I’m going to be up all night finishing it because I … uh … may have spent six or seven hours playing Tales of Xillia 2, which was released last week. When I woke up, I just didn’t feel like going anywhere or doing anything so I threw on comfortable clothes, grabbed a cup of coffee, made myself a plate of white cheddar, honey, and golden raisins on baguette slices, paired it with a big glass of milk, and went to the living room to lose myself in the world of Rieze Maxia and Elympios.
On June 26, 2014, I beat my first Deity game in Civ 5. I decided to play a Highland map surrounded by mountains, huge, with maximum city states. Luck of the draw pitted me against Genghis Khan, who was never able to march an army to my capital in time due to the long, almost impassible mountains that stood between us.
My niece and nephew were over at the house a couple of days ago and I ended up playing Eurotruck Simulator 2 with them as I had picked it up during one of the past Steam sales. In it, you want to start a freight company but you have no money so you take driving jobs. As you amass capital, you establish your own trucking business, setup a headquarters, acquire new equipment, and increase profits. You can even program your radio to play your own mp3 files.
I spent my morning taking the Moroccan empire to victory in Civilization V against the world thanks to an extensive network of highly lucrative trade routes before going to the bank with Aaron to sign the contract for a new working capital line of credit our banker recommended. The whole experience was a pleasant surprise.
My youngest sister made our day yesterday by stopping by the house to visit for a few hours. She had been at the NakaKon convention in Overland Park and saw an 8-bit pixel Metroid collectible she thought I’d love. She was right. Upon holding the specimen, I temporarily reverted to a six year old, 1980s-living, NES-dominating beast. Behold, and listen to the theme if you need some adequate inspiration.
Having reached the end of the road in the third installment of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy, requiring 150+ hours of game play over a four year period to climb the highest levels of power in creation and culminate in a conclusion to the series, I’m struck how the entire thing is really a well-done repackaging of Plato’s Euthyphro dilemma. In case it’s been awhile since you delved into the classics, the philosopher’s famous question posed in Greece more than 2,300 years ago can be summed up as (made singular since a majority of world religions are now monotheistic): Is something “good” because God says it is good, making it dependent upon His will or does God say something is “good” because it is inherently “right”, making goodness independent of His will?