Welcome to August’s editorial post, a monthly progress report which rounds up all the happenings here at Later Levels in case you missed anything. With hot sunny days giving way to thunderstorms, let’s have a quick recap of recent events.
||Other posts worth checking out:
(@GameBlast) April 15, 2020
The increase in the number of online expos since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown may have got me feeling digitally drained, but I can’t deny that one benefit is being able to attend events I might not otherwise have made it to due to their location. One such convention was Mysterium 2020, an annual gathering for fans of all things Myst. Getting to see Rand and Robyn Miller in a rare appearance together and discussing their differing opinions on various elements of the series was so interesting.
Looking forward, I’ll start planning for our next GameBlast participation next month. I usually have a good idea by now of the format our charity gaming marathon will take but this time I’m stumped. Looking back over our previous events has given me some inspiration but I’m still waiting for the ideal concept; and I’m not entirely sure how we’re going to top this year’s 50-day challenge. Please do get in touch and let me know if you have any suggestions.
Chatting to Frostilyte from Frostilyte Writes during his Friday night streams has made me realise that perhaps I need to be more honest about the subjects I cover. The thing he has taught me is that it’s ok to have your own opinion, even if it’s totally unlike that conveyed by everybody else; but you’ve got to be able to explain it so others can understand why you’ve arrived at this view, even if they don’t necessarily agree with you. This is some advice I’m going to take with me into the future.
||Games previewed and reviewed:
You know they say 'Like father, like son'? I just went upstairs to check on Ethan, and heard him singing while pla… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
Later Levels (@LaterLevels) August 23, 2020
Our group’s Shadowrun game, streamed by Kevin on The Lawful Geek Twitch channel every other Thursday evening, continues and every session is getting more fraught with danger. Sometimes I’m surprised our characters have made it this far! A steep learning curve has meant we’ve found it a little difficult to get into our first tabletop RPG but now Pete and I look forward to participating once a fortnight. If you haven’t yet tried one for yourself, why not find out about our experience and watch what happens this week.
The other thing we’ve been doing a lot of recently is game-swaps. In return for playing Fable over on her Twitch channel, I completed Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty for Athena from AmbiGaming this month – and I can’t deny I enjoyed the experience although I’m still confused. Both Fable and MGS2 are games of their time with control schemes which now feel clunky and a little outdated, but it’s certainly been interesting seeing how the titles have held up over the past 15 years or so. Check out what Athena thought of Fable here.
My next game-swap is underway and I’ve been playing Final Fantasy XIII for Ellen from Ace Asunder, who’s hoping to cure me of my aversion to turn-based combat while I show her that not all full-motion video (FMV) releases are bad with Her Story and The Madness of Doctor Dekker. I’ve also managed to complete Eliza, which left me with a lot of questions but also made me see the power of realising you’re not alone; and I tried the backer’s build of Gamedec after making a pledge to the crowdfunding campaign in April.
How my other-half helped when we were talking about my exams, and I said it would help if I could sit in front of a… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
Later Levels (@LaterLevels) August 02, 2020
Last month I explained how the lockdown was affecting me and what I was going to do to hopefully change this. A brief return to The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) has helped and spending a few weeks taking it easy in Vvardenfell, collecting bait and fishing online, has been a pleasure. I also took a quick break from blogging about video games and used the opportunity to discuss something completely different; thank you to everyone who read my post about choosing to be child-free and shared their own experiences.
The good weather here in the UK is helping to lift my mood too, although it’s been incredibly hot at times and I’m almost wishing for rainy days where I’ve got nothing to do but play a game. Still, the sun has meant we’ve been able to get outside recently and explore some new locations. After a suggestion from Teri-Mae from Sheikah Plate, we jumped in the car for a day-trip to Whitstable and wandered around the backstreets and harbour while completing a ‘spy mission’ walk from Treasure Trails.
The biggest worry for me at the moment is work. After redundancies were announced in July, things have been rather unsettled for everybody and there are no winners in this situation. The people who are at risk of losing their jobs have a lot of uncertainty ahead of them; and those of us who have been told we’re safe are feeling survivor guilt while at the same time wondering whether we could be next. The only thing I can do is keep my head down and try to study for my exams so I can get my new qualifications as quickly as possible.
And now over to you guys: what have you been up to lately, and what have you got planned for the coming month? Is there anything the community can help with or get involved in? Let everybody know in the comments below so we can show our support. Thanks for reading!
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.