Weird But Wonderful

Deathloop cover courtesy of Bethesda
Lost in Random cover courtesy of Electronic Arts
Blacktail game cover courtesy of Parasight
High on Life game cover courtesy of Squanch Games

Yep, I’m still alive. And still struggling with the day-to-day grind that is life. Perhaps not so much depression, but just that blah feeling as though your walking through a black and white movie. And not a good one like Casasblanca. But a dull, drab, pointless one like Andy Warhol’s Empire. Just the same f@#king view in silence for over eight hours. Yes, I know the point was to watch time go by. But we do that every freaking day, Andy! Watch ourselves repeat the same $h!t over and over while we get older and our kids grow up and pull away and our dreams fade and we wonder ever godd@mn day what the f@#king point is… sorry, that got dark.

So, yeah. Daily life is rarely exciting or exhilarating. And that’s why a lot of gamers play. It’s a chance to live many lives, inhabit new and challenging situations that just don’t occur in real life. I know that’s why I do. But even games can get dull and repetitive. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a looter-shooter gal at heart. But once in a while you need a break from the “go here, kill this guy, fetch that” trope so prevalent in so many titles.

My trip into the weird and wonderful started with Deathloop which I would have voted as GOTY. Seriously, I loved it that much. And the funny thing is, I thought I’d hate it. I only tried it because XBox offered it free from the day it released. I no-lifed that game as much as a person with a full time job can. Ahhhh, I miss the endless days of sixteen hour gaming sessions. Get up, game till I couldn’t see straight, go to bed. But I’m off topic. Sorry.

So, Deathloop. I loved all of it. The weird, twisted mystery of why Colt is repeating the same day over and over and wondering why Juliana hates him. The logic puzzle of how to kill six people who are only available at certain four times of day. The morality challenge at the end. Oh and the violence. Very therapeutic. I don’t care what nonsense anyone spews about violence in video games. The vicarious experience of letting out my inner beast had saved many a customer’s life.

But of course there’s always that low, that letdown after you finish a game. That craving which isn’t satisfied by yet another playthrough. I wanted to discover quirky greatness again.

I did what any working class gamer would do…I searched my Game Pass and PlayStation Plus titles for something just as weird. I found Lost in Random. Another masterpiece! From the beautifully spun, charming main story to the inventive battle system. I rolled the dice through this charming little sleeper of a game till I cried. And yes, I did cry at the end. That’s the hallmark of a great game right there.

Refreshed I delved into the usual. Played some Ghost Recon Wildlands and Breakpoint with my boo. But we have this unwritten rule that we don’t play our co-op games while the other isn’t home. What to do on the weekends he works? Again Game Pass saved me. I watched the trailer for Blacktail and knew I had to play it. C’mon, it’s like Malificent, but for Baba Yaga!

And don’t let the fact that you’re a young girl wandering through a fairytale laden land fool you. Blacktail is challenging. The enemies and the combat are formidable. The story is finely crafted. Plus you get to choose whether Yaga is good or evil. Your choices do matter. I love those types of games. It was a revelation. I did my first playthtough as good, I mean we all know I’m a goodie two shoes. But I can’t wait to unleash my dark side on a second playthrough.

Rounding out my trip into games that break out of the box was High on Life. Yes, again, it’s free with Game Pass. But oh my f@#king god. The talking guns (aka Gatlians) make this game. Actually, all the dialogue and voice acting is superb and funny as all hell. It’s dark humor, but I’m a fan and nearly impossible to offend. Best line in a game ever (in reference to your character’s newly minted Bounty hunter status and zeal to go straight for the big boss): “Whoa there. Do they let you fuck the glumpers at Glumpees without a level four fuckpass?….Well, the answer is no. No they don’t.” I laughed so hard I had to pause the game. That happened a lot during this campy space cowboy romp. And their commentary on gaming and devs hit the mark. Besides, who hasn’t dreamed of wielding a sentient gun who shoots goop out of its “trick hole.” ‘Nuff said 😂

It’s true that quirky games can be hit or miss. I’ve tried quite a few that were well in the miss category, like the rat-nado game that shall remain nameless and that somehow got a sequel. Okay, I did try out the sequel…freaking Game Pass and its wicked ways. But the times out-of-the-box games hit, well, that makes all the difference in the world. And now I’m refreshed and ready to get back to some sh’mups.

Hey, if you’ve got a favorite weird game, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. And if I’ve entertained you or added some value to your day, wonderful! Please feel free to leave your thoughts, subscribe to my blog or hit me up on Twitter @cindyjacks. If you’d like to support my blog with donations you can do so at ko-fi or cash app $cindyjacksbooks. All donations to my online content are much appreciated, but definitely not required to keep coming back to visit! Game on, my friends!

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