My New Old Man…Geralt of Rivia

Two days in a row I\’ve gotten out of bed, brushed my teeth, done a couple chores and did a little yoga. This is massive progress. And I know I said I wouldn\’t do, but I will attribute this resiliency to one man: Geralt of Rivia!
Just Kidding. I would hate to insult the friends and family who have been so very supportive. However, this is a blog about my gaming journey.  So I decided to take the advice of a wonderful friend with similar trauma: \”THE WITCHER 3 helped me tremendously when I was so down I felt I couldn\’t get back up.\” Sounds like just what the doctor ordered.
It has to be THE WITCHER 3 THE WILD HUNT. So first I had to forgive CD Projekt Red for the CYBERPUNK 2077 debacle. But as wiser folks than I have said: Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself.
And what a gift it was to start a long put off New Game+. Yesterday, I sunk so deep into Geralt\’s world I felt I was actually in the tub with him at Kaer Morhen. And what cisgender, heterosexual female wouldn\’t want that?
I\’d forgotten how rich and beautiful the world of THE WITCHER 3 could be, but yet so dark and menacing at the same time. And there\’s so many main quests, secondary quests, and Witcher contracts, not to mention all the cool, weird stuff in Geralt\’s world that one hardly has time to be sad. No better panacea, I promise.
It also helps at bedtime that I can watch Mr. Henry Cavill depict an absolutely stunning Geralt on Netflix\’s THE WITCHER. I\’m taking the deep dive, following The Path, and maybe…just maybe I\’ll find myself along the way.
So, I ask those hardcore gamers out there: What do you play when your heart is breaking? What games keep you off the ledge? I hope you\’ll share my journey and your own as well. \”Like\” and subscribe, please please please 🙂

To Ubisoft or CD Projekt Red, That Is the Question

With my craving for a new fix thoroughly ignited by The Last of Us Part 2, the delay of Cyberpunk 2077 and Assassin\’s Creed: Syndicate being my methadone of choice thanks to a mid year sale by Sony, I\’m deep in thought about the world of gaming as I navigate Jacob and Evie through the buroughs of Victorian England.

The debate raging in my brain was sparked by Rin as I groused about the wonky character mechanics in ACS. He said, \”That\’s Ubisoft for you. They put out buggy games. But the mechanics got better once they copied the Witcher 3.\”
In my limited experience, this assertion is true. Ubisoft does put out buggy games. However it is also true that Ubisoft produces some of the most successful and widely played gaming franchises. Assassin\’s Creed and the Tom Clancy games spring to mind immediately and there are many others titles as well. And for the most part, they put out these buggy games on time.
It\’s also true that there is a vast difference in the smoothness of gameplay between Assassin\’s Creed Syndicate and Assassin\’s Creed Odyssey. And what lends Rin\’s observation credence is I happened to play The Witcher 3 right before Assassin\’s Creed: Odyssey. It was easy to note the similarities in the two titles, it was also easy to choose which was the superior game. Sorry, Alexios. You know I love ya, babe, but there\’s just something about Geralt. Mmm mmm mmm…Gerrrrralt.
What makes Rin\’s off-handed remark intriguing is the fact that Ubisoft and CD Projekt Red are set for a showdown this November. The delay of Cyberpunk 2077 drops it right into the holiday release window with Assassin\’s Creed: Valhalla.
Both games are brutes when it comes to content and both games will be visually stunning. That much you can see from the teasers and trailers that have already been released. But which game will emerge victorious? Well, marketing budgets aside, I think it will come down to gamer taste.
I\’m fortunate enough not to have to choose between the two. I have the means to get both games so you best believe this holiday season will be Cyberpunk-Vahalla menage with Foxx in the middle! But let\’s say my budget was limited or it were divinely imposed that I make Sophie\’s Choice. Were that the case, I would pick Cyberpunk 2077. Here\’s why:
The Assassin\’s Creed games are much like buying pizza from a nationwide pizza chain. It\’s quick, easy, you know the brand, you know the level of quality you\’ll get, and you\’ve eaten from that chain for years and you like it well enough. It will fill you up, satisfy the hunger, make you smile and nod and say, \”Damn, that was good.\”
Cyberpunk 2077 on the other hand is that handcrafted, chef d\’oeuvre of a meal you splurged on because you heard amazing things about the chef at this tiny little local place. The experience will be unique, beautifully crafted and quite possibly burned into your memory forever. Unfortunately with that comes the fact that the chef, being an artist, may announce that the white truffle risotto is not on the menu tonight because the truffles they received were subpar. Okay, I took that metaphor way too far. But you get the drift. 
I\’d go so far as to say the gaming industry needs both types of companies to thrive: one pushing the envelope and trying new ways to make the experience meaningful and the other taking those innovations and making them marketable. For the only industry left in the tech world (hell, the world in general) that can pull of waiting half a decade or more for a sequel or even a new title, the only way to keep fans engaged is to walk that fine line of art and capitalism.

Well, Damn

Today is bittersweet. I\’ve found solutions to some personal challenges and encountered the kindness of strangers. I also gleefully await midnight when Rin and I will be able to fire up The Last of Us Part 2 and share the experience side by side. However there is one dark cloud obscuring an otherwise sunny day: CD Projekt Red announced another delay for the release of Cyberpunk 2077. It\’s been pushed from mid September to November 19th. Very disappointing, indeed considering it\’s already been delayed once. At least this move isn\’t as long as the first delay which pushed the title from a spring release to fall.

CD Projekt Red in their official statement cited the need to polish and debug the copious content and \”complex interweaving\” of the game\’s elements as the reason for the latest delay. As a show of class that marks the developer of the legendary title The Witcher 3, CD Projekt Red acknowledges that yet another delay is a violation of customer trust, but one they feel is necessary to deliver a quality product. While I respect and appreciate their diligence, I feel like throwing myself on the floor kicking and screaming. I have no doubt I\’m not alone in feeling this way. 
Oh well, at least there\’s midnight and Ellie to ease the frustration! Game on!