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Alan Wake 2: Night Spring DLC

Playstation 5

Great to spend more time in this world, if only for a little one. Rose’s episode is just dumb action fun with a side character, great writing. Episode 2 is amazing vibes in Coffee World and nice to see Jesse from Control again. Episode 3 is probably my fave, big time Quantum Break references and a delightful little choose your own adventure at the end. I enjoyed these but I am hoping the Lake House DLC is a more substantial canon story.

Star Wars: Jedi Survivor

Playstation 5

I finally came back to this one for a platinum-seeking New Game + run. It’s so damn good. If the original release hadn’t been so marred by performance issues this would have been an easy GOTY contender. The performance mode runs great now anyway. I just can’t believe what a huge evolution from Fallen Order this is. That game was great, and then they layered on better combat, better traversal, a better map, much more rewarding exploration and a huge world… it’s just excellent. I hope we still get to see a finished trilogy even though Stig left Respawn.

Project Hail Mary

Andy Weir

I liked The Martian and I liked this quite a bit too. There are some sections that are really math and science heavy but it never lasts too long, and there’s some great character work to balance it out. I love Rocky.


Playstation 5

I’ve been meaning to play Dredge since it released, and I finally got around to it. It’s pretty short, if you stick to the main quest, and it’s kind of all about the vibes. The music, the mood, the style all great. But the gameplay is generally repetitive and the upgrades never feel impactful enough. Like, now that I’ve seen the ending I have zero desire to pursue the platinum.


George Miller (2024)

It’s a great follow up to Fury Road. I was a little iffy on the initial trailers; it looked there might be too much CGI, and I wasn’t sure about Anya Taylor-Joy as Furiosa. But it was great. Well-paced for a 2.5 hour movie, great story arc, satisfying conclusion. Two thumbs up.

Masters of Doom

David Kushner

This it the first audiobook I’ve listened to in a long time. I liked it! Great for driving, a little more substantial than the podcasts I’m usually listening to. I enjoyed the insights into the early years at ID and all the history between Carmack and Romero. I kind of wish I had been alive/older during the shareware scene, early days of gaming.

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

Guy Ritchie (2024)

Fun, though not as fun as Ritchie’s more gangster-centric movies.

Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth

Playstation 5 | Completed

Damn, this is a long game. I rolled credits last night after 75 hours and there’s still a bunch of side stuff I haven’t done, not to mention a hard mode playthrough if I go for the platinum. It’s a killer game. The boss fights were the highlight for me, just like in Remake. I enjoyed the huge open world and a lot of the side content, even if I’m feeling a little burned out right now. I really don’t know how they’re going to top this for part three.

Dragon Warrior II

Game Boy Color | Completed

Yikes, what a slog. Mostly smooth sailing but needed a few hours of grinding before the final dungeon. I can’t imagine playing this game without a guide and map. If I had more free time maybe the exploration would be rewarding, but it feels like the game expects you to sail randomly around the world to every island and city looking for what to do next. I have no patience for that, these days. I’m looking forward to III, and I’m going to play the translated SNES version. I’ve heard III is the first truly great game in the series.

Dragon Warrior

Game Boy Color | Completed

Is it time to play through all the Dragon Quest games? Maybe. I’ve only played through XI and IX, in that order. And I now, I guess. Extremely basic compared to modern RPGs, almost to the point of not really being enjoyable? I don’t know. I’m giving II a try but I might skip it if I’m not having fun, I’ve heard III is better.

Malazan Book of the Fallen

Memories of Ice, House of Chains, Midnight Tides | Steven Erikson

Sometime last year I read the first two Malazan books and fell off hard. A few months ago I found out my brother was reading the series, and decided to give it another go. Book 3 regained my interest and I’ve been going strong since. I really like the scale to the worldbuilding. You’ve got your regular soldiers, ascendants, gods, elder gods, gods from another universe, soletaken, etc.

Tomato Adventure

Game Boy Advance | Completed

What a solid little RPG. The gimmick mechanics add a lot of variety to the combat gameplay (and I won’t lie, I abused the Steam Deck programmable controls for some turbo button hax). Thanks to a fantastic translation this precursor to the Mario & Luigi RPG series is finally fully playable in English.


Playstation 5

A roguelike based on poker hands. 100% perfectly nails the “one more round” effect. I love it, and maybe someday I will be good at it.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Playstation 5 | Completed

I wanted to play through this again before FFVII Rebirth comes out later this month. I liked it on PS4 but thought there was too much padding. I’m feeling more generous after playing through it on PS5; this game is fucking gorgeous, a technical showcase, and the “real-time with pause” combat is a great twist on the original gameplay. Really excited for Rebirth after this, it’s looking great. I’m currently playing through the DLC with Yuffie and they knocked it out of the park, her character’s a blast to play.

The Talisman

Stephen King, Peter Straub

I read this when I was younger, can’t remember why I decided to revisit it now. It starts and ends well enough, but the middle third is a real slog. I should have read something else to scratch the King itch.

Evil West

Playstation 5 | Completed

What a solid game. The combat is fast, fun and crunchy. The story is dumb and the voice acting is borderline terrible, but if you can look past that the combat and progression deliver a solid package.

The Bear

Seasons 1 & 2

I tried watching this earlier and it felt too stressful. Just like real life in a restaurant! But I came back to it and stuck with it, and it’s an excellent, character-driven show. Something about the music really works for me too, it’s like it doesn’t quite match the vibe of a lot of the show and in that way provides a balance.

Pikmin 4

Switch | Completed

Well I didn’t play the first three but Pikmin 4 is pretty damn great. More chill vibes over this strange holiday season, except for some of the not-so-chill boss encounters. But the main path of the game only has a few nailbiters, otherwise it’s smooth sailing.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising

Playstation 5 | Completed

Cozier than I expected. I enjoyed the loop of dungeon delving, simple platforming combat, and city building. Good pacing for the story but definitely grind-heavy if you’re going for 100%, which I thought I might at first, but maybe later down the road.


Brandon Sanderson

A satisfying conclusion to Spensa’s story. Lots of great character moments. Sanderson has left a lot of room to explore more of this universe and some big unsolved mysteries (where did Earth go?).

Earthquake Weather

Tim Powers

Book three of the Fault Lines trilogy. I wish I liked it more, and maybe the fault lies with me and not the book, but it was kind of a slog to read. I enjoyed Last Call and Expiration Date infinitely more. This one just felt a little unfocused, and the finale feels more like a conclusion for the new characters introduced (that I didn’t care about as much) than the cast from the first two books.

Yakuza: Like A Dragon

Playstation 5 | Completed

What a wild ride. Only my second Yakuza game—I played Yakuza 0 a few years ago. I enjoyed the turn-based combat more than the brawler gameplay of that and other entries, and the story actually held my attention through the end (despite some overly long monologues). I might be a Yakuza (Like A Dragon) fan now, could be picking up Infinite Wealth at launch.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Playstation 5 | Completed

A strong follow-up to the first two. They managed to fit some surprises into what is a very comic booky story. Best-in-class traversal.

The Sunlit Man

Brandon Sanderson

The final Year of Sanderson book. It’s a good read with a lot of cosmere connections, more than any of the other three except maybe Tress. My third favorite out of the four.

Alan Wake II

Playstation 5 | Completed

I expected it to be good, but I wasn’t expecting a GOTY contender. Alan Wake II builds on the foundation of the first game, smashes in some Control, and boldly flips the genre for a horror masterpiece firing on all cylinders. I loved it, and it left me wanting more. Sam Lake and the rest of the team at Remedy just get better with every release.

Closure in Moscow

Pink Lemonade

I’ve been playing this album a lot over the past week after stumbling across this band. The whole thing’s great but the standout tracks for me are Neoprene Byzantine, Seeds of Gold, and Happy Days. Their new album Soft Hell comes out in a few days and I’m really looking forward to it.

My Brother’s Keeper

Tim Powers

Not his best. Too small in scope I think, with a cast of not interesting enough characters. 19th century England is a wildly different vibe from 1990s Los Angeles, and I think I prefer the latter.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

Playstation 5 | Completed

It’s 1000x better than the game I played at launch 3 years ago. I don’t even recognize it. The skill trees are exciting, the combat feels chaotic and kinetic, and the game breaking glitches are few and far between. The storyline for the new expansion is fantastic, some great new characters with top-tier acting and animation.

Expiration Date

Tim Powers

Many years after originally reading Last Call, I’m reading the second two books in the Fault Lines trilogy. Expiration Date shares more DNA with his newer Vickery and Castine books than with Last Call. Despite not being a continuation of the same tale, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and after reading the first few chapters of #3 (Earthquake Weather) I’m excited to see how he brings the two worlds together for the finale.

Night Fever

Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

Been a while since I read something of theirs, it’s a solid standalone. Satisfying character arc backed up by some great art. It doesn’t have a ton of meat to it but it’s good read.

Sea of Stars

Playstation 5 | Completed

Wonderful game. You could call it a love letter to SNES-era RPGs like Chrono Trigger, and that formula’s tweaked with the kind of QoL updates you expect from a 2023 title. The OST is killer. My only quiet gripe might be with the difficulty (lack of), but even that could be enhanced with some of the gameplay-altering relics. A great follow up to Sabotage’s first game, The Messenger, and I’ll be closely watching for whatever they do next.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Gabrielle Zevin

I first started hearing about this in relation to the gaming, since the main characters are developers and there are a lot of gaming references. There’s a lot in here about playing games, and making games, but the heart is two rich, layered characters, Sadie Green and Sam Masur, and the story flows from them and their relationship. I really liked it.

Baldur’s Gate 3

PC | First playthrough completed

I finished my first playthrough of Baldur’s Gate 3 at about 80 hours. What a ride. Act 1 was a little slow for me until the last bit, but after that it just got better and better through the end. I had fun with my Circle of the Moon druid, especially once I unlocked the owlbear, but I’m looking forward to trying a monk or paladin for my next run. There’s too much sweet gear that has no effect in wild shape, which was a bummer.


PC | 10 hours

It’s Skyrim in space. Planets to explore, space pirates to kill. My current goals are mostly outpost related. I want to get some supply lines set up and build some cool bases.

Remnant 2

Playstation 5

It’s an improvement over the first in almost every way, but for some reason it hasn’t grabbed me as much as the first did.


Dan Simmons

I’ve read a few books by Dan Simmons now, this might be my least favorite. It’s still interesting, but it’s long long long and peppered with less interesting subplots.

Bomb Rush Cyberfunk OST

Various Artists

I bought the soundtrack before the game haha. I’ve enjoyed 2 Mello’s tunes a lot over the past year and this is right up the same alley, nonstop funky beats.

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter

Brandon Sanderson

This is my favorite of Sanderson’s three secret projects thus far. Great characters and setting.

Baldur’s Gate 3

PC | 20 hours

God it’s glorious. Epic story moments backed up by solid combat. I started off as a druid and I’ve already been thinking about what classes to try out in my next few playthroughs. I’m really digging the way companion storylines are woven into the main quest, enhanced by top tier acting.

Paper Mario

Nintendo 64 | Completed

Revisiting this N64 classic with upgraded visuals thanks to MasterKillua. It’s delightful, a fun turn-based romp.

Final Fantasy XVI

Playstation 5

I started off pretty hot on this game but I’m feeling cool now. The combat’s fun and flashy but the side quests suck and the mechanics for the combat are too simple to sustain a game of this length. Got some slappers on the OST though.