I’m rapidly approaching 100 hours in Elden Ring. It’s impossible, due to its popularity, for me to say anything remotely original about it. I will repeat something I said elsewhere: Elden Ring is video game methamphetamine: soaring highs (“It feels so great to kill shit!”) to crushing lows (“I hate this fucking game and I hate myself and I hate everyone else”) back to soaring highs again.

In comparison to the MMOs I have been playing for the past two years, and even other recent games like the Final Fantasy 7 remake, it is genuinely refreshing to play a game that hasn’t gotten all the difficulty buffed out of it to ensure that even the dumbest gamer could play it without suffering from bad feels.

That said, at times I become extremely mad and doubt I will ever beat it. Then I’ll go somewhere else in the game, do some exploring, and come back and conquer whatever it was that was making me mad and it feels really good. For a first timer to the Souls formula, I’m having a great time.

I finished reading Station Eleven last night. I had watched the show, and was very confused by its gradual dive into complete nonsense, cratering into the ground with a tremendous force by the very end. I ended up reading a pretty negative review of the show that touched on how different it was from the novel, so I figured: the novel must be better. And… you know what… it was a lot better. It made the show a lot worse, and the show was already really bad.

The show’s creator, Patrick Somerville had previously written for The Leftovers and created Maniac, two of my all time most favorite TV shows. So, how did this happen? How did he completely bungle this adaptation? The show got rave reviews, but I don’t understand how or why. Were people just so blinded by the first excellent episode that they turned off their brain for the rest of the show?

Paradise Killer, one of my all time favorite games, with the all time best game soundtrack ever, is out today on next gen consoles. It’s a bit like an open world Phoenix Wright and Danganronpa, but significantly more interesting in just about every way.

The new West Side Story is very good. Not only is it visually gorgeous (the “America” sequence in particular is a tour de force) but it’s nice to be able to watch West Side Story without all the brown-face…

Some good new music this weekend.

Bodega sounds like a lot of bands, like some monstrous amalgamation of every New York sound you can think of. It’s a little hard to pick just one song off Broken Equipment because the goods one are all pretty different from each other.

I’ve got a big soft-spot for sing-speak bands, and Sprints is floating around in that vicinity, with nervy anxious punk… so, so, so good. Both their EPs so far are fantastic: A Modern Job and Manifesto.

This is a pretty crazy video of an officer(s) involved shooting from last week in San Diego. I think it’s worth watching just to see how different from the movies things like this are. Both how the officers are just normal people who don’t prepare for the worst case scenario, and how when someone is shot they don’t flail around dramatically. One second they’re there, and the next, they’re not.