A Review For A Video Game That Doesn’t Exist

Blood Reign: City Streets
Delgate Studios

The sophomore release from Delgate Studios is a success. Enough has been said about the gameplay and the gimmicky soundtrack, but I feel these aspects overshadow what is its finest asset: atmosphere.

You are transported to the world of Elmhurst, a city that is a copy and paste of New York City aesthetics and filled with baddies with the same sword-guns from the first Blood Reign. But this time the stakes are much higher. You can feel the weight of the world and all of the consequences that come from every decision, regardless how minute. And it is these details that push this game into the 90th percentile for us. From the loading screens that double as unintrusive exposition, to things like foreboding graffiti on the subway cars in the third level. In less skilled hands these touches would stand out and appear contrived, but here they are laid out casually, daring you to play through the level without noticing them.

The only complaint I would have aside from the lack of new enemy weapons would be the numerous side missions involving the underground agents. In a game where they go to such lengths to make the world seem lived in, and the options for your next move seem endless, it is a disappointment to have to constantly stop your progress to save all these children. Children you do not have any connection to, and who do not even thank you after you help them.

 But these are small blemishes on the wonderful whole.

It was reported before release that game director Mochizuki Tomiichi had a nervous breakdown while completing this, and will not be returning to work for the rest of the year. An hour into this game, you will agree that it was all worth it.

A Story on a Train

It was late October, and I was taking the PATCO home to NJ. The train was packed with baseball fans who were celebrating a win, or lamenting a loss; in Philly the two look the same. The phillies were offering some sort of incentive to attend the game in full costume. And so I smooshed into an aisle seat next to a sloppy Harry Potter and an accurately drunk Captain Sparrow. The surge in passengers and intoxication brought about pairs of police that roamed the trains in an attempt to keep the revelry from becoming something else.

Two officers made their way down our car towards me. Half way down a man attempted to stand without wobbling, and then finally accepted his sloppiness as an inevitability and used the seats in front of him to stand in the aisle, blocking the path of the police. They approached him calmly, and the one officer stood face to face with him. The cop opened his mouth to say something, but before he could the drunk leers forward at him, shouts “YOUR COSTUME SUCKS”, and proceeds to vomit all over the cops pants and shoes.

They got off at the next stop, and I lifted my shoes up onto the seat in case the vomit proved to be more beer than food.

A Greek walks into a bar…

I met a girl from Greece the other night.

The local guy she was with ordered her one shot of Jäger, and a pizza. She took the shot, and then nodded politely as if if to say “that would be a satisfactory way to get hammered”. Later she came up to pay for the two items with her debit card. I hand her the two receipts, her card, and a pen. She immediately tosses her card on the bar, and shoves the papers back into my hand.

In a tone completely devoid of flirtation she says with a suddenly heavy accent “This is my first time.”

My brain turned this phrase over and over, eventually deciding that she was speaking about tipping. I became concerned that this was her only chance to have her first time with some inconsiderable American experience. I hope she had a good time.

What Am I Doing?

There have been enough developments in my life to warrant another catch up.

I wanted to move from waiter to bartender while in Louisville, and I am happy to say that I am now a bar manager. Skipping steps is acceptable because it is more money. I am looking forward to put in the work at my place of business to help it thrive. I have thousands of ideas, and four of them are good. Let’s see how I do.

I also had planned to begin working on my photography. I bought my first dslr upon landing, and am pleased to have already sold three pictures, which technically makes me a professional photographer. It is exactly the arbitrary landmark I needed to get the juices flowing on this project. I am starting at the bottom, and enjoying every new thing I learn and beautiful image I capture.

My lease is until February, and I still have many things left to do in this city, but the recent boost in funds means that I will likely be leaving here sooner than I would have ever imagined. This forces me to begin laying a foundation for my 2018 plans.

I want to get paid to travel. And while I would be content if it was digging ditches in Cambodia, I have reached the point in my life where I feel as though I can reach for more. I intend to assemble my best writing and photography, and begin pitching the idea of being sent to Guyana for what I suppose one would call journalism. Entering a new foreign land with the objective of capturing a slice of their life, packaging it in a medium, and then being paid for doing so is the dream. The form that idea takes will surely change by the time it becomes reality, but I will continue marching forward until I am a professional traveler.

I will succeed, it is just a matter of time. Until then, I need to just stay on point.

Shower Plants Get Watered Daily Regardless of How Attentive You Are

When people speak of lifelong dreams, they might talk of owning a house, or leaving the atmosphere, but really it’s just anything you’ve wanted to do for most of your life. And while I still have a few loftier goals left to accomplish, I am happy to be able to cross anything off the list. And that is something I did this month.

I finally have a giant fern in my shower.

Conveying Pizza

The bar I work at makes their own pizza. It comes in several sizes that are priced by the length of their diameter. 10”, 15”. 20”. etc.

When having conversations with customers for the first time about our wares, it is common and completely acceptable for them to say something along the lines of “Do you have a large? How big is that?” However, I am constantly put into the position where the customer will ask “I am thinking about the 15”. How big is that?”

The correct response to this question is “Fifteen inches.” Even if you’re not making fun of them. That is the answer.

Any job in which you interact with the public will result in answering the same questions thousands of times. Retail is excellent practice for living with an Alzheimer’s sufferer. My goal becomes to find ways to streamline these exchanges, freeing up more time to focus on other tasks. Unfortunately, I have hit a wall with this pizza conversation. It appears to me that my work has chosen terms of measurement that, I was under the impression, everyone in this country had been taught. I have taken to holding my hands awkwardly out in approximation of the stated length, but this almost never satisfies their minds. They glance at my hands, and frown in continued confusion.

And so day after day I stand around, hands out like I’m telling a fish story, seeing sufficient geometric representations in my mind’s eye. Just because my inability to sufficiently communicate this information is not a problem for the ages does not make my struggle any less real or important. Better luck tomorrow.