August in Review

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Hey folks! I’m a few days late, but it’s been a hectic beginning to September so I hope you’ll all forgive me.

So far as life is concerned, it’s mostly been work and trying to be social where I can. A lot of that involves gaming, which is nice, but I’ve also been working on getting back into reading. I’ve pretty much careened through the first book of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, The Gunslinger, in an effort to read through some of his connected mythos. It’s been nice having a book reel me back in again, and I’m hoping the reading bug catches me this time around. There are a lot of great works out that I’ve been meaning to get to.

I also featured on a co-stream with my best friend, Sparkhive (who’s stream can be caught here!) and introduced her to the game, ObsCure (which I also reviewed here). It was a blast to not only collaborate with a good friend live and in front of a bunch of fun folks, but it reminded me that I enjoyed streaming when I could for the most part before. It may be something I look into doing every so often once I have an apartment or a place to live where I can do it in peace.

Gaming itself has also been pretty erratic, though I’ve tended toward the spooky over the past month. I managed my way through the original Fatal Frame and have started up with Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly. I’ve also worked through three or four run-throughs of The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan, Supermassive’s follow-up effort to one of my favorite games, Until Dawn, which I’ll have some impressions of up on here shortly for. My co-op playthrough of Dead Rising 2 is coming to a close soon, too. Not to be outdone, though, my Switch has gotten quite a bit of playtime with a second run-through in Fire Emblem: Three Houses and the Final Fantasy VIII Remastered release a few days ago.

Needless to say, it’s a great time to be a gamer!

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Reviews and Posts

Keeping on my horror slant, most of the games I wrote about this month had some hand in the macabre. Exploring Castlevania 64 after all of these years was a fun romp into one of my favorite series, even if the experience is a bit lacking. The original Dead Rising left the same kind of taste but as the origin point of the series, it kind of makes sense that there were some bumps in the road. Surprisingly, DreadOut: Keepers of the Dark was a solid sequel that followed the original DreadOut (review) faithfully and kept most of what worked so well in the original.

The one deviation was A Boy and His Blob which I had wanted to revisit since I first owned it on the NES years ago. It’s an interesting little title that’s worth a peek and has made me interested in the remake that came out on the Wii some time ago.

Castlevania (N64)
Dead Rising (360)
A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia (NES)
DreadOut: Keepers of the Dark (PC)

The only editorial piece I did this month came from the “Adventures in Collecting” series I’ve attempted to keep up- though this one was a bit of a warning to budding collectors more than anything. From my advice pile to you: “make sure you read the fine print”.

(Mis)Adventures in Collecting – Fire Emblem

Looking Ahead

Aside from write-ups on Fatal Frame and some impression on Man of Medan, I’m hoping to continue on with my Dead Rising write-ups and finally put the finishing touches on my overview of Left 4 Dead. I have a few other games that I’m looking forward to but I hesitate to chat about which ones I’ll actually get to jot my impressions of down in here before the end of the month. It’s actually feeling like there might be quite a few editorial pieces upcoming for some reason.

Really, the sky’s the limit and I’m not totally sure what will be coming up in the blog for September- especially since we’re heading into the Halloween season, my favorite season of all. If my gaming habits are any indication, though, you’ll be seeing some fun horror and RPG titles over the next few weeks.

Hope you’re all having a fantastic start to your month- and I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading, watching, gaming, or just generally doing that you’d like to share!

– Matt (a.k.a. The3rdPlayer)

July in Review

3pmegamanstyleHey, folks! Welcome to my quick wrap-up of July and what I’ve been up to and writing about over the past 31 or so days.

So what’s been going on in my neck of the woods this month?

Well, in life, it’s been incredibly warm in my area so I’ve spent a lot of time outside and looking for some life improvement while searching for an apartment and generally finding my next direction to travel in. I’ve also entered into year two of the tabletop game that I’ve been running, which has been a bit of an accomplishment for me given the fact that I was terrified of running something like that for friends at all. I’ve also set myself up to try to get more reading done in the future regarding both blogs and literature I’ve been meaning to get to or revisit.

It sounds like a tall order and, to be honest, it is. I suppose working in a direction that I want to be heading toward slowly but surely is better than just expecting everything will fall into place right away, right?

So far as gaming is concerned, I started out the month on a bit of a spree across a bunch of systems, though I’m always working through my Steam backlog and collecting so the pile of games grows ever larger. Before I became hopelessly obsessed with Fire Emblem: Three Houses, I started in on Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth 1, a remake of the original game (which I also never played but have heard great things about). I’ve also been looking at some fun platformers and horror games coming up- especially with Man of Medan on the horizon for next month.

It’s been a great time for games, hasn’t it?

20190629155923_1Posts in Review
This month was a pretty horror heavy month, though not without my having finished some games I’ve been meaning to for a while:

Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song (PS2)
Huntsman: The Orphanage – Halloween Edition (PC)
The Ring: Terror’s Realm (Dreamcast)

I also managed to write up a blog post on how games handle protagonists that the player probably shouldn’t empathize with but they should enjoy playing as:

The Frank West Conundrum – Analyzing a Non-Traditional Protagonist

I really enjoy analyzing and discussing these kinds of topics. They’re usually based on conversations I’ve had in passing with gaming friends in person, so bringing them to folks who I get to talk to in the comments here and on Twitter always results in some night insights.

20190706235039_1What’s to Come?
Over the next month, I’m looking forward to updating the couple of overviews I’ve started to include more of the Atelier games and to cover Fire Emblem entries that have released since like Fire Emblem Warriors, Fire Emblem Heroes, and my current obsession, Fire Emblem: Three Houses. I’ve also been working on playing through to do a review and overview of the Left 4 Dead series. I don’t think I’ve played enough first-person shooters or cooperative games lately, so I’d like to branch into that a bit more.

Of course, I’ve also got a review for Dead Rising coming up, along with another game I had been meaning to get through, Castlevania 64. I have a whole host of other games to play through, and I’ve been pretty happy with my balance of PC and console coverage as well as retro and current generation focus, so you can most likely expect more of the same from me upcoming.

Preferably a higher volume of writing, as well- once I finish up with Three Houses, of course.

There are also a lot of you that I would love to support more, and I want to make another post soon showing some love for the folks who have been actively chatting and interacting and some blogs that I’ve been appreciating and frequenting.  I want to stress that there are a lot of folks on here that I appreciate, admire, and support, despite my inability to keep up with all of the amazing content you all produce!

Have a great rest of the week and here’s to a fantastic August!

– Matt (a.k.a. The3rdPlayer)

September in Review

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Well, it’s been a while since I put together a month in review, but I felt like I should check in, pop up a summary of the past month or so and let you folks know what’s coming up in October- also known as my favorite month of the year!

Some of you may have noticed a small surge in articles this past month that lasted a few days.  I’ve had some pieces sitting on the back burner for a while that I’ve been waiting for the motivation to get through, and while I’ve had some difficulties in my personal life, it felt like a good idea to sink into some writing and distract myself.  Seems to have worked since I got some of my pieces done and out to the world!

As far as reviews are concerned, I got three of them wrapped up spanning a good amount of time in the gaming universe.  While I enjoyed Capcom’s Resident Evil Gaiden for the Gameboy Color and Goosebumps from Wayforward Games for the PC, I have to specifically mention Konami’s Tiny Toon Adventures adaptation on the NES as a personal favorite that I got to play and write about recently.  All of the games are worth a look, though, flaws or not.

Review – Resident Evil Gaiden
Review – Goosebumps: The Game
Review – Tiny Toon Adventures

On the more editorial side of things, I ventured into a well-trodden territory as well as a newer concept for the blog.  On the more familiar side, I pondered over the new Playstation Classic Mini that is coming out and what games it might include.  It’s part wishlist and part developer logic, but there are quite a few games that could make me excited to check into the upcoming ‘system’.

Editorial – My Top 10(ish) Predictions for Games Coming to the PSOne Classic Mini

I’ve also been chomping at the bit for the new Atelier game coming out from Gust this Winter, Nelke and the Legendary Alchemists.  It should be no surprise to anyone that I’m checking daily for new information and already have my copy pre-ordered.  At the recent Tokyo Game Show, a new trailer appeared featuring a number of characters and a bright charming theme song.  As a huge Atelierphile, I felt the urge to break down the trailer to see who’s involved, how, and who appears to be missing- along with a few other tidbits!

Editorial – Nelke and the Legendary Alchemists – TGS Trailer Breakdown

Other Posts and Blogs to Follow

As always, I highly recommend checking out Red Metal over at Extra Life Reviews.  Semi-recently, he finished up his Legend of Zelda retrospective on the entire series (including an addendum that wraps up his feelings on each entry and works as a handy pivot point to check out all of the reviews therein!)

Over at Adventure Rules, Robert Ian Shepard wrote about his newfound appreciation for Animal Crossing: New Leaf on his second attempt at playing it.  I’ve had a very similar recurrence of Animal Crossing in my life as a stress reliever, so reading his post on this was really interesting!  He also has a few cool articles on Fire Emblem you should poke around for if you’re interested.  He’s also big on community building, which has been nice to witness!

LightningEllen over at Livid Lightning has also been big on community and has been reposting a bunch of her old posts- which has been a great look at some fun and thoughtful pieces.  I don’t have much more to say aside from that her blog is really worth keeping an eye on and catching up with.

There are so many other awesome bloggers to check out so please do yourself a favor, especially if you have Twitter or some other method to check some of these folks out- do it when you get the chance.  Even if it’s just one article to see if their writing style works for you, read what you can, comment if you have the time, and go check out some new blogs.  My little blurbs here don’t have nearly enough scope or do enough justice to comment on how rich with content the community is.

What’s Coming Up?

Well, October and Halloween are my favorite times of the year so you can expect some focus on horror type games in between more posts about collecting and commentaries.

My piece for the ‘Games That Define Us’ collaboration (put together by the fantastic Matt over at Normal Happenings) and while I’m (of course) going through some anxieties about my piece- it’s mostly because so many of the pieces I got to take a peek at are really good and interesting to read.  It should be starting to post after October, but I wanted to get it on your radar now so that you can look forward to it as much as I am!

I also have a few more pieces that have come in for the collections.  Once I get the chance, I’ll be putting up some more information and pictures to share in my excitement about those.  Also, a special shout-out to my buddy over at Cheap Boss Attack for helping me with some key collection items recently!

I’ve also started working on the next piece of the Atelier overview, though I realize I have a little bit more to write about Fire Emblem, as well.  No promises there, but my goal is to have more information on one of the modern trilogies up by November!

Last but not least, I’m currently doing a ‘Tweet a Day’ style post on 31 characters from horror gaming I appreciate and enjoy.  Given my love of horror movies and my love of gaming (and my love of horror gaming, who are we kidding?), I wanted to spread the seasonal feeling of Halloween through my social media a bit!  If you don’t frequent Twitter, though, no worries- I’ll make a few posts once we get through some of the characters with some blurbs on why I enjoy them and make it a legitimate series of posts here.

With that, I hope you’re all enjoying your first day of October!  Let me know what you’re up to this month, what you’re playing, or just generally how things are in the comments or on Twitter!

Happy Gaming!

– Matt (a.k.a The3rdSlayer)

…see what I did there?  Did- did you see?  Because- because of Hallow-

…never mind.  Happy Gaming!  

March in Review

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Another month gone by, another reflection to be inscribed into the tapestry that is 3PStart.

Honestly, I didn’t write nearly as much as I would have liked this month, though I’m definitely not beating myself up over it.  On the life front, I’m moving into a new job soon and I’ve been taking the time to reconnect with family and friends.  I’ve also been trying to become more involved and active on Twitter and other mediums regarding gaming discussions and other blogs.  I’ve also been gaming quite a bit (as those of us who blog about gaming occasionally do) and while I have a few things in the works, I haven’t quite finished them up.

But we’ll get to that, of course!

The only review I managed to get up was finishing up 3PStart’s coverage of the main Phantasy Star games for the Sega Genesis, covering the oft-neglected Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom.

Review – Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom

I did, however, also manage to add to the surely ever-growing Fire Emblem overview I’ve been working on.  Overall, the overview is meant to give a peek at each game, including features and improvements or steps back that the series has taken.  In the latest edition, I went over the Fates trilogy consisting of Conquest, Birthright, and the definitively canon Revelation.  I also got to go over my favorite entry in a long time, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, which is well worth a check out for any Fire Emblem fan.  If you’re interested in the history of the series or just looking for a good place to start playing from out of curiosity, I’d love to suggest checking out the entire overview!

Fire Emblem – An Overview – Part 5

Also, thanks to Red Metal over at Extra Life tagged me for a Sunshine Blogger Award- and another wholehearted thanks for that!  If you’re interested in seeing my feelings on negativity in the gaming critique, my favorite critically acclaimed movie, or want to know whether I prefer 2D or 3D games (the answer may shock you!), that would be the place to do it!

Responding to My Sunshine Blogger Award Nod

Fire Emblem Fates

What to Look Forward To

Just recently, I finished up a replay of Shining Force II: Ancient Sealing, so I’ll have some words on that soon enough.  I’ve also been continuing on my voyage through the Atelier games and have wrapped up the Arland Trilogy (made of of Atelier Rorona, Totori, and Meruru).  Much like the Fire Emblem overview, I feel that doing an overview for at least the PS3 and more current games in the series would be best, so I’m working on an introduction to the series as a whole and an overview on those three games.

I’d like to get some words out about Blue Reflection, as I mentioned last month, and I started writing a bit on Until Dawn but that may turn into a whole piece on horror gaming in general so- there are a few concepts up in the air that need a bit more refining or motivation to get out.

Other Blogs and Posts to Check Out

Athena over at AmbiGaming put together an awesome piece about Tolerance vs. Acceptance that managed to talk about a lot of concepts- both in games and in gaming- that really hit on a lot of points that sparked the flame for my wanting 3PStart to come to fruition in the first place.

After posting a bit about how positively video games have impacted my life, reading a post from The Gaming Diaries regarding things overheard in a game shop gave me some warm fuzzy feelings- which I’m always happy to promote!

I don’t know about you, but when I hear a title like Tesla vs. Lovecraft, I get a little tingle in my nerd centers.  CheapBossAttack nearly always seems to have the same interests as I do, and this review of the upcoming Switch game proves yet again that his excitement is transferable, as I am now itching to try this game as soon as possible.

As usual, there is so much fantastic passion and writing out there that I can’t fathom covering it all, so hopefully keeping these shout outs to three a month won’t seem like I’m selling those that I follow short!  Thank you all for following along with me and if you ever want to reach out, feel free to shoot me a line on Twitter (@the3rdplayer) or through gMail (3pstartgaming@gmail.com)!

– Matt a.k.a. “The3rdPlayer”