Bang Thresh Grotto
Yesterday was the day of giving thanks for our Atlantic cousins. I hope y’all had the best of it, I really do; there is both so very much and too little to be suitably thankful for these days and we needs must make hay while the cold sun howls. My calendar informs me that today is known as ‘The Day After Thanksgiving Day’, which I think might make more literal, interpretable sense than something like ‘Boxing Day’. It is also Friday and I appreciate that.
I am recently returned from late 19th Century America, or as close to that world as I can possibly manage without Christopher Lloyd and a DeLorean. They have indeed wrought what Mr P astutely termed, ‘Grand Theft Equine’ (a far more salubrious name than ‘Horse Fucker 2018’ but this is the joke that keeps on giving and you can’t say I didn’t try) and the lower half of my jaw is probably still on the carpet somewhere. Scale? Check. Fidelity? Sure. Heart strings? I shall never love again. I understand there are glitches and that these prime moments of (commendably) uncharacteristic jank are a source of incredible mirth for much of the internet at large. I encountered relatively few of these instances and my immersion was, for the most part, thoroughly robust. That being said, my original assessment that this game is actually an immersive sim has proved mightily accurate for me and, I suspect, many other would-be cowboys as well. I guess what I’m trying to say, is that I form part of an ideal, captive audience who relish the mosey and can only be a touch biased.
Some yellow bellies have complained about what has come to be affectionally known as a “nested” control system. I’m incapable of denying that this is a thing [it really is] it’s just that I think the whole, slightly clunky, too-many-jackets feeling might actually be part of it. The occasional…accidental misunderstandings resulting from this interface certainly must have been elemental to the wilds and I’m convinced that any emergent chicanery only went toward enhancing my experience. I continue to try and tell myself that this is justification for any & all of Rockstar’s shortcomings.
M Chamber’s latest offering was (eponymously) consumed in record time. I then spent a couple of days writhing in spent and listless ecstasy. As is often the case when I have returned to, then emerged from under a long unvisited literary giving tree, I began thrashing about for similar fruit, much like a junkie on descent or famished swine in what might be an empty, fermenting orchard. Eventually I discovered that Richard Morgan - cyber punk bard extraordinaire - did verily wrap on his whole violent fantasy / detective noire thing a mere four years past. I am now both deep and warm inside ‘The Dark Defiles’ and totally convinced that it is better than the second one? It’s good and I shall swear on cold, immortal steel that I’ll come back to you in short order.
It is nearly that time of year once again and by that I do mean board games and tankards. While I feel fairly confident that I have already explained my position on festivities prior to the onset of month twelve [I shall absolutely walk out of any place, any time, anywhere should I hear that Pogues song before December 1st and I have done so on more than one occasion, including but not limited to the bank, Selfridges and a retirement home], I am also determined that this will be the year of no panic. Amazon is both an effective tool for planning and also a source of therapy.
My redeemed, gunslinging mood may have led to the procurement of personal, dice-related treats. I have heard it described as Yahtzee on steroids and now I salivate in anticipation of high noon, The Day After Christmas Day. Certain gifts for people other than myself have also been purchased, wrapped and stowed and this is how we shall conquer, nay avoid entirely the panicked, frothing mob that doth mass upon all major thoroughfares come X-minus five days.
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair.
JD - TACOCAT
[Props to DashProcessor via Boardgame Geek for the thumbnail image.]