Welcome to January’s new-look editorial post, a monthly progress report which rounds-up all the happenings here at Later Levels along with the games we’ve been playing. This New Year has been an eventful one and we have quite a lot to chat about – so let’s get stuck in.



  • WordPress: 896
  • Twitter: 427
  • Facebook: 55
  • Instagram: 136
  • Twitch: 56
  • Posts:

  • Published: 20 posts
  • Most viewed: Triple-A: down or up?
  • Most liked: Leaning on your backlog
  • Most commented on: Triple-A: down or up?
  • My favourite: Ellie, Overwatch and the need to stick together
  • Games played:

  • Guard Duty (PC – preview here)
  • The Elder Scrolls Online (PS4)
  • The Shapeshifting Detective (PC)
  • Vane (PS4 – review here)
  • Blogger highlights:

  • Lightning-cognition: Good GOTY! by AmbiGaming
  • Create Your Own Conspiracy Theory by Alex from McWritestuff
  • The Rise, Fall and Rise of the Adventure Game by Rendermonkee
  • Media Hangovers: How to Overcome by The Hannie Corner
  • Resident Evil 2: Rabbit Hole Involving Windows by Hundstrasse
  • Blog life:

    UK Blog Awards, #UKBA19, gaming, finalist, badge

    After November’s bombshell, there was another F-bomb moment when an email from Lauren at the UK Blog Awards popped up in my inbox. Not only had Later Levels been nominated for the 2019 event, the site had now made it through to the finals – how the flipping-hell did that happen? The other bloggers in the gaming category are seriously talented individuals so it’s an honour to even be named in the same group as them. I’m very thankful to the anonymous person who thought Later Levels was good enough for a nomination – you’re far too kind.

    That’s not the only special thing that happened in January however, for my blogging-other-half Ben made his glorious return! He’s been absent for a year or so now due to work and family commitments but the Later Levels door has always been left open for him. He kicked off with a great post about his love for God of War’s Leviathan Axe, then moved on to the brilliantly-bonkers Mortal Kombat 11 – and I wouldn’t be surprised if you soon see some posts from him in the new Reviews and previews category.

    Real life:

    wedding, Kim, Pete, Ethan

    Some big news: Pete and I got married in early January. It was something we’d decided to do only two months ago and we wanted to keep it a secret for as long as possible so it could be a quiet, fuss-free event. We wed at one of our favourite restaurants in a very small ceremony (complete with music from video games); had a lovely lunch with far too much bubbly afterwards; then went back to work the next day (it was about as low-key as you can get). We’re now in the process of surprising the rest of our family and friends with the news, which is proving to be interesting.

    In other news, last week I attended a Mental Health First-Aid course and this is something I have Pix1001 from Shoot the Rookie and Ian from Adventure Rules to thank for. They made me aware of this training during a discussion in the comments of a post about mental health and I knew I had to sign up. The timing is incredibly appropriate as the next Time to Talk Day is taking place on 07 February 2019, and I’ll be doing my bit to raise awareness and reach out to anyone out there who may need a friend. You can find out more by visiting the Time To Change website.

    Gaming life:

    Pete, Zelda, cat, PC parts, building

    This month we said goodbye to my old PC, as she finally called it quits after several years of accompanying me through digital adventures. My husband (wow, that’s weird) wasn’t too upset by this however because it meant he could indulge in what he calls ‘techno-joy’ and arrange a new machine ready for GameBlast19 next month. Thank you to everyone who helped finalise the schedule for our 24-hour stream by voting on the games you’d like to see us play – full details are now available on the Later Levels Twitch channel. Let the countdown begin!

    I’ve been playing so much ESO over the past month and there’s a post about that coming next week, but I also had the chance to check out a couple of new games. These were at opposite ends of the enjoyment scale: Guard Duty entertained me immensely while Vane unfortunately fell flat. In February I want to tackle The Mystery of Woolley Mountain demo, a title which keeps popping up for me on various recommendations, along with J.U.L.I.A.: Among the Stars now that the developer has very kindly sent me a bug fix.

    Coming up:


  • 01-25 February: Question of the Month
  • 07 February: Time to Talk Day
  • 23-24 February: GameBlast19
  • 26 February: The Normal Happenings Blog Awards
  • Take a look at the Side-quests page for more
  • New posts:

  • Is it really over for the adventure genre?
  • Love Your Backlog Week with Livid Lightning
  • Something special for Valentine’s Day
  • Lessons learnt from this year’s GameBlast19 stream
  • Heaven’s Vault preview (hopefully)
  • And now over to you guys: what have you been up to lately, and what have you got planned for the coming month? Is there anything the community can help with or get involved in? Let everybody know in the comments below so we can show our support. Thanks for reading!

    Editorial: January 2019

    38 thoughts on “Editorial: January 2019

    1. Congratulations on the marriage! Hope it went well. Then again, you ended playing video game music at said wedding, so that’s a definite point in the “it went well” scenario. Either way, it’s impressive that you managed post twenty articles in the same month.


    2. Congratulations!! 😁 That’s fantastic news! It sounds like it was a wonderful day… You both deserve a squid! πŸ¦‘πŸ¦‘… And of course every happiness together!


    3. Congratulations on the wedding! Sounds like it was lovely. My wife Andie and I had a moderately sized wedding and it was really nice, but it was a lot of work to organise, so your approach most definitely has its appeal! We had some game music at our wedding, too, though, along with a laptop running Pac-Man Championship Edition DX with an arcade stick, so that was pretty sweet.

      I’ve had a bleak and depression-filled January so I’m hoping once the weather turns a bit things will feel a bit more positive. The candy-coloured Atelier series which I’ve been covering for the past month certainly helped me through these trying times, though. Next month is all about 428: Shibuya Scramble, a really interesting visual novel/adventure game type thing that I’ve been looking forward to exploring for ages. Beyond that, I have a big stack of possible things to cover over the course of the year… I just need to work out a rough schedule!


      • I’m so sorry to hear about January… sending lots of positive vibes your way. I hope February brings brighter days and plenty of good things, including great video games. ❀

        I've not played 428: Shibuya Scramble but it keeps cropping up in my Steam suggestions (probably because I played several FMV games towards the end of last year). It seems like it might be a good one; looking forward to hearing what you make of it. πŸ™‚

        Pac-Man at a wedding? Now that sounds just like the kind of event I'd want to go to!

        Liked by 1 person

    4. Wow – Amazing news. Secret ‘marriage’ level unlocked!
      Despite the covert nature of the wedding, I do like to imagine that you were both dressed as Guybrush and Elaine πŸ™‚

      (And thanks so much for the linky!)


      • Dammit… I can’t believe I didn’t of that. If I had I would definitely have put forward the suggestion, although there was every chance Pete would have declined. πŸ˜‚

        The brief conversation we had on Twitter about adventure games a couple of weeks back sparked another post, so there’s something coming shortly!


        • Haha… Ur ‘vows’ could have just been a “how much wood would a woodchuck chuck” conversation πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.

          I’m three Dark Souls III bosses away from being able to play something a lot less stressful like a nice point&click and I can’t wait! 😭


          • I’m now seriously gutted that I didn’t suggest a Monkey-Island-themed wedding! πŸ˜‚.

            My husband (still weird) and I tried playing Dark Souls III a couple of Christmases ago, and we didn’t last very long at all. I seem to recall the controller flying across the room after 90 minutes or so…


    5. Congratulations! Hope you had a fantastic time. Nice to see another January wedding too ;). Wish you all the best for the future. My condolences too for the PC but always nice to have a legitimate excuse to upgrade!


      • High-five for January weddings! And congratulations right back to you. ❀

        We've still got a few things to iron out with the new PC but it's almost there. Hopefully we'll be sorted and ready to go for next month's stream!

        Liked by 1 person

          • It’s going to be weird this year, because it’ll be the first time we’ve done GameBlast without our usual crew. I’m a bit worried that’s going to make it tougher because there’ll only be the two of us to keep each other awake – so there’s every chance I’m going to end up falling asleep on stream and start snoring. Hopefully that spectacle will bring in a few donations ha ha!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Hmm understandable. I suppose rather than being able to interact with your old crew, the chat would be useful to keep you awake. And if not, a sleeping gamer is probably an ASMR niche. Even a snoring one :).

              Honestly though you’ll fine, it’ll be a good stream and you’ve got a great selection of games that’ll keep you going.


      • Aw, thanks Katie! The PC is pretty much there but we still need to sort the mic and stream desk for next month. We’re doing a couple of test streams this weekend though so that will give us a chance to iron out any bugs. πŸ˜€


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    8. Kim you’re like a blogging powerhouse, now with the return of Ben this blog is just better than ever. I really like his writing (it’s the first of his stuff I’ve seen really).

      Congratulations on the wedding, low key is the way to go. By interesting I assume you mean people demand a huge lavish and expensive party, well boo to them! Keep that money in the bank, spend it on video games and more techno-joy!


      • It’s soooo good having Ben back. He hasn’t been around on the blog for the past year or so because of work and family commitments, but I always hoped it wouldn’t be too long before the writing bug bit him again. πŸ˜€

        And thanks for the congrats! Those who know (there are still some friends and family we haven’t managed to tell yet) keep asking if we’re going to have a party for everyone, and the current excuse is ‘in the summer when it’s warmer’. Hopefully they’ll have forgotten all about it by then…


          • I think the to trick is to not put any pressure on yourself. You can start typing away at any time and a blog will always be there when you get back, so you’ll know when you’re ready. πŸ™‚


            • Ugh I know, and the funny thing is, when I do go back in, there’s about 10 articles already either waiting to publish or almost finished hahaha. I’ve been bitten by the Overwatch bug again, much like you with ESO it sounds. I need to stop playing that and start blogging again!


                • It’s a difficult balance to strike that’s for sure. I’ve played a fair bit of Destiny 2 as well, just started Killzone Shadowfall on PS4 to give that console some love, Horizon Zero Dawn DLC is calling me too. But then there isn’t the time to write because I just keep playing πŸ˜‚


                  • As long as you enjoy whatever it is you’re doing, that’s all that matters. I’m trying to stick to ESO and smaller games for the next few weeks, just until we make it through GameBlast… then I’ll probably take a short break from games while I catch up on sleep before returning right back to them! 😁


    9. Woot!! Congrats on the wedding. I wish you and your now official other half a very bright future together! πŸ™‚


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