Welcome to August’s editorial post, a monthly progress report which rounds up all the happenings here at Later Levels in case you missed anything. With hot sunny days giving way to thunderstorms, let’s have a quick recap of recent events.

Blog life

  • WordPress:   1,530
  • Twitter:   606
  • Facebook:   88
  • Instagram:   214
  • Twitch:   150
  • Posts:

  • Total published:   17 posts
  • Most popular:   Off-topic: child-free by choice
  • Most liked:   Frosti-writes: honesty in your posts
  • Most discussed:   Rainy day gaming
  • My favourite:   My first tabletop RPG experience
  • Traffic:

  • Views:   3,068
  • Visitors:   1,916
  • Likes:   376
  • Comments:   156
  • Best day:   Mondays
  • Other posts worth checking out:

  • COVID-19 and Comfort Gaming by Athena from AmbiGaming
  • 10 Awesome Video Game Weapons by Nathan from Gaming Omnivore
  • Top 10 first levels in Video Games by Casper from Legacy of Games
  • Why Should I Care About My Video Game Wife? by Meghan Plays Games
  • Video Games don’t make me love my Wife enough by RNG
  • The increase in the number of online expos since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown may have got me feeling digitally drained, but I can’t deny that one benefit is being able to attend events I might not otherwise have made it to due to their location. One such convention was Mysterium 2020, an annual gathering for fans of all things Myst. Getting to see Rand and Robyn Miller in a rare appearance together and discussing their differing opinions on various elements of the series was so interesting.

    Looking forward, I’ll start planning for our next GameBlast participation next month. I usually have a good idea by now of the format our charity gaming marathon will take but this time I’m stumped. Looking back over our previous events has given me some inspiration but I’m still waiting for the ideal concept; and I’m not entirely sure how we’re going to top this year’s 50-day challenge. Please do get in touch and let me know if you have any suggestions.

    Chatting to Frostilyte from Frostilyte Writes during his Friday night streams has made me realise that perhaps I need to be more honest about the subjects I cover. The thing he has taught me is that it’s ok to have your own opinion, even if it’s totally unlike that conveyed by everybody else; but you’ve got to be able to explain it so others can understand why you’ve arrived at this view, even if they don’t necessarily agree with you. This is some advice I’m going to take with me into the future.

    Gaming life
    Games played:

  • Final Fantasy XIII
  • Gamedec backers build
  • Ghost on the Shore demo
  • Lighthouse: The Dark Being
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
  • Rosewater demo
  • Satisfactory
  • Shadowrun
  • The Elder Scrolls Online
  • Games previewed and reviewed:

  • Eliza
  • Gamedec
  • Our group’s Shadowrun game, streamed by Kevin on The Lawful Geek Twitch channel every other Thursday evening, continues and every session is getting more fraught with danger. Sometimes I’m surprised our characters have made it this far! A steep learning curve has meant we’ve found it a little difficult to get into our first tabletop RPG but now Pete and I look forward to participating once a fortnight. If you haven’t yet tried one for yourself, why not find out about our experience and watch what happens this week.

    The other thing we’ve been doing a lot of recently is game-swaps. In return for playing Fable over on her Twitch channel, I completed Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty for Athena from AmbiGaming this month – and I can’t deny I enjoyed the experience although I’m still confused. Both Fable and MGS2 are games of their time with control schemes which now feel clunky and a little outdated, but it’s certainly been interesting seeing how the titles have held up over the past 15 years or so. Check out what Athena thought of Fable here.

    My next game-swap is underway and I’ve been playing Final Fantasy XIII for Ellen from Ace Asunder, who’s hoping to cure me of my aversion to turn-based combat while I show her that not all full-motion video (FMV) releases are bad with Her Story and The Madness of Doctor Dekker. I’ve also managed to complete Eliza, which left me with a lot of questions but also made me see the power of realising you’re not alone; and I tried the backer’s build of Gamedec after making a pledge to the crowdfunding campaign in April.

    Real life

    Last month I explained how the lockdown was affecting me and what I was going to do to hopefully change this. A brief return to The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) has helped and spending a few weeks taking it easy in Vvardenfell, collecting bait and fishing online, has been a pleasure. I also took a quick break from blogging about video games and used the opportunity to discuss something completely different; thank you to everyone who read my post about choosing to be child-free and shared their own experiences.

    The good weather here in the UK is helping to lift my mood too, although it’s been incredibly hot at times and I’m almost wishing for rainy days where I’ve got nothing to do but play a game. Still, the sun has meant we’ve been able to get outside recently and explore some new locations. After a suggestion from Teri-Mae from Sheikah Plate, we jumped in the car for a day-trip to Whitstable and wandered around the backstreets and harbour while completing a ‘spy mission’ walk from Treasure Trails.

    The biggest worry for me at the moment is work. After redundancies were announced in July, things have been rather unsettled for everybody and there are no winners in this situation. The people who are at risk of losing their jobs have a lot of uncertainty ahead of them; and those of us who have been told we’re safe are feeling survivor guilt while at the same time wondering whether we could be next. The only thing I can do is keep my head down and try to study for my exams so I can get my new qualifications as quickly as possible.

    Coming up

  • 01-11 September: One Special Game
  • 03 September: Shadowrun stream
  • 05-06 September: WeeCon
  • 12-20 September: EGX Digital
  • 14 September: Gamer’s blog party
  • 17 September: Shadowrun stream
  • 19 September: The EGX-perience stream
  • Every Thursday: #BloggerTalk
  • Take a look at the Side-quests page for more!
  • Posts planned:

  • What has Satsifactory done to Pete?
  • My favourite games from previous EGX expos
  • Contradiction and the pleasure of FMV
  • Has Final Fantasy XIII cured my turn-based terror?
  • Our first GameBlast21 update
  • 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!

    Save point: August 2020

    14 thoughts on “Save point: August 2020

    1. Thanks for the mention!

      As for the proposed game swap, I was going to ask if you had ever played Banjo-Kazooie? It’s one of the games I loved as a kid and never shut up about. It would also think it would be easy enough to get a copy to you as I could just get a code for the HD remaster on Xbox? Since you mentioned Herdy Gerdy on stream before and I believe Banjo-Kazooie wouldn’t be too dissimilar…

      If not, I can find something else I’m sure 😉


      • Hmm… I didn’t play it as a kid, but I have a vague recollection of trying it somewhere in the past year or so. Maybe at an expo in a retro section or something like that?

        Neither Pete or I mind platformers but I would necessarily say we’re any good at them! That means you’ll have to let me know which genres you’re not skilled in so we can think of something appropriate in return. 😆

        Liked by 1 person

        • Growing up a console player, I’ve had the least experience with any sort of strategy game…point-and-click games are also one of my weaker genres if you happen to know anyone well-versed in those 😅


          • Point-and-clicks, huh? 😉

            I’ll need to do some thinking. Some of the classics are amazing but they can be a little obtuse, so maybe something newer would be better. What sort of storylines do you like: sci-fi, commedy, horror, space, etc?

            Liked by 1 person

              • See if any of these take your fancy…

                Classic – Sanitarium (pretty creepy)
                Modern – Stasis (sci-fi horror, atmospheric)
                Unknown – Rhiannon: Curse of the Four Branches (I’ve had this for years but have always been too scared to play it)
                Tim Curry – Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (not the scariest game but it’s Tim Curry!)

                Liked by 1 person

    2. Will need to watch your vids on FFXIII, I remember picking it up way back (think I had to pay Tesco a visit at midnight to get it early) 😄


      • Now that’s dedication! 😀

        I will warn you now that I’m not any good at it; I’ve got it on easy mode and I’m still struggling. I came up against the Havoc Skytank last night and there’s no way I’m going to get through that battle without doing some serious upgrading and possibly some farming…

        Liked by 1 person

    Join the discussion

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google photo

    You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.