What Am I Playing Lately? (Papers, Please Edition)

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“Papers, Please” is one of the most depressing games I’ve ever played. Period. I say this, and yet, I can’t stop playing. You play the role of an immigration inspector, at the border of Arstotzka in 1982. You pretty much just make sure that whoever is crossing the border, has all their paperwork accounted for. This is done mainly to keep criminals, smugglers, and terrorists out of the country. Still with me? Cool.

While you’re scoping out the paperwork, you’ll need to consult your rule book whenever you discover any discrepancies (incorrect birthdate, passport number, and yes, even gender at times) to determine what the next course of action needs to be. Do you need to interrogate the suspect? Detain them? Search them? These are all things that you’ll need to think about during the course of your work day, and the amount of things you’ll need to inspect only increases.

Of course, since you’re not under enough pressure, you need to learn to be as efficient as possible, since your daily pay depends on it. The quicker the line moves, the more money you make, the slower it moves, well, you get the idea. At the end of each day you’ll need to divide up how the money is spent, so that you can keep your family alive. No joke.

So again, seriously, what’s the appeal? Honestly, I don’t know. But I’m completely captivated by the monotony of the daily routine, and the unique situations that I find myself in. For example, I got a note requesting that I deny a certain person from crossing the border due to a crime that this person could potentially commit. Now here I’m faced with a dilemma. I don’t want to allow a hardened criminal across the border into my country, but on the other hand, if all his paperwork adds up, and I don’t let him cross, I’ll be penalized by having money taken away. And that is where the game settles into a groove, you just have to keep going, just to see what happens.

“Papers, Please” isn’t going to be for everybody. In fact, as far as indie games having a reputation of being pretentious goes, this one might take the cake. However, that shouldn’t sway you from at least giving the game a try. I’ve honestly never really experienced a game like this, but I’m glad that I have, and I would encourage anyone out there to do the same.

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Seriously, what the hell is going on?

It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated this thing hasn’t it? I don’t really have any interest in writing pieces regarding my personal life, but since I haven’t really put much effort into this thing as of late, I suppose I do owe a little bit of an explanation as to what’s been going on.

Back to school… 

I decided to take a little break from writing about games shortly after my mom passed away. I couldn’t really get into it. Despite finally sinking my teeth into some pretty interesting stuff, I had a hard time thinking of interesting things to write, and therefore the blog was kind of put on the back burner. However, the other reason for the lack of content is that I went back to school. I’ve been taking online classes over the last 4 months, and that requires staring at the computer for an additional 20 hours a week, and that includes around the 35 hours I spend staring at the computer for my actual job. I don’t actually mind doing that, but every once in awhile it wouldn’t hurt to see a different screen.

I bought a Retron 5 

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I know, I know. Nothing beats original hardware. Trust me, I get it. It’s cool though, I still have a Sega Saturn collecting dust in the garage, so it’s good to know any original hardware I have is being put to good use. But seriously, every try plugging and NES into HD anything? It’s far from pleasant. The Retron 5 upscales everything to 720p, and it looks really nice. Plus, it’s given me an excuse to start collecting Famicom games.

“Excuse me sir”

“Yes”

“Would you like to purchase the Dragon Quests I-VI, and the Famicom versions of Final Fantasies I, II, and III, for less than the cost of the newest Call of Duty game?”

“Um. Well. Wouldn’t they all be in Japanese”

“With the Retron, you can install translation patches”

**Hands over money, and three major credit cards (due to fear of fraudulent charges, two of the cards are expired)**

It’s actually been a pretty great purchase. I was on the fence for a bit, when people were talking about pins getting bent and all that. But so far, it’s been pretty great. Everything I’ve purchased has worked, and I’ve been able to get some pretty cool stuff for cheap. I’ve been using emulators for a long time, and have really loved doing so, but there’s a difference between playing Super Mario Bros. on my computer, and playing it on my Television. Maybe there isn’t really that much of a difference, but I dunno, I just enjoy playing console games on my TV.

Making music? that’s dumb….(It’s not, I know)

Loneliness and Heartbreak

Over the last few weeks I’ve also been working on music. I’m not really going to go into what it is, or where one could find it. Google would probably tell you anyway. It’s not finished, and I only have 3 songs, sort of completed. I’m not doing this for any particular reason, I’m doing this solely because I can. There have been plenty of people that I’ve come to know over the past few years, who have made these types of projects come to life, and so I’m hoping that I can as well. I don’t really have an end date in mind, I’ll really just be working on it when I have a spare moment.

I have a few written pieces planned for this month, including a piece on a PC game that I recently got addicted to, and a retrospective on Weezer (because people want it, dammit!). I’m also writing for Strange Wonderful, which I’m also due to make some sort of appearance on at some point in the near future. I’ll keep everyone posted.

Cheers