Monday, December 24, 2018

Year 2: December Update

For those that celebrate the holiday, Merry Christmas! I uploaded a few commercials to YouTube this morning and I'll toss a few non-game ads on Facebook later as well. I recently finished going through the VHS tape from 1987 that I started a while ago and surprisingly found a couple Christmas specials at the end of it which happened to have holiday soda and candy commercials. At this time last year I made a couple of Star Wars ornament videos (one was for January 7th) and did consider doing the same for Star Trek this year but I don't think the ornament posts were too popular.

Lately I've slowed a bit on gaming, but just a bit. If you count the Madden 19 Longshot mode and the Battlefield V war stories, I've completed 10 games since August. The Banner Saga 3 I actually won two times and the first two parts of the trilogy twice just before that. The past few weeks I've been playing the Persona dancing games and got back into Forza Horizon 4. Atlus released a Persona 4 dancing game on the Vita a while back which was the first game I got a platinum trophy on. While I've still never played a Persona role-playing title, and rarely play rhythm games or visual novels, that game is very well made and had me hooked. The new games are for Persona 3 and 5, and they are similar but not nearly as good. It's obvious that the Persona 4 game had more development time spent on it; it's got a full story (the new ones have brief conversations between characters), better presentation, and even a more engaging tutorial. The main difference though is that the music from Persona 4 is much better and more memorable than the others. Currently the only way to get the Persona 4 dancing game on the PlayStation 4 is to purchase the Endless Night Collection which is a bundle of the Persona 3 and 5 dancing games with a digital code to download the Persona 4 game.

Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight
Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight

Being someone that tries to avoid downloadable content (DLC), I had not played a Forza Horizon add-on until now. I've got the Ultimate Edition this time which includes the additional content so I've been playing the new Fortune Island DLC. From what I've read this is the weakest Forza Horizon expansion and admittedly it is a little bare. There is one small seaside town with the Horizon Festival spot and then a largely vacant island to drive around with plenty of PR stunts and races. The main new addition are 10 riddles to unlock and solve which lead to 10 treasure chests to locate, each one with a million credits (in-game money). I did complete the island's main events yesterday and acquired all 10 million credits which allowed me to finally purchase a castle on the mainland. That was certainly a nice boost but you do have to own specific cars for riddle solving and one costs 800,000 credits so for myself that treasure was only a 200,000 credit profit as I had to purchase the correct vehicle to complete it. I've not taken too many screenshots in photo mode thus far; I'll post a couple and as you can see my avatar looks funny -- there are a lot of dress-up items and I'm wearing silly glasses.

The Peel P50 cruising around England.
My Serpentor design on a Morgan 3 Wheeler.

The second year of Vault 1541 is coming to a close on a downer as I'm still at a loss as to what to do about the game ads. As I noted last month, Flickr is going to charge $49.99/year going forward so I stopped uploading at the end of November and have been looking into alternatives. Unfortunately, the free options are lacking when it comes to managing a few hundred albums and thousands of images. Google won't work since users have no control over the album arrangement so I considered creating a website of photo albums. However, all of the free hosting sites have at least some sketchy reviews which often involve sites being deleted. I already spent a lot of time titling and tagging the images on Flickr and I'd rather not do all of that again just to lose it once more. Therefore, I'm leaning toward Facebook even though that's not ideal for managing so many images either. If I do that I may also highlight more ads in the blog posts about them. I may keep a few of the best ads and the ones people have already liked on Flickr too. As long as I stay under 1,000 images on Flickr it is free so some can stay, and I might put toy photos on there to attract attention to the blog.

Hopefully I'll get the ads back on track again soon and next year I should be making a good number of "Let's Play" videos for Commodore 64 games. I'm still unsure if I can make entertaining videos of regular toys, like Star Wars, Transformers, Masters of the Universe, and G.I. Joe. There are so many great videos online that I cannot compete with by showing a toy sitting on a table so I'll probably stick to the more unique items. I might do more die-cast toy videos simply because I've got quite a few and they are typically easy to show on camera. I'll try to post something else from a game magazine before the end of 2018, otherwise see you next year!

Thanks for visiting,

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