Same procedure as last year…

It’s that time of the year again. Early June: the time of summer vacations, end-of-term trips and binge-studying and just one more thing. The E3 starts in a week, the rumours and early announcements are already running amok and both Steam and gog.com try to empty our wallets with massive sales (gog already started its summer sale, Steam will follow shortly). 

My vacation is still ways of and half of it centres around GamesCom, so more or less just additional work but after last year’s mess and my last visit in Cologne (and Germany in general) pretty long ago, I’m really looking forward to it. I don’t try to jinx it, so I won’t say anything else at this point. 

Rather lets talk video games while I’m in a train through Austria and on the same day Apple has its latest keynote and will probably announce more stuff ‘no one needs but everyone buys’. (I quite like Apple, by the way, on the brink of being a fanboy for some, but more on that maybe another time.)

So, while I’m somewhere else in the country half the time, it’s hard to stay even halfway up to date with my backlog of games (or books and TV series…). Especially considering one of them is a Final Fantasy game (Type-0 to be precise) and the other The Witcher 3.  Both damn good games in there own regards but with the later by far the superior one. 

It’s story, gameplay and just the sheer size and beauty of its world is just mind-blowing. I still haven’t played the first two games (only having a half-decent and still not good enough PC since January, more – again – on that later)  But as they’re based on novels and I’m travelling a lot right now, it’s only natural for me to at least get a bit of a background that way. 

Even more so as they give me the chance to read something in German again as I mostly read English literature and that as much as possible in the original version. 

So, I have played maybe seven to ten hours of this behemoth of a game and enjoyed every moment of it. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes the game that good and even harder – at least at this point – to say what ISN’T good that I’m left speechless. The only flaw I see is my own and the lack of understanding I have of the storyline, all the silent and obvious references to the books and prior games. I think I get some of them but only to an extent and maybe that’s what really drives me to play and read The Witcher

After Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid and Assassin’s Creed this may very well be the next story-driven series I enjoy no matter what. (I play more than those, but these are my favourites – and I know the lack of certain games says a lot😉 once again: no PC.) And with this one I have original books and videogames to explore, which is just perfect. 

So, I’m in the middle of the second book right now and somewhere in Velen in the game. Meaning right at the beginning of the quest in both regards. Sapkowski’s writing is great, filled with wonderful humour, some rather explicit scenes and speech and overall an enjoyable light dark fantasy series. 

Light because it’s not a horror story. It’s just set in a rather harsh and unforgiving world with an “hero” at its helm who not only works for money but also doesn’t kill dragons and is far from the image of a Prince Charming. Which I like far more than the alternative. Geralt is way more human in that way than the dragon slayers of old and way more likeable.

And the stories itself? Well, the first books (The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny in English) are mostly short stories loosely connecting to a bigger picture. Quite nice and easy to keep track while reading/playing/doing other stuff. 

But enough talk of that. I’ve rather missed the topic of this post. And need to get out of the train soon anyway. So, really nothing new right now. Lots of trains, never enough time to read or play games and them every-growing industry with more news, sales and announcements. It’s quite a vicious circle but a great one.

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