Personal ramblings, nothing book related.
I think I might be really tired.
Normally I’m an idea factory. I generate plots and ideas randomly, sometimes at ridiculous speed or during inappropriate times. 99% of them never see the light of day. I have an entire trilogy plotted about a merchant and a gladiator set in a Conan-like world and I doubt it will ever come to be.
It’s been a week, and my head has been quiet. Silent. Like a tomb. ::making scary ghost noises:: I keep waiting for the brain to restart but nothing is happening.
Instead I found a new game to play. 😀 I present to you the Immortal Life.
Have you ever wanted to run a magical farm in a Chinese-inspired martial arts sect? Do you like Stardew Valley but wish you could also cultivate your inner power and water your crops with a magic gourd that produces rain clouds? Do you suffer from the lack of cute 3-tailed foxes in your life? Despair no more.
Immortal Life is available on Early Access on Steam. It is 99% translated, meaning very occasionally you see some minor marker in Hanzi, but it’s rare. The dialogue, the menus, etc., everything is in English.
It is an excellent farming sim. Unlike the grindy and depressing Harvestella, this is a joy to play. You are invited to a martial arts sect but when you arrive, Something Bad Happens, and you decide to stick around and help to rebuild it. The social aspect of the game is excellent. You really get a sense of community and feel like you are in this together with everyone, doing your best to succeed. I’m probably alone in this, but I came to resent the people of Stardew Valley. First, some of their stories get too sad, and second, they are demanding. Every day had to be scheduled to make sure the right person was talked to or given a gift, etc. I like all of the NPC people in this one.
The combat is great. It’s simple, it’s not twitchy, and it is pretty. I kept expecting that throwing flying swords at salamanders would get old, but it hasn’t yet.
The planting, watering, and harvesting is also fun. The crops are cartoony and huge, and seeing them reach the harvest stage is really satisfying.
Also, fishing. The fishing mini game is probably the best I’ve played since the Song of the Wild. The water has an almost elastic feel. Unlike, again, Harvestella, which is so boring. Like come on, Square Enix, how did you manage to make a completely joyless game?
Another plus in this game’s corner is the absence of deadlines. When I play these types of games, I really like the sense of endlessness. I want to feel like I could just run my little farm/shop however I want and however long it takes me. The fact that Stardew Valley had a grandpa ghost that evaluated your performance and that you are supposed to beat the main storyline in 2 years completely ruined it for me. Yes, I know that you can technically play SV forever, but I simply don’t want to anymore, because it degenerated into a checklist for me.
This game doesn’t seem to have that. Individual quests have deadlines, but they are pretty generous.
I’m trying to think hard about some negatives to point out, but nothing really annoyed me. This game indulges my tendency to putter. It’s the opposite of heart-thumping excitement, and apparently I need a beautiful magic mountain in my life right now. I guess the one negative is that the game isn’t finished yet.
What are you playing? Did you get any cool hobby-related gifts at Christmas?