Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Weasel Do!

When last I posted about the latest Prime Gaming monthly offers, I agreed with Nimgimli in the comments that it might be better in future if I stuck to talking about the games and freebies I was thinking of claiming, rather than trying to get a cheap laugh out of the ones I wasn't. As he also pointed out, very gently, by pulling back the veil on Amazon's own coverage, I'd removed any newsworthiness my Prime posts might have had, leaving the commentary as the sole reason for their continued existence. If I couldn't make that work, there really wouldn't be a lot of point carrying on with the feature.

Luckily for my posting average, this month's selection is a lot better than it has been of late. Or maybe it just falls fortuitously closer to my tastes and preferences for once. There were several games I thought I might play and some decent in-game freebies I felt were most definitely worth grabbing.

For Guild Wars 2, a game I actually logged into today for the first time in months (Not just to claim my Prime freebies either, but more of that in another post, perhaps.) there's a Pirate Cosmetic Bundle. We all like pirates, right?  Those over-romanticized little sociopaths! They're so cute, what with that funny way they talk and their parrots and the missing limbs and all. Dontcha just love the drunken, flithy, murderous little weasels?

Speaking of missing limbs, that's what you get. The bundle comprises two "skins" and a hat. The first skins turns one of your hands into a hook and the other lops off a leg and replaces it with a wooden one. Dismemberment chic!

In Blade & Soul, which I swear I'm going to play again some day soon, there's a bunch of generally useful stuff including a thousand gold. I wish I could remember of that's a lot or a little. I mean, it sounds like a lot but in some games I've played, a thousand gold wouldn't buy you breakfast.

New World has a similar offer, minus the money but plus a "Skull Candleholder" for your house. I also snagged last month's pack with its "Tall Ivy Covered Trellis". 

New World is another game I really want to get back to playing. The problem is, I'm not really playing any games to speak of at the moment. I can't seem to find the time, what with all the dog walking, gardening and general going outside that seems never to end. I'm counting on the eventual arrival of winter to keep me indoors long enough to get some proper gaming done.

Last and most definitely not least, this month's World of Warcraft freebie is an actual flying mount - the Armored Bloodwing. With the completion of the Microsoft acquisition, the criterion I vowed would have to be realised before I'd play WoW again has been met, so I might soon be riding this fine beast. 

Or maybe not. If I do set foot in Azeroth again it'll most likely be by way of the extended Free Trial and I don't think that's going to allow me to play a character who can fly. Still, I've claimed it on the off chance. Can't really turn down a free fying mount. That'd just be rude.

So much for the freebies. Obviously, there are literally dozens of others for games I don't play but you can check those out for yourself.

On to November's free games, which don't look at all bad. There are nine, of which the highlight is probably November 16's Knights of the Old Republic. On the down side, everyone who ever wanted this almost certainly already has it. I know I have. On the up, even though I own it, I've never played it. If I ever get the urge it's going to be a lot easier to fire up this version than to try and get my old DVDs working.

Before that, on November 2 there's a post-apocalyptic, open-world vehicle-based FPS called RAGE 2 I might claim even though I know I'll probably never play the thing. It does look pretty, so long as your idea of prettiness includes a blasted wilderness full of psychotic bikers. The go-to description seems to be Mad Max crossed with Fallout crossed with Borderlands, which weirdly tells me all I need to know even though I've never played or seen any of them. I think that's called cultural bleedthrough.

Skipping over Centipede Recharged on November 9, the very next day, November 10, brings something a bit more interesting by way of Evan's Remains, described as "a mystery-thriller puzzle adventure". I'm in two minds about this one. On the one hand, it looks charming and has an interesting premise; on the other, it's a form of platformer, although supposedly one based more on solving logic puzzles than on fine motor skills. Again, one I'll most likely claim then never play.

Arriving on the same day as KotOR, presumably as a form of counter-programming, there's the intriguing Behind The Frame: The Finest Scenery. Supposedly "inspired by Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli visuals" this is interactive fiction where the story unfolds through brush-strokes. It'll be something different for me and it looks gorgeous so the plan is to claim it and play it. We'll see if it happens.

More in my usual line is November 22's The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos. Described as "an adventure filled with surprises and silliness", it's an isometric RPG along the vague lines of Baldur's Gate or Divinity:Original Sin, only much less ambitious and not anything like as serious. Humor in RPGs is always very hit or miss and the voice acting in the trailer is verging on the embarassing but I can always turn the sound down. It has a story mode, too, which means I might even be able to finish it - always assuming I want to.

Finally, there's the intriguingly-named Orten Was The Case, which makes itself available on November 30. It's "a single player, lore driven, detective/puzzle adventure game with a time-loop mechanic" and a really odd graphic style that makes it look like one of those  European animated shorts I used to have to sit though sometimes before the main feature at my local art-house cinema back in the 90s. 

Even more oddly, it's not yet available. The website sends you to Steam, where you can play a demo but the full game only has a "Coming Soon" tag. I don't know if that means Prime has an exclusive or if the game is set to launch earlier in the month. Either way, I'm going to claim it and most likely play it, too.

Apart from a couple I didn't mention because I have no interest in them whatsoever, that's the lot. Much better than last time, I think. One or two there that I'm quite looking forward to. 

If I do play them and they're of any interest, no doubt I'll have more to say. Until then, that's Prime Gaming for November.


A note on the AI used in this post.

Just the astonishingly good masthead this time. Once again, I used DreamShaper XL alpha2, weighted at 50%.

The prompt, taken from the post, was "Pirates as drunken, filthy, murderous little weasels. Studio Ghibli". I had to add the prefix "Pirates as" because my initial prompt, using just " filthy, murderous little weasels" resulted in this, which is cute but not exactly what I was expecting.

I mean, do they look either filthy or muderous to you? They're not even fricken' weasels! Great image, though.

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