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March 2024 Retrospective

To me, there will never be a more relatable famous person than Bill Burr.

The Good

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth

After finally beating Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth I think I can safely say that it is better than its predecessor on the whole, but it has a weaker story. The gameplay, the characters, the graphics, the voice acting, the side quests, it is still the nearly perfect insanity you expect from Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio. But for me the story really fell apart about 70% of the way through. The motivations for everyone in the first 25% were great and I was loving it. But then the "serious" aspects start showing up and they make absolutely no fucking sense. The serious story beats are relatable at the start, but by the end you're fucking saving the world from geopolitical turmoil and thinking "how the fuck did we end up here?"

There is no doubt Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth will be high up n my Games of the Year list, but the last 10-20 hours of it have but it in a pretty vulnerable spot where I think it will be beaten.

Finished Box Set 2 of the One Piece Manga

I cannot believe I have slept on the One Piece manga for this long. It is absolutely phenomenal and from what I've heard the third box set is even better. It is right on the cusp of surpassing Death Note as my favourite manga of all-time.

Helldivers 2

Helldivers 2 is one of the most enjoyable co-op experiences I have ever had. It feels like the video game equivalent of going down to the bar and just shooting the shit with your friends. Except in this case you're shooting literal aliens. It has that perfect mix of mindless action and difficulty where you can be casually chatting with your buddies and then are suddenly fighting for your lives against hordes of enemies.

I have absolutely no interest in playing this game solo but the second I see any invite from a friend I'll drop whatever it is I am doing and distribute some Liber-Tea for Super Earth!

Watched The Bear

The Bear is one of the most stressful TV shows I have ever watched, and yet I loved nearly every minute. Two seasons totalling 18 episodes have been released as of the time of this writing, and with an average runtime of 30 minutes The Bear did not wear out its welcome. Basically every second is critical to the story in some way and I really appreciate that in this era of hour long dramas that drag on.

I truly believe that everyone should watch The Bear.

Honourable Mentions

Started reading The Will of the Many

I am a little over halfway through The Will of the Many and so far I have been enjoying it. At times it has felt like a Brandon Sanderson knockoff and I don't mean that as an insult. But the world building, high fantasy setting, and "hard magic" system really makes me feel like I am reading a very early Sanderson novel.

I can't really say too much without spoiling the setting because the beginning of the book does not indicate where it is going to go. But if you are in the mood for a high fantasy novel that really flushes out the world and the characters I think you'll enjoy The Will of the Many. There is no doubt in my mind that I will finish reading it in April.

Unicorn Overlord

After I discovered 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim back in 2022 I have been anxiously awaiting for Vanillaware's next game. That finally happened this month with the release of Unicorn Overlord.

There is no sugar coating it. Unicorn Overlord is a step down from 13 Sentinels. It is a very rote, tropey fantasy story about a wizard usurping power and the people who fight back. But at the same time the story is not being thrust in your face and moves by at a brisk pace such that the combat gets brought to the forefront, and that is where Unicorn Overlord shines. It has a very interesting take on a turn-based RPG battler where you don't control your units. You comprise multiple squads, equip them, and then set their "tactics" which is essentially a basic AI graph that tells the units how they should react. It is both incredibly simple yet stupidly deep. I'm about 19 hours in and haven't had to customize much to defeat tough enemies, but I have thoroughly enjoyed finding the broken combos that allow my teams to just destroy anyone the come across.

So far I'm content with the time I've put into Unicorn Overlord and plan to play more. But I'm honestly not sure how long it will be able to hold my interest. It really is predicated on if the enemies get tougher but the customization of the units and their tactics becomes more enjoyable.

Dune Part Two

I saw Dune: Part Two in theatres and personally I think it was a weaker story than the first. I read the book after watching Part One which really highlighted everything the film makers had to cut or blow through just to tell a cohesive story. That feels dialed up to 11 in the sequel where they skipped so much and the film was still 2.5 hours long! I don't begrudge anyone who worked on this because at a certain point it is impossible to tell this story "properly" outside of a 10+ hour miniseries. Maybe they should have done that but I highly doubt they would have been able to get the same budget to create the absolutely mind boggling visuals that we ended up receiving.

So you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. I still enjoyed Dune: Part Two and think most people reading this would as well. But right now I'm not sure if I'd actually be interested in watching a Part Three.

Rewatched Aliens & True Lies

This month was a James Cameron binge of Aliens and True Lies which not only hold up 20+ years later but are better paced than the majority of films released today.

Also, practical effects from from this era can hold up so damn well. The entire bridge scene from True Lies is better than 99% of the CGI crap we get today. That shot of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Arnold in a helicopter as REAL Harrier jets fly by in the background give me chills to this day.

xz backdoor

This isn't the first time a state sponsored actor has installed a backdoor into a widely used open source project and it won't be the last.

The Bad


There may come a year when filing my taxes does not suck, but it is not this year.

The finger thing means the taxes!

Review March Goals

April Goals