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Hugh’s On Twitch!

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Hey Everybody! I just wanted to make a little announcement here that I’m streaming on Twitch! While I’m still finding my feet on the platform, you can catch me three days a week at Twitch.TV/Hatchingphoenix!

As a fiction writer, the thing I’ve always loved about video games is the unique ways they deliver a narrative. I’m fascinated by the way games can tell stories. Not just through visuals or dialogue, but through gameplay and sometimes subtler means. The genre has grown from pixelated ping-pong simulations and rescuing the princess to high-definition epics with casts of thousands. I love both the little and the big stories that games can tell, and that is the focus of my Twitch channel.

On Mondays, at 2 PM I play Indie games. Many of these games came from last year’s Itch.IO Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality, which supported worthy causes and features many games that use unique mechanics to tell interesting stories that I can’t wait to dive into.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4 PM, I play RPGs. From 8-bit classics to the latest releases, I’m playing through and examining how these create an experience. And I’m starting with the game that launched a genre, Dragon Warrior. Called Dragon Quest when it was originally released in Japan, this Nintendo Entertainment System cart was the first of its kind. I remember watching my neighbor play it as a child and thinking for the first time that games could be something deeper and grander than I had previously imagined.

So please join me as I undertake epic quests and uncover hidden gems.

Twitch.TV/Hatchingphoenix

Podcast: NP B6 – Social Distance Gaming

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Skyping with Treize

Hello listeners!
This week, Jason, Jurd, and Hugh hang out and discuss what video games they’ve been playing while stuck inside social distancing!

Click HERE to listen online!

Visit NostalgiaPilots.com for show notes, links, and more episodes!

 

 Support Me on Ko-fi

Hugh Likes Video Games: Night in the Woods

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Night in the Woods
Created by Infinite Fall
Published by Finji
Played on Nintendo Switch

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The Skinny: A brilliantly designed existential horror game

Night in the Woods is a game that struck very close to home for me. It is about a girl who returns to her dying hill town after dropping out of college and discovers that the home she left has changed. And there’s something in the woods at night…
An indie game that was originally published thanks to a 2012 Kickstarter, NitW has the most effective and well-crafted atmospheres I’ve seen in a long time. And considering that this is a 2-D point and click adventure game with some light platforming elements staring cartoon animals, that is really saying something. But the visuals are so on-point in this game, and they are propped up by witty, charming dialog that is the most natural I’ve seen in a long time. If you can’t fall in love with Mae, Gregg, Angus and Bea by the end of their adventure, I’m not sure you have a heart.
The mechanics of the world reinforce this. Following the story, most of the player’s decisions involve choosing which characters to follow, and talking to everyone. There are a lot of dialog options, and while they don’t seem to effect the story much, they do a great job of revealing character, and lead to so many rewarding character moments, they are worth replaying for them alone. The platforming in this game also feels really good, and walking around on the power lines feels transgressive in a way that reinforces character, and leads to lots of cool exploration and interaction moments, like finding hidden musicians and secret rooms. Going too much further into this game will ruin it, but let me suffice to say that everything in this game works together in a way that makes it more than the sum of its parts.
One of the reasons that his game struck me so profoundly, in addition to the fact that the writing is excellent, the art is eye-catching and endearing, and the mechanics just feel good, is that this is a story that happened to me. Not the mysterious disappearances and hostile forces bits, but I didn’t do so well my first year of college, and had to return to my own rustbelt hometown after a year away.
Mae’s reasons for leaving college and coming home aren’t made fully explicit until the end of the game, but I already understood them, because her experience was so similar to mine. I never hit anyone with a bat, but I felt so many of the same things she did, and playing this game gave me a bit of catharsis for those old wounds.
Night in the Woods is less a horror game than an existential horror game, and you can find it on Steam and the usual consoles. These versions also include Longest Night and Lost Constellation, two microgames the team made as Kickstarter bonuses and to test game elements. The whole package is wonderful, and this game is well worth your timeand attention. And Gregg rulz, OK?

Podcast: Nostalgia Pilots Bonus 02

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Bonus Episode 2: Gundam Versus

Hugh and Jason take a break from regular Nostalgia Pilots duties to discuss the latest PS4 Gundam offering: Gundam Versus! Get their reviews, impressions, and what they felt was missing in the game. Hint: it’s a horse piloting a horse mobile suit.

Podcast: Nostalgia Pilots Bonus 01

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Left alone in the Nostalgia Pilots studio, Hugh and Jason boot up 1996’s “Gundam Wing: Endless Duel” fighting game for the Super Famicom! (Super Nintendo.)

Journey back to the era of Street Fighter II clones as they review this punishing, technical fighter.

Plus, do you remember Surge?

Click HERE to listen online!

Thanks for listening to this podcast! Visit NostalgiaPilots.com for more episodes! You can also support Hugh on Patreon for more cool stuff! Visit Jason at the Talk Nerdy 2 Me Podcast HERE!

Podcast: Nutty Bites 93: Vintage Video Games

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Nutty, Tek, and Hugh sit down and talk about the great video games of yesteryear.

Click HERE to listen online.

This podcast originally appeared  at Nimlas.org on December 30, 2016.

Thanks for listening!

Hugh Likes Music: Chronicles of Time

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Chronicles of Time
Various Artists
ChroniclesofTime.net

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I’m one of those writers that writes to music.  I prefer atmospheric,  instrumental pieces that catch the ear but also fade into the background, and one of my favorite sub-genres to pick from is video game soundtracks.
Which is why this year’s “Chronicles of Time” has been getting heavy rotation on my writing playlist.  This massive collaboration consists of eighty-one tracks drawn from artists and bands all over the nerd-core and O C remix communities.  A love letter to Yasunori Mitsuda’s soundtrack to the SNES classic “Chrono Trigger,” it spans five discs, a spectrum of genres, and every piece of music in the game.
And the collaborators have brought their A-material.  Tracks from artists like Carless, Mustin, Super Guitar Bros, and XPRTNovice bring an eclectic but polished sound to the collection.  The stylistically diverse covers and remixes bring everything from heavy metal to jazz guitar to dance-club remixes and hip hop to the masterful compositions.
The album is available at chroniclesoftime.net as well as iTunes and Google Play.  All proceeds benefit Doctors Without Borders.  Chronicles of Time is a treat to listen to, and makes great writing music.  I heartily recommend it.