IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE
CAN ANYONE HEAR ME
Ethan? Noob? Glenn? Mommy? Anyone?
It is with both a heavy and relieved heart that Riddles and I are announcing an official hiatus for and from Riddlethos.com.
Riddles took a brief one earlier, and we’ve had some short breaks, but otherwise we’ve been working at and on this site for over a year and a half.
While we both adore this site, the long and short of it is that this Riddlethos isn’t what we want it to be, but we don’t currently have any of the resources – monetary or otherwise – to give it the transformation it desperately requires.
Not just that, but we’d like some time and space from the site to come back fresh and inspired when we’re finally ready to relaunch, whenever that may be.
Riddles and I also used to be friends before this website instead of both friends and co-website-owners, so it’ll be nice to have a conversation with him without a necessity to talk shop.
All of this being said, I’m well aware that April 1st falls on this week, and that last year Riddles and I planned an elaborately set-up prank not entirely dissimilar to the way both he and I have been talking about site-exhaustion in our recent posts.
This – I promise you – is coincidence.
If you hold out hope, I am infinitely flattered, but I also apologize in advance for your disappointment.
Speaking of which, one of my focuses with the time and mindspace this will create is my Xbox Indie Games title, Lusipurr’s Fountain of Perpetual Disappointment. I have too many things lined up for it that I perhaps don’t deserve with all my procrastination, so I’m going to finally take advantage and make the bloody game. If I create any sort of dev blog for it, I’ll be sure to post the link in an edit to this post.
Speaking of that, I hear there are many big positive changes on the way for our sister site Lusipurr.com, so you can head over there while you wait.
There’s no timeline for when Riddlethos will return, but I promise you that it is not dead. Hell, I just renewed the domain for another 2 years. I truly feel that both Riddles and I – and especially all of our readers – have created a fantastic atmosphere and some unique and quality content that has become a living entity in both the minds of Riddles and myself.
I’m trying to wax poetic, but nothing’s coming out and I’ve said enough and Riddles still needs to say his piece. Just know that I will miss this site terribly, and that’s part of the point.
Until then, keep up with me on Twitter, and see you whenever the phoenix rises.
A Bittersweet Final Word from Riddles
When I first conceived the idea for what became Riddlethos.com, I was sitting a dark, closed-down restaurant at the end of the bar, where I had two barstools pulled down. I was sipping a Gin and Tonic if I recall, and I thought to text my friend Ethan about a certain vague idea in my mind. This is, I believe, exactly what I said:
“You, me… we could go places.”
Indeed we could. And we can. And perhaps we will.
That’s a definitive keyphrase for my life right now. Hey, it happens, I’m not crying about it. But, it makes for bad blogging – or no blogging, as it were. My poor site, Riddlethos, has been sorely neglected for some time now, and frankly it bums me out. Not quite the “vision” I have for it, as it were. But, the sad fact of the matter is that Riddlethos doesn’t pay the bills – and if I view it as a chore, it’ll only worsen the situation.
Riddlethos will always be around. But, it will always reflect the varying up and down points of mine – and Ethan’s – lives. When I put it that way, it doesn’t sound so shameful.
One of the not-so-shocking facts about videogame journalism is this: if you aren’t actively playing games, it’s damn hard to muster inspiration. Browsing news hubs can only be so thrilling when you’re not out tasting the actual, sweet nectar of the videogame industry. Gone, sadly, are the halcyon days of my youth during which I could play Final Fantasy XII for 30, 40 hours in a week and not be strapped for a single moment. More than two weeks after its initial release, I think I’ve managed to reach a whopping 18 hours on Dragon Age II. If that. Really, I’m impressed I’ve even gotten that far.
Well, no, I’m not. There have been numerous times where I’ve sat down with Dragon Age II and a notepad, intending to take some notes and write an article. But, I would always end up setting my notebook aside and playing 3, 4 hours without taking a single note. Then going to work. Rinse and repeat. (Hey, there it is again!)
But after 18 hours, I certainly have an opinion. Here’s the thing: I agree with all of the complaints about the game. I do. It’s clearly a rush job from BioWare, and while I always suspected this being the case, it’s still a little disillusioning to see the results. After 18 hours, it’s clear you never really leave the one, main city of Kirkwall. You venture to several other surrounding areas and environments – all of which feel very samey – but there’s not a single other fully realized city or environment in Dragon Age II. After the massive map of Ferelden that we were allowed to explore in Origins, it’s quite disappointing to see Dragon Age II falter like this.
But. God damn it, the game is just fun to play. It’s the most immediately engaging and playable RPG I’ve seen since Final Fantasy XII. The main reason for this is the absolutely top-notch battle system that BioWare has put together for Dragon Age II. So incredibly easy to pick up and play, and yet, BioWare has carefully preserved – and even improved – on the tactical layers beneath the action. If you’re patient enough to sit and spend time adjusting all the tactical pre-sets for your teammates, you’ll be rewarded with a well-oiled machine that deals death with style and efficiency. It’s incredibly satisfying – but even beyond that, it’s still a breeze to pause combat and issue manual orders during tougher situations. Which is good, because the game is still a good challenge on the normal difficulty setting - if you don’t take the time to pause and strategize, tougher battles can destroy you.
Beyond that, the writing is still top-notch, and the story is interesting enough to keep my attention. It’s not as desperate or epic as the story in Origins, though. Or at least it doesn’t seem to be so far. I’ll be honest and tell you: I’ve hardly advanced the main story at all in Dragon Age II. At 18 hours, I’ve just entered the Deep Roads for the first time.
Yeah. I’ve been questing like a motherfucker. Because, like I said, Dragon Age II is the most entertaining RPG I’ve played in years. I take extreme pleasure out of mowing down a throng of armed Qunari with my well-oiled fighting machine of a team. Similarly, I enjoying spending collective hours amongst the game’s menus, carefully choosing which stats to upgrade, what skills to purchase, and what tactics to set for my party members. It’s just a shame that these amazingly refined mechanics aren’t a part of a bigger, better overlying framework. I think Glenn said this first, but Dragon Age II feels more like Dragon Age 1.5.
After I finish the game, I’ll likely give it a proper review for my site. (Like you did for Dead Space 2? Oh snap!)
Ahem. But no, really, I’ll try my best. I really have a lot more I’d like to say about this one.
I just got five 3rd party 3DS games today. Far more interesting stuff than Steel Diver and Nintendogs + Cats. At the very least my next Scatter Storming will have impressions of them all.
I think we’ll keep this Dragon Age II Week thing going if Riddles doesn’t have other plans I don’t know about. I’d like to do some impressions with Riddles if he gets a shot in his busy schedule, and there’s an outside shot that I’ll get a review up.
Most of all, I’m taking the encouragement from you guys and calming down a bit about keeping Riddlethos up to date. There are a number of projects I’d like to get truly started (most importantly Lusipurr’s Fountain of Perpetual Disappointment), and that might mean keeping this site in low-gear until we can finally afford the re-design that Riddlethos has desperately needed for about 10 months.
Doesn’t mean that I won’t be updating, of course, just that I won’t be promising 17 weekly features.
The dishes are really really gross today, but I did a lot of them. In fact, I’ve been largely productive after work this whole week and it makes a difference on my psyche.
Anyway, that’s it. Let’s see if I do anymore actual work this evening.