The Professional Gamer - December 22, 2018

Hello, dear readers! We are now only a few days until Christmas, when lots of kids and geeks will suddenly have a lot of new toys. I of course am no different, at least in my expectations. New toys are something that future me will have. Present me, the one writing this post, has to make due with (mostly) old toys. So, what did I end up spending my time on this week? Anime, cartoons, and video games, but I’ll keep the details below the fold.

Since it is Christmastime, I’ve spent a good bit of free time this week with holiday specials. My favorite is still The Muppets Christmas Carol, which does such a good job of balancing the source material with the zany humor of the Muppets. But, I have a hard time feeling confident with my feelings about it: is this really a good movie, or is my love mostly nostalgia? For example, I’ve been humming “Scrooge”, “One More Sleep ‘Til Christmas” and “It Feels Like Christmas” since Thanksgiving. I added “Marley and Marley” a week or so later. The framing device, with Gonzo acting as Charles Dickens (or the narrator) offers both some of the best laughs and a chance to enjoy more of Dickens prose than would be delivered through character dialog alone.

If I try to put a more critical eye to it, the third ghost is rushed, and doesn’t spend enough time building up the level of dread to the reveal that Scrooge has died and is not mourned by anyone. Portions of the plot centering around the Cratchits always makes me cringe a bit. First, because I’m not huge on sentimental songs like “Bless Us All”. Second, because I’ve really grown to dislike Ms. Piggy. Maybe dislike is too strong of a word, but I certainly do not enjoy the style of humor that is used with her.

In the end, I’m not a good enough critic to properly evaluate this conundrum. I enjoy watching The Muppets Christmas Carol as part of my personally traditions around the holidays. And, in that way it has value. To quote “I believe [it] has done me good and will do me good and I say ‘God Bless It’”.

In the overlap of the worlds of Christmas and Geek is the Aggretsuko special A Very Metal Christmas. It’s about the same length as a regular episode and details Retsuko’s addiction to social media popularity as well as Haida pining after Retsuko. It’s fun, much like the rest of the series, and just builds my anticipation for the next season.

Continuing on to the more geeky domains: Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san and That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime continue to be the best series this season. Maybe I should clarify. They’re the only series that have held my attention this season. Feeling like I had nothing else to watch, I decided to put on the first episode of Rascal Does not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai, and boy is that a weird show. I’d seen a few other critics, who’s opinions I respect, speaking highly of it earlier in the season. I’m going to try to give it the requisite 3 episodes before I pass final judgement.

Lastly, I’ve been enjoying Elite: Dangerous as a game to play while Crystal is playing Dragon Quest or we are watching a show together. The changes to exploration are great. And for me, the best thing has been that I did not have to fly back to civilized space to restock my ship. My pre-patch setup works great for what I want to do: completionist system mapping. I’ve again set my sights on Colonia, with a plan to bring a huge stack of data into port with me. It’s a long ways away, and since I want to gather a lot of data, its going to take me a long time to get there. Maybe I can get there by next Christmas!

That’s all that I have for this week. I start two weeks of vacation now, and should have a post-Christmas report up next weekend. Until then, Happy Holidays and game on!