For the past few days, I’ve just been playing Ghost of Tsushima without really being able to upload playthroughs because as of this past Tuesday, I woke up to a power outage that lasted for 8 hours and then subsequently didn’t have internet for the next 4 days. I’ve basically done every side quest I could possibly find in Ghost of Tsushima’s Act 2, which means I have every piece of armor except for the one unlockable in Act 3. Most of the character quests also need only the last mission before they’re completed. I’ve enjoyed the Lady Adachi, Yuna, Kenji, and Norio missions. The bowman person seems a bit pointless apart from the story portion of him using civilians to further his search for his wayward student. Overall, I really am loving the game despite the generic story because it offers so much open-world exploration of Feudal Japan, customization, and the combat is incredibly fun. Also, it helps that I like both Yuna and Sakai Jin as characters despite the story surrounding them being as generic as they come. Despite the black and white morality of the story when Jin speaks with a certain detractor as to his methods, it helps there is enough moral ambiguity mixed into the story when we realize Jin’s methods save more lives in the long run than the honorable way. At least, insofar as Act 2. I haven’t gone far in Act 3. I’ve slayed every Mongol encampment and liberated Southern and Middle portions of Tsushima with only the northern portion of the last 15 encampments left. I had hoped to share such experiences online, but it obviously wasn’t possible with the internet outage. I’m so glad I got time to fully experience Ghost of Tsushima as a byproduct of the internet outage though, since there was a lack of things to do.
I think I handled the internet outage better than the rest of my family. My parents were restless and bored the entire way through and my sibling couldn’t find much to do besides pace around the house. Spending time on Ghost of Tsushima helped keep me focused on an activity. If it had been 5 days of a blackout, I’d have been just as restless because reading my Kindle when the house’s humidity increases definitely makes it harder to focus on actually reading. Menial leisure like sleep become more difficult due to the heat as well. A particular trend that has gradually begun to bother me is that the constant monthly blackouts this year makes it feel as if New York and the US in general has become no different than a third-world country. It may not seem like it at first, but constant blackouts and humidity leading to boredom and irritableness are telling signs. Many people in the West seem to have this misconception that there’s more important things than mere boredom in a blackout, but boredom is a crucial issue and a potentially dangerous one if left unchecked. People become more irritable, more prone to picking fights, and arguing. That’s why it is best to occupy your time productively by doing something fun or perhaps helping others. Both of my parents have grown-up in third-world conditions in India during their childhood and for my mom into early adulthood, and both of them are telling me that these constant blackouts really are becoming noticeably similar to third-world poverty conditions. To many Westerners this sounds preposterous and even unthinkable, and when I ask my parents why that is, my mother would shrug and tell me that they lack the imagination of understanding what it is like to live in third-world poverty. Constant blackouts, unchecked infections, a hoarding and decline of access to basic necessities like food in grocery stores, lack of access to personal amenities, and growing irritableness leading to violent protests or unchecked violence elsewhere are third-world poverty style conditions. I can only compare it to a brief period where I stayed in the village areas of India that lacked clean running water and electricity during a visit there. Apart from superior technology like laptops and game systems, and a nicer bathroom, it really isn’t all that different, but my perspective on this is much more limited than my own parents’ views.
I had hoped to get more writing done a week ago, but sadly such plans couldn’t come through as a result of the blackout and internet outage. I took these past two days to just enjoy surfing the web aimlessly and getting back in contact with close friends. I’ve been feeling completely sapped of energy due to the pandemic, internet outages, and increasing number of total blackouts where I live. I really think the US needs to start stepping up to its claims of American exceptionalism and being the “greatest country in the world” right now; not later in a few months, but now. The articles I’ve been reading on the Pandemic and the fact it continues to be widespread at a rate even worse than a much larger country like India is very telling. Arguments about the incompetence of other countries are just beginning to fall to deaf ears to me, because the US prattles on about other countries problems from its foreign policy establishment to its cable news networks, but somehow falls flat on its face repeatedly in worse ways than these other countries and their issues. If the US is really much better in knowledge, technology, and resilience, then it has failed to show it in the 30 years that I’ve been alive. It has repeatedly fallen flat on its face with endless wars, debt, deficit spending (a trillion dollars’ worth at this point), and its current healthcare debacle. The US can keep harping all about how it’s the greatest on earth; it needs to start proving it right now or to just take a bow and be silent. At this point, complaining about how other countries – even Brazil – is handling the pandemic just looks completely pathetic on the part of US politicians, journalists, and even reporters from other countries. We need to stop pointing at others to complain about them and start fixing our own problems in order to get our act together. If anything, I’ve learned how fragile and fallible the entire world from its leaders to its people really are. Resilience has certainly not been the lesson learned from repeated failures. Time for the US to put-up or shut up.
As for me, I’m going to try finishing up these projects that I had meant to complete near the end of last month and then try to put much greater focus on writing the fantasy novel I mentioned months earlier. That’ll take a lot of work, so I’m not sure how often I can keep posting and updating on this blog in the meantime. I may post reviews of Ghost of Tsushima and Tales of Crestoria, but that’s not guaranteed. On a more positive note, despite my own misgivings, this has been a generally great year for me. Two years ago, I started blogging in support of Ex-Muslim groups and then got to meet two of the people who I considered heroes via streaming, even if my own conclusion was ultimately a disappointing one for me and the discussions probably weren’t very productive as it just seemed to highlight further irreconcilable differences. Atlus Japan announced Shin Megami Tensei V and a Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster which I am very excited for. Tales of Arise is still an upcoming title I look forward to; it had to be pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic which is understandable. I may have permanently been laid off as my job informed me a month into the stay-at-home orders due to the pandemic, but I had a pretty productive year catching up with my backlog of reading visual novels I enjoyed and playing a video game that surpassed the hype. I made a lot of progress researching and outlining before actually writing my fantasy novel. If I can finish it this year, then it’ll be a major personal success. Overall, a lot more positives than negatives.