Kitsch and Tone in XCOM:Enemy Unknown and XCOM 2

It takes me a billion years to finish games anymore. I finally just beat XCOM 2, which came out in February of 2016, so that really changes my average time to completion of a game. Only like a year this time. I was excited to start and finish this game, as its prequel XCOM: Enemy Unknown is one of my favorite time sinks.

I love XCOM: Enemy Unknown because it’s super kitschy. The enemies unknown are all classic aliens – grey aliens, skinny men in black, decked out with laser guns and set against a background of bright colors. Its fairly goofy, even when played straight, an homage to jokey alien sightings.

I love this aesthetic. I love bug eyed greyliens, men in black sightings, and saucer UFOS. Earth is under threat, and while missions do feature civilians in need of rescue before a Chryssalid kills them and turns them into a zombie, or green goo covered corpses scattering the ground, its mostly window dressing. Its hokey. Its a delight. I used to replay XCOM: Enemy Unknown every few months, and part of the appeal was the simple threat of bug-eyed aliens. Classic, goofy, and charming.

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Nightmare Log 2/6/17

The zombies have chased us into a flooded power building. Corralled us like cattle. there are dozens of use, standing in tepid, ankle-length water near the walls of the building. We try to board up the windows, to pile up debris and abandoned machinery in front of the doorways. I can hear the hordes outside – the way their feet shuffle and stumble across debris in the parking lot, the groans and idle sounds slipping from decaying lips, their hands pounding against the doors, so much dead meat.

I peer between cracks in the boards across one window. I can see him. The leader.

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Nightmare Log 4/13/16

There is someone in the house.

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Nightmare Log 3/30/16

I am driving in my red pickup truck, and it is nighttime.

I am not driving calmly.

Something has chased me off the highway and I am on a back road I do not know.

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Year End/Start Update

I sure am bad at updating this blog! I was going to make it a new year’s resolution, but didn’t bother since I knew I would immediately fail. Evidenced by the fact that I couldn’t even squeak in this update last night, technically still in the first month of the new year. Oh well, second months fine.

I’m going to try and brainstorm some ways to keep this blog relevant, as of now it is living up to its name of mainly just being a repository for links to things I’ve had published. Which isn’t bad, but isn’t the best either.

Anyways 2015 summary!:

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Nightmare Log 8/14/15

I wake up in bed, my room frigid and my breath puffing out before my face. The windows and door frame are covered with ice, and icicles are beginning to form on the walls.

There is a figure standing in the doorway.

The shadowperson wants my body heat, having spent too long out in the cold.

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July Summary

I got a flash fiction piece about werewolves called Lycanthrope Loneliness published at SpeckLit.

Short Stories I read and really recommend:

Five Pieces by Jessy Randall

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