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Review: Stardew Valley (2016)

Developed by ConcernedApe
Published by Chucklefish
Released: February 26th, 2016
Avabile: Steam, XBox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PSVita, IOS & Andriod

Let’s chat about Stardew Valley.

Years ago, I had gotten a GameBoy Advanced and found a game called Harvest Moon. I was obsessed with it. I would sit on the couch and play for hours, ignoring the world around me. I never thought I would find something like that again. I played other Harvest Moon games, but they weren’t the same. In comes Stardew Valley.

I was so excited when I saw it was coming out that I squealed and told everyone. I wanted everyone to hopefully experience the same wonder that I had playing Harvest Moon, I prayed that it would be amazing and was not disappointed. It blew away my expectations. 

Now that you know I love the game, let’s talk about the actual game.

You start off, unfortunately, with the passing of your grandfather, who hands you an envelope and tells you to open it when you are at your lowest. Next, you are seen working in a cubicle at Joja Corporation and obviously hating your job. You remember the note and open it. It’s telling you that you inherited a farm in Stardew Valley. Obviously, you drop everything and bounce. Peace, Joja.

You arrive in town and meet Robin, the carpenter, and Lewis, the mayor. They show you to your farm and tell you a few basics. 

There are 4 seasons and 28 days in each season. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. You plant crops according to the season. You go fishing, cook delicious food, upgrade your house, get farm animals, and, obviously, earn money. 

What’s better is that you are surrounded by these amazing NPCs that have their own stories, hardships and personalities. You can date and even marry several of them, regardless of gender. You can make friends with everyone. 

Their stories unfold and you really get pulled in, wanting to help these NPCs in their struggles. It’s really touching and extremely well written.

Not to mention fighting monsters in the mine, the festivals, the secrets and so many achievements. Also, the addition of multiplayer means you can farm with up to 3 friends. 

With several different farm map options, no real ‘end’ to the game, and the ability to decorate and change your farm around as you wish, the fun can be endless. 

I feel like Stardew Valley has something for everyone. It’s only $14.99 and with no paid DLC, the game is a steal. I only have 13 farms and over 300 hours in the game to prove it.

On a more personal note, this game has also gotten me through really tough times, depressive episodes, and moments when I had no strength left. I could turn it on and disappear for a few hours and come out feeling better. It’s always had a calming effect on me. I’m eternally grateful for that.

Oh, and if nothing I said above is impressive, this game was made by 1 person. The entire game, all aspects. 1 person. Let that sink in.

Do you play? What’s your favorite farm type? Who’s the best spouse? Show me screenshots of your farm!

Top 10 Video Games I played in 2018

I know what you’re thinking, it’s June of 2019 Crymson, this should have been up in January.

Well, I’m a busy person who also procrastinates (and Vanri totally didn’t even edit this for 2 more months).

Also, this list isn’t about games that came out in 2018, just what I played.

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  1. Five Nights At Freddy’s – This stress-filled horror game is enough to make me punch actual things. I beat 1 & 2 on stream and haven’t gone back for 3. I loved playing them but the amount of stress that came with each night increasing was a lot and I needed a long break. Doesn’t mean I will never return to the series, just have to forget the horror to actively relive it.

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  1. 7 Days to Die – Why so early in the list for a game I play often. Because as much as I love this survival horror game it can get a bit repetitive, I do love that they are always updating and adding new things, and right now my goal is just to make 365 days… if it weren’t for the bear apocalypse.

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  1. Graveyard Keeper – A fun game I started playing last year, with adorable Mixer integration on Xbox. It’s a graveyard sim with a story? Fix it, bury it, burn it, fish it, the game has a lot of it. My only problem is the Xbox is behind on the PC updates and I find it challenging to remember what all I was doing if I take long breaks because there is SO MUCH TO ALWAYS DO. At least I am never bored.

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  1. Overwatch – I just got into the game last year and love it. It, like everything, is better with friends and now have it on PC, the list of people to play with is greatly expanded. I still am not sure who I main and I don’t play it constantly as to prevent burnout but I still get joy with my salt when I do play.

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  1. Creativerse – I played this game A LOT. Free to play on PC, this is a Minecraft inspired building game. I love building new things, playing with blueprints and running from the corrupted zone. However, breaks are a plus with this game given that the creative juices can run out.

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  1. Dead By Daylight– Easily one of my favorite games. DBD always has something interesting coming and it feeds my need for horror and my lack of time commitment. I can jump in and play a few matches without having to get invested in a story or remember what I was doing last time. Also for a game that frequently goes on sale, it is cost effective. Allowing you to play on maps and be hunted by new killers, even if you haven’t bought the latest DLC.

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  1. Assassin’s Creed: Origins – I never said I had to beat the game. Origins competes with Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag for my all time favorite Assassin’s Creed game. I’ve love ancient Egypt since I was a kid and this brought all that wonder right back to me. I love so much about it that I’m disappointed I never finished it but it’s massive and there is so much to do and I must complete it all. The story, characters, it is all magic.

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  1. Murdered: Soul Suspect – A highly underrated game. I enjoyed playing this immensely and finished it before my trip to Salem, Mass. Which looks nothing like the game. However, I was highly entertained and invested the whole time. I even enjoyed the side stories and collecting achievements. If you get the chance, play it.

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  1. Stardew Valley – I know it’s been out for years and I play it very often. There is a reason. It is an amazing game that I adore. For me the replay value is priceless. I also still have a lot of people to marry. Currently, I’m streaming this on Thursday nights on RWoG channels.

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  1. Vampyr – I absolutely loved playing Vampyr. It had to be my favorite of 2018. It was almost everything I want in an RPG and when the protagonist Jonathan got a little dominate I nearly melted off my chair. I was a bit disappointed with the ending I got but that just means I’ll have to play it again.

 

Do you agree? Disagree? Is there a game I need to play? Let me know in the comments!

In the Age of the Geek, the Hate is Too Strong

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When I was growing up, I kept most of my nerdy shit to myself. No one at school knew I played Magic: the Gathering, painted Warhammer armies or played more tabletop games than they could name (which was probably none). I was already an outcast with zero friends, why make it worse for myself by sharing that which I loved and occupied most of my waking moments?

All of that has changed. The nerd flags are flying proudly enough that I will (and have) stopped people for their Firefly t-shirt, Vampire: The Masquerade pin or Star Wars car decal. Of course, this is still thought of as weird now that nerd is a little more mainstream and the culture isn’t what it was even 10 years ago. There used to be this feeling of a secret club and we were so excited when we found each other, but now I encounter far more glares than excited chatter.

I’ve noticed a trend on social media that I find disturbing. Now, before I go into this rant, I am all for free speech and saying what you want but somewhere we lost some niceities, please let me explain.

I recently posted a meme that I saw flying around, “If you tattooed one song title on your body, what would it be?” and my good buddy Vince responded with ‘Imagine.’ For those of you who don’t know, it is a song by John Lennon that is quite old and by far one of my least favorite songs, mainly due to the fact that we sang it in choir (yes, I was in choir) and we sang it at Nausium. It was big at the time, so not only did I sing the crap out of this song I already wasn’t a fan of, I also had to hear it at length. I responded with, “Sorry, dislike.” He responded with a frowny face. Now, I don’t know if this actually ruined his day or not. I’m unsure, but the point is that I didn’t need to say it. Saying that I disliked it didn’t prove anything. It didn’t make the world a better place. In fact, in that moment, I doubt he smiled. So I robbed the world of a smile which, to me, is sinful.

I’m sure you are searching for a point in all of this ramble, but I assure you that I have one and it’s simple. We don’t have to advertise everything we don’t like. Honestly, who cares? Of course there are exceptions to this. Food being one. You don’t want to go to a friends house and eat something you can’t stand because you’re afraid to tell them what you didn’t like. Clothes shopping is important to state what you do and don’t like. These are acceptable, but that isn’t the trend I’m seeing. What I’m seeing is people boasting about something they like, love, adore and the response being a list of 39 reasons their friend doesn’t like it.

I’ve sat and listened to friends and strangers talk at length about the things they love that, at the time, I had no interest in. I could see the joy on their faces, the excitement, the passion. It feels so lost anymore, but I can see all of it as they explain My Little Pony, Warhammer, their favorite writer or their favorite game. They are sharing their love with me and seeing their joy brings me joy, so of course I pay attention. I recently started watching My Little Pony  with my daughter and I love it. If I had stopped them and said I didn’t like their interest and explained why, what would that have accomplished? I would have wiped the joy from their faces and possibly disappointed them. We are given so few chances to gush about the things we love.

Even Vanri looked at my farm on Stardew Valley because I loved it and I put so much work into it. She asked questions and made comments; it made me so happy because she was showing interest in something I enjoyed. She could have told me no and explained that she wasn’t that interested in it as I was, which I knew, but sometimes excitement takes over and you just want to share it with someone else. What did it cost her? Some time? It’s worth it just to make a friend happy.

I’m asking us to dial back on the hate, even just the simple dislike. Let someone rant and ramble on about what they love. Don’t post that negative comment on a post about someone’s happiness. There is a lot of hate going on in the world, a lot of negative. Let the positive reign just for a little bit.