Deadly Premonition: The road to Greenvale

Saturday morning I stared into my coffee as I always do. I asked it what game I should play that day, and from the steam the letters D P arose. It could only have meant Deadly Premonition.

Every Saturday morning I make breakfast, get my fortune from my coffee, and do the dishes. Then I sit down and play video games. That’s the weekend ritual.

Recently I got an Xbox One. I’ve had Microsoft consoles in the past, but often second hand, and usually many years after its initial release. And for whatever reason, they never survived long. I think I parted ways with my Xbox when I moved to Seattle, and the disc drive on the 360 I bought from a kid on an ATV in the hood off Craigslist eventually stopped working. I don’t buy my consoles this way usually, but for whatever reason, I was never passionate enough to properly invest in a legit functioning Xbox. In fact, if I remember correctly, the first Xbox I got was found in an abandoned car that was brought into my dad’s auto shop. Ironically, the console had a copy of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City that was left in the disc drive. Funny how things happen.

Anyway, the only reason I got a 360 in the first place was for Deadly Premonition. I managed to beat the game, but I was never able to 100% it due to the failing disc drive. Eventually, I just let go of the console, and made a shrine for the game. After I moved to Seattle, it came out on PS3. I bought it again, of course, and beat it once more. But, again, I didn’t 100% it. And this time I didn’t have an excuse. Maybe it was just my lifestyle at the time? I attempted it, but still, I never collected all its trading cards, and never finished all 50 of its side missions.

Also, I missed the 360 version. In its attempt to “remaster” the PS3 version, the game performed worse than its original 360 counter part. Its load screens were longer, the framerate bounced all over the place — it just wasn’t the same. It’s the video game-phile in me, maybe.

Alas, the thing that finally made me get an Xbox One wasn’t its exclusives, wasn’t the fact that PUBG was on it, or that Game Pass actually seems like a really valuable service, but because Deadly Premonition is backwards compatible.

So instead of catching up on the Gears of War series that I’ve never had the chance to play until now, I decided to instead playthrough a game I already had twice, but this time, with the intent of 100%ing it from the start. Most of what’s stopped me is its silly complicated side missions that can only be done at certain times during certain chapters.

It’s also just good to really take my time again and digest this game once more. And though I’ve made a video about it being more that just “Twin Peaks the game,”playing it again is really driving that home for me, and allowing me to appreciate it even more as its own entity. Especially Francis York Morgan, which upon replaying, is much more rude then I remember the first time. Especially in the scene where puts his cigarette on a plate in the police station conference room.

Over the weekend I got to chapter 6, and this is where I’m going to attempt to slam out most of the side mission. I’ve collected maybe 10 out of the 65 trading cards. (Also, I’m trying my damnedest to not use a walkthrough.)

Contrary to getting an XBONE just for Deadly Premonition, I am trying to get through the Gears series. I’m currently trudging through number 3. Those games are fun and macho and stupid — I’m having a good time. But admittedly, I am beginning to feel burnt out on its testosterone levels. I want to get through as many games this year that I haven’t played as possible, but Deadly Premonition is like comfort food for me, and sometimes it feels more therapeutic than anything to just take a break from everything, and drive aimlessly through Greenvale’s quirky and mysterious streets.

Life Update: I’m going to the GameStop Expo in Las Vegas

I never thought I’d be going to Las Vegas. I remember when I was younger declaring that I’d never go. I also felt the same way about Florida. The place where old people go to die. But recently I’ve started to lighten up. I’ve started to make an effort in examining things differently. This shift in thinking has allowed me to look at a place like Las Vegas, and instead of cringing at all the things overtly wrong with it (its exploitation of mankind’s worst habits: prostitution, gambling, Elvis impersonators), I’ve come to embrace it in all its tacky peculiarities. From a distance, it looks like a Frankenstein’s monster of the world’s most stereotypical cultures. A confused amalgamation of everything that’s wrong—and also arguably great—with America. I’ve become fascinated by it. I want to go. And serendipitous enough, I’ll be going there for work.

I was able to receive a press pass for the 2017 GameStop Expo happening in Las Vegas on August 27. I haven’t applied for a press pass before. I assumed I wouldn’t get it. But I suppose I got lucky. I’m going as an independent journalist which means I’ll be paying my whole way there and back. I was financially stressed at first, but this is something I have to do. Not only to attend my first convention as press, but to experience Las Vegas.

At the moment, I don’t really have a game plan. I prefer that. I’ve been to PAX West so I have an idea of what to expect, but I get the impression the GameStop Expo is nowhere near as big as PAX. PAX is also happening two weeks later, and I imagine if patrons had a choice to attend one or the other, they’d go to PAX. But who am I kidding? I actually have no idea what I’m talking about.

Accompanied by my girlfriend Juliana—who’ll be armed with a DSLR—I plan on getting as much footage as I can. Really, that’s the plan. She, however, has big dreams of riding Vegas’ famous gondola. How authentic.

What I’m looking forward to playing:
If Super Mario Odyssey isn’t on the showroom floor, I’m going to pay a prostitute to hold me while I cry. Juliana will be too busy reenacting her playthrough of Fallout: New Vegas to comfort me in the case that SMO isn’t present.

Though I’ve already had my share of time with it, I’d like to give Skyrim a shot on the Switch.  Whether or not there’ll be a playable demo, I don’t know. But I’ve been on the fence with re-purchasing the game for when it comes to the Switch. I think I’m more in love with the idea of it being portable than I am with actually playing it again. I think having it in my hands will make or break that decision.

I hardly give Microsoft a chance. So I’m going to make it a point to hang around its booth, and like my perception of Vegas, try and find something to embrace. I’m hoping to see some of its exclusive indie releases like The Artful Escape, or the highly anticipated Cuphead. Good on Microsoft for swooping up some good looking indies.

In the meantime, I’ve been gearing up for the trip. I’m currently on the hunt for a good travel bag. Something that can hold my camera, a couple lenses, my mic, and any other gear I’ll need to take with me.

What am I currently playing?
I had the pleasure of a long weekend. One of those days was dedicated to playing What Remains of Edith Finch. I’m placing that one firmly in the inspiration folder of my mental attic.

Last weekend I got Realms of the Haunting from GOG. I hadn’t played the game prior, but it seemed perfectly in place with my love and fascination for full motion video games. GOG has been a wonderful blessing to allow me to experience cult pc games that I otherwise completely missed. I haven’t been able to put too much time into it… yet.

What am I reading?
I’ve been reading Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. Yes, it’s a New York Times Bestseller, and I’m sure if you’re a creative, it’s been recommended to you—as it was to me on a few occasions. I’m about halfway through, and I love it. It is, to me at least, preaching to the choir. Most of what’s in it I’ve learned along the way as a creative. But it’s always assuring to have it in print, and in a tangible book that I can refer back to when I’m in a rut. I have a shelf of books that I often go back to and skim through if I’m having trouble moving onto the next step. It’ll have a nice home there when I’m done with it.

I’ve also been picking through Jeff Lemire’s Roughnecks. Contemplating on doing a review. Not sure yet.

Also, I started a YouTube Channel. New videos every Thursday. Currently my main objective with the page is to build my onscreen presence. More specifically, I’m using this as a means to get overall more comfortable on screen, and build my skill as a cohesive speaker. I still think I have a long way to go. Here’s the channel trailer:

Thank you for reading. Till next time.

Kurt Indovina
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