Greywolfe’s Four in February, 2020

Well.

It’s that time of year again.

Time to dash through four games on my giant backlog.

This year’s going to work a LITTLE differently, though.

I’m going to be STREAMING most of what I’m playing.

So let’s talk about that.

Four in February is a yearly event that started at Joystiq by one of the writers for that esteemed website.

Since Joystiq was disbanded, the flame of the event has been kept alive by hashtags on Twitter and a Facebook page that contains art and directions for playing along. In that spirit, I want to share my plan and my games for this year.

For those new to 4if, here’s how it works:

  • You pick any four games on your backlog. It doesn’t matter what games, just choose four.
  • You complete those four games to your liking. If that means just seeing the story, then do that.
  • Your four games need not be games that you’re starting fresh. If you want to carry on playing a game that you’ve been playing, or if you want to pick up an old game with an old save file, go for it.
  • Enjoy!

You can find out more at the Four in February Facebook Group.

You can use the hashtag #4if on Twitter to document how things are going.

That’s really all there is to it.

Soooooo.

Let’s talk about my four and my plans.

What I intend to do

Over the last few years that I’ve played along, I’ve generally tried to post winning screenshots to Twitter as I’ve finished off the games I’ve been working on. I’m going to be continuing that tradition, but this year, I’m going to add another layer of weird anxiety to everything: I’m going to mostly be streaming those four games.

Why “mostly?” Well, there’s potentially a week where I’ll have family over, so I’ll be able to play, but not be able to stream.

“And which four games are you planning to play,” you might ask?

Well, that’s a good question.

I’m going to be rolling a dice to see which game I start with, but in alphabetical order, this year, I want to try:

The banner art for Eastshade depicts a foresty area, some mountains and a beautiful cloudscape, plus the game's logo.

Eastshade

Your mom visited Eastshade once upon a time and she has some memories of the place. You decide to honor her legacy by visiting it. The thing is, you’re not your mom. You’re an artist. So the best way that you can fulfill that noble ideal is to paint the places and the things that she remembers.

You do this by – essentially – taking screenshots of the world around you. Those screenshots, in turn, become little paintings, which you sell to people to make your way through the little island you’re on.

It sounds gentle and a little esoteric and I’m absolutely all for that.

The banner art for Epistory depicts you on the fox you use as a steed and some fantastic forests, rivers and places, plus the game's logo.

Epistory

I very much enjoy games with different interfaces – in the case of this specific game, your interface is your whole keyboard, since you have to type words to defend yourself against other people. I’ve been curious about this game – and this style of interface – for a while now and have fallen into a couple of other games just like it [Letter Quest comes to mind, for example.]

What attracts me, specifically to Epistory is the very – again – gentle nature of the tale.

In it, you’re a writer and you’re blocked. So you go to your muse for help. Your muse sets up a kind of fantasy land that represents the block you’re experiencing and in you go.

You “clear” areas of your block by typing things. So, for example, there might be a tree in your way and you may need to cut it down to proceed. To cut – or anything, really, you need to spell out a word that the game will drop onto the landscape. Say, in our case, the word literally was tree. Well, once you typed that in, the game does the rest and now you can go through the new path that opened up.

There’s also some RPG aspects to it and that seems quite up my alley.

The banner art for Evoland 2 sports the game's logo, surrounded on either side by trees which are all framed by a perfect, blue sky.

Evoland 2

This is a game I’ve played before.

So, technically, I guess, this is sort of cheating.

But I have an ulterior motive with this one. Since I’m going to be streaming the whole month’s worth of games, and since I played the original for YouTube, my intention is to move this playthrough to YouTube for folks who want to watch it there.

I’ve been thinking – for YEARS of a way to do this game for that platform, and now that I’m streaming, it seems about the perfect fit. [Evoland 1 was great, in that I could generally cut away from most of the overworld fights, because they were turn based. Evoland 2 doesn’t use that structure at all. And I absolutely don’t want to show everything – those little fight sequences get VERY repetitive after a bit and that’s not particularly good for YouTube.]

This is yet another game that’s about wibbly-wobbly time-y-wimey shenanigans. It’s a great little game that restored my faith in RPG’s as a whole.

The banner art for Transistor shows the mute protagonist, Red, her trusty sword and the game's logo.

Transistor

We’ve had a lot of games starting with E on this list.

So, I’m glad to announce the only game that starts with a T. :)

I like SuperGiant games a ton. But I bounced off of Bastion pretty quickly when the difficulty level of that game in the extra areas got to be a little more brutal than I was bargaining for. So I’m going to try one of their other games. Maybe this time, I’ll get to see what all the fuss is about?

Anyhow, Transistor has a GREAT sci-fi aesthetic and, evidently, a wonderful soundtrack coupled with time-stopping combat that – I hope – won’t make things too hectic and crowded for me.

Here’s to hoping.


And that, friends, is my Four in February for this year.

Let me know what you plan to play – if you’re going to be part of the event.

Good luck to everyone :)

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