Half the year is over already. Crazy. Meanwhile, at work we wrap-up one financial year and begin the kick-off activities for the next. Booooriiiiing. (Well no, it isn’t- but probably would be for you.)

Around here, for the blog, I made some changes! It had been on my mind for a while to branch out, diversify my content a bit. Old thinking would suggest a need to set up a whole separate blog for anything new, though. But I’d been there, failed that. So new thinking was clearly in order. Fortunately, between Belghast, Bhagpuss and Hannah there was new thinking to be found.

And that thinking says seperate blogs for separate content is silly when you have a perfectly good one all ready to go. So with that in mind, you’ll start to see the odd book review here! Not too often. I read slowly, just for leisure. Typically while falling asleep. Some nights that can be an hour or two but I’d say on average about 30 minutes. That said- I take my Kindle with me almost everywhere. Waiting for a coffee order? Reading. Walking between buildings? Reading. So I get a bit more in here and there too.

I’d guess about a book per month. Although I did set a higher Goodreads target for the year, ever so slightly. :)

Looking Back

One Year Ago

Anddul: Blogger City (in Cities: Skylines)
  • To the Moon Play-Along ran its course over the month of June 2020, with a great number of participants and commentary around our interpretations of the game. I’d always meant to follow this up with a play-along of the sequel, Finding Paradise, but just never quite got there. Maybe when the third in the series gets an updated release date?
  • Anddul: Blogger City was kicked off as a Cities: Skylines project, where the idea was to bring in names from the community as various landmarks — ranging from single properties, to streets, to public services to full districts and parks. I made it through to part 6 before abandoning the series, which is two more than the one before it I guess.
  • I found what might be the silliest reason for avoiding early access games — there are plenty if good reasons to avoid early access games if you so choose, but I’m not sure this is one of them. This being the annoyance at achievements being added later after I’ve already done a lot of the things that would have otherwise earned them.

Two Years Ago

Steam Library: Showing the ultimate power of drag ‘n drop collection creation! Oh my!
  • E3 2019 happened — in contrast to E3 2020, which didn’t. This was the last one until this year’s on account of COVID-19 ruining all things involving people sharing space. A lot of the featured games of E3 2019 have since actually released. True, perhaps Cyberpunk 2077 shouldn’t have. But it did. Still waiting on Ghostwire: Tokyo though.
  • Steam announced the Library update — something I was actually quite excited about but ended up being a wee bit of a disappointment. I keep hoping for another feature pass to tidy up some of the rough edges here, but I think we might be in for a long wait on that one.

Gaming Goals

June’s Goals

  • Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition — Finish the game.
    I’ve been loving my time with the game so far. Not least because it has opened my eyes to the possibility of real-time ray tracing in games, true. But also because it seems a fantastic game in its own right!

I set only one goal for June, so it’s a good thing I managed to actually do it. Although… I didn’t end up playing the DLC. I just completed the main game. Still counts, to my reckoning though!

July’s Goals

You know what? I don’t know.

I’m taking the month off!

I think finally admitting that I’ve in truth quit WoW has been something of a relief. A pressure release valve of sorts. Even though I typically do make my ‘goals’ pretty low intensity anyway, I think I’d like to just bask in that sense of freedom a little longer.

Games Played June 2021

RankGameHours% Gaming Time
1Satisfactory23.037.4%
2Cities: Skylines14.223.0%
3Forza Horizon 410.216.5%
4Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition5.58.9%
5Final Fantasy XIV2.33.8%
6Among Us2.13.3%
7Dark Souls: Remastered1.72.8%
8Gunfire Reborn1.52.4%
9XCOM 21.21.9%
Links are to posts about the game in question which were made this month — where multiple posts were made this month about a game; may link to the category instead.

The big surprise for me this month is the discovery of Forza Horizon 4. It’s been sitting there on the Xbox Gamepass just waiting for me to take notice of it basically ever since I got the pass. But I, for reasons now incomprehensible to even myself, just… refused to give it a go.

What finally got me in, was that the Forza Horizon 5 E3 trailer — music choice notwithstanding — made me quirk a brow in interest.

It has been a long, long time since I really got into a racing game, so when I finally remembered Forza Horizon 4 was ready and waiting for me to give the series a shot and gain a little more insight into everything… Well; in I hopped.

I think I was expecting the series to be quite dry and technical. Boy was I wrong. It’s an open world, multiplayer romp in cars ranging from the very silly (three-wheelers, minis, those kinds of things) through to the very expensive. The events range from the super-serious, very ‘proper’ track races, through to just getting from A to B in whatever means you see fit, through to just mucking around on the open map thumbing your nose at speed traps, finding high places to jump off, or houses to buy and store your many, many, many cars in.

Suffice to say, Forza Horizon 5 has shot way up from ‘eh, almost made it to my list of trailers in a post’ to perhaps ‘most anticipated game this year’.

I would heartily recommend anyone who has ever had fun with a driving game give Forza Horizon 4 a shot in the meantime — and if you do, let me know so can add you to my Xbox Gamepass friends list. Even if our timezones don’t match up, each others ‘Drivatars’ can show up in each others games and races.

It doesn’t hurt that it’s set in the UK either; that’s a bit of fun. I do now regret missing FH3 though which was set closer to home in Australia. When’s the New Zealand edition coming, that’s what I want to know.

Books Read June 2021

The world of Garn, the setting of Raymond E. Feist’s latest series: The Firemane Saga

Well, not really ‘Books’ plural, there was just the one.

I started, finished and reviewed King of Ash, the first book in Raymond E. Feist’s latest series, The Firemane Saga.

Reading back over my review, I’m certain it comes off more harshly than I intended it to. I did indeed quite like the book — it just wasn’t blow-my-socks-off amazing.

I’ve jumped immediately into the second book, Queen of Storms, perhaps as some indication.

…Although I must also admit, it does take a lot to make me put down a book (or even series) once started. The last time I did either, I think, was Robin Hobb’s Soldier’s Son trilogy; I just couldn’t make it through even the first book despite loving all the rest of Hobb’s work.

So far, I haven’t been going as fast with Queen of Storms, but that has little to do with the book itself and more to do with the fact I’ve just been so tired this past week or so that I’ve been falling asleep with barely a few pages read. Still, it is my intent to get through it and review it this month.

The Blog

13 posts published in June. I had intended for it to be at least one more than that but as noted, sleep has had its way with me of late. Still- I’ll take it, it’s one up over May’s count. Overall, Time to Loot has 426 published posts (including this one).

Otherwise, as you might have noticed — I’ve changed the sidebar to include a couple of Goodreads widgets (currently reading, and reading challenge) — and as discussed a couple of times now in this very post, I’ve diversified the content here to include the odd book review in addition to my usual gaming stuff.

Oh- and one more change that might be coming; I might permanently drop covering the Humble Choice bundles month on month. I haven’t done a post for June at all; I paused my subscription for the month. I think July is going to be my decider. The game list for July should be out over the course of the coming week and then I’ll decide what I’m doing with it.

Most Viewed Posts

  1. Humble Choice: May 2021
  2. Humble Choice: April 2021
  3. Humble Choice: March 2021
  4. Humble Choice: February 2021
  5. Humble Choice: January 2021

There we go. Full set. It’s been close before, but this is the first time all five of the top most viewed posts for a month solely consisted of Humble Choice coverage.

Deep Rock Galactic: The Solo Experience is coming in at #6, but I can almost guarantee it would’ve been down at least one more spot had I done the June Humble Choice post.