Rundown (2/02-2/08) Work-Life Imbalance

  • Post category:Rundowns
  • Reading time:10 mins read
  • Post comments:4 Comments

Wherein I discuss the woes of work, high frame rate mecha action, a wonderful reprisal, and a new gloomy horizon.

In case you are out of the loop I’ve been jiving about for a couple of months now, I am currently studying for the CPA Exams, which is a hell-adjacent process that requires me to study 15 hours a week for about a year so that I may prove that I have what it takes to be a true accountant. Combine this with my part-time office job, part-time accounting job, and part-time bookkeeper job, the latter two of which have very sporadic schedules, and the time I may allot to Nigma Box related content is becoming increasingly limited as tax season comes into full swing.

Because I know this is the case, I try to stay ahead of my workload whenever possible, finishing up tasks immediately after they are given, studying for the CPA Exam ahead of my personal deadlines and producing content for Nigma Box as ahead of schedule as possible. This precaution has limited my ability to come home and relax with a video game, as I like to do, since I am constantly worried about whether or not I wrote enough this week, if I should get ahead on studying, or if I should immediately drop my relaxing evening the moment I get an email informing me of more work that needs to be done. Ugh.

Now that I’ve indulged in my weekly whining over how my privileged life wherein nothing ever bad happened is oh so hard, let’s talk about some video games. The first story to grab my attention was the announcement that the mecha action hunting game Daemon X Machina, which was released as a Switch exclusive back in September, will be making its way to PC via Steam on February 13th. While my reaction to any and every formerly console-exclusive game coming to PC is always a positive one, as it grants games a second and possibly prolonged life on an evergreen platform, I do find this decision to be a bit curious. Daemon X Machina was heavily promoted by Nintendo, to the point where it was announced via a Nintendo Direct, and it was even published by them outside of Japan. But now it is being released for a distinctly non-Nintendo platform.

Something similar happened last year with Octopath Traveler and Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, and from these three examples I can extrapolate a pattern that if a third party developed game is lauded as a Switch exclusive, then it will likely make its way to other platforms within a few months. Or, in the case of games that were published by Nintendo outside of Japan, such as Octopath Traveler and Daemon X Machina, you should only expect them to come out on PC. This inferred pattern could span to future games poised as Switch exclusives, but the only one that comes to mind at the moment is Shin Megami Tensai V, but Atlus is weird about putting their games on PC, so I kind of doubt it. Also, Astral Chain and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 will probably won’t leave the Switch, as they are both fully funded by Nintendo as far as I can tell.

Or at least that was my running theory, but you can probably throw all of that into the garbage because The Wonderful 101 is being remastered for Switch, PS4, and PC. Yes, following a partnership with Chinese gaming conglomerate Tencent, PlatinumGames has begun a Kickstarter campaign to bring their seminal Wii U passion project to a brand new audience who likely ignored the title’s original release, which was a sales bomb and was met with a mixed critical reception.

This decision by Platinum, to crowdfund and self-publish ports of this game on their own, is supposedly due to how nobody else was willing to publish the game for them, with Nintendo having turned a proposed Switch port, which Platinum began teasing as early as 2017. According to the Kickstarter FAQ page, Nintendo, who financed and published this game for the Wii U in 2013, has permitted Platinum to port this game on their own, and to any platform, despite retaining at least some ownership of the title. A move that’s unprecedented considering how protective Nintendo tends to be over their intellectual property, but this is an appreciated gesture regardless.

I have… significant issues playing games with stringent ranking systems, like the one seen in The Wonderful 101, so I am not especially interested in giving this game a go, let alone investing $36 in it for a digital copy. But I can certainly appreciate and admire the gesture that this Kickstarter represented, and I am happy to see it met with such unanimous success, having amassed roughly $1.5 million by the time I am getting this post prepped for publication.

Continuing this week’s theme of Nintendo, or at least Nintendo-adjacent topics, let’s talk for a moment about data backups. In this modern digital era, preserving one’s files, data, and documents has become very important due to people’s reliance on technology and the omnipresent possibility of devices breaking, experiencing hardware failure, and for everything stored on them to be erased. This is especially true for portable devices, such as smartphones, laptops, or handheld game systems, which are also far more susceptible to theft. If somebody were to steal a laptop with documents you spent hundreds if not thousands of hours working on, it would be pretty devastating, no?

Well, the most obvious answer to me is that if you have files you want to preserve, set up a backup storage device and back it up regularly. But that is becoming an increasingly outdated concept from what I have observed, cloud storage and backups are steadily becoming the modern standard. So modern that even Nintendo uses cloud saves in the Nintendo Switch… but they don’t always use it where it matters the most. Why don’t they use it for persistent online games where players can invest hundreds of hours into various playthroughs? Probably the same reason why the Switch does not allow players to backup their save data manually without the use of third party software. Nintendo is kind of bad at this sort of stuff, and nobody really knows why.

There are plenty of measures to combat cheating while still using cloud saves, so that clearly cannot be the actual issue, and whatever the actual reason is likely does not matter given what happened this past week. It was reconfirmed that Animal Crossing: New Horizons will not allow players to backup their save data. People got chuffed, Nintendo commented that they were considering adding cloud saves to the game, and then they announced that cloud saves would come to New Horizons after launch. But through a specialty service different than Nintendo Switch Online, and that is only available to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers whose Switch gets damaged, lost, or stolen… Oh, and you can only create one island in New Horizons per system. If you want a new island with new villagers, you need another Switch or delete your save data.

…Sometimes, I just get really sick of Nintendo and their ability to trounce about such nonsense, because I know that this game, and Nintendo by extension, will be greeted with love and adoration upon release, as while these frustrating anti-features are a concern to many, their presence likely won’t be a deal-breaker for any. I mean, it wouldn’t be for me at the very least. But I suppose that does not really matter, as I most definitely will not be purchasing this life-consuming piece of entertainment.

That’s all for this week. Until next time, my miniscule audience. Until next time…

Header image comes from Student Transfer.

…Actually, on the subject of Student Transfer, the skeleton of Version 5 is currently being assembled, indicating that a new build will be released in the near future. Hopefully, it will come out at a time when I’m not drowning in work and can dedicate the time needed to enjoy the game, write a review, and create a handy dandy flowchart. But knowing the dev team, their release history, and my luck, it will come out on March 31st. Also known as The Dawn of the Restless Fortnight for All Tax Professionals and Their Aides.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. qwerty

    Speaking for myself, as far as I’m concerned Nigma Box should be treated as a hobby rather than an obligation lest it serves as a stress factor for no good reason. By all means write when you wanna and I’ll read it when I feel so inclined, but don’t feel like you have to fill some quota. Better to serve on a “when it’s done” basis so you have time for some other things as well; and when a new article does show up, the audience is free to read at their convenience. Also working three jobs at once while also studying, sheesh. America is brutal.

    1. Natalie Neumann

      While I do appreciate what readership I do have, I ultimately make content for Nigma Box to satisfy my personal desire to create something, and if I do not do so with regularity, I start to worry about whether or not I am doing enough and begin feeling back about my supposed lack of progress on things. A weekly schedule gives me regular deadlines that I enjoy meeting, while not being too overbearing. I could adopt a more sporadic update schedule, but I simply do not want to.

      Also, I do not necessarily work the jobs I do because I need to, but rather as a means of helping others in need of the services I can provide while accumulating both precious savings and experience. It is certainly an odd arrangement and one I will continue to involve myself with for the next year or so. After that, I honestly have no idea where I will go, just that I will be upsetting a lot of people when I do move on, as everybody I work for seems to value the things I do. Also, this arrangement has basically nothing to do with me living in the United States.

      1. qwerty

        Fair enough, I stand corrected.
        I hear too many horror stories about people working multiple jobs over there due to not being able to make end’s meet, and started assuming things.

        1. Natalie Neumann

          I completely understand, and appreciate, your concern. I probably should have clarified that I’m still living with my parents and do not truly need my three jobs.