He/Them and all that jazzzzzz
Shmogus the Firsth#0451
I like to write—more accurately, ramble. The quality varies wildly and may be inconsistent. I don't care—this is my platform.
My pfp comes from an old friend I met on Miiverse several years ago, and I'm keeping it that way for sentimental value.
My name is an intentionally butchered version of a graffiti tag on the concrete slab below a streetlamp I once saw. It has no meaning other than, 'I need a new username NOW and I can't think of anything.'
Personal Ratings



Gained 750+ total review likes

1 Years of Service

Being part of the Backloggd community for 1 year


Created 10+ public lists

GOTY '22

Participated in the 2022 Game of the Year Event


Gained 100+ followers


Created a list folder with 5+ lists


Gained 300+ total review likes

Gone Gold

Received 5+ likes on a review while featured on the front page

Trend Setter

Gained 50+ followers


Gained 100+ total review likes

Well Written

Gained 10+ likes on a single review


Played 100+ games


Gained 15+ followers


Voted for at least 3 features on the roadmap

Best Friends

Follow and be followed by at least 3 others


Liked 50+ reviews / lists


Gained 3+ followers


Gained 10+ total review likes

GOTY '21

Participated in the 2021 Game of the Year Event

Favorite Games

Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2
NieR: Automata
NieR: Automata
Lone Survivor: The Director's Cut
Lone Survivor: The Director's Cut
Katana Zero
Katana Zero
LittleBigPlanet 2
LittleBigPlanet 2


Total Games Played


Played in 2023


Games Backloggd

Recently Played See More

Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2

Mar 02

Mafia II
Mafia II

Feb 12

Persona 5 Royal
Persona 5 Royal

Jan 26

Grand Theft Auto IV
Grand Theft Auto IV

Jan 09

The Last of Us Part I
The Last of Us Part I

Dec 26

Recently Reviewed See More

Dishonored is one of the few games I've ever played where a direct recommendation of "play this with a controller/keyboard and mouse" cannot be made. Generally speaking, I enjoy playing stealth games with a controller. Stealth, like racing games, is a genre that benefits greatly from analog sticks. At the heart of a great stealth game is nail-biting tension and suspense. Vulnerability is stressed through risk outweighing reward. On a keyboard, all of your inputs are static. Are you pressing up? Good, you're moving up. Jolting an analog stick up can mean the difference between shuffling silently and bringing in nearby ears for inspection. Even in games where this choice tends to be an illusion, it heightens the already high stakes of weaving in and out of crowded spaces as little more than a specter in the night. If that's how you choose to play Dishonored, I recommend it. Leaning and inventory management can feel a little less natural than they would on a keyboard, but they're functional and aren't as distracting as they could potentially be. In the words of Godd Howard himself, "it just works."
The other side of the coin is this: combat-based playthroughs require vastly more precision than two analog sticks can allow. Far from the stealth game half of this game is, aggressive playstyles in Dishonored turn the game into a psychotically frenetic action-platformer about style. The ability to teleport goes from a neat tool for traversing large areas undetected to a weapon that allows you to change your position on the fly. Double jumping allows you to exploit the verticality of each level, creating moments where countering an attack means raising a blade from above as often as it does parrying a swing. Grenade kills are a gory spectacle that separates torsos from limbs and then torsos from themselves. But this brutality exists for more than shock value alone. Each decapitated body part can be picked up and thrown to be used as a distraction or to stagger oncoming attacks. Being of the same lineage of Dark Messiah, Dishonored features a host of supernatural abilities to go alongside teleportation, one of which allows you to throw enemies to the ground with a gust of wind. Paired with the ability to stop time completely, falling bodies go from quick executions to rather grim bridges used to access nearby rooftops. Also paired with the ability to turn the weapons of your enemies into your own, it allows you to disintegrate unaware platoons. As both a stealth game and a power fantasy, Dishonored succeeds.
As a narrative? I don't know what to tell you. This is where things start to get a little bit more complicated. At the heart of Dishonored isn't its cast of characters or the journey you go on but the morality of your actions. The choice to go silent or to leave bodies in your wake is one not only made for your character but the world he lives in. Going on a murderous rampage causes everyone to hate you while the world falls to shit. It's daring and bold, and I can't say it works entirely because this game loves to give you tools to just murder the fuck out of everyone. Your supernatural powers can be used to sneak around guards. But when upgrades can make my powers deadlier while others encourage me to go on thoughtlessly violent killing sprees, I don't know if I feel like the game is trying to instill any morals in me and succeeding in its job. Especially since the detail of this setting only makes me care about the characters I'm told to get rid of, the non-violent approach to Dishonored's narrative can feel a bit hollow.
Outside of that, though, this is one of the best immersive sims I've ever played. This is one of those quintessential 'reload your save every five minutes' games, and it's always a blast to revisit. I do wish its attitude toward women were a little friendlier. I wouldn't say it's the most misogynistic game I've ever played, but averypaledog's review hits the nail on its head.

poo long
fallen dy-nasty

You're the first to race this track!
You'll be enshrined as the track's creator for all time.
And you've earned 100 coins.
If you want a good frame of reference for how our culture adapts to change, consider that AudioSurf was released a full three years before Spotify came out in the United States. As one of the first independent titles to really use Steam's API on Valve's, at the time, infamously closed off platform, it was considered significant enough to come in a bundle of twelve other independent titles officially endorsed by Valve in 2011, with a fancy TF2 hat to go along with it.

is not a game that could be released today and have the same impact. Case in point: when AudioSurf 2 was released with YouTube functionality and had its already minuscule playerbase disintegrate into double digits when it had to be gutted with no replacement in mid-2018. Music Racer, a less popular alternative priced at only two dollars, was released a month later with YouTube integration. To Audiosurf 2's credit, it managed to maintain a small but dedicated playerbase two years after its launch. To Music Racer's credit, it did ten times that in only fourteen months. If you want further proof that these games aren't sustainable anymore, in January of 2023, almost seven years after its release and my favorite of these games, Riff Racer, shut its doors for good.
As all functionality is tied to online connectivity, you can longer purchase Riff Racer on Steam. To add insult to injury, without online connectivity, you cannot play any new songs. However, thanks to the efforts of a dedicated individual, Riff Racer is not entirely lost to time. Yet. But the competitive angle is gone for good. From here on out, all scores recorded in the replacement server were scores recorded before the official one turned off.
Racing along the bright neon colors with pulse-pounding music, causing the speed of the bar I'm chasing to outweigh my human capabilities without the ghost of another player to challenge me, Riff Racer begins to feel oddly hollow. But it would be wrong to blame the developers who couldn't afford to keep their servers running. It's the same issue with AudioSurf and its sequel, Music Racer, Beat Hazard, and any other game of this mold. In our current day and age of Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube, TikTok—fuckit, Pandora—who's buying MP3s anymore? The market for that isn't nonexistent. You can still go on Amazon, find a brand new album, and then pay to own a digital copy of it that's not reliant on their servers. But you have to go out of your way to do that (e.g. Amazon forces you to go through their interface for streaming music, and then click on a small button with three bubbles, to even see the option to buy MP3s). The only websites that are marketing themselves on MP3s nowadays are the YouTube download sites not killed by Google, shady Russian ventures only frequented by the desperate, and Bandcamp. As much as I adore Bandcamp, its artists range in recognition from Carpenter Brut to The Skeletones Four. You can't convince me that it's a mainstream site when all of its most popular acts are on other services, and the ones that aren't are niche bands like Battery Operated Orchestra.
Whether or not the shift to streaming has been beneficial largely depends on perspective. From the perspective of an artist, royalties can be a pain in the ass. Spotify is notorious for paying their artists' jack shit, and Apple isn't much better. It's easy to say that the ideal solution would be something like Bandcamp, where you get to stream as much of the music as you like if you're online, but you can only access the album offline if you've paid for it. But that'd be like saying WinRAR's business model has paid dividends in casual markets. As a consumer, it's convenient; you don't have to slap down tons of money for something you may or may not like. But if you're a game developer working around music that the user has control over, I can only imagine the headache. Right now, these kinds of games have to be in an adapt-or-die mentality. The only reason Beat Hazard has had two successors is because it's been willing to change its model to whatever the user is playing on their desktop. This creates the issue that games might run in perpetuity instead of playing out as levels. Between that and having to pay streaming services or face the reality that you're working on something downright ancient, unfortunately, there isn't much of a middle ground.
I liked Riff Racer a lot, and I still do. Playing through the entirety of Jasper Byrne's 2019 album Night with outrun aesthetics is a vibe I didn't know I wanted to feel. And it goes without saying that the visual style, plus the drift-based gameplay loop, makes this perfect for synthwave music and the occasional goofy track like that one from Initial D and that other one from that Fast and Furious movie that makes Enter the Void look like an accurate portrayal of Japan in comparison. I'm sad to say that I can't recommend this experience to you because you are no longer able to buy it. I pity the developers, truly. I want them to be proud of the thing they've created because I think they should. But outside of a fan patch with its own expiration date, they've lost the race. In retrospect, I can see them patting themselves on the back. But it's dead, and unless some act of god intervenes, it's going to stay that way.
Fuck, if they added anime girls to this game, they'd probably have Osu big-bucks by now.