August 2022 media
Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Last month I suggested it might take years for me to get to this, but I fit it in after flying through XC2 (okay) and Torna ~ The Golden Country (great) in just a couple weeks. I’m glad I did—XC3 stands head and shoulders above the rest of the series, containing the best executions of its ideas while also requiring the fewest caveats.
Genshin Impact version 3.0: A major version update to Genshin is like an entire game’s worth of content by volume. The new region, Sumeru, is an amalgam of South Asian and Middle Eastern cultures (with a markedly pale cast, it must be said), and has some of the game’s best environment work to date. It must be daunting for anyone playing catch-up with their own free-to-play open-world game.
A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: This book contains a handful of Russian short stories interspersed with close reading and analysis by author George Saunders. It’s more approachable than that makes it sound, though—it feels more like an introductory lit class in book form than a dense work of literary criticism. As a former English major, I would read a whole shelf of stuff like this.