Four in February 2024

Four in February 2024

Is it almost February again? Apparently, it is! That means it’s time to try to beat four more games that are sitting in my backlog. Here are the games I’m going to attempt this year.

Horizon Forbidden West: The Burning Shores

I absolutely loved Horizon Forbidden West when I played it upon release, but despite the Burning Shores DLC coming out almost a year ago, I just haven’t made the time for it. Well, no more! I can’t wait to see where the story goes as Aloy explores the ruins of Los Angeles. I’ve heard the final boss of the DLC is also one of the most epic boss fights ever made.

Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores – Launch Trailer

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Another one I just haven’t gotten around to, I’ve only played an hour or two of Miles Morales, despite loving the first Marvel’s Spider-Man game and its DLCs. I definitely want to play Spider-Man 2 as well, but it feels wrong to play that one before playing Miles Morales. I understand this is a relatively short one, being more of a “standalone DLC” like Dishonored: Death of the Outsider or Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, so this one should be pretty manageable.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Launch Trailer

Sea of Stars

Might as well throw an RPG in here! I’ve heard plenty of good things about Sea of Stars. It seems to be a throwback to the 90’s era of RPGs, but with some modern quality-of-life improvements and gorgeous animation that far exceeds what actually could have been achieved back then.

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands

It’s been a couple of years since I played Borderlands 3. Borderlands is one of those franchises where I play it every couple of years and then get burned out on it, so it’s time to revisit this style of gameplay, but now with a fantasy theme!

May Games Challenge

It seems like if I don’t give myself a challenge to finish a game, I just start a ton of games and then never finish them. So I’m giving myself a challenge to make my way through a couple of games this month!

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Launch Trailer

I love Marvel’s Spider-Man. Along with the Batman: Arkham series, they seem to be games that really do superheroes correctly. Since I recently got a PS5, it’s time to experience Miles’ story. I also love that it’s a bit of a shorter game, so it should be easier to get through this month.

Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space

Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space Remastered Trailer

Season two of Telltale’s Sam & Max season, now dubbed “Beyond Time and Space,” was remastered last year, so it’s time to play through it again. I have played it before, but that was back when it originally came out. It’s been long enough that I expect this to fell very similar to a first playthrough.

The Zelda-sized hole in this list

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom comes out in just a couple weeks. There are a few good reasons I didn’t include it on this list. First, I expect it will be a long game and I highly doubt I would get through it by the end of the month. Second, I have a vacation coming up at the start of next month. It involves some very long flights, and with the extreme time zone differences between my home and destination I need to be awake for much of those flights as part of adjusting to those differences. I plan on Tears of the Kingdom being a big part of making those flights feel a lot shorter.

Four in February 2023

4 in February - Can you beat them all?
4 in February (2022 Banner) courtesy of the challenges Facebook page

After taking a year off (mostly because I was completely addicted to my first time through the Mass Effect universe in Mass Effect: Legendary Edition this time a year ago), it’s time to do Four in February again! This is a challenge to beat four video games during the month of February, as the name implies. There aren’t really rules beyond that: it can be games I’ve never played before, games I’ve already started, or anything else really!


02/26/2023 – Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling beat! Mission accomplished!

While my post wasn’t until 02/27/2023, I got to the end credits a few hours earlier and was wrapping up some side quests.

02/19/2023 – Doom (2016) and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy beat!

02/08/2023 – Far Cry 6 beat!

Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling

Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling is an indie game that draws heavy inspiration from Paper Mario – particularly the first two entries in the series that were turn-based RPGs with QTEs to get bonuses on attacks and defense. While the Paper Mario series may have moved on from this style of gameplay, with entries on the Wii and later introducing new gameplay styles for each entry, it’s clear there are fans that didn’t move on, including some that eventually said, “we’ll do it ourselves!”

Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling – PC Release Trailer

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Fun fact: the only Uncharted game I’ve played is Uncharted 4, but I loved it and I fully expect to love The Lost Legacy as well. I recently purchased the Legacy of Thieves collection on PC, so it’ll be great to experience the game for the first time on the best version of the game. Even better, it looks like the game is only 8-10 hours to complete, so it should be a nice easy one to squeeze into the shortest month of the year!

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Story Trailer (PS4)

Doom (2016)

Doom, any of the Doom games really, is one of my gaming blind-spots. I’ve never played any of them, but they are so critically acclaimed it feels like I must play them! It seems like there’s no better spot to start than the 2016 iteration and if I like it then I could move on to Doom Eternal on Game Pass if I want to.

Doom (2016) Launch Trailer

Far Cry 6

Is Far Cry 6 more or less the same game as Far Cry 3, 4, and 5 before it? It sure sounds like it. Is that a problem for me? Not at all – I’ve loved my time on a tropical island, in an Eastern mountain-covered nation, and in nutjob Montana, so I’m looking forward to my time in not-Cuba too. Enough time has passed since I played Far Cry 5 that I think I won’t burn out on the open world before the end, especially if I can exercise enough restraint to not do all the map checkboxes.

Far Cry 6 Story Trailer

In Conclusion

Will I be able to complete these games in just a single month? Especially when a couple of them are pretty long? Only time will tell! Updates on my progress will be posted as I beat each game, and you can follow along as I will try to stream my progress on Twitch if I feel like it.

More Server Migration Adventures

A server room
A stock image of a server room, since I don’t know what the server room my VPS is hosted in looks like. Image by Elias from Pixabay

The Upgrade Treadmill

I seem to have gotten into the habit of upgrading my server and website configurations every other year. My last server migration blog post was in 2018 and saw me upgrade from Ubuntu 16.04 to Ubuntu 18.04, with updated versions of PHP and a better database and things like that. I didn’t do a post about my 2020 server upgrade, but that was a big one. I switched to a mostly Docker based setup, with Nginx just reverse-proxying all the containers.

My 2020 setup had some enormous flaws though. I had no backup plan – as in, I wasn’t doing any automated backups. As you might expect, I wasn’t doing regular manual backups either. I wasn’t good on backups before the Docker-based setup either, but now it was so much easier to update the software I was running, but that would also have made it easier for a botched update to take everything down. I did make one thing a little easier: I moved a couple of WordPress sites onto a single WordPress multi-site installation. While it is certainly more complex to have a multi-site installation, it also meant I only needed to go to one spot to update themes and plugins which made it a lot easier to remember to do!

My goal with my 2022 upgrade was to make my setup much more robust. I wanted automatic backups, and I wanted to have the entire setup running within Docker so that if I wanted to move to a different provider, I could just spin up a new VPS, install Docker, restore the backups, and update the DNS for my domains. No manually setting up Nginx configurations, or anything like that. Importantly, with the automated backups I would be able to restore my setup with less than 24 hours of data loss if I had to move providers through no fault of my own.

For my most recent server migration I moved to Hetzner and their new US-based AMD-powered servers. The good part is that I’ve now got 4GB of RAM instead of my old 2GB, and it’s a little less per month. The bad part is that, as a Europe-based provider, they bill in Euros. While the credit card I use has no foreign transaction fee, the currency conversion means that my bill is never quite the same from month to month. They also only had servers in Virginia at the time I signed up, so I have higher latency than I had before when I was using a Vultr server in Seattle, though they’ve added an Oregon datacenter since then. (Maybe it’s time to do another server migration!)

The Software I Use

Now let’s get into the software I use:

  • For an RSS reader, I replaced Tiny Tiny RSS with FreshRSS. While it seems things have improved in recent years, the primary developer of TT-RSS was known for being a little hostile towards people asking questions or suggesting improvements. FreshRSS just seemed to have a better community, and it’s a lot simpler to set up too. I pair this with a private RSS-Bridge instance to get RSS feeds for sites that don’t bother to use RSS anymore (boo).
  • I’m using Offen Docker Volume Backup to automatically backup all my Docker volumes daily, weekly, and monthly both locally on the server and to S3-compatible storage. This container also manages removing the old backups to keep the storage from getting out of hand. It feels good to finally have everything backed up in a robust manner.
  • For website analytics, I replaced Matomo with Plausible Analytics. Matomo is trying to be a full replacement for Google Analytics, but that’s just more information than I need or even really want. Plausible focuses mostly on page views, which is all I really care about with my personal site.
  • Of course, WordPress, which powers this very blog, is still the same. In fact, it was one of the easiest things to move to the new server, as there were almost no changes to the configuration. I’ve been using WordPress consistently since early 2011, and off-and-on since probably 2006, so while I’ve considered moving to a static site generator, I like the familiar security blanket feeling that WordPress provides.
  • Vaultwarden also stayed the same. I use it as my password manager, though I’m eyeing Bitwarden’s new unified Docker container that’s in beta as it will likely go through security audits after it leaves beta.
  • I use a neat little tool called Your Spotify to keep track of my Spofify listening habits. It’s like having my own version of Spotify’s annual summary whenever I want it!
  • I added a single-user Mastodon instance at the end of October thanks to the Birdsite’s new owner starting shenanigans immediately – that’s been a bit of an ordeal with its ever-increasing disk usage, though just this week I migrated it to using S3-compatible storage for its media storage and that has solved things, though I won’t fully call it solved until I’ve given it a week or two. Follow me on Mastodon!
  • I use Portainer to view logs and clear out old images and stuff more easily.
  • I’m running Uptime Kuma on a separate VPS with a separate hosting company to monitor everything and let me know via Discord if anything stops working. It’s really a very polished tool and is easy to use while having tons of configuration options.
  • Finally, I use Watchtower in notification-only mode to let me know when a container has an update available. I don’t have it set to automatically update so that I have the chance to read the release notes and make sure there’s nothing I must do besides pulling the new image and restarting the containers.


Overall, I’m incredibly happy with how this server migration has turned out and I don’t foresee any major changes to my configuration in 2024 as things finally just work. I love how good this setup is in comparison to my old one!

Four in February 2021

4 in February 2021

It snuck up on me, but it’s February, and that means it’s time for Four in February again! The goal is to beat four video games in the month of February. This year I want to take advantage of the different platforms and/or storefronts I have games on. So, I’m going to pick one of the free games I’ve claimed on the Epic Games Store, one from Xbox Game Pass for PC, and two from Steam.

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

Epic Games Store

I’ve put about an hour into this game so far, but it’s time to actually complete it. By all accounts, it’s a competent 2.5D platformer, and it’s been quite some time since I’ve completed a 2D platformer. Time to revisit this genre and enjoy the level design that always shines in this genre!


Xbox Game Pass

I once played through the campaign of the original Halo: Combat Evolved on a pirated copy for PC back in my freshman year of college. Now, it’s time to play through a legitimate copy! I don’t know for sure which Halo game I’m going to do from the Master Chief Collection yet, but it’ll probably be Combat Evolved so I don’t have to worry about missing any lore.

UPDATE: I completed Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary at approximately 12:45am on Feb 21st! That still leaves me 2 games to complete in roughly one week though.


Sam & Max Save the World


For my money, the Sam and Max games are some of the greatest to ever come out of Telltale Games. Recently, a remastered version of the first “season” of the series was released by some former Telltale games staff (and it looks like they plan to remaster the other seasons as well). Though there is a minor controversy about some jokes in the game being changed and one character’s voice actor being replaced, I’m glad this remaster exists because the original versions were well on their way to becoming unplayable on modern systems due to their age.

UPDATE: I completed Sam & Max Save the World Remastered on Feb 14th! That means I’m only… checks calculator… half the speed I should be in this challenge having completed no other games yet. Oops.


Shadow of the Tomb Raider


For some reason, I didn’t really get into Shadow of the Tomb Raider when I first purchased it despite loving the first two in this trilogy. So, I’m going to give it another shot!

Those are the four games I’m going to try to complete in February! Due to how long it’s been since I last attempted each of them, I’m going to be starting over on all of them (except Sam & Max – I’ve already done the first of the five episodes, and that was recently so I remember the events well).

Maybe I’ll even stream some of my gameplay! Or maybe not! If I do, it’ll be over at