General Gaming

Late to the Block Party

*slips on sunglasses* I’m not sure anyone will know about this game, it’s just one of those things I found in the back of the internet, the graphics are really retro, so old school… *adjusts man-bun* It’s basically a Sandbox Video Game, I totally knew that already and not because I Googled it just now *sips pumpkin spice latté* It’s called Minecraft but you’ve probably never heard of it *eats a whole avocado, including the skin and stone*.

I jest of course, I don’t like avocados.

I honestly don’t know how I managed to avoid Minecraft for such a long time because it is EVERYWHERE. I knew about it of course but another game always came along instead and it kept getting pushed aside. I think what pushed me over the edge was the excellent Rick and Morty episode “The Rickchurian Mortydate” where they talk about Minecraft and it just put it in my mind. Later I was browsing the Playstation Store, drooling over games and imagining having time to play them all when I came across the “recommended for you” section. “Because you played Stardew Valley… Minecraft”. Well maybe I’ll just try the free demo, just to see what all the fuss is about, I mean I love Stardew so why not this? About an hour later I’d bought the game and was happily setting up my shelter.

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One thing I’ve learned, living as part of a gamer couple, is that if one of you is playing a game chances are the other person will also want to play it. Sure enough, within an hour of my game time my Companion Cube had also downloaded it and an eerie silence had settled over our living room, occasionally interrupted by something like “how did you make that?” and “don’t you dare you damn Creeper, get away from my house you green twat… GOD DAMMIT!!!”. We played it in our own separate worlds for a bit and after a few days we decided to have a shared world where we would make a huge castle together. We found the perfect spot and started building… Dan had a specific design in mind for our castle and that was fine with me because to be honest I’m not much for the building side of games, I get bored of big projects very quickly but if someone is directing me I’m more likely to stick with it. Now we come to something else I’ve learned as one half of a gaming couple: One of you tends to get more into it than the other. I thought I got easily hooked on games but Dan takes it to a whole new level (pun intended). I love sleep too much to sacrifice too much of it to gaming time and sometimes I prefer to just put on Ru Paul’s Drag Race and paint my nails or something rather than game but I genuinely worry that if I didn’t put food in front of Dan sometimes he’d rather die of starvation than miss out on gaming time by getting up to cook. My point is he got so into Minecraft and completely took over the construction of our castle. He wouldn’t let me touch anything in case I did something wrong. You should have heard the horror in his voice when I said I’d made some floorboards to put down because it didn’t go with his plan. I eventually drifted away from the castle and left him to it, occasionally returning to explore some mines with him and stuff.

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Here’s a pic of the castle my boyfriend left me for (I asked him for pictures of it for my blog for ages and the only ones he sent me have the dick sign in the background so apologies for that… He thinks it’s hilarious of course)

Instead I started a new world and got Dan to choose a place for me to build an epic house in Creative Mode, once that was done I closed my eyes and was placed somewhere else random on the map and then began playing in Survival Mode. The plan was I’d build up all my resources and set out on an epic adventure to find my lost temple. This was somewhat anti-climatic when I found the temple about a 3 minute run away from my starting point hidden behind a big hill. Never mind.

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Totally forgot to get a pic of my own building but here’s a picture from my Minecraft dock where a mini zombie holding an egg has become trapped in a boat. Behind him my pet wolf Ralph and a cat have also found themselves trapped in these confusing, wooden contraptions…

On this particular map I was really well placed in that there were loads of caves nearby that were full of ore and monster spawners (and therefore lots of treasure!) so I ended up with loads of awesome stuff… Or rather I did temporarily. I have a terrible habit of dying a lot in Minecraft and losing all my loot. It’s a bit weird, I’m quite happy above ground pottering along with my animal pens, farming, fishing, protecting my house from monsters, etc but as soon as I get into the caves and have to face a horde of zombies and lava I just lose all gaming ability. I’m actually pretty bad at the mines in Stardew as well so it seems like it’s a recurring theme.

My addiction to it lost steam pretty quickly to be honest, but it’s one of those games that I can just pick up and wander about doing whatever if I only have 20 minutes to spare so that’s good. I guess now I just need to play some Pokémon Sun and Moon, Mario Odyssey, Breath of the Wild and Animal Crossing to catch up on the gaming world.

To tie off this post here’s a couple of pictures of actually cool things my other half made in Minecraft that don’t have dick shaped buildings in them!

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Are you a Minecraft player? (Or were you?) Do you ever start playing games ages after they came out? What would your man focus be in Minecraft? Exploring, building, survival? or just a big mix of everything?

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General Gaming

RPGs, D&D, and MMOs: Brought to You by an Old Favourite…

After many years of not playing PC games I finally downloaded Torment after many recommendations, I feel like I should love it and I kind of do but I just can’t get into it. Maybe making it my re-introduction to RPG PC gaming wasn’t the best move, after my many years of PS4 gaming I found it quite difficult to figure out and I keep getting stuck in places that have embarrassingly obvious means of leaving. Right now I’m in The Dead Nations and I have NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING. No one will say anything useful to me, I can’t leave, I’ve done everything I thought I needed to do to get an audience with the Silent King but no, still nothing. I’m too proud to look up the solution yet, I feel like as a seasoned RPG player I should be able to figure this out but it looks like The Nameless One is going to die down there… (Is that what I need to do? Die and then wake up somewhere outside of the Nations? I feel a bit like I’m clutching at straws with that theory…)

I should have re-introduced myself to RPG PC games with something a bit more familiar, something that despite years of playing it I still have many things that I never discovered or as it’s been such a long time since I played I can’t quite remember everything about it… If only there was such a game…

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BAM! GUESS WHAT! THERE IS! Long time Dragon’s Tea Party readers (and early 00’s RPG players) may know that logo and they may inwardly groan somewhat as they realise what this means. NEVERWINTER NIGHTS RETURNS, BITCHES!!! For the record, this is entirely the fault of someone that commented on a post I did a while ago telling me I could buy NWN on GOG, so you can all blame him/her for rekindling my obsession and probably the many related posts to follow (I tried to find the comment but it must have been a while ago now because I can’t find it, if that was  you then thank you). Not only did I buy the first game but I got its’ 3 expansion packs too (Shadows of Undrentide, Hordes of the Underdark, and Kingmaker) all for a measly £7.99. I never finished the expansions for the first one so I am very excited.

I didn’t actually buy this just because I was struggling with Torment, I also started up a Dungeons and Dragons game (working our way through the Mines of Phandelver campaign) with some friends recently and while I have been playing for a while on and off now with the same group of people none of us are entirely sure we’re playing right, I guess D&D is a lot easier if you know someone that already knows how to play to get you into it. It’s pretty surprising how little explanation there is for D&D online, my instruction manual is not 100% clear on some points and my friend that wanted to be a wizard was bombarding me with questions about her spells (as I’m the Dungeon Master and the buyer of the 5th edition starter pack I am the most responsible for knowing this sort of thing, this means I spend a lot of time flicking through my manual and Googling stuff) to which all my answers were “I think you do this thing… Maybe… Wait no… Fuck it, just do it this way, that seems right”. NWN is set in the same world as D&D (the official one anyway) and uses the same rules, so for example on screen you’ll see loads of text scrolling with things like ‘Wolf attacks Tomi (5 + 3) = 8 does 8 damage’ so the 5 is a dice roll and the 3 is a strength bonus (or something) to the attack and later when you get more advanced stuff more things can be applied to these rolls. Back in the day when I used to play NWN, having never played D&D I never really understood what that all meant and I was also really nonstrategic in picking my feats and skills because I just thought “whoa, that thing sounds awesome, let’s do that one” but now, reading through everything it all makes so much more sense. I’m hoping that as I play through it I’ll be able to better understand how things work in D&D, although it’s not exactly the same of course but for basic things like attacking, spell casting, attacks of opportunities, etc it’s a pretty good base. Another thing I’m really loving is that the map that came in my starter set is the same map used in the Neverwinter Nights game in the intro video, it’s set in exactly the same universe and I’m loving picking out all the little bits that I recognise from the video game.

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Weirdly, about a week after I downloaded my nostalgia infused NWN, I got a text from one of my D&D friends (the same one who was asking me about wizard spells) who is also very into Dragon Age and the like asking me if I had tried the Neverwinter MMO. Immediately I got flashbacks to the time I did try it, I had my headset on and – forgetting I had the microphone attached – started cursing and ranting to myself because I didn’t know what I was doing. This went on for a loooooong time until I then saw a message appear on screen from another player saying “we can hear you” turns out I was connected to the area chat thing… Oops. I turned it off immediately and never touched it again in an attempt to bury my shame. Anyway, my friend said she would give it a go and then that night I got in from work and my other half was playing Neverwinter on the PS4 (despite me nagging him almost since we met to try the original game he still goes and tries the ‘new, shiny’ one rather than take my advice… Don’t know why I bother). I assumed they had both been talking and decided to try it but no they both just randomly decided to try it on the same day. So my bestie and my boyfriend are playing it… How could I not attempt it again? I picked back up where I left off with my character (the dramatically named Fade, a trickster rogue) and was surprised by how quickly I got back into it. Unfortunately there’s always just a little something that puts me off about MMOs and that’s the money, money, money element of the game (iplayedthegame recently wrote a post about this). Oh you’ve run out of inventory space? That’s OK! You can buy a new bag for £5! You’ve collected 84 Merchant Prince Lockboxes but can’t open any of them? That’s fine! Just buy the keys! I guess Neverwinter is free to play though so that’s how they make their money… Would still rather just buy the game though than have all the little bits add up. I am enjoying it though, not sure how long I’ll stick with it but my other half is pretty addicted. Again, despite me telling him for ages to try out any Neverwinter games because they have great storylines, he enjoys D&D, the characters are great, there’s no reason he shouldn’t like them, etc, etc he still seems surprised by the good quest lines in the game and the story so far (I had to hold back an ‘I told you so’ but it was very difficult so I just settled for an eye roll).

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Fade the badass in all her glory
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Check out my sweet ride

So there we go, the tale of how Neverwinter burst back into my life quite suddenly. Are there any games from your youth that you have an urge to take up again? Are you a Neverwinter MMO player? Does anyone know what I’m supposed to do in Torment?

 

General Gaming · Rants

A Platform For My Game Shame

On a rare train journey up to London a couple of weeks ago I decided to spend my time travelling playing a couple of Mario games on my 3DS. Here’s a bit of a gamer confession: I suck at Mario games. Yeah, Mario is one of my least played franchises despite numerous attempts to get into it. Actually, let me be a bit clearer there: traditional Mario games (aka platformers) are the least played games I own but I love Super Mario Galaxy, Mario Kart, and I really want to play Super Mario Odyssey. Why do I suck at Mario games? Well, to tell you the truth I don’t know, I just do, I’m simply terrible at platformer games. TERRIBLE.

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If this was me playing, I would end this jump by landing directly in front of the Goomba, rather than on it, and die

You know when you get someone that has never touched a video game before in their life to play something and you start out thinking “this will be awesome, it’s not that hard, they’ll get to grips with it and we can play stuff together”. Then you see them wandering in the wrong direction even though there’s a huge arrow pointing the other way, dying over and over at the easiest points, having to peer at the buttons whenever they want to do something even though they’ve been playing now for an hour… Your smile begins to fade and you experience a horrible sense of dread as it slowly dawns on you that they’re not going to get better and you are now stuck here until they get bored – which might not be for a long time – because you’re too polite to tell them that watching them play is like watching someone punch themselves in the face over and over again and then ask you why their nose is hurting. This monster has now destroyed a game you love with their inexplicably clumsy, inexperienced noob hands and you regret everything… That is how I feel about myself when I play platformers, especially Mario ones because everyone loves them so bloody much. I have an out of body experience where I feel like I am the non-gamer being taught how to play something by a friend and constantly messing up, then I get embarrassed by myself, even though no one is watching me, so I rage quit and sulk.

Do you know how far I got playing Super Mario Bros on my DS before I ran out of lives and had to start everything over? I got to the third level of the first world. Oh, and I actually died in the first level trying to get more lives, the first level where you can just become huge and just plough through everything. I didn’t know it was possible to die on that level. Do you even know how hard it is for me to admit that? I had to sit in silence for a little while, with my head in my hands wondering why the gaming gods had forsaken me. I was sat on the train at the time and that is not the best place for me to rage over a game as I usually just spew swear words at the screen like there’s no tomorrow, so instead I had to settle for taking some deep breaths and very loud, angry exhales which prompted a few worried looks from fellow passengers.

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This game is pure evil

To add insult to injury my other half got his old PS1 out (which I have never played on before) and tried to get me into some games on that. He then watched in dismay and horror, his face morphing into a twisted representation of repulsion and fascination, as his so-called “gamer-girlfriend” just walked into enemies and fell down the smallest jumps. I tried out Resident Evil 2 (which I know isn’t a platformer but it has that very linear running around thing) and died almost instantly by just walking into several zombies. I put this down to the camera angles constantly changing throwing me off and thought I’d gotten away with it but then I tried a Mickey Mouse game (this one was a platformer) and it was almost like I was trying to play badly. An enemy would appear and I’d just run straight at them, propelled forward by misjudgement and stupidity, and die.

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‘Sup guys, don’t mind me, just trying to run through… Please don’t eat me

I don’t know why I have been cursed with this affliction. Could it be my modest childhood where I was owner to just a Gameboy Color, Gamecube and PC, limiting my exposure to Playstation and Xbox? Woe is me. Maybe I suffer from Platformeritis, a well-known disease that affects 1 in 10 gamers. It causes bad 2D coordination and makes you constantly overestimate how far away things are making sufferers particularly terrible at platformers. Perhaps our Gaming Lord Mario is displeased with the lack of time I spend playing his games and has decided to curse me, I should sacrifice a Sonic game to him just to make sure.

I guess it doesn’t matter at the end of the day, we all know Princess Peach and Bowser truly belong together, she’s just too nice to break up with Mario. I’m doing Mario a favour really.

Are there any game genres you struggle with? Let me know in the comments and we’ll commiserate together.

Cosplay · General Gaming

MCM London Comic Con October 2017 (A week late summary)

Hey! It’s me! I’m back! I haven’t posted for a long time now. Basically, my phone broke (I dropped a jar of mustard on it, RIP my poor phone) and I did not realise just how much I manage my blog through the WordPress app. That and stuff has just all been a bit hectic lately!

So anyway what have I been up to? Well, work asked me to attend a conference in London on the 30th and, oh no, Comic Con was on that weekend too, what a shame. I decided to go by myself, it was too short notice to cosplay, I could have worn my previous Link outfit but I didn’t fancy dragging a sword and shield along to the conference the next day.

I did only go for the Sunday as, being by myself, I didn’t think that it would be worth it for the whole weekend or with priority entry. When I’ve been before, in cosplay, I always had a feeling that being dressed up made being there for the whole event more worth it. I was right really, it was a bit weird not being in cosplay for once and I actually felt more awkward talking to people about their costumes in my normal clothes than I did while in cosplay myself even though I know that, as a cosplayer, you want people to take your picture, that’s a big part of it. I missed being able to talk to my friends about what I saw as well. On the other hand I got around really quickly and didn’t have to stand there looking at stuff I didn’t care about if I didn’t want to so that was nice.

While we’re on the subject of cosplay here’s a little sideshow of some cool ones I saw (plus some extra cool bits).

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I was really impressed and inspired by the Steampunk section, trying to think of something I can do with that for a future cosplay…

A good thing about being alone was that I was ushered to the front of the queue for multi player games quite a bit as most people were queued as a group so I got to try out the Nintendo Switch, I really like it and I want one!!! I played Arms, playing against the guy running the stand, I don’t know if he was just being nice but I kicked his butt all the way back to Nintendo headquarters. Then I played Pokkén Tournament against another lonely Comic Con goer, neither of us had any idea how to play so we were both mashing buttons and oohing at the results, that was fun but as I didn’t know what I was doing I was a bit bemused by it all.

Once I’d exhausted the Nintendo Switch I had a go at some of the smaller games lying around, first of all I tried Cat Quest. This was adorable. I played a cat in a world full of cat puns and I’m not quite sure what was going on but it was lovely. You could cast spells and attack, most of the locations were punny (The Catpitol, for example) and I had some fun playing it, I didn’t really want to leave it. I’ll look out for this!

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Look at this, this is adorable

Then I played Yomawari: Midnight Shadows. You know when you play a demo of a game and it gives you literally no context so you don’t know why you’re here, who you are or what you’re doing, detracting from the immersive side somewhat and therefore your enjoyment of the game leaving you with a sense of “WTF was that?”? That was this game (or the demo for it at least). It started me off in a forest where the game was teaching me how to move around and interact with things, I found a cute dog and I was told to throw a ball or something for it, I did and the dog chased it across a bridge, which then collapsed leaving the dog stuck on the other side.

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For a while I thought I had to figure out how to get the dog back but no… Then I got to a crate and the game told me to pick up the crate and put it under a tree… Once I did that I watched in horror as my character proceeded to do this:

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Wait… What?
NO
Whoa, stop, NO!!!
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What the fuck??? What is happening?????? Why is this a thing?!

What the hell?! Why?! After that it cuts to you coming out of your house and meeting your friend, you go and watch fireworks and talk FOREVER, then I’m afraid I got bored and left. I did Google it afterwards to see what it was all about and it sounds OK actually, kind of cute Silent Hill-ish, apparently you get separated from your friend and you have to work your way through town to find your friend and get home, the town has nasty spirits lurking around that can attack you but all you have is a flashlight so you can’t defend yourself. It’s a shame they didn’t have any sort of information at the demo though, even a little piece of paper pinned next to the screen giving you a summary of the game would have been good. When you have so much talking in a demo it’s not great either, I had no idea what was happening, why I’d just hung myself and I didn’t want to be stood there for half an hour reading a conversation between two characters. It’s got good reviews on Steam though and apparently it’s the sequel to a previous game Yomawari: Night Alone so maybe I was just missing that. I didn’t know any of that before I Googled it though.

After having a look at some of the queues after that and grimacing a how long I’d be stood there for I decided to have a look at the rest of the event. I got a picture of C’thullu for our flat, as you do. Look at him though, he’s adorable (sorry about poor pic quality).

This stand was great, they had loads of cute artwork, I do regret not buying more actually. The shop is called Super Cute Awesome Stuff.

Then I won a dress from The Quirky Doll which has super cute fabric all covered in Narwhals, lot’s of bows too!

Finally, I got an addition to my Doctor Who poster. I’m not going to lie I had no idea what his name was before I saw him on the Comic Con website but I got Bernard Cribbins to sign my poster alongside his Doctor Who co-star Catherine Tate, he plays her granddad Wilf in the show. He’s such a sweet character and his last episode (also David Tennant’s last episode) is really sad. Maybe one day I’ll have a big collection of the Doctor’s companions’ and friends’ names on my poster!

Are you attending a similar event soon? Do you usually like to cosplay?

General Gaming

A Slight Case of Amnesia…

Halloween time is approaching!!!! I love Halloween because I like dressing up, eating sweets and drinking interesting colour cocktails and pretending they’re witch potions, I’m not as big on the scary part though. You may have noticed an absence of talk about scary games from my blog, this is because I am a massive wuss.

I would never be able to get through anything like Five Nights at Freddy’s or Silent Hill, I just can’t do it. The scariest game I have ever played was probably Resident Evil 4 (Bioshock comes close though) where my sister and I squealed and screamed our way through it. i couldn’t finish it, I was terrible at it, my fighting technique was closing my eyes, mashing buttons, and hoping. I still shudder to think of the zombies that had chainsaws, they were horrible. The big difference between games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill though is that you can attack in Resident Evil but in Silent Hill you’re reduced to a more realistic version of events, where you just have a torch and your feet to run, if anything gets you you’re basically helpless. You’re not going to be randomly finding ammunition everywhere in a real life horror scenario are you? Batteries for a torch is a lot more likely.

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Nope. Sorry Ashley, you’re on your own.

So basically, horror games overall? Not my jam. Horror games where you can’t even defend yourself? Nope. Never. Never ever. Even if I was paid to play them I am doubtful that I actually would be able to. The funny thing though is that I always find their plots so interesting, I want to know what happens in Silent Hill and Five Nights at Freddy’s and will happily read theories about them and watch Let’s Players play them. I watched my other half play through Layers of Fear a while ago and that was fantastic, I highly recommend that if you like creepy games with a rich story to piece together. We were both so invested in the story and figuring out what was happening, and it’s not just jump scares and monsters, it’s mostly psychological and some of the things they do to freak you out is so clever. I actually had a nightmare about some of the paintings they have hanging up in the corridors, if you’ve played it you might know what I’m talking about but I won’t elaborate so that the effect isn’t spoiled for future potential players.

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No thank you

Enough about Layers of Fear though, that’s not what this post’s about. This month, just in time for Halloween, the whole Amnesia collection (the whole collection!!!) was announced as one of the free games on PS Plus this month I made my boyfriend download it so that I could watch him play. When we started the first one (The Dark Descent) he’d not finished his dinner so he handed me the controller and asked me to get the game started… OK, I can do that no problem, wander through this creepy castle/big house that’s all good, no problem, follow the weird spots of what I can only assume is monster blood on the floor… SCARY NOISE! CHARACTER FAINTING! NO NO NO! I then made the character hide in a cupboard and paused it until Dan was ready to take over. He thought I was joking at first but nope, dead serious.

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Why would I EVER want to do that? Yeah, sure, let’s follow this trail to my death.

Once he took over I watched in horrified anticipation as he navigated his way around the castle picking up notes that revealed parts of the story little by little and made a bottle of acid to melt some gross blood goop that was covering part of the door to what I assume is where the ‘magic’ happens. The story so far is extremely reminiscent of H.P. Lovecraft, it reminds me of the story The Nameless City in particular (one of his less known, it’s a bit long-winded) which is about an explorer gaining access to an ancient tomb, despite the locals’ protests and warnings, getting trapped, and discovering an ancient race of Lizard People. While there are no lizard people in Amnesia (that I know of) there is a lot of talk of an explorer (I assume it’s your character, I think he’s an archaeologist) travelling to a foreign country where he explores a tomb, ignoring the warnings and superstitions from the locals, getting trapped and finding an otherworldly thing. That’s about as much as we know so far, that and the fact that we are in some zombie creating, nut job’s castle for some reason where you’ve managed to leave notes to yourself strewn all over the place.

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I like this hall, this hall feels like a safe zone… I could be wrong though

I for one am enjoying the experience, from the safety of my blanket fort, while Dan – who is not a scaredy cat – is not too thrilled with it. He doesn’t like the fact that you run out of resources like lamp oil and tinder boxes quickly and that you kind of lose control of the camera which will move away from its’ position when the character gets scared and starts spacing out. I think that it makes it more realistic that way because you’re not going to have an eternal lamp in reality and when you pass out chances are you’re not going to be looking at the same spot when you wake up as you were before. It didn’t seem that different to Resident Evil where you have to open the menu a lot to do things like put oil in a lamp or use items and Dan loves those games (particularly the first one). I’m not playing though so I can’t really speak for the controls and game mechanics other than what I see. Dan is also not keen on the lack of monster presence as of yet, he’s eager to get to a ‘more exciting’ part.  We’ve only seen one monster so far, and when I say ‘seen’ I mean ‘caught a brief glimpse of’ before the camera started whirling and I ducked under the blanket to safety, adding a cushion for good measure, it’s early days though so that may well change soon. Hopefully my blanket will hold strong against the upcoming animated terror.

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Actual picture of me watching a scary game

Have you played Amnesia? What’s your take on scary games?

General Gaming

Adulting And Gaming: My Struggle To Do Both

Bit of a moany post today but please bear with me. I’m hoping for some advice from fellow bloggers so if anyone fancies giving a bit of game-related agony aunt advice please feel free to advise away.

The long and short of it is that I’m trying to adult and it’s taking away from my gaming time. I wish it wasn’t the case, I didn’t even notice that much until I recently started playing Planescape: Torment, but it’s true. I’m not the same gamer I used to be. I’ve changed a lot since my teens where I used to dedicate my evenings and weekends almost entirely to playing games without a care in the world (I was a popular teen…) but now all I can manage is an hour or two in the evening on some days, and maybe a few hours on the weekend. While that may seem a lot to a non-gamer it is nothing compared to what I used to do back in my teens or when I was at University. The reason behind this is not rocket science, it’s just that I now work full time, because of this I don’t expect to launch back into the day-long gaming stints that I used to be able to do, but even so I don’t seem to be able to reach the levels of gaming time that some people seem to be able to achieve. After a long day at work followed by cooking dinner, making lunch for work the next day, and maybe some exercise I only end up with about an hour or maybe two of free time, if any free time at all. I slump to the sofa, exhausted, and lament my lack of time as my other half, usually working his way through a game as I look on jealously, points out yet again that I have too many hobbies. Now we get to the point where I get a bit confused and annoyed. I have two fitness classes a week after work, I manage this blog, and I sew occasionally. On top of that I have a weekly driving lesson which is a bit of a pain but that’s only temporary and once it’s over I get a free evening (and a car). When you say it like that it’s not really a lot, is it? Most of my time in the evenings is actually taken up by cooking which I enjoy doing because I’m a big foodie and my cooking skills have increased dramatically since I’ve been watching what I eat a bit more, but it does take up a huge amount of time. Dan will simply not eat if food is unavailable and will happily forgo a proper, home-cooked dinner for a microwave meal to maximise his gaming time and while I don’t mind a microwave meal occasionally I don’t want to eat them all the time. Finally, I want to get a good night’s sleep so going to bed late to get that extra gaming time in always makes me stress that I’m going to be too tired in the morning.

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As I said before, I recently downloaded Planescape: Torment and I like it but I’m struggling to get into it. This isn’t the game’s fault it’s more that it’s so immersive and there’s so much to explore and do that I need to set aside a good couple of hours to get a decent amount of progress in. I don’t want to play it in the week because it’s on the PC and I spend all day at work looking at two PC screens so the thought of spending a few hours at a desk in front of another PC when I get home makes me feel slightly nauseous. Instead I’ve been playing it on the weekend and during the week I’ll either play through a couple of days of Stardew Valley or a few Overwatch matches (the TV screen is not on par with a computer screen so it’s OK). Even then though there’s more adulting to do, socialising is a big part of my weekend because I don’t get a lot of time to see people in the week and while I love my friends and don’t want to sacrifice my time with them it does still take up a large amount of my weekend. Even when I do get to sit down for a long time and play I’m constantly thinking “you could be doing some exercise right now to help with that thing you’re doing in your exercise class, you could be sorting through your spending to see how you could save some money, you could be making a big batch of food so that you don’t have to cook as much in the week… Could be doing this, could be doing that” and I can’t switch it off. If I keep on playing I will feel angry with myself at the end of the weekend because I don’t feel like I’ve been productive.

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I don’t think that playing games is a waste of time but I do make myself feel guilty for playing them because for some weird reason I seem to think that they are things that should be put on the back burner and only played as a reward when I’ve finished the never-ending, constantly-being-added-to list of things to do that I have. I know that that’s ridiculous because some of the things are not really that important and I love playing games, I never used to feel guilty for playing them. Weirdly “could have made some stuff with your sewing machine” is one of the critical thoughts going round my head in these moments but sewing is just another hobby, it’s not something that I consider to be more important than gaming (if it was then my blog would be about sewing instead and I wouldn’t have met all you lovely people), they’re on equal footing in terms of enjoyment and time consumption but the fact that I end up with physical proof after I sew something sort of makes me feel like it’s more valued.

I guess I just need to de-stress and stop thinking about all of these things (much easier said than done) because the fact is even if I didn’t have any hobbies I would still find a way to distract myself and procrastinate instead of completing the ever growing, self-improvement list.

How do you regulate your time between gaming time and ‘adulting/chore/hobby’ time? How much time do you get to game a week? Do you ever get to escape from the black hole of ‘ unrealistic things to do’ as an adult?

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I relate to this 100%
General Gaming

Life is Strange

Spoiler free section

Don’t worry I’m not getting all deep with that title. A few months ago I downloaded Life is Strange for free from the PS Plus monthly deals, it then sat there for a long time. I always wanted to play it but I had a feeling it would be emotionally draining and a bit depressing. I decided to finally bite the bullet and give it a go a couple of weeks ago, and you know what…? I was right, it’s depressing as shit.

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Don’t get me wrong, just because it’s depressing doesn’t mean it’s not good. It’s bloody brilliant but after I play through an episode I need to have some time to think about life, the universe, why we’re all here and why is humanity so bad sometimes? Life is Strange is all about Chaos Theory (or the butterfly effect, if you prefer), you can do lots of different things and they will all effect the future in a different way, sometimes the smallest thing you do will have repercussions, this is all helped along by the protagnist, Max, having the ability to ‘rewind’ time. I played this through with my other half so we were both controlling it at different times, which meant I made choices he wouldn’t have made and vice versa so I’m curious to play it through again (once I’ve forgotten a bit about the plot, if I ever can) without his influence to see what would change. Each episode is about 2 hours long as well (give or take half an hour, depending on how you play it) so it’s just like watching a TV show or a movie meaning it was fun to play together, discuss the plot afterwards and theorise about what we thought would happen.

This is actually really difficult to write about because I keep writing about the plot and then having to explain how I got to that point in the plot through the decisions I made and my draft post keeps turning into a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff so after discarding about 5 drafts of this I’ve given up and instead I’ll just list the things I thought were good about it and the things I thought were bad (and they’re not bad really, more things that I thought could be better). Be assured though that I really liked this game, it’s brilliant and I would highly recommend it to everyone.

 

HUGE SPOILERS AHEAD. SERIOUSLY, THERE’S LOADS. 

 

Good Stuff

  1. The story is so immersive, like I said before, it’s like watching a TV show or movie. The tone of it is great, the life that the characters have is so believable
  2. I love plots that let you develop your own theories as you go along and this left room for a lot of these. This might sound a bit pompous but at the end of episode 2 I did guess who the bad guy was, more on that later, but there were plenty of other things to think about and try to get my head around besides the identity of the killer/drugger/creepy dude
  3. Chloe. She’s a great character, at first glance she’s really cool and funny then she suddenly turns on you in random situations when she doesn’t get her way. If this was real life and I was Max then I would have just refused to do half the stuff she wanted. “Let’s go hang out in a dump!” No thank you. “Hey, try shooting this gun!” What? No. “Let’s break into your school!” Leave me alone. (That just goes to show what a bad video game protagonist I would be I guess, I would just rewind time to get an extra 5 hours sleep or something.) Chloe is a really complex character, which is always nice to find in a video game, and I ended up feeling a need to try and stay on her good side even though I didn’t necessarily agree with half the stuff she was saying. Chloe and Max’s friendship felt very real.
  4. At the end of every chapter you get to see what everyone else chose to do in key “rewindy timey” parts. Surprisingly a lot of the “big” choices (like helping alternate reality Chloe kill herself or not, or warning Victoria about the Dark Room) were split around the 50/50 mark, I kind of assumed that some of them would be skewed in one direction so it was interesting to see that most people were actually really torn on the choices. The most skewed choice was killing Frank’s dog where something like 96% of people didn’t do it (I like that that is the one thing almost everyone agreed on, poor dog), in a fit of panic I accidentally pressed the wrong button and threw the dog treat into the road where we heard the screech of brakes and I yelled “NOOOOO REWIND IT REWIND IT!!!” as Dan freaked out, questioning his choice in partner shouting “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?! REWIND IT! HOW COULD YOU???” luckily I could rewind it and saved the dog but there was a moment I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to rewind and felt horribly guilty
  5. Making some of the choices was really scary, when it came to parts like trying to talk Kate down from the roof, helping alternate Chloe die or not, or the very end where you have to sacrifice Chloe or the whole town, my other half and I were basically playing hot potato with the controller trying to make the other person take responsibility for making whichever choice was to be made by pushing the button
  6. Representation: It’s always good to see real world issues portrayed in games. The issues in Life is Strange ranged from suicide to sexual assault to drug abuse… Then there was also the representation of sexuality, you can choose to romance Warren or Chloe, personally I went for Warren because he seemed very nice and sweet. I like that I have the choice to romance Chloe though if I want to, it’s something that is being seen more frequently in games but is still not totally out there and it’s still seen as a novelty rather than a normality.
  7. The bit at the end in the maze was so creepy, I couldn’t play through it because I’m a massive wuss, Dan had to play that bit. Having all the male characters tracking you down with the flashlights and multiplying until there was loads of them was so freaky.

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Not really bad but kind of irritating stuff

  1. OK, I’ll jump right into the main thing that bugs me about this game. Once you wake up in the dark room the plot starts to unravel and gets a bit tangled. So we go back in time and get Mr Jefferson arrested, we also win the Everyday Heroes competition as a nice little bonus. Yay! Then we get to the best case scenario present. Jefferson is in jail, Max is in San Francisco, Kate is alive (we couldn’t save her in our game), everything is awesome. Then you get a call from Chloe who’s being eaten by a tornado. Well shit, we totally forgot about that huge impending apocalypse we kept getting visions about didn’t we? So now we go back to when we took the winning Everyday Heroes photo and we tear up the pic. Now we’re back in the present and… Hang on, back in the dark room??? How?! How does not winning the contest mean that Jefferson doesn’t get arrested? At first I thought it meant that we hadn’t warned David to come save us but no, he arrived so that still happened. If we hadn’t won the contest then someone else would have done and even if I hadn’t warned David, Jefferson would be flying with the winner to San Francisco, right? I don’t understand how this is the outcome of that… Maybe I’m missing something, if so please enlighten me!
  2. Filler missions. EUUUURGH. I do not want to spend half an hour looking for bottles just because you wanted to make more money by selling your game in separate episodes and needed to justify doing that by making each episode last about 2.5 hours. There was a filler mission in almost every episode (if not all of them) where you would have to find stuff. Every time it happened it would be so frustrating, it would completely ruin the flow of the game which was so immersive then suddenly “hey could you get 5 bottles for me?” Are you serious? I’m messing with time, people are dying and you want me to find 5 bottles?
  3. Max. She’s a bit of a dick in my personal opinion. I don’t like her. She’s a very sarcastic, “I’m such a nerd, I’m different to everyone else”, thinks she’s funny and occasionally some of the stuff she says gets a short “ha” reaction but mostly she’s not really funny, unless she’s talking to Warren and then suddenly she’s a social butterfly.  She doesn’t make great decisions (when on auto pilot) and some of the stuff she says is not what I would have said in certain situations. She’s also really into her photography and examining her stuff gets really boring, “wow, Blahblah the great photographer that photographed things, so impressive, such great work, so little I care”. Not that I don’t appreciate photography, it’s cool, I just don’t want to hear about it when I click on almost every little thing. I kind of agreed with a few of the things Victoria said about her to be honest. Kim from Later Levels mentioned this before and she pointed out that she’s a teenage girl, she’s meant to be a representation of yourself in some way, she’s not perfect and she’s right, I’m so used to having a “perfect” protagonist that it was quite a difficult adjustment, it took a while to get used to, and I suppose I was a lot like that when I was a teenager (I cringe to think about some of the stuff I used to come out with, I used to consider myself an elite music know-it-all but thinking back to it now I just came across as horribly snobby and irritating, I would give teenage me a kick up the arse for sure).
  4. Is no one going to talk about the tornado that is slowly arriving to destroy Arcadia Bay? If I was Max that would have been the thing that got me worried, I would be trying to find ways of preventing the tornado or evacuating everyone, instead Max doesn’t seem to believe that it’s going to happen even though she’s been, you know, GIFTED WITH TIME TRAVEL, you’d have thought a random tornado wouldn’t be out of the realms of possibility after discovering you can rewind time.
  5. As I mentioned before, Mr Jefferson’s great reveal as the antagonist was kind of obvious to me, he was the only person that made sense. At the end of episode 2 (or maybe 3) you see someone putting pictures away in a file with girls names written on it, so it’s something to do with photography, you also know there’s something sexual about it because all the victims are girls so you can assume that it’s most likely a man. Nathan is too obvious, he’s not smart enough to be the mastermind, you don’t really interact enough with anyone else that is male and into photography so by process of elimination that just left him. I did wonder if it would be Warren, just as a huge shocker, but I’m glad it wasn’t.
  6. Occasionally there are moments where people tell you way more than they usually would. The main example of this is when you see Nathan in the diner: We just got him suspended from school, accused him of drugging, sexually assaulting and driving Kate Marsh to suicide but after a little angry episode at Max he’s fine to spill the beans on everything and have a nice long chat. Occasionally with the word “bitch” thrown in to remind you that he doesn’t like you. This isn’t a huge deal really, it is something that usually happens in games, but it does detract somewhat from the immersive game play and makes you say “hang on, why are you telling me this?”

Again, those things weren’t enough to have me not enjoy the game, it was still great, it just could have done without them really.

I’m not really sure what I think of the new game, it will be interesting to play up to the disappearance of Rachel Amber as Chloe (I assume that’s what it’s going to be about) but without the rewind time power I’m unsure how the gameplay will be as that was the thing that ‘gameified’ the first one for me, otherwise all you would do is walk around and click stuff, maybe it will just be like a detective style thing? Guess I’ll have to play it to find out, oh no…

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To finish off here’s the end of episode choice lists we made, if you’ve played it before then take a look and compare your own choices with mine! What did you do differently? Which decisions did you find the most difficult? What did you choose to do at the end?

 

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General Gaming

Dragons’ Tea Party’s Quest to Find Virtual Love Continues

After my fleeting romance with a sickly rock dove named Ryouta, who I met through Hatoful Boyfriend (ending at his sickly demise), I decided to try my luck with a different species, a human. Can you imagine such a thing? The scandal has made things difficult to say the least. I, Papa Squatts, moved into a cul-de-sac with my awesome daughter Amanda where I met lots of other single dads that also live there, very convenient and very exciting. I quickly narrowed down my favourites: Robert (the bad dad), Joseph (the good dad) and Craig (the fit dad – fit as in ooh lala you so handsome and gym 24 hours a day fit. Even my mum said she fancied this one – until she saw the baby strapped to his chest – so you know he’s good).

I went on a couple of dates with all of them, sparking lovely little moments like this one:

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Just to clarify we were looking for a toy capybara, not a real one

And this one…

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It’s OK, we just did some whittling, I made a toothpick

And this…

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Him to the DJ, not to me. It’s true though, Radiohead are amazing but very depressing

Joseph ended up winning me over, mainly because of his wife to be honest, she’s a dick and while I was on my date with Robert she tags along and flirts with everything male in the bar so I felt like Joseph needed to be saved from this 2-dimensional Jezebel.

Mary
Yep… Totally my intention

That’s how our relationship may have started (well that and making brownies, that was fun although I did kinda want real brownies afterwards…) but on our second date I was overcome with how sweet he was. We did some dad dancing to spice up the empty dance floor at the youth club dance, finishing off with the move from Dirty Dancing, and then he showed me a surprise Margaritaville he’d set up in the church office just for me where we sat in deck chairs, sipped margaritas and chatted about things. It was so lovely. Here’s a little photo album of our best moments… JOSEPH STORY LINE SPOILERS

 

 

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No one was on the dance floor, our dad eyes connected… We needed to get this party started
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I got Amanda to safety
dance4
Which dance move to impress with first? (I chose the Lawnmower)

dance5

dance6
Hell yeah
Margaritaa
OMG this is adorable, we talked about this before and he remembered, this man is so sweet…
Joseph date 3
Date 3… Hell yeah
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Indeed
Joseph date 4
Me deciding what to yell at the ocean, I chose option 2
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HELL YES!!!! WOOOOOOOO

After this, my dear readers, we made tender (though censored) love down in the cabin of his yacht (you don’t see anything, it’s all dark screen, very PG). I thought everything was going brilliantly, he’d broken up with Mary… Everything was awesome… Until it wasn’t.

Maybe you noticed how some of those pictures had tear stains and ice cream smudges all over them, hold on to your hats because here comes the emotional epilogue…

Joespeg epilogue

What no
Wait, what?
Joesph back with fucking Mary
No!
Joesph back with fucking Mary what
NOOOO!!!!
Fuck you
You arsehole, you’re worse than your bitchy wife, I can’t believe this, I gave you everything! I didn’t go on my third date with Robert for you!!! You absolute twat!

I couldn’t believe it, what had I done wrong? Could it be that our last date only getting ranked as a ‘B’ meant that things didn’t work out? I was so heartbroken and upset, I can’t believe Joseph would do that to me after all we’d been through. I sat and ate some ice cream alone for a while then Amanda came up and made me feel better. Instead of ending up with a boyfriend I got the World’s Best Dad Achievement.

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Her face doesn’t look sincere but she totally was, she’s just embarassed

Amanda endWorld's best dad

Amanda is so great, and I’m not just saying that because she made me feel better at the end of the game (Aha! Yes, t’was a game this whole time!) She radiates cool and your relationship is something akin to Rory and Lorelei in Gilmore Girls (if Lorelei was a man) so there’s loads of playful banter between you but also parental responsibilities that, as a single father, you try to handle as best as you can.

In case you hadn’t guessed after that emotional rollercoaster, this is my of course Dream Daddy, a dad dating simulator game but don’t let that kinda creepy description put you off, this game is amazing. I haven’t laughed so much while playing a game (well I’ve laughed at games but not with them, this one is a laugh with game) since I played Portal. It is so well written and genuinely funny. Long term Tea Party readers might be thinking I’m a little biased because I’m a big Game Grumps fan (they created it) but honestly it’s nothing to do with that, it’s just a really good game. The premise is that you move into a dad-populated cul-de-sac with your daughter Amanda, You then meet all the dads that live conveniently close to you in the cul-de-sac and make friends, they add you on Dadbook (a cross between Tinder and Facebook I guess) and through that you can choose who to go on a date with. It sounds kind of weird and lame but trust me, it’s great.

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So aside from my wonderful whirlwind romance with Joseph what else is great about this game? Well, considering everything is described to you in text and you don’t really see any animation other than characters’ facial features and stances changing, or the shower of hearts and aubergine emojis that appear when you do something that another dad likes (seriously), it’s surprisingly easy to picture what is happening and get immersed in the story. I can almost imagine this game coming out as a book. The jokes are great and all the characters are likeable, except some of the kids, I even actually kind of like Mary, Joseph’s bitchy wife (ashamed as I am to admit this I literally just got the ‘Mary and Joseph’ thing as I was typing this. Eurgh. And their kids’ names are all variations of Chris… As in Christ… Euuurrrghhh.) She has a dark sense of humour which I kind of like and I think she’d be fun on a night out.

Your daughter Amanda is a brilliant character too. Her personality really comes through and the voice actress for her deserves a medal or something because a lot of that is thanks to her – she manages to bring Amanda to life with minimal voice acting, but it adds so much. I want to be friends with Amanda, she’s awesome. We had some great times through the bad and the good, including some surprisingly sweet, sincere advice from your own character to your daughter having a tough time.

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This resonated a lot with me because my mum told me almost exactly the same thing once when I was having a teenage friend drama. Kind of feel bad for giving Papa that face now to deliver those nice lines.
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Seriously, your relationship with your daughter is incredible

So to cap off this amazing game, Joseph had to get one last jab in didn’t he… Arse. If he thinks I’m going to pursue him in my next playthrough then he is 100% wrong, that ship has sailed Joseph (or yacht, like the yacht we hung out on that one time… Where you said you *sniff* liked me… And we… *sobs uncontrollably*). Maybe Robert will have me back in my next game…

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Seriously. fuck this guy
General Gaming

The Dragon’s Return to PC Gaming

 

Back in my youth I used to be a PC Gamer. It was my main way of playing games, I’d spend hours and hours (I don’t want to know how many) playing games like Neverwinter Nights, The Sims, Dragon Age, Age of Mythology… I loved it. I got into consoles in my mid-teens when my dad brought home his PS2 but even then, it was never my main console until I moved out of my parents’ house and started University. I could have bought a gaming PC or laptop for my time at University but they are SO expensive and I was a poor student living almost solely on baked beans (mainly so that I could spend the money on alcohol instead, no regrets!) Now though I am living with my boyfriend and he has a gaming PC! Yay! It’s the only reason I’m with him really…

Plunging back into PC Gaming wasn’t quite as smooth and fun as I hoped, first I couldn’t remember my username/password for my Steam account. Luckily, I didn’t have that many games on my old one though (I never got to finish American McGee’s Alice though…) and I made a new account (thedragonsteaparty, if you’re interested). Once that was sorted the first thing I did was search for my one and only, my video gaming peak, my soulgame… only to dramatically howl “NOOOOO”, put my head in my hands and take several moments to compose myself. Neverwinter Nights is not available on Steam. I mean they have Neverwinter, the free to play MMO which I have tried on the PS4 but due to my aversion of MMOs and an embarrassing “oops the mic is turned on and everyone on the map can hear me raging over this game” moment I decided it wasn’t for me. I’d been looking forward to playing NWN again and re-visiting it. Nevermind, I guess I’ll just have to pick something from this enormous online gaming library that doesn’t have the one I game I had my heart set on… So, in the end what did I reboot my PC journey with again? Well, it was a choice between two very different games: Dream Daddy and Planescape: Torment. Two very different, polar opposite games. On a bit of a dating simulator high since my experience with Hatoful Boyfriend, Dream Daddy won and I started a game with new dad on the block Papa Squatts (Dan’s name idea, not taking credit for that one.)

Dream Daddy is a dating simulator where you play a dad who dates other dads. It’s been hugely popular due to its wonderful representation of the LGBT community and character diversity. Other than this,  my main motivation for playing Dream Daddy is that it’s a Game Grumps creation, and you guys must know by now that I love Game Grumps. Another big motivator is that it has really good reviews on Steam and I’ve heard great things about it (Adventure Rules did a couple of posts about it a while ago as well). I was not disappointed; this game is awesome. The best thing so far is the dialogue, and with a dating sim that is the thing that needs to be the best as that’s most of what happens. It’s really funny, I have laughed out loud a few times at some of the dad-style anecdotes and scenarios. Unlike Hatoful Boyfriend it seems like it will take more than an hour and a half to finish as I’ve played it for quite a while already and I’ve only just attended a barbecue and met all the dads that all conveniently live in the same cul-de-sac and are all single, except one who has a bitchy wife. Totally gonna steal him from her, mwahaha… But then I like the sporty one too… And the ‘bad dad’… I can’t choose!!!

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I’ll do a nice big post about this in the future because it’s amazing but until then let’s take a look at my other purchase…

I bought Planescape: Torment, mainly because it’s been recommended to me by a lot of people, it looks very Neverwinter Nights/Baldur’s Gate-esque and it’s from the same developers (Black-Isle Studios) so I’m very excited to start it. Unfortunately for Torment, at the time of downloading I was more in the mood to play something chill so Dream Daddy was more enticing. I mean, the blue dreadlock dude isn’t really my type, I’m sure he has a lovely personality though… Or… maybe not…

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I’m sure that Planescape: Torment will be getting a post or two in the future as well, I am already predicting that I will get addicted to it, much as I did NWN and all my old favourites. But until then, who should be my Dream Daddy? Mat, Craig, Hugo, Brian, Damien, Robert, or Joseph? I’m leaning towards Joseph, he makes cakes and has a mean wife that I feel like I need to save him from.

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Potential future boyfriend Joseph is the one in the middle 😉

Are you a PC Gamer? What’s your preferred game console? Have you played Dream Daddy too? How about Planescape: Torment? What were your thought? (No spoilers for either please!)

General Gaming

My Obsession Confession

*dreamy voice*
Well thought out characters… Excellent plot… Pew, pew, pew… a gamer encounters many wonderful moments on their quest for the perfect game, make sure you have the right accessory to take on your adventure…
*barely audible breathy voice*
Obsession… The new Fragrance by The Dragon’s Tea Party
[Dragon roars majestically in background as a woman dramatically jumps into the sea for some reason]

Can you tell I did a 4-year Advertising course at University? Yeah. It’s truly a wonder I’m not further along in the industry by now.

Are you obsessed with a video game right now? Do you spend the time you’re not playing thinking about what you’re going to do when you can play again? Do you immerse yourself in fan art, memes, comics related to the game? Do you listen to podcasts, watch videos or read about how to get better at playing the game, or how to get that one item you really want, or how best to do the thing? Are you planning a tea party where all the cakes are going to be based on the video game? If you answered yes to all the above you may be a little obsessed. The tea party thing is a little specific so I’ll let a ‘no’ to that one slide but if you answered yes to that one too then we should get together and compare cake notes (seriously, I would love that, get in touch).

When I find a game (or a TV show or movie) I like, I will really like it. A LOT. I want to research all about the different characters, know all the different fan theories, buy all the merch and get fully immersed in it. I do try and restrain myself from going on about my current obsession in my blog but it does slip through sometimes, you can almost see patterns from when I first started writing, the trends go from Dragon Age to Stardew Valley to the current obsession: Overwatch. With the Overwatch World Cup Finals just a couple of months away, this is only being fuelled right now. That’s what the aforementioned themed tea party cakes are all about by the way, we’re going to invite some people over to watch the final (99% sure South Korea will win but it will still be fun to watch) and I love playing hostess, so I’ll make some themed baked goods for the occasion. I’ll put some pictures up when I make them but considering my previous disasters with icing they will not look anything like what I’m picturing in my head.

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This is not what I made, but it’s what I hope mine will look like (spoilers: they won’t)

My obsessions tend to begin when a game has a few core elements: well thought out characters, an interesting plot, a wonderful world/setting to explore, etc. Once I’m hooked I’ll start my little circle of obsession:

  1. First of all I’ll take a shine to a character and I’ll look up a little bit about them…
  2. Then that character will inevitably have a relationship with another character (romantic, friendly or hateful, whichever) and I’ll get drawn into that…
  3. Fan art or memes comes into play here. It will start innocently where I’ll see a couple of memes about the game and think they’re funny, then I’ll search for memes related to my favourite characters. Fan art inevitably joins in here as I search for specific people…
  4. Suddenly I’ll see some fan art depicting something I don’t quite understand, why would this character be saying that thing or doing that? Back to Google and BAM I’m sucked into the addictive fan theory section…
  5. Now I know all about the characters I identify with them and I love them all, I want to go shopping!!! I am a little restrained in this bit usually because money saving is still a thing but I may have some Junkrat and Mei fridge magnets on the way as we speak… So not quite that restrained
  6. Finally, I am fangirled out. I continue on the same sort of level of immersion and then eventually it drops gradually over time, never quite extinguishing though, I’m always happy to dive back in whenever. Along comes the next game to grab my attention…
I Love Starde- OOH OVERWATCH.png
I had to use this meme, right? It just fits

So that’s my little circle of fandom. I know that to some people that’s probably noob level fangirling (my sister, for example, makes my little circle look like a pebble seen from space. I have never met anyone that can rival her Anime-based knowledge and fangirling). Despite the fact that I am aware that I am not quite as obsessed as I could be, I am still intensely aware of the impact of this on my social life. For example: I always get a little frustrated when someone likes the same thing but not to the same degree as me. I’ve had more than a few funny glances where I’ve been discussing Harry Potter or Doctor Who with someone and I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent about a random fan theory (I try to stop, usually tailing off awkwardly, once I realise I’m rambling – my wonderful social skills everybody!) At least with movies or TV Shows it’s a little bit more mainstream but I often forget that not a lot of people are into video games and they rarely get mentioned in “everyday life” – so if someone makes the mistake of saying to me “What’s Overwatch?” I start a 5 hour monologue with an accompanying PowerPoint before realising that they are slowly edging away, eyes darting around looking for an escape.

Related image
When I talk abut my current obsession…

Another thing that really impacts my obsessions is when a friend will get obsessed with me. When I was really into Dragon Age Inquisition my flatmate and I were in our final year of University and Dragon Age was a huge distraction. We both spent an embarassing amount of time playing it and when we weren’t playing it we were usually discussing fan theories and quoting it at each other. Same with Overwatch at the moment: my boyfriend and I will be playing it together, discussing it, watching the world cup qualifiers together, we’ll be walking along and see a strip of green light or something and yell “I NEED HEALING” – we’ll think it’s the funniest thing ever, but no one else will get it, unless they’re also Overwatch players – then we have a beautiful moment of unity while everyone else edges away from us slowly.

Image result for i need healing sock

So I guess what I’m trying to say through this post which, not going to lie, I was putting off writing because I was playing Overwatch too much and wanted something a little more substantial to write about but I have nothing else on my mind at the moment… I’m trying to say sorry if I go on about certain games a little too much because they’re my current ‘thing’ – but if you are into that same thing then let’s get together, eat some themed cake and discuss theories!

On a related note! Next weekend is play-Overwatch-for-free weekend! From September 22nd, you can download the entire game (completely free!) and play it to your heart’s content (although you’ll need a PS Plus account to play it on PS4, or the PS Plus equivalent for Xbox) until the end of September 25th. If anyone’s got a PS4 and fancies dipping a toe into the best team shooter out there, drop me a line, and maybe we can play a few games together!

Do you get easily obsessed with games/TV Shows/Movies? What are you currently really into? What sort of things do you do to fuel your obsessions?