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…
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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.

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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?

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General Gaming

Dove Love

I’ve met The One, my friends – he works several jobs to support his sick mother, he enjoys hanging out in parks and, perhaps the most endearing quality… He’s a rock dove. Before you go judging me and my life choices, please allow me to explain our love story…

Ryouta and I were childhood friends, he a rock dove and me a human girl, an unlikely friendship to be sure. Later in life we both attended the same school: PigeoNation’s Institute. Why am I in this bird school when I am human and not actually a bird? That is a good question, but we don’t have time to think about that right now. Upon starting this new school, Ryouta told me that his mother was sick. He works several jobs to take care of her, even though he is often ill himself. We still managed to have fun though, despite his busy schedule! We went for walks in the park and participated in the three-legged race together (yes, we made a strange couple, a bird and a human doing a three-legged race- but it was OK, he basically carried me most of the way; his bird feet are so strong). Ours was a story steeped in romance and feathers, and ultimately, tragedy. This is the tale of how I met – and lost – my one true dove. Uhh, love.

Are you still with me? I should hope I wouldn’t have to clarify this, but I understand that the above story may be a little convincing, so I’ll say it just in case: I’m not really dating a rock dove. This is the result of me playing Hatoful Boyfriend which I downloaded for free (like hell would I pay for it) as it’s one of the free PS+ monthly games. I had heard about this game before and was mildly curious about it –  I thought it was a dating simulator where you could date birds, but that’s ridiculous, that can’t be right… Right? Well after I disbelievingly played through it last night, I can confirm that yes, it is indeed a dating simulator where you date birds. Mostly doves to be precise (or a sparrow, or a super creepy Partridge if you’re that way inclined). I have never taken so many screenshots in such a small space of time by the way, so be warned that this post will have lots of images of doves saying some really random stuff, like this…

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Seriously, what is happening?

So what on earth happens in Hatoful Boyfriend? Well, I will attempt to tell you – ‘attempt’ being the key word here. You are a human girl (my name was BuuurrrRd perzen – Rick and Morty tribute) and you go to a school which is only for birds. An exception has been made in your case, why? Because reasons. (Seriously, they go to explain it and then your character gets cut off mid-explanation and it’s never brought up again.) Just into the start of the game I had a bit of a screenshot frenzy.

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Are you serious? A powerful visualisation module in this game? Awesome
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“Powerful visualisation module” – this game knows it’s bad, and works with it. I like it. Also, this sort of kinda gross innuendo talk pops up A LOT
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Is that picture just from a random google image search?

There don’t seem to be any other females, bird or human, in this school, leaving all the hot dove tail feathers for you, yay! So, without further ado let’s meet our bachelors (in person and dove/pigeon/bird form!)

First off we have Ryouta, your childhood friend:

Image result for hatoful boyfriend characters ryouta

He’s the sweet, kind of quiet but would stick up for you, friendly, no huge quirks, has a sick mother that he has to look after so he’s always super busy, also has health issues so they often get in the way of him doing things. Basically, the ‘normal’ option.

Then we have the posh one, a Fantail Dove named Sakuya. He is a Japanese/French aristocrat (I don’t know if that means fantail doves are French but he lives in Japan or if that means he is French by parentage… I don’t care enough to find out.) This guy was the one I was actually going for, because every time he appeared on screen it was like BAM CHECK OUT MY TAIL. Apparently fate didn’t lead me in that direction though. He’s very up himself, but it’s OK, you can bring him down from his high bird table and show him the fun, common, things in life. Trying to date this bird is basically living through the song ‘Common People’ by Pulp, if the girl was a bird and it was set in Japan that is.

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Now there’s the kooky, sporty, mentally unstable dove named Okosan. He REALLY likes sports and pudding. He can also talk using brackets, it’s very impressive. I tried to avoid this one because I had no idea what he was talking about and was struggling to understand what was going on as it was.

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Apparently he has no human form…
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You are a fucking bird

Then we have the teacher, Kazuyaki. He has narcolepsy, which is very sweet and endearing. He’s also very nice and will let you know how well you’re doing at school by telling you that you did OK… Actually no wait you did terribly.

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Finally we have creepy, sexual assaulty, ‘I will drug you’ Partridge, the school doctor. I was really hoping he would be called Alan but no, his name is Shuu. I don’t actually know if he’s a romance option, I guess he is? He seemed more like the bad guy, but nothing really happened with him after a while.

Image result for hatoful boyfriend characters shuu

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This is a goddam creepy-ass partridge. I used to think they were cute but now I’ve been mentally scarred

There were some more characters which, depending on the choices you make, you can romance as well (I think) but the above were the main ones that I came into contact with, I would however like to give a special little shout out to a sparrow that I met, the only other female I met in the entire game actually, the only reason for her shout out being that her theme song is quite something – it sounds like I just got into a boss battle…

I’m going to have to put a little list of random things here that I couldn’t help but question while playing this game, despite the fact that I know there is no point because the game is basically just saying “dude, just go with the flow” the whole time you play:

  • Why do I live in a cave?
  • How did I fit on the back of a sparrow’s mo-ped? Is the mo-ped normal sized and the sparrow has stuff to help her drive or is the mo-ped sparrow sized and I am sort of crouching/balancing on the back? Why can’t the sparrow just fly?
  • Are the images of birds in this just from Google Images? It looks like they are photoshopped Google Images
  • How the fuck am I competing in a three-legged race with a dove as my partner? I need to see some sort of visual of this. And apparently the dove is the one that did the most work! How?!Hatoful Boyfriend_20170906214603
  • When I first meet most of the birds I also see a human portrait to go with it, but that is the only time you see a human form of them. Can they turn into humans at will? Are the human portraits just a sort of artist’s impression of what they would look like as a human? Are the human portraits just there to help you actually decide which bird is the most attractive?
  • There is a famous bird blogger called Brian Pigeon and THE BLOG IS REAL AND EXISTS IN REAL LIFE. It’s here. Not a question, this is just amazing and should be pointed out. Squirrel obesity is a serious problem.
  • Am I a bird-sized human?
  • Are the birds human-sized?
  • Are we all normal-sized?
  • What is life?

The game finished after about an hour, maybe a hour and a half. I guess the idea is that you play through it with different choices and get a different bird depending on the outcome.

So my outcome with Ryouta, who I hadn’t even been going for in the first place, (Ryouta romance story line spoiler alert – although if you really care that much, you should probably have a good think about your life) ended up getting pretty sad. Basically I helped him get another job, found him working at his secret part-time job, reminded him that he would be dead if it weren’t for me so he owes me his life, comforted him when his mum died (at this point I was like damn, this game can be a bit sad) then it was Legumentines Day (basically bird Valentines’ Day). I bought my bean with the posh dude in mind – we’d been to the fair and were running the student council together. I thought I had a shot. Then up comes Ryouta and, oh shit! He gave me a bean! What do I do? His mum just died, I can’t not take the bean! What about my posh guy? Turns out I didn’t have to worry, because after buying the bean you have literally no other choices to make. We hashed out some relationship issues, like him having a shorter lifespan than me being a bird and all, and that lifespan being even shorter anyway because not only is he a bird, he’s a sickly bird. Turns I can be really diplomatic when all I need to do is mash X, and I think we ended up agreeing to get married. Here is our love story in pictures:

Hatoful Boyfriend_20170906221452
Yeah, remember that bitch, you owe me your life
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Oh OK that’s cool. I mean you could have made more of an effort, you’re not even wearing a wig
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Time to seduce posh dude…
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Wait, no I don’t! I had no say in this!
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OMG he’s proposing, this is the happiest day of my life
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WHAT?! Way to spoil the moment
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WHOA WHAT??? Is that him dead??? Is that his dead mum? Oh wow…

Playing this game was an emotional roller coaster.

To be honest, as mad as this game was it was fun to play. I was sat with my other half going through it and we were both laughing the whole time, if I had been playing it alone I dare say I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much. If you have a friend over and fancy playing something funny then I would recommend it, but I wouldn’t spend more than £5 on it, and even that is pushing it to be honest. Or maybe I’m just stingy? It’s also quite clear that the designers are taking the piss out of themselves so it’s not really a sense of “oh, what have they done?” super-cringey playing, it’s more in the Goat Simulator/I Am Bread ‘this is weird and I’m into it’ sort of realm.

Have you played Hatoful Boyfriend? Did you pay money for it? If so, do you regret your decision? Who was your dove boyfriend? Would you play this game?

I’m just going to chuck some random images in at the end here that I didn’t get to put in above, please enjoy.

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Actually thought I was getting bullied by a dove gang here for a second until I realised they were talking to each other, not me

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General Gaming · Rants

A JRPG Nightmare… Final Fantasy X-2

I would put a spoiler warning here but this game has spoiled itself already.

I don’t even know where to start with this… I had heard it was bad but literally nothing could have prepared me for the sheer monstrosity that is this game. I know I slagged off Final Fantasy X a lot (see here, here and here for my little trio of posts about it) but I did like it really, it just had a few things that I found hugely annoying and while I’m not taking what I said about it back by any means I would rather go on a date with Tidus and listen to him talk about his daddy issues all night than play through FFX-2 in its’ entirety. If you know how much I hate Tidus, then you know that that is really saying something.

“But Dragon! Why did you play it if you know it’s meant to be so bad?” Well tiny human readers, this poor life choice came about because the version of FFX that I have also came with FFX-2 so I had it anyway and I quite enjoy playing good-bad games (so bad they’re good, like Deadly Premonition, Duke Nukem Forever, Final Fantasy X…) so I thought “you know what, why not? It might be fun”. I have never been so simultaneously bored, confused and embarrassed playing a game before. That opening scene is one of the cringiest things ever made in gaming history… I’ll get to that in a sec. So I’ll take you through my reactions to this game as they came, I actually wrote notes as I was playing because there was no way I was going to remember the amount of stuff wrong with this game.

First of all, when you start the game you’re greeted with this…

That actually made me hide behind a cushion a little bit because it was so cringy. So Yuna is a pop star, Rikku has AMAZING hair (seriously, Rikku’s hair is literally the only thing I like about this game, it is so cool) and she is trying to break into Yuna’s show with Lulu 2.0… Ok… Now Yuna is here in her original outfit aaaaaand it’s gone replaced with some weird purple salsa thing and this song. Who made this? Why? I hate everything about this. Once the show is over you chase Yuna and get attacked by easy-to-kill ninjas. What is with this battle system???? I don’t like turn based fighting and this is almost not turn based any more but it was so fast that all I could do was panic and mash X to attack. If you’re going to make the fighting fast paced you can’t have a turn-based style menu to peruse and tactfully choose your next attack from because you don’t have the time! It should be one or the other! I ended up changing this in the configurations. Oh and Lulu 2.0 (her real name is Paine by the way… Yeah, that is actually her name, Lulu 2.0 suddenly seems like an upgrade doesn’t it) is so emo that she doesn’t even face the enemy, she is apparently part owl and rotates her head round to look at them while her body faces the opposite direction. At first I thought the game had glitched and that her head was on the wrong way round to her body, but nope, it’s just a phase mom!

FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster_20170901181310
“I think my friend is being attacked by a horny lion but I can’t quite see… If only I was normal and could face the right way…”

Just when I thought I couldn’t get more confused a second Yuna backflips over herself, a second one? Right. Basically, turns out that a sphere hunter has taken a dress sphere or something that allows her to turn into a singing Yuna (and apparently attract a sell out crowd of thousands, pretty impressive really). We then battle and I equipped Yuna with the ‘songstress’ dress sphere and she… she… well… so she danced at them. She literally stood in front of the sphere hunter and attacked her with dance (the opposing sphere hunter did the same to be fair, it was a dance off). Just… I don’t know, see for yourself.

So that just happened. Now let’s board this giant lobster spaceship, oh sweet it’s Brother from the previous game, he was ni- … oh no they’ve made him super creepy and he shouts everything. For some reason his creepiness is portrayed as endearing, he is now the equivalent of that guy from your class that you think might have something a little bit wrong with him so you accept his Facebook request out of pity but then he messages you CONSTANTLY and you end up blocking him but then he gets really upset about it so you pretend it’s a glitch and then you try to avoid him for the rest of your life so that you don’t have to confront him about why the glitch hasn’t been sorted out yet. At one point, for some reason I can’t remember, he is lying on the floor and when I went up to speak to him this happened. Are you OK Final Fantasy?

 

 

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Pretty sure this was a glitch but from what I’ve seen in this game it wouldn’t surprise me if this was meant to happen
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Lobster Airship!

Before I go back to the “story” (I use that term very loosely) let’s just look at the most ridiculous idea for a game since Sonic and The Black Knight appeared on our screens: dress up fighting. Instead of having lots of skills that you acquire through focusing on different class paths and having that all under one character (e.g. when I played FFX Yuna was my white/black mage using healing and attack magic) you swap your outfit to correspond to which class you want to be and you can do this in mid-battle, the outfit you want has to be next to the outfit you’re currently wearing though on the dress pyramid thingy, god forbid they make it too easy for us and just allow you to swap to whatever you want, you have to work to get from sexy samurai to festival pyjama party. The classes are a mixture of normal to ridiculous as well, so far I have got :

  • Warrior (normal)
  • Gunner (yep, cool)
  • Songstress (kind of like a bard I guess but why the dancing???)
  • Festival (what the fuck?)
  • Black mage (OK, back to normal again)

Just to clarify a little more about the “festival” outfits, they are all in what looks like pyjamas and Rikku is attacking with candyfloss. This is SO stupid.

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WTF has Paine got on her face? A Five Nights at Freddy’s mask?
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You might think this is some sort of weird fan art but no, actual weapons and outfit used in battle, poor fish
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This is apparently a garment grid that I can get later, yay?

I’m not going to lie, stupid outfits aside I quite like the idea of an outfit change to go with your class because I’m a bit girly like that, but they don’t keep the outfits on when you’re out of battle, what do they do? “oh crap we’re being attacked, hang on two secs while I just put my mage outfit on…” this means that you can’t really see the outfits because they’re always zipping about in battle mode. From what I can see I like Yuna’s black mage costume but it’s hard to tell. On top of all that I have no idea what the stats are doing when I swap these outfits round, they all change drastically and I can’t tell who is better in which class/outfit.

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While we’re on appearance, hey Yuna, what is that thing down your back? It looks like a pink lion tail. Is this meant to be her hair?! I am genuinely asking, is it really? How did that one part of it get so long in the space of two years? And why has she done that to it? It looks like she escaped from the Matrix and forgot to pull the wire out of her head. How does it not constantly get in the way? Rikku looks like she’s going for a Jecht/Captain Jack Sparrow inspired thing, she’s also a huge fan of assless chaps and thongs in this game, but you know, each to their own I guess, maybe she likes the breeze… Still love her hair though. Finally, Lulu 2.0 it’s-not-a-phase-mom Emochick. She’s the strong and silent type, her name is Paine, just like what she feels in her heart every day as she resents her parents for their lack of understanding of her soul. There’s not a lot to say about her as she is so strong and silent so far that it’s removed any need to attempt crafting a personality for her. I’m not even going to talk about the revealing clothes they’re wearing… I’ve mentioned it before and I can only come to the conclusion that they thought “hey you know who we didn’t objectify in the last game? Yuna and Rikku, if we make it 2 years later they are both legal right? Sweeeeet $$$”.

FF X2

Back to the “story”! Lobster airship drops us off in a super inconvenient spot on a mountain where we race other sphere hunters to the top of a mountain (where the ship could totally have dropped us rather than below it, just saying) to be the first to get to the sphere. Luckily the game also decides to teach you how to jump at this point and it’s so stupid and counter intuitive that they leave you a huge amount of time to get to the top as you also learn to jump, I don’t think it would be possible to lose, I stood at a ledge for about 2 full minutes watching Yuna wobble over and over as she refused to jump up a small ledge. You also fight a few gun snakes (I wish I was joking) and ninjas on your way up but nothing is really a problem because mashing X still works at this point. What is this guarding the sphere though?! My first boss?? IT’S A GIANT CRAB! Hold on to your hats though because if that didn’t freak you out enough then the name of this crab will terrify you. His name is BORIS. ALL FEAR BORIS THE MIGHTY IRON CRAB. I genuinely believe that Square Enix put some animal names in one hat, and then some items/elements (like gun, metal, fire, sword) in another, pulled out the papers and put them together, voila! Snake Gun and Iron Crab! Once we have the sphere we go back to the airship and put up with Brother a little bit, then we go to Besaid, the starting point of FFX and where Wakka and Lulu now live together. Lulu is going to have a baby! How lovely! How far along is she? Due in 2 weeks! Oh goodness, she must be huge! Let’s go say hi. Oh Lulu, my goodness, you literally have not changed one bit. You’re still wearing your corset at 9 months pregnant? Are you giving birth to a noodle?

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Whatever. I wasn’t even surprised any more at this point.

We then set out trying to find a cave, to open this cave we needed to find numbers hidden around the island but I may have talked over Lulu recommending that I speak to people on the village and ask about the cave so I ended up wandering around Besaid getting angry about the island’s lack of caves for a really long time.

Finally, we found the sphere and left the island and went to Zanarkand, I remember this place having some nice music… It sounds a little different though this time… Are those bagpipes?! Why would you use bagpipes in any piece of music, let alone this one??? That, my friends, is where I quit. I just couldn’t do it. For the rest of the night I played through the first episode of Life is Strange to remind myself that video games are good (it worked by the way, Life is Strange is brilliant, can’t wait to play the second chapter tonight). I couldn’t totally escape from Final Fantasy in that though, Life is Strange is made by Square Enix too and that prompted this little bit of self-indulgence on their part when I looked at a TV in the game:

It’s been a while since I did a big ranty post like this, so I suppose it’s a good thing that FFX-2 gave me a ton of stuff to write about, I’ve been in a writing slump recently so a long post like this hasn’t happened in a while. Mainly because of this I’m wondering – even though the idea of it is making my stomach churn – if I should try and keep playing FFX-2 a little bit longer… What do you think? Would you like to read about this a bit more or do you think it’s better as a one off? What are your thoughts on FFX-2 in general? Is there anyone out there that actually likes it? I won’t judge you too harshly if so!

I’m just going to leave you with a couple of final random screenshots of the game, just let them speak for themselves (I did play a little bit further than Zanarkand in the end in the name of blog pictures).

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Cosplay · Events

Film and Comic Con Bournemouth

Having recently moved down to Dorset and therefore being a little out of the way of big, geeky events in London that I had had the pleasure of attending while I briefly lived there (MCM London Comic Con, Rezzed 2017…) I had heard talk of a Bournemouth Comic Con. I wasn’t expecting it to be anywhere near as big as London Comic Con (and I was right) but I do love any excuse to dress up and I don’t really mind how big it is as long as I have a good time, because of that this post will mostly be me being a bit cosplay indulgent but then I’ll write about the event as a whole nearer the end!

Cosplay

To start the plan for my cosplay I Googled the date of the event to give myself a deadline but what is this??? The 28th/29th August? Aaaah!!! A week away?! (At the time of Googling) There was no way my Mei costume would be ready in time (yes, the Overwatch obsession continues and is now making it’s way into my sewing room). I do have my Link costume from my last Comic Con adventure but that shield was heavy and being a bit of a smaller event I wanted to scope out the cosplay caliber first and do something a bit more casual. Luckily, being the fancy dress fan that I am I have a fancy dress box and I soon dug out my Splicer costume (from Bioshock) that I wore for Halloween last year (although Alice in Wonderland and Unicorn were also on the cards). Unfortunately I had thrown my Splicer dress away thinking I wouldn’t need a torn up dress any more. Foolish past me. Amazon Prime to the rescue, I ordered a cheapy chips dress at the last minute then Dan and I got to work ripping our clothes up the night before the event, we even took them outside and partially burned them, I bet the neighbours loved that. We went with another two splicers as well, one of which looked pretty scary and got very into character, small children did not like walking past us, that was until it was just Dan and I sat down and a small child walked past us and excitedly yelled “BUNNY RABBITS!!!”.

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As you can see from the slideshow above, I don’t do scary very well.

Lots of people took pictures of us though, in fact I think that almost as many people took my picture there as they did when I put loads of effort in and dressed as Link for London Comic Con. Maybe that is because there weren’t as many cosplayers so it was a bit more of a novelty to see us, but of those that were there there were some really good ones, here’s a little slideshow of some of the ones I saw.

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There was a cosplay masquerade too, which I believe was a little show where the cosplayers got to show off their costumes, but because the guys wanted to go out and travel across almost the entirety of Bournemouth in search of food at lunch time rather than just buy a sandwich at the event, and also because we couldn’t really figure out where to go to actually sign up, we didn’t get to go. Nevermind! I know for next time now. It wasn’t very well sign posted anyway though, we didn’t even know about it until someone asked if we were going to enter, they could have done with handing out leaflets or something with a timetable of events and where to find what but I noticed they didn’t do that at London Comic Con either.

Guests

The most high profile guests were John Rhys-Davies (aka Gimli from Lord of The Rings, the role I know him for) and David Prowse (Darth Vader, the body not the voice), I didn’t get an autograph or any pictures as I don’t really know them for anything other than that so it didn’t seem right where as when I met Catherine Tate I have seen loads of stuff that she does, not just Doctor Who.
There were also some Cosplay guests, one day I hope to be that good at cosplay, it’s amazing what people can make. I got a few cards so if you’re interested here’s a link to some super col cosplay people:

 

Shopping!

Once you’ve seen 1 generic geeky merch stall you’ve seen them all really haven’t you? It’s the artists that really bring these sort of events together, selling things that they’ve handmade themselves and there were a lot of them in Bournemouth that were very talented. I’m not really one for art, I appreciate it and I’d like some to display on my walls but I don’t have the personal interest to maintain a full attention span for a long number of hours, after a while I just don’t really care, in London I was so exhausted wandering around that everyone’s work just seemed to blend into one and all I wanted was to go home, in Bournemouth though I was happy to wander round having a nice long look at everyone’s stuff. Most of what I bought was edible, I bought a brownie and cupcake covered in edible glitter and Butter Beer, being edible they did not survive long enough for me to get a picture… Oops. I also bought a unicorn ear cuff and spent an embarrassingly long time debating whether to buy an alpaca plushie wearing a top hat or not, in the end I decided against it because I wasn’t sure if I actually wanted it or if it was just me getting caught in the event hype. It was super cute though…

These seem to be all the rage at the moment

Here are some links to those lovely shops I saw:

  • Glitterica (they sell lovely glasses covered with geeky logos and icons made in glitter)
  • LolaArt (some art inspired by movies)
  • Lauren Cox (some really cool drawings)
  • T-Baggin (super cool nerdy t-shirts, and how cool is that shop name They have the DC Bombshells on t-shirts and I really want one)

In Summary…

I had a really nice time, and I didn’t set out to compare the two events at all but you know what? I actually enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the London Comic Con. I would definitely go again, in fact I may forgo London Comic Con in the future to go to the smaller ones instead, London’s not that far away from me I guess but the stress, cost and organisation of it really takes it out of me, this one was just so easy though! London has a much better chance of having special guests that are a bit more relevant to my preferred fandoms though. Having said that all our really famous English actors and celebs seem to end up in American conventions rather than their home turf. One day I’ll get to go to San Diego Comic Con…

Have you been to any geeky conventions recently? Would you prefer going to a smaller one or a bigger one? Are you planning any cosplays in the future that you’re going to show off?

Awards

Mystery Blogger Award #2

Ooh, well look at that I’ve been nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by The Shameful Narcissist. I have been nominated for one of these before so this is Mystery Blogger Award number 2, I really enjoy filling these out and The Shameful Narcissist always has great questions.

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The Shameful Narcissist is a great blog with fanfiction, gaming and books, it’s a great read and if you haven’t checked out her blog already then what are you doing with your life? Click the link now!

Here we go…

The Rules

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • You nominate 10 – 20 people (eurgh, I don’t know… That’s so many, I’m going to say 5)
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

So what is the Mystery Blogger Award?

The award was created by blogger Okoto Enigma and in her words : “Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.

3 Things About Me

  1. Some may know this already if they have read my Comic Con post but I can sew and I enjoy making clothes, as a result I have way too many and need to focus on sewing other things now.
  2. I am an aerial hooper – don’t know if that’s the correct term or not – in case you don’t know what aerial hoop is it’s a hoop that hangs in from the ceiling and you can sit in it and do tricks, I love doing it, it’s made me really strong and confident! Cirque du Soleil here I come!
  3. I can speak fluent French as I lived in France for 9 years. I tend to be a bit rusty when I have to speak it though at the moment as I don’t often have reason to, it comes back to me quickly though.
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If you like this sort of thing you can follow me on Instagram @aerialmegara for sporadic updates on my progress!

 

The Shameful Narcissist’s question

1. What’s your favorite kind of scented candle?

My favourite (we have an American vs English spelling thing going on in this post) would be the Christmas scented one, I only get to smell it once a year, which might be why it makes it all the nicer! It’s so nice and nostalgic.

2. Do you prefer physical copies or eBooks?  In the same vein, do you prefer digital copies or physical for video games?

This is a good question. In terms of books I used to be very anti e-copies but then I got a Kindle when I was living in London to read on my commute and it has been incredible, I love my Kindle so much. The only problem with it is that if I read a book on there that I end up absolutely loving (as has happened with Good Omens by Neil Gaimen and Terry Pratchett, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, The Assassin’s Apprentice series by Robin Hobb, I could go on for ages…) then I will really wish that I had bought it as a physical copy to display, read through again (not that I can’t read through it again on my Kindle but it’s nicer to curl up with a physical copy of a book that you really love), and even maybe lend to people… If they are super nice to me and promise to be careful and give it back within a certain time period.

In terms of video games I’m not quite as fussed about having physical copies but I do still like displaying them, also the problem with e-copies of games is that I’ll often forget that I actually have them, I keep forgetting I bought the remastered Batman Arkham series for example ad haven’t tried City yet, although that might just be because I was so unimpressed with the Asylum game that I wiped what I did play of it from my memory.

3. What’s your favorite nail polish color (yes guys can answer, too!)?

I tend to go multicolour with my nails, I like the rainbow look with a lot of glitter and sparkles. My main colours are usually blue, purple and pink though.

4. Philosophical question: Do you think humans are inherently good or are we amoral (lacking morals as in neutral, as opposed to immoral, which is against “common” morals) only exhibiting them because it’s the cost of living in a culture/society and they become so ingrained that we believe them to be inherent?

I think this is very much a case of how you were raised, but then that opens up the sort of exceptions to the rule where you can have wonderful parents but their child will turn into a psycho, or a child who will go through some nasty ordeals early in life but turn out to be an incredible human being (much like The Shameful Narcissist said about Sir Patrick Stewart in her Mystery Blogger post). So I think that we are all amoral but that there is a scale of it, for example when I was little I would do things that I didn’t perceive to be bad at the time and once I was told that they were bad things to do, or realised that I had upset someone because of my actions, I would feel very guilty and would never, or rarely, do it again but then other people might not have felt quite as guilty in the same situation as I was and they would have done it again. If the world had developed differently though some of those things may not have been perceived as bad… In short I believe that we’re heavily influenced, from an early age, by other people around us, our experiences, what’s happening in the world and that we have a unique starting point on the amoral scale which moves around depending on these influences.

5. Silver or Gold?

Silver, I remember my mum telling me that gold makes you look older and silver makes you look younger so that sort of resonates in my head a little whenever I wear it, not that I need to worry about that yet!

 

 My Best Post

I think my most popular post was my Comic Con post, however my Harley Quinn rant got a lot of love as well and that was more writing in that one!

 And the nominees are…

  1. I Played The Game
  2. Mr Panda’s Video Game Reviews
  3. Hairless Ginger
  4. Proud Gamer Girl
  5. Nostalgia Trigger

My Questions

1. If you could have any job in the world (from Indiana Jones style explorer to Pop Star to Journalist) what would you be?

2. Which TV show are you currently watching?

3. Would you rather be good really, really, ridiculously good looking, everyone would fancy the pants off you, and you would be able to get by in life on looks alone but whenever you opened your mouth the only thing that came out was “#YOLO” (actually saying the word ‘hashtag’) or would you rather dazzle people with your incredible personality, wit and wisdom but you have to wear a bag on your head because whenever you take it off, you still think you look totally normal, but people scream when they see you and run away, pleading for their lives? Show reasoning.

4. What do you think the best thing is about having a blog?

5. What pets, if any, do you have? Pictures can be included if you like in this, pictures of animals are always welcome on my newsfeed.

 

I had great fun answering these questions! Thanks again!

General Gaming

Gaming Like a Girl

I wrote a post about Overwatch the other day (when I say the other day I mean 2 weeks ago, oops, time flies when you’re addicted to Overwatch, bear with me it comes up a lot in this post too) and how I’ve been playing as Mei, Tracer, and (as a relatively new addition) Mercy most frequently. Thinking back to when I wrote that post I felt kind of guilty because I realised that I hadn’t mentioned any male characters, or even actually tried any myself yet and I’m supposed to be a gaming blogger! When I first started the game, and went to pick my hero I immediately looked at all the female heroes first, I did look at the male heroes but very briefly. I’ll do this in other games too, I will very rarely play as a male character when I have the choice and if I do it will be because I have completed the game as a female character and want to see if there are any subtle differences in playing a male character (this is usually in RPGs like Dragon Age and Neverwinter Nights where relationships with other characters can be affected subtlety by this).

I don’t know why I do this, I’ve thought of a few potential reasons and if you tend to always choose the same gender in video games (men too!) as well then I’d love to hear if any of my thoughts below resonate with you or if you have any thoughts of your own about it. Let me know in the comments!

Let me just say first of all that I have no problem at all playing as a male character, I play a male protagonist by default in most of the games I play: Legend of Zelda, Far Cry, Bioshock, God of War, Doom, The Witcher, Dying Light, Shadow of Mordor, the vast majority of Final Fantasy games… to name just a few, and I love those games! (OK so I’m struggling a little with Final Fantasy, playing as Tidus Daddy Issues McLeatherLeherhosen really drained me of JRPG enjoyment and I need to reset a little before I attempt another.) So maybe the reason I always choose a woman when I have the choice is because I’m sick of playing as a guy and when I can be a woman I leap at the chance? As annoying as it is to have to say this in the year 2017 it does feel refreshing to have a female protagonist sometimes.

On the other hand, maybe the answer is simple and it’s just that I am a woman, therefore I identify more with female protagonists so I enjoy playing as them more. Even if they don’t talk and I’m just identifying with them aesthetically. When I was playing Portal I didn’t really think about what gender my character was, they don’t make reference to it and I just assumed I was a floating gun, it was only when I saw Chell’s reflection (well not a reflection, herself through a portal… Can’t be bothered to try and explain but you know what I mean hopefully) that not only did I have a body but the body belonged to a woman! Just knowing that kind of shifted my attitude towards the game from what had already been incredibly positive to ‘Hell yeah, this game is incredible’.

Chell

Moving onto my more feministy part of this post, I can remember numerous times throughout my life where I’ve been at someone’s house and they’ve had a multiplayer game on, usually one that I haven’t played before (Injustice, FIFA and WWF spring to mind here) and they’ve asked if I want to play against them. I would always go with a female character because like I said before, I like playing as a woman, but more often than not I would lose. This was partly because I hadn’t played the games before so was not used to them and partly because I find that female characters in fighting/sporty games are usually underpowered, or they used to be anyway, this is a while ago that I’m talking about so I’m not sure about nowadays. My choice of character before the game even began though would usually be remarked on with a comment along the lines of “oh you don’t want to be them, they’re terrible”, I can remember someone laughing because I chose the female football team in FIFA (it may not have been FIFA it might have been a different football game, I don’t remember but I don’t know any other football games off the top of my head) once to play against them, they told me they were a terrible team and I asked why, were the stats different? What was it that made them bad? Had they tried to play them before? Did they actually do very badly IRL and that was reflected in the way they were played in the game? The answer I got was simply “they’re just shit”, that made me more determined to beat them and prove that the female team were not worthless. Unfortunately, having never played FIFA before and understanding nothing about the rules of football I lost anyway. Whether the female team genuinely was terrible in the game due to their given stats or if the person I asked just didn’t know because they’d never tried to play as them I don’t know. This sort of thing has happened a lot though over the years with those sorts of games and it always fuels my feminist side, makes me want to shout GIRL POWER and obliterate my opponent with the girliest character I can find. So, thinking about it like that maybe the reason I always pick a woman is a subconscious, feminist fuelled, girl power stance?

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Came across this delightful piece of bullshit as I was trying to find pictures of female FIFA players https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C05irL2Q2pY. Apparently they just look like men in the game anyway because of the graphics so they may as well just not have women in the game at all. Idiot. It’s a huge step forward for women’s football which has far less viewers than men’s football despite them working so hard and having some brilliant players, it will make the game more accessible to women and you know what? If you don’t want to play as the female team then don’t play as the female team!!! I don’t even like football but I have a huge respect for female players… I won’t get into that now though. See this is why I have female character pride!!!

Following on from the ‘girliest character I can find’ comment above, I am very girly IRL and if there is a video game character that is wearing a pair of kick ass, neon pink heels, or a dress, or if they just look super girly  then I will go for that character (the only reason I haven’t played D.VA in Overwatch yet is because I don’t like playing as a tank but I really like her and would say she’s one of the girliest Overwatch characters). Women in video games are usually very pretty but this often means that they are also sexualised. When I was trying to find an image of Tracer from Overwatch to use on my blog some of the first pictures were just fan art of her arse, for example. Often this means that people tend to trivialise female characters (not to say Overwatch has trivialised Tracer, far from it, everyone in that game is well balanced, as it should be! Last time I mention Overwatch today, I promise!) they’re the eye candy not the character you play if you’re playing to win and, like in my previous point, that is another aspect that would make me determined to say “No, this girl is awesome and I will prove it to you. Just because she’s wearing mini shorts and a bikini top doesn’t mean she can’t kick ass”. I don’t have a problem with sexy looking characters though unless they fall into one of the following categories:

1. The ‘every woman in this game is hot’ games

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Dead or Alive, fighting game turned volleyball tournament… Somehow

2. The character who is wearing something super skimpy/revealing and they are obviously meant to be the eye candy but their personality or culture just doesn’t go with it

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Kimono/maxi skirt to hot pants and crop top… Bit of a jump

3. Skimpily dressed characters that are in a war/space/apocalypse/zombie/etc setting and they are in a chainmail bikini or something that would just make it impossible for them to survive in that environment dressed in that way

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It’s truly incredible that she is able to fight monsters on a daily basis and survive wearing this. Not going to lie, really like those boots though

If a character looks sexy but there is a personality behind it then I think that’s fine, I don’t like to make judgements on anyone’s personality or skills based on what their gender is or what they’re wearing – be they real people or people in a video game – and if they are a bit slutty then that’s OK! Each to their own! When you’re playing as them in a game though that shouldn’t be the core aspect of their personality. I have been told that I have been brainwashed to think that it’s OK to have slutty looking characters (that was an interesting conversation) but I like to think that I am just open to everyone being able to look the way they want and that your abilities should not be judged on if you chose to wear a mini skirt or a pair of jeans today, maybe that’s just what I’ve been told to think though… Will I wake up soon from the fake feminist Matrix controlled by the Anti-woman corporation and escape into the real world? Tune in next time to find out.

 

I got a little side tracked there with my rant at the end but there you go. My reasoning for not playing male characters. Let me know in the comments which gender you usually go with, is it your own? Do you mix it up? Do you play as the opposite gender? Do you think that it even affects your choice at all? I’m very interested to know if this is just me or if it’s something that everyone does to an extent.

General Gaming

Could It Be? An Online Multiplayer Game That I… Like?

I have touched upon how I am not a big fan of online multiplayer games before, I don’t like how competitive and serious people get about it and I feel very self-conscious if I have to work in a team in case they don’t think I’m playing right.

A few months ago my other half got me to try Overwatch, I was launched straight into a battle playing as I-can’t-remember-who with no idea what I was doing and as a result I was of course terrible at it, and therefore hated it. Then, like an aura of multiplayer goodness tinged with my slight obsession with them, Game Grumps released some videos where they teach their least experienced player how to play Overwatch. They take him through each class explaining the role of them and taking him to the training zone to try a hero from each class out. (Cue me shouting “THERE’S A TRAINING ZONE?!!” at a shame-faced Dan who failed to mention that in his attempt at getting me to play.) I watched Dan play a couple of games then had a good look at characters I liked the look of, I ended up choosing Mei who is adorable in her snug little snow boots and glasses.

Mei

Aesthetics aside I thought that defensive DPS would be a good place to start as I generally play a DPS character in other games anyway and as Defensive DPS I would be less of a glass cannon so I wouldn’t get killed quite so much, and therefore disheartened. It worked and I found playing as Mei really fun. Then I tried just plain old DPS as Tracer, who is also super fun to play but I died a lot more with her as her health is 100 points lower than Mei’s. I still like her though, she’s my second go-to. I have become almost dependent on Mei though now, I am pretty good at playing as her and even got play of the game at one point! I was very proud of that. This means that I am very uncomfortable if I have to play as anybody else though, other than Tracer who I have the hang of, even if it’s a slightly shaky hang. When I get the game for myself (more on that later though) I will find a character I like in each class to play so that I can play anything if need be, I have a feeling Mei will always be my main though.

Tracer_portrait

So what’s different about this online multiplayer game to others that I have really struggled with in the past, mainly because of other players (*cough* World of Warcraft *cough*)? I suppose it’s the randomness of it. Unless you seek a friend out for a team you are thrown in with random people each time, all of varying levels and Dan’s not a hugely high level compared to some other players but no one’s left the group because they think they’re going to be hindered by a lower level player (and I don’t think that’s an option anyway even if they wanted to). It’s also insanely fast-paced so it’s difficult to strategise and really think something out, if you can at all. That kind of plays into my comments about Starwhal in a post I did many moons ago, I really liked that for the reason that it was chaotic and you didn’t need to be good at it because no one really can be, therefore eliminating that competitive vibe. In Overwatch you have players that are really good at the game but even the most skilled players can fall in the most random, chaotic situations, there doesn’t ever appear to be a huge rivalry.

Another thing that I really like is that all the characters have back stories or shorts that show off their skills in Pixar-esque animated mini movies and if some characters have a history together then they will have little chats before each battle. This makes the characters a lot more interesting than in other fighting games where you don’t really have a story it’s just a character menu of random, tough looking people. I haven’t seen a lot of the stories yet but what I’ve seen so far is really cool. Here’s a short about Widowmaker below (featuring Tracer) it’s really good, if you have 6 minutes it’s well worth a watch even if you don’t play Overwatch.

Finally, the best bit for me: I don’t have to speak to people, the euphoric moment where I realised that I wasn’t expected to have a headset or type talk to people was amazing. I just want to get on with it, I’ll get Mei to wave at you and say ‘hello!’ but do not expect me to attempt to talk with you. This isn’t me being a dick by the way, if someone wants to mess about pre-battle kicking animated basketballs around or doing a stupid animation dance-off I am more than up for that, I just get very anxious if there is a social element added to a game that expects me to communicate with other players in order to play the game more effectively. I don’t know why but the thought fills me with dread. Although if I was in a situation where I knew everyone IRL that I was playing with then that would be different.

Unfortunately Overwatch is a bit pricey (when I looked on the PS4 store it was about £50) and having just moved I’m in a bit of a money-saving situation what with just moving. Plus it seems stupid to get it when Dan, who I am now living with, already has it but I want my own account on it and we want to play it together as well (now that he knows I’m a good defensive DPS player he wants me on his team =P)… First-world gamer problems!

What are your thoughts on multiplayer gaming? Do you play Overwatch? If so who is your go to character? Which class do you generally go for?

 

30 Day Video Game Challenge

30 Day Video Game Challenge! Day 30 (woohoo): Your Favourite Game of All Time

So this post is 2 days late and it’s so short that I can’t really make any excuses for it. Better late than never! Finally at the end though!!! It’s been good to do this challenge while I’ve been so busy lately and I’m pleased to say that I have a couple of proper blog posts lined up and almost ready to go so normal Tea Partying shall resume shortly.

So without further ado, the final challenge.

My favourite game of all time, well now I’ve already done a post about this! Neverwinter Nights! Check out my previous blog post about it for more info and reasons why I enjoy it! It’s an awesome game and if you’re into RPGs it’s a must game to play!

NWN logo

30 Day Video Game Challenge

30 Day Video Game Challenge! Day 29: A game you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving

Well this is a coincidence as I’m publishing a post about this today (I did mean to do it yesterday, I know I said I would in yesterday’s challenge post, but I got distracted). Stardew Valley is my answer!

My boyfriend tried to get me into this when we first started dating and I was really put off by it when he showed me his game. It’s the sort of thing that I find really boring to watch someone else play, I was just watching him chop wood and water plants, and I was bored to tears. It put me off so much that I didn’t play it for a little while until he convinced me to try it for myself and as soon as I started I was hooked. I won’t go on about it because it’s all in my new post!

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General Gaming

The Pixel Dependency

Right now I have a list of games I want to play and games that I already own but have not yet finished (Bloodborne, Doom, The Last of Us…) but sometimes I just want to chill and not think about how many times Vicar Ameila has killed me, the zombie apocalypse or demons invading Mars. So I sit there and look through my more “chill” games but everything involves killing in some way or another. So when all is said and done down the only game that constitutes as an Oasis of calm in my gaming library is Stardew Valley. Until I get addicted to it that is. I actually meant to write this post about Stardew ages ago but was, ironically, too addicted to Stardew to get time to write it.

Despite the constant need to be researching which vegetables I should be growing, how much wood I need to build a barn, which gifts will be best received by which characters, and what I need to make crab pots, Stardew Valley is so relaxing. I often find that this is the case with simulators, I’ll play them addictively for a while, then suddenly I’ll snap out of it and just stop. I don’t know how they make chopping wood for almost an entire Stardew day (about 20 minutes) so compelling but I need that barn, dammit! If you do actually know what it is that makes games like this so addictive please say so in the comments, I’ve been wondering about it for a while now! I imagine it has something to do with a built up rewards system (i.e. if you chop enough wood you’ll get a barn, which means you get cows, which means you get milk, cheese, better food, more money… and then you can afford to build this other thing!)

My pixel dependency aside I’ve wanted to give this game some love for a while now, even though it’s been out for over a year, because it really deserves it and I think that if you haven’t tried it yet you should give it a go, even if it’s not the sort of game you usually play! At first everything is simply adorable and perfect in the Stardew community and you’re focused on getting your farm built up and all the little missions you get. Shane Storyline Spoilers Ahead! On my first farm I accidentally made Shane my bestie by giving him 2 beers, one as a normal gift and one on what I did not realise was his birthday then I was treated to a cut-scene where he opens up to you about his depression and my idyllic view of Stardew came crashing down, I started paying more attention to the characters’ stories – particularly Shane’s as I was emotionally invested – and all these characters have different problems and well thought out personalities. Shane’s story delves into his drinking problems, his depression and finally his attempt to kill himself. It’s so surprising to find that content in a game that appears to be a simple simulator/RPG at first glance and the fact that it addresses the current, real life issue of suicide in men is brilliant. Other stories range from dealing with PTSD to self-doubt to just discovering unexpected quirks and aspects of a character’s personality that you wouldn’t have expected them to have…

Shane Stardew Valley

On to a happier topic now though: Freedooooom!!! I have addressed this somewhat before in my post about different gaming styles where I compared my farm to my other half’s farm. Dan enjoys focusing on making as much money as he can, as quickly as he can but I found that a little too stressful, I didn’t enjoy having a military like schedule for growing my plants and only getting the things that I knew would make me the most money (I only knew this in the first place because almost every day he texted me tips about how to make more money on the farm, if you think my obsession is bad you should have seen what he was like). I gave in to the money making a bit on my first farm and eventually stopped playing but now I have started a new farm with no particular aim, I just want to have fun with it. If I want to build something I’m going to build it, profits be damned! Due to my current marathoning of Ru Paul’s Drag Race I’ve also made that the theme for my farm and character (just because I can), allow me to introduce you to Farmer Fishy Queen of Slaaaaay Farm and the proud owner of a cat named Mew Pawl (Sharon Sheeples, Jinx Moosoon, and Shantneigh to follow as soon as I have a barn and stable).

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Also I have a dinosaur, no big deal

I like that while you may think the overall aim is to get as much money as possible and build your farm up (because after 3 years your Grandfather appears and judges the success of your farm) that’s by no means what you have to do, you can focus on whatever you want. So as an example of 3 different play styles there’s Dan getting as much money as he can, I just want my farm to look super pretty and see what everything does, and my sister (who also plays it) focuses on building relationships with all the villagers, and that’s just us! I chose the fishing farm and each island has a different theme, so far there’s Animal island and Fishing island, soon I’ll be making Craft island where I’ll make jam, cheese and all that. I think that this kind of freedom is what makes the game so relaxing, there’s no pressure to do any missions you don’t want to do, there’s no need to play it in any certain way, it’s just a nice, chill time for everyone.

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Have you played Stardew Valley? What do you think it is about games like this that makes them so addictive? Which games do you play to relax?