Board Game Bucket List

I used to believe that gaming meant only using a console, handheld or using a PC. This summer, when I stayed in Winona, I discovered a cute little gaming store called River Quest.

**Edit: 12/10/2017 I found out River Quest was closing!  Sad Day 😦 **

My roommate got a job working there, so I was in the store at least once a week or every other week. I got to know the owner, who is one of the coolest guys in the Winona area. I was opened up to a world of a different type of gaming.

I’m creating a Bucket List of Board Games that I haven’t played yet, but I intend to. I will sticky this to the front page of the Gaming Section and I plan to update it as I play new games. Also I hope to post a review on some of these board games especially the ones with the strike out through the name. In the meantime, enjoy my bucket list! Also feel free to comment with various board games that I can add on the list.

Here is my Board Game Bucket List:

  1. Exploding Kittens Card Game
  2. Munchkin *any version*
  3. Star Wars Destiny
  4. Ticket To Ride
  5. Monsters & Other Childish Things
  6. Red Dragon Inn
  7. Arkham Horror/Eldrich Horror
  8. Star Wars X-Wing
  9. Red Dragon Inn 4
  10. Pandemic
  11. Love Letter *card game*
  12. Smash Up
  13. Bang *card game*
  14. Red7
  15. Sentinels of the Multiverse
  16. Letters from White Chapel
  17. Here Kitty Kitty 
  18. Stone Age
  19. Agricola
  20. Betrayal at House on the Hill
  21. Seasons
  22. Takenoko
  23. Code Names
  24. Shadow Hunters 
  25. Dixit
  26. Doctor Who Time of the Daleks
  27. Fury of Dracula
  28. Dead of Winter
  29. Hogwarts Deck Building Game

Link to my Board Game Reviews:

Sissy: A Coming of Age Gender Story

Lately, I have been reading more memoirs. I’m currently reading Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe otherwise known as bodyposipanda on Instagram. Last year, I read Jonathan Van Ness’s memoir which ended up being one of my favorite books I read in 2019. In Michigan, I picked up Sissy: A Coming of Age Gender Story by Jacob Tobia. I knew Jacob was cast in She-Ra as a non-binary character which sounds great, but I didn’t know they wrote a book. Sissy is a sparkly story about defining gender norms and discovering your identity.

The first half of the book details Jacob’s childhood and learning about their feminity, while the second half details their life at Duke. I enjoyed the chapters with Jacob’s fundraising to help an LGBTQIA+ shelter by running across the Brooklyn Bridge in heels. I was excited for Jacob being able to visit the White House and meet Obama. For someone in their late 20’s, Jacob has accomplished a lot for their age.

Reading about Jacob’s childhood, it genuinely made me sad. I remember how I could play with “boys” toys or “girls” toys without a second thought. Jacob details a story about how their brother destroys one of the only Barbies they had growing up. It was heartwarming though to hear how their brother had to buy them a new one. This book provides a prompt discussion on how women have more flexibility to play with gender norms whereas men are heavily scrutinized for being feminine.

I did have a couple of critiques regarding the story to discuss. The first being when Jacob discusses Duke, there’s a certain amount of privilege. Jacob received a full ride to attend Duke while many other non-binary people aren’t afforded the same privilege. I didn’t feel Jacob was snobby about it, but there could have been more addressed in the way that Jacob is privileged for having little to no debt.

As much as I enjoyed this memoir, this wouldn’t be the book I would recommend for anyone who is learning about non-binary for the first time. The reasoning behind this statement is the way Jacob explains the terminology within their identity, they come off as being a little judgy. These aren’t terms everyone knows about. My mother doesn’t know what “genderqueer” or “cisgender” means, so it doesn’t hurt to write a couple of definitions down for new readers wanting to learn more about being non-binary. I get it, Jacob is probably annoyed to have to constantly explain their identity, but this is a memoir based on their identity.

I happily read Sissy and soaked up every story within the confines of the book. If you’re looking for a book that’s going to explain in detail every single LBTQIA+ vocabulary word, I wouldn’t recommend this. If you’re looking for a memoir filled with glitter, this would be for you. Now, I have to make watching She-Ra a priority.

**Jacob uses they/them pronouns. I double-checked this post to verify I didn’t use any other pronoun, but if I did, please let me know in the comments as I will modify my post with the correct pronouns**.

Dating Monsters in Monster Prom

In Quarantine, I was looking for new games to play to occupy my time. I’m playing Jedi Fallen Order currently and while I’m enjoying the game, it’s a game that’s best to be played on weekends. I was looking for more casual PC games to play during the week where if I had a stressful workday, these games would relax me. Monster Prom fills this fix as it’s the perfect casual game to play during the week.

Monster Prom is a game in which you have three weeks to secure a date to prom. The exception is you’re a monster at a high school filled with other monsters. During each round, you can pick which part of the high school to interact at which allows your predetermined monster to socialize with the other monsters. At each social interaction, your character makes a choice and this choice earns you hearts with the monsters. The more hearts you have, the more likely that when you ask this monster to prom, they will say yes.

Monster Prom is a well made, dating simulator game. In the character creation, you can pick your pronouns and it includes they as a non-binary pronoun. This is a small feature to add, but it leads to gamers feeling more accepted while playing the game. All the monsters are unique in their own way. Damien is the angry devil, while Liam is a hipster vampire. The monsters combine high school stereotypes with their monster counterparts.

While playing through Monster Prom, there are secret endings to unlock. The secret endings are the prom outcomes for example if you’re date says yes or if you’re left without a date for prom. Combined with the Steam achievements allows more replay in the game.

Monster Prom is a fun dating simulator game with detailed dialogue and interesting monster characters. Let me know if you have played Monster Prom in the comments below. If so, let me know who your favorite monster is. Monster Prom can be purchased on Steam for $11.99.

First Films: At The Movies Blog Challenge

I took a break from writing posts and it was nice. Last weekend, we visited the fiance’s family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We still laid low and didn’t leave the house, but it was nice to have different scenery. Since I wasn’t at my own apartment, I didn’t prep my blog posts like I usually do. Every Sunday, I sit down and schedule my posts to release during the week. With all the emails I write at my job, I don’t feel like writing after work. This allowed me to rejuevnate my creativity into the posts for this week. To launch back into blogging, I decided to join Oh So Geeky’s At The Movies Blog Challenge. This challenge is running until June 5th, so don’t forget to write your post.

Image created by me. Photo found on Unsplash.

The theme for my challenge post is my first films. I’m going to share five early memories I had regarding movies whether it be from my childhood or movie memories I will always cherish.

Harry Potter and Monster’s Inc Double Header

When I was in 2nd grade, the first Harry Potter movie was released along with Monster’s Inc. My dad loved to go see movies in the theater and he took our family to Monster’s Inc during the day with a break for dinner and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the evening. This is the only memory I can recall where we saw two movies in one day.

Watching Pirates of the Caribbean in a Closet..?

Remember when portable DVD players existed? The DVD was inserted allowing you to watch DVD’s on the go? When I was in middle school, me and a friend would watch Pirates of the Caribbean on this portable DVD player and for some odd reason we decided to watch the movie in her closet. To this day, I’m not sure why we picked her closet. It wasn’t a walk in closet either, it was a standard small, long closet. We would watch this movie on repeat. The whole cast sold this franchise with Johnny Depp becoming Jack Sparrow. Kiera Knightly and Orlando Bloom had convincing chemistry together, it surprises me how they never dated in reality. Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the best film franchises to exist.

James Bond Film Marathons With My Mom

My mom introduced me to so many films. I watched numerous Harrison Ford 90’s action films including Air Force One and Clear and Present Danger. My favorite memory though is watching all the James Bond films. My mom bought the James Bond boxed sets with a mix of the different films. My dad wasn’t thrilled about me watching them, but it became a way for me to bond with my mom. Timothy Dalton is my Bond and nobody can sway me differently.

The Phantom Menace & Star Wars Toys!!

I’m a 90’s baby which means I was young when the Star Wars prequel movies were made. The prequels are flawed films, but they get way too much hate in my opinion. I had the communicator device toy that Qui-Gonn uses in the film along with the Queen Amidala Barbie sitting on my childhood dresser. This memory is more about the toys from the prequel movies, but without the movies I wouldn’t have the toys.

The Polar Express

This memory is a bit sad, but it’s worth it to include on this list. When The Polar Express was released in theaters, my dad wanted us all to go and see the movie. For whatever reason, we didn’t want to go see it with him, so my dad ended up not seeing the film at all. The Polar Express was released in 2004, my dad was diagnosed with cancer in 2005 and passed away in 2006. It makes me sad reflecting on this memory because this would have been a moment shared with him. I wouldn’t say this was a regret of mine, but if I could go back to this moment, I would have changed my mind and saw this movie with him.

These are my first film memories and I’m happy to have shared them here. I spent a lot of time writing these memories and reflecting on these movie experiences. If you would like to participate in this blog challenge, please tweet at @katyrochelle or post on her blog that you’re participating. The link to her post is in the first paragraph.

Birds of Prey Graphic Novels Review

Barbara Gordon is the best DC Comics, female superheroine and I cannot be convinced to change my mind. The Birds of Prey are the kickass, female, superhero group where each member has a different background and talent. In March, I picked up the Birds of Prey graphic novel released coinciding with the movie. Additionally, I read Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Vol #1 Who is Oracle which should be no surprise. I decided to combine the reviews in one post since they do go hand in hand.

Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey. Image taken by me.

Birds of Prey: 4 Stars****

This is a graphic novel compilation of stories featuring the six characters from the movie: Harley Quinn, Huntress, Cassandra Cain, Renee Montoya, Black Canary, and the Black Mask. This isn’t highly rated on Goodreads since it’s a compliation. I knew this information going into the graphic novel, so I wasn’t disappointed. My favorite stories were Huntress, Black Mask, and the Black Canary.

The Huntress story was my top favorite because Nightwing and Huntress share the steamiest kiss. I hardcore ship Nightwing and Barbara Gordon together, but this wasn’t bad. I’m not sure if this is the best story told as I like it so much solely because Nightwing was in it. The Black Mask story shows how violent and brutal he can be. Black Mask isn’t the most well known Batman villain, but he’s one hundred percent ruthless. Finally, the Black Canary story features a fun cameo of another DC character which I won’t reveal.

I rated this four stars because I mostly enjoyed the stories picked and it’s a fun graphic novel for me to add to my DC collection.

Batgirl And The Birds of Prey: Vol #1 Who is Oracle. Image taken by me.

Batgirl Volume #1: 4 Stars****

This Batgirl rendition features Barbara out of her wheelchair and fighting crime with her bestie, Black Canary. Huntress’s interests align with theirs and she teams up with them. Oracle’s identity is stolen online and the three try to uncover who this mysterious, fake Oracle is.

The negative reviews surrounding this graphic novel have to do with which Barbara Gordon you prefer. This outing features a much younger, more immature Barbara in her crime-fighting days. If you’re used to the older Birds of Prey stories, it shows an older Barbara who has already been wounded by the Joker and how she has embraced the Oracle identity. Many of the negative reviews don’t like this “hippy” or “trendy” Barbara who’s swiping through dating apps.

I’m devoted to Barbara Gordon as a character throughout the several runs of her story. This Barbara is younger, more naive, and at times, foolish. She’s also young and is trying to balance her three identities: Barbara, Batgirl, and Oracle. I do miss Barbara Gordon in a wheelchair because I felt she added disability representation in comics. However, can we eliminate the Joker story from comics? I hate The Killing Joke with a passion and how it intertwines with Barbara’s injury.

Overall, I rated this four stars as I do enjoy this portrayal of Barbara. This isn’t for everyone, and I get that. It’s all about what version of Barbara is your favorite. I like them both.

Quarantine has given me plenty of time to read my comics and graphic novels stack. What have you been reading? Let me know in the comments below.

Hitman Tries Acting in Barry

While watching promotional interviews for It Chapter 2, Bill Hader would occasionally discuss his TV show, Barry. I knew the show was airing, but I don’t have any way to watch HBO. Recently, Hulu has acquired a few popular HBO shows without purchasing the HBO add on. This included Barry. Bill Hader and Henry Winkler won Emmy’s for this series, so it must be good, right? I concur this show is worth the watch.

Barry Berkman (played by Bill Hader) is sent to LA by his assassin mentor Monroe Fuches (played by Stephen Root). While completing his assassination, he discovers an indie theater where Barry decides to start taking acting lessons. Barry is living a double life by murdering people and acting in Gene Cousineau’s (played by Henry Winkler) classes. This is a weird concept for a show, but it works.

Bill Hader becomes Barry. Barry is shown to be struggling with his career of taking lives and wanting to be someone else. Acting has become his escape. Let’s be clear, Barry isn’t a good person. In season #1 especially, there’s a scene where Barry kills someone in a car. It’s shocking because I didn’t think Barry would go there, but he does. He’s balancing a fine line between doing his job and getting caught.

As a side note, Bill Hader is a great actor in darker roles. Another good example of this besides Barry is the movie The Skeleton Twins. It stars Hader and Kristin Wiig. It’s an emotional, depressing movie, but it illustrates how Bill Hader can act in darker material.

NoHo Hank, played by Anthony Carrigan.

Barry cannot be described as a dark comedy without the appearance of NoHo Hank (played by Anthony Carrigan). NoHo Hank’s witty one-liners are hilarious even if they’re about killing or torture. Bill Hader has talked about filming behind the scenes with Anthony Carrigan and it sounds like they’re shenanigans to be had.

Barry was a quick watch. Each season has eight episodes with only two seasons. Season #3 was supposed to be out next year I believe? However, with Covid-19, this will probably be delayed. Barry was an entertaining show, to say the least. Both seasons of Barry can be found on Hulu without the purchase of the HBO add on.

Harry Potter WYR: Accio or Apparate?

I still have so many Harry Potter WYR cards left! I am devoted to this blog prompt, so I will be doing this until I go through all the WYR cards I have created. I picked this one because I thought it would be the ideal prompt for Quarantine living.

Harry Potter WYR: Use Accio to Summon Any Object You Need OR Be Able to Apparate And Get Anywhere You Like??

Harry Potter WYR: Use Accio to Summon Any Object You Need OR Be Able to Apprate and Get Anywhere You Like?

As I mentioned, I felt this would be an ideal prompt in Quarantine. I would use Accio to retrieve my groceries, so I wouldn’t need to leave my apartment. This is mostly because I don’t enjoy wearing a mask, but I do like leaving my apartment. Otherwise, I would use Accio to get new clothes to wear as I’m sick of my current closet.

Being able to Apparate anywhere would be awesome. I wouldn’t recommend this now as we are supposed to stay in our homes. Once the stay at home order is lifted, I would transport myself to London or the Caribbean or Tokyo. I miss planning out potential vacations.

I’m going to pick. . .

Being able to Apparate! I would rather be able to go anywhere in the world for a couple of hours.

Let me know in the comments which one you would rather pick!

Kingdom Hearts 3

Last Friday, I spent four hours and drank four hard seltzers to beat Kingdom Hearts 3. Kingdom Hearts is known for having brutal boss battles and Kingdom Hearts 3 is no different. I almost quit, but I persisted and I finally defeated Master Xehanort. Since completing Kingdom Hearts 3, I wanted to reflect on my favorite levels and general thoughts about the game.

Kingdom Hearts 3 shows our memorable key wielder Sora as his strength is at an all-time low. He travels with his companions, Donald and Goofy to regain his strength and learn the “power of waking” the ability to restore lost hearts. It’s revealed how Sora has Roxas’s heart along with two other hearts bound to his. This power will be useful to prevent Xehanort from opening Kingdom Hearts casing the world in darkness.

Look how cute Sora is!? He looks like a toy. Image belongs to Square Enix.

Kingdom Hearts 3 has levels in many of the newest worlds from recent movies. Olympus and Port Royal make a reappearance, along with new levels from Toy Story, Monster’s Inc, Tangled, and Big Hero 6. The best level was the Toy Story level. Starting in Andy’s house, the toys make their way to a major toy store. Sora can enter these gigantic toy robots to fight heartless while wandering the toy store. As a 90’s baby who grew up with older Pixar movies, Kingdom Hearts 3 appeals to my nostalgia for these movies.

The last level is where all the boss battles begin. Sora has to fight his way through all the major characters in Organization XIII. When I reached the final battle, I had leveled up Sora to level #43. In the future, I would have stayed on the Big Hero 6 level for longer to level up Sora to be more prepared for taking on Organization XIII. Before taking on Xehanort, I would recommend having at least 4+ hours of free time. There’s one final save point before entering the town and entering into Xehanort’s territory. Kingdom Hearts 3 has designated save points and you don’t want to lose progress in the fight and have to redo it.

Ultimately, Kingdom Hearts 3 is filled with nostalgia. The story isn’t the main reason why I play this series. I play for the characters including Sora with Aqua being my favorite key wielder. Besides the Toy Story level, I liked the Monster’s Inc level too. I’m impressed with the voice acting in this game. Without having the original voice actors, the characters do sound like the original characters from the movies. Kingdom Hearts 3 was worth the wait.