Juggling Gaming & Adulting

I discovered a new gaming blog I’m reading titled The Dragon’s Tea Party which combines gaming and drinking tea. There was one post I read titled Adulting and Gaming My Struggle to Do Both. This post just stuck with me because this describes my life at this exact moment. This post details their struggle with getting in the time to game when your time is taken up by exercise, cooking dinner, driving home from work and fitting in 8 hours of sleep. In the back of my mind, I thought about how rewarding it would be to finally beat this part in the Last of Us I’m stuck on. I look at my PS4 on the shelf and feel so guilty for not playing it more often.

Another part about playing video games is I feel guilty for spending the time to play video games. I could have been doing laundry or meal prepping for the week instead I chose to play a virtual game. However, every time I sit down and play a level in Lego Marvel Superheroes, I feel less anxious overall. Nothing is better than beating up super villains with a Lego Hulk am I right?

Luckily, I have been able to play more video games recently. I just carve out the time to do so. During the week, I often limit my time to play video games to an hour. If I have too much screen time before going to bed, I won’t be able to sleep. One hour is the perfect amount of time to get past a level or at least earn an achievement or two. The weekends I’m less strict because I have more time, still I will set a timer that goes off every two hours.

I need to stop feeling guilty about not being able to game one day. I also don’t want to be hard on myself by saying “why am I gaming when I could be doing other things”. Gaming is like any other hobby and I don’t get why there’s this stigma about gaming and being lazy. The Last of Us will be completed eventually along with the Uncharted trilogy. Since I just got a PS4, let me know of other video game recommendations in the comments. Also check out The Dragon’s Tea Party, it’s my new favorite gaming blog.

 

 

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Gaming Walkthroughs: Yay or Nay

Sexy Brutale

This idea randomly popped into my head after I realized I had been using a walk-through while playing Sexy Brutale on my PS4. I had been trying really hard not to use a walk-through because this is a puzzle game it’s meant to challenge me. I eventually couldn’t figure out where I was stuck which lead me to pulling up a video on youtube to get me through this part of the game. It got me thinking, is this considered cheating? Can I actually take credit in beating the game myself 100%? I did use the controller to play through the part myself, but I didn’t actually figure everything out on my own. I’m curious to know what my readers think about this topic.

Usually I will use a walk-through video or article for multiple reasons:

#1. I hate the game, the walk-through gets me through it.

If I genuinely dislike a game, I can’t leave it unfinished. It bothers me to such an extreme that I can’t play any other game unless I beat this game. I use a walk-through because I don’t want to get stuck, I just want to play through it to end my agony of playing through this game I hate.

#2 Collectibles

I’m sorry, but I don’t have time to look for every single collectible in a game. I use a walk-through to find all the collectibles and unlock the trophy or achievement I have been looking for.

#3 I’m stuck.

The third and final reason I use game walk-throughs is if I’m stuck. Sexy Brutale is a game I’m enjoying, but in one level I was walking around aimlessly trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing. After watching a video of where to go, I was able to move onto the next level.

Anyway, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts behind whether a walk-through is considered cheating, or if you use walk-throughs all the time and it’s no big deal.

 

Become an Octopus in Octodad

Octodad

I’m devoting much of my gaming to my PS4 at the moment, but every once in a while, the boyfriend recommends a coop game he thinks we should play. I wish there were more split screen coop games for me and the boyfriend to enjoy, but they are rather limited. He suggested playing Octodad, a game all about being an octopus and managing typical father duties like grocery shopping and taking the kids to the aquarium. Overall, I found this game enjoyable, but I did have a couple issues with the game itself.

When mentioning Octodad, I find it’s important to bring up the origin story behind creating a game with an Octopus as a dad. Young Horses Inc was a company founded by university students attending college in Chicago. They created their original game in 2011 and it was a huge success. Young Horses Inc. launched a kickstarter to create a new Octodad game that was much more polished which is the game I officially played on my Xbox.

Moving around is actually more the challenge with the game because of his limbs being so floppy. Me and the boyfriend took turns being the arms and the legs so now you’re coordinating with someone else on how to move Octodad. Don’t even ask me how we got Octodad up the escalator, it took some time.

The game is pretty short with only a couple levels. You could definitely beat this in one day if you took a couple hours to play through it. One part of the game I actually disliked was the view. While on the aquarium level, I had my limb wrapped around a ladder and I was physically stuck. I couldn’t get Octodad untangled. I wish I could have rotated the view so I could see how his limb was stuck so I could have gotten untangled quicker.

Ultimately, this game is a fun, laid back game about an Octopus doing dad stuff. The game is out on Steam for PC & Mac, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Wii U, iOS, Google Play and NVIDIA Shield.

Life is Strange Before the Storm Epi. #3 Review

If you have been following my gaming section on my blog, I have been writing reviews for Life is Strange: Before the Storm episode #1 and episode #2. This three part prequel made the third episode available for download in December. Once I finished downloading it, I played the entire episode. Episodes #1 & #2 are rather slow moving, but Episode #3 is easily the best episode of the series. The final decision you have to make at the end of the game is one of those “oh fuck what do I choose”. This gaming review like all the others is going to be filled with spoilers.

Chloe and Rachel

Chloe on the left & Rachel on the right. *Image from Youtube*

Final Warning *Spoilers Down Below*

 

 

 

Episode #3 begins in Rachel’s house after James Amber (Rachel’s Father) tells her the woman he was kissing is her actual birth mother, Sera. Sera has been battling addiction for many years often putting Rachel in danger to score drugs. Rachel’s father took Rachel away from Sera and is sending money to Sera every month to keep her away from Arcadia Bay. Rachel is beyond devastated having retreated to her room to be alone.

Chloe after cheering up Rachel devises a plan to use Frank to figure out where Sera is because ultimately, Rachel wants to meet Sera. This meeting goes downhill quickly as Rachel is stabbed in the arm by Damon Merrick a known associate of Frank. Chloe visits Rachel in the hospital and requests she goes into her father’s study and search for any leads to her mother.

This is where things get interesting. As Chloe is searching James’s study, she finds a secret phone. This secret phone belongs to Damon Merrick, the shitty guy who stabbed Rachel. Damon has been hired by James Amber to locate Sera and kill her so she won’t interfere with Rachel’s life anymore. Like what the fuck!? I understand wanting to keep Rachel safe, but James is the district attorney for Arcadia Bay. He can’t just hire people to do his dirty work and not expect to get caught.

Chloe drives to where Damon is holding Sera. A struggle ensues and Chloe wakes up with Sera being freed and smoking a cigarette. Sera attempts to convince Chloe to never tell Rachel about all of this. Sera recognizing James’s threat to stay away, wants Rachel to have a normal life with plenty of opportunities she could never provide for her.

This is the “oh fuck what do I do” moment. Chloe goes to visit Rachel in the hospital again where Rachel asks if Chloe found anything from her father’s study. You have two options: You can either tell Rachel about how cruel her father is or you can lie and say you found nothing about Sera. I chose the latter option. Obviously James Amber is shady and probably has done other illegal things, but I know that he wanted to protect Rachel. It didn’t make his actions right, but I also wanted to make sure to respect Sera. The other scene that hit me hard was when it shows Rachel’s phone on a table with Chloe calling her and the camera flashes in the background. If you played Life is Strange, you would understand how chilling this scene is.

To wrap up, Episode #3 is my favorite episode. This episode featured decisions which I had to contemplate whereas Episodes #1 & #2 had more fluffy choices which didn’t make all that much difference in the story. Please go play Life is Strange if you haven’t already, it’s my favorite game I played in 2017.

2017 Pop Culture Year in Review

At the start of 2017,  I started typing a post summing up all the movies I saw in theaters, TV shows I watched and video games I played. I plan to do this again for 2018 to help keep track of my entire year. This post will be a little bit longer, but I think it perfectly sums up my geeky year. Here is my recap of the wonderful 2017:

Movies I saw in Theaters this Year:

  • Lego Batman
  • Logan
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (twice)
  • Wonder Woman (twice)
  • Spiderman Homecoming (twice)
  • IT
  • Thor Ragnorok (twice)
  • Justice League
  • Star Wars the Last Jedi

TV I watched:

  • The Tick
  • The Following
  • Iron Fist
  • The Flash Season #3
  • Arrow Season #5
  • Scorpion
  • Riverdale
  • Punisher

Video Games I played:

  • Gears of War 4
  • Overcooked
  • Life is Strange
  • Life is Strange Before the Storm Episodes #1 & #2

Most Thrilling New TV Show of 2017:

River Dale

Photo from Netflix

Riverdale is easily the best show I watched in 2017. It reminds me of a teenage version of Twin Peaks. The Archie comics are known for being light and the show takes the characters into a darker tone. I binge watched the first season over the summer and was waiting impatiently for the second season on the CW. It’s the one show I will watch the next episode the day after it airs.

Most Boring TV Show of 2017:

Iron Fist was easily the worst Marvel Netflix show for me. I find Iron Fist closely resembles the Green Arrow, but he comes across as naive and annoying. I was even more disappointed Iron Fist was the lead in the Defenders especially when his show wasn’t  great. If there is a season #2 of Iron Fist, the writers/producers/directors need to step up their game.

Most Bad Ass Superhero Movie of 2017:

Wonder Woman will always be such a bright spot in 2017. I will never forget the moment I watched Wonder Woman turn to Steve during the No Man’s Land scene and say:

Steve: No — we are doing something. We are! We just … we can’t save everyone in this war. This is not what we came here to do.

Diana: No. But it is what I am going to do.

Then Wonder Woman rushes onto No Man’s Land and kicks some serious ass. Wonder Woman is the movie all female geeks deserved. It also provides us DC Comics fans with hope that DC movies can be as great as Marvel movies.

Least Favorite Superhero Movie of 2017:

The only reason I’m going to put Logan for this award is because I’m also not the biggest X-Men fan in the world, so unfortunately, it was my least favorite movie.

The Last Jedi Thoughts:

I added this question because of everyone’s different opinions over the Last Jedi. I personally overall liked the movie, but I didn’t love it. I also didn’t hate the movie either and I disagree with fans who consider this as bad as the prequels. The Star Wars fans seemed to have mostly hated it considering there is a petition to remove Star Wars the Last Jedi as official canon. Personally, I think this is a bit ridiculous just because you don’t like the way the movie told a story doesn’t mean you have any right to remove it from being canon.

Podcast I Couldn’t Stop Listening to:

Adult Sh1T is the podcast by Kelsey Darragh & Kate Peterman from Buzzfeed. These two tackle a variety of topics in a fun way such as chronic pain, sex and mental illness. Every time I see their new episode appear on my podcast app, I make sure to put this at the top of my podcast feed.

Catchiest Song in 2017:

Lady Gaga Concert 3

Lady Gaga’s the Cure is my favorite song of 2017. I saw Lady Gaga live in August and it was one of my favorite concerts I attended. She’s so full of energy and made her concert personal. She told us the story of Joanne which she named her album after. Lady Gaga is one of my favorite pop artists.

Favorite Vlogger from Youtube:

Magic the Amateuring is my favorite vlogger of 2017! They also have their own podcast as well which is usually how I prefer to listen to their episode. This podcast is for anyone wanting to get into Magic the Gathering, but feels intimidated by the atmosphere. Bonus points because it’s two women co-hosting this podcast. I have considered for a while to donate to their patreon page because that’s how much I love their podcast / youtube channel.

A close second would be Ash Hardell & Riley Dennis for all of their political / LGBTQIA+ videos. I feel I have learned a lot from both of these vloggers.

Top Video Game I played in 2017:

Life is Strange Photo from Wikia

Life is Strange was my favorite game of 2017 and even probably one of my favorite games of all time. I have linked my Life is Strange review on other articles so I won’t link it here, but you can find it on my gaming section of my blog. My friend recommended this game to me and I was addicted after the first episode. Max Caulfield was me when I was attending college; scared and insecure. This game is amazing please play it if you haven’t already.

Weirdest Video Game I played in 2017:

Octodad.jpg

Octodad is probably the weirdest yet most challenging game I played this year. You play as an octopus being a dad and doing “dad” things like taking your kids to the aquarium. Me and the boyfriend play this together as an added bonus.

Favorite Comic Book Convention I attended this year:

Convergence 2017

Convergence will always be my favorite conventions because this was my first convention I went to. I have gone for 4 years now and it’s always been a highlight of my summer. In the above picture is my aunt and uncle who both have attended Convergence longer than I have. We were in a Star Trek party room standing under the beaming portals *sorry I’m not a Trekkie* I’m counting down the days for Convergence 2018.

Personal Moments:

Top Three Memories of 2017:

GRADUATION 2017 2

Graduating from College: I almost cried happy tears while I sat down at my school’s gym listening to everyone getting their degrees. Even though this was almost six months ago, I don’t miss college… yet. In a year from now, I’m sure I will have a random memory from college pop into my head and remind me how much my college years mean to me.

Kauffman Memorial Gardens

Road Trip in June 2017: Me and my family had such a great time driving around the US. This has prompted us to plan more trips together in the future. Hopefully they can be road trips because my car is great to drive around in.

IMG_3373

Moving Out: I love my new apartment. Me and the boyfriend have done some decorating and now our apartment feels like home. All we need is a kitty walking around the room.

The Worst Memory of 2017 / One Moment in Time I Wouldn’t Want to Re-Live:

All the moving! First, we moved all of my stuff from Winona, MN to the cities. Then we moved everything to our permanent apartment. I hate moving with a passion, thankfully I’m all done. That’s not something I want to do again.

My Resolution for 2018:

I don’t like setting specific resolutions so instead I will say a couple things. I want to read more books & comics, play my PS4 more and travel! I want to go to Harry Potter world, travel to the Carolina’s, see Seattle and more.

 

 

 

Favorite Video Game Worlds

Controllers from PIxel free images

Image from Pixabay

I’m a gamer for many reasons, but I have always liked becoming immersed in the story. Reading is great, but I don’t visually get to see the characters or the setting. A great video game to me makes me feel like I’m a part of that environment or I start to feel for the character I’m playing. This topic randomly popped in my head while I was eating my eggs this morning, I wanted to recall my favorite video game worlds I played through.

Rapture

Rapture Bioshock Wiki

Image from Bioshock Wiki

Rapture is the fictional underwater city in Bioshock. Rapture is a 1940’s themed underground city created and constructed by Andrew Ryan. Bioshock is one of my all time favorite video games because of how brilliantly Rapture is set up. Of course I wouldn’t want to live there because there isn’t any food plus drug infested people trying to kill you in the game, but the idea seemed great at the time. Setting up an underwater city where people could go in case things get bad above the water. I love the beauty in it even though I can still see the darkness.

Animal Crossing New Leaf

Animal Crossing New Leaf

Image from Amazon

How could you not want to live here? Living in a cute town of your creation with animal neighbors and constructing lighthouses. Animal Crossing New Leaf is my guilty pleasure, cutesy video game. When I first got my 3DS in college, this was the only game I played for about 5 months.

Colombia

Colombia.png

Image from Bioshock Wiki

Bioshock Infinite wasn’t too bad considering it didn’t take place in Rapture. Can you tell I love the Bioshock series a little too much? Colombia was the fictional universe in the sky and you could travel around by zip lines. That would actually be kinda cool yet freaky because I hate heights. It’s a beautiful environment with different influences from the United State’s founding fathers.

Boyfriends Choice: Assassin’s Creed

Ubisoft Assasins Creed

Image from Ubisoft

I asked the boyfriend what video game world he would want to live in, he chose the world of Assassin’s Creed due to it’s expansive setting. I have to admit this would be a pretty cool place to explore.

 

Ode To RiverQuest

It’s been six months since I graduated from college and there are times I miss being a student. Having Sunday relaxing days while I study for an exam or getting coffee and walking around town. One college memory that has stayed with me is my gaming marathons at my college game store River Quest Games. Unfortunately, I was alerted by a Facebook status that River Quest would be closing their doors permanently and hearing this news left me shocked and disheartened. I wanted to reflect on how much River Quest meant to me.

Facebook post stating River Quest games is closing

Photo taken from River Quest Games Facebook Page

I started attending River Quest two years ago after my best friend got a job there. I was pleasantly surprised by all the employees who were nice and relaxed. The owner does a great job at creating an accepting environment for all gamers. I also learned how to play Star Wars Destiny at a pre-release event River Quest hosted.

Three dice lined next to each other. Two dice say RQ Games

Souvenir dice from River Quest! Photo taken by me.

As a broke college student, I never felt pressure to buy anything. I wish I could have supported River Quest more, but going to college is expensive and I was often living paycheck to paycheck. I drove to River Quest two weeks ago and I was surprised by how dead it was in the store. It made me sad to see that there were less people gaming.

I’m thankful for Riverquest and how I could hang out with friends, play Magic or the occasional board game and unwind after a tough week. One message I want to reiterate is to support your local game store! I wish I could have supported River Quest more to prevent them from closing their doors. Local gaming stores need your business. Plenty of customers will buy from Amazon or Target, but to get the absolute best customer service, it’s best to shop local.