gaming · inspiration · various life things

2021 is the year of self-care.

Before I get started, I want to say a belated happy new year to you all! I hope this year treats you all well despite everything that is still happening in the world. I saw some countries are going on full lockdowns for a while. I hope everything can go back to some semblance of normal by the end of the year. Here’s hoping! Don’t forget to take care of yourselves, reward yourselves, and relax! Please also don’t forget to take care of your mental health. One thing I really learned the hard way last year during this was that you really need to take care of your mental health, and you need to know when to walk away from certain things in order to do so.

Since I’m no longer really posting on Twitter, I will most likely update here a bit more than usual. Meaning more than once every month! And will include some more topics as well, like what’s new with me and what’s going on!

Since it’s the start of a new year, I wanted to share some things I have been doing so far even though we’re only 4 days in. I also wanted to share some self care habits that I’ve picked up!

  • What’s new?

I’m currently working on a new about page, and I’d love to make a 2021 scrapbook page for here just to list the media I engage with this year (books, games, shows, and so on). I also finally changed the site icon away from the Halloween themed one I had for too long.

Since my last post, I did finish and platinum Assassin’s Creed II. It was such a great experience to be able to replay it again! It was my third time playing it, but the last time I played was a few years ago so everything was pretty fresh. The remastered version also played very smoothly and was very beautiful to look at with the scenery. I’m excited to start Brotherhood soon since that takes place in Rome and I remember the landscapes and backdrops were gorgeous. I can’t wait to see how it looks in the newer version! 

I have also completed Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception twice! I’m going to start my crushing playthrough tomorrow night. I forgot I played it on that difficulty back on the PS3 version. I think Uncharted 3 is the easiest of the first three games, so it shouldn’t be too difficult, especially after playing the first two on that mode so I have a lot of practice. I also forgot how amazing it is! The narrative is amazing, and I really love the locations and the soundtrack as well.

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, published by Naughty Dog. Screenshot taken by me.

I’m debating whether or not to continue with Uncharted 4 after I get the platinum for 3, or go to Brotherhood instead. I actually never finished Uncharted 4 or Lost Legacy… I guess I was just too sad to see one of my favorite series end, but I guess it will happen soon enough! Hopefully I can decide by the weekend!

Oh, and while I’m on the subject of Uncharted, Nathan Drake’s birthday was also on January 1st, so happy belated birthday to Nate! I believe he’s 44 now.

Nathan Drake in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Published by Naughty Dog.
  • Mental health self-care things!
  1. Listening to video game soundtracks. Even if it’s a remix, extended version, or a medley of songs. I’ve been putting game soundtracks on while I study Korean and Japanese and it’s so relaxing and makes it less stressful! I’ve been mostly listening to the Uncharted soundtracks since I’ve been playing the games, along with Mass Effect since I never can get enough of those soundtracks. My current go to is this orchestral remix of Nate’s Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7Gz728d714 and this version of an emotional suite from the Mass Effect trilogy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrxErfKLzfM. I also need to give a personal shoutout to the soundtrack for the game, Braid, one of my all time favorites.
  1. Knowing when too much is too much and be realistic with goals. This is another thing I learned last year. Originally, when I was planning out my language studies I wanted to do, I was going to do five lessons a week: 2 Korean (always), and either 1-2 Japanese/1-2 Chinese (alternating between the two each week). I ended up not going through with this, and instead, am just going 2 Korean lessons, 1 Japanese and 1 Chinese lesson a week. No lessons on weekends either if I can help it! I also have a cut off time for studying: 8pm every night with the exception of Tuesdays since my lesson will go until about 8:20pm. With this type of schedule, there is way less stress in me having to cram to study and ending up learning absolutely nothing.
  1. Not setting deadlines. I used to put a deadline for literally anything and everything. I know there are some things that do have a set deadline that can’t be avoided. But not everything has to have a deadline. You don’t have to post such and such a post by this date, or finish this book by Monday, or finish a game in a week. Take as much time as you need and don’t rush things. I feel like I accomplish way more this way, and again, less stress!
  1. Letting go. This is a huge one for me. I let go of a lot over the last couple of months in 2020. Letting go of social media was the biggest thing I think I’ve done in awhile. It’s hard, but I know it will be worth it in the long run. I already mentally feel 100 times better than I have in a long time. I’ve learned to get my news from other sources instead of doom scrolling through Twitter. I’m having tons of fun playing old favorite games without the stress of feeling that I need to screenshot and make edits for Instagram. While I will most likely never be free of my phone ever in this lifetime, I have it as far away as possible while I’m watching something or playing a game now so I don’t feel compelled to pick it up and look to see what’s happening online every 2 seconds. FOMO who?

I’ll save some more for another post! These are definitely the most important to me right now at least. As always, thank you for reading my blog and please take care! Until next time.

gaming · inspiration · various life things

Diving back into history.

First of all: I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, and if you don’t celebrate, then I still hope you had a wonderful day!

While I may be on hiatus from social media, I’m still going to post here. Actually, I’ve been thinking about life before social media and that’s what prompted my break. Like, how I used to post updates on Livejournal almost 5 times a day. While most of it was fangirling, it still felt like those posts at least mattered and had some kind of feeling and substance behind them. Or maybe I’ve become disillusioned by social media and am just kind of over it? Will I finally quit Twitter in 2021? We’ll see… I have the next couple of weeks planned out with my work schedule and language studies, and it’s looking pretty intense. I’ll definitely still have free time, but the time I use for social media may need to go towards studying or some mental health self care. Maybe I’ll finally learn time management properly next year! I’m even using Google Calendar with color coding now! I never used to do that! I suppose this is what adulting is like, right?

Anyway, onto some other things that I’ve been spending my time with more now that I’m on a social media break!

I’ve already talked about the Uncharted video game series a bit before. I’d like to add another game series into the mix to go along with that one!

Assassin’s Creed.

Assassin’s Creed II promo image, published by Ubisoft.

After I got the platinum for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (still one of my top tier favorite games of all time!), I decided to move onto Assassin’s Creed II. Why? Well, at the beginning of this year, I did start Assassin’s Creed II, but of course, I didn’t even finish sequence one. I played through it years ago and got 100% completion for it on PS3. Now, I’m replaying it as part of the Ezio Collection on my PS4 Pro. With this replay, I am rediscovering my love of Assassin’s Creed and history. Honestly, if I had the money, I’d yet again go back to university and turn my history minor into a major but since I don’t, I guess the Italian Renaissance history and Leonardo da Vinci audiobooks will have to do for now. I used to be a diehard fan of the AC series a few years ago. After Syndicate, I feel like I was burnt out by it and only played a bit of Origins before moving onto something else.

Maybe it’s because I’m over games coming out broken with the promise of it being patched later (and I know Ubisoft is guilty of this as well), but I am just really into… “older” games these days? I think it could be this entire year, coupled with nostalgia and wanting to revisit old favorites and rediscovering why I loved them in the first place. I think this could be yet another answer to getting through my backlog: replaying old series that I didn’t finish every game in. 

I think over the next few months, I am going to bounce between Uncharted, Assassin’s Creed, and probably Tomb Raider as well. I am just really feeling these historical adventure type games lately. To make sure I don’t get totally bored, I have some random horror games to play in between: Daymare 1998, Little Hope, and Dawn of Fear to name a couple! Of course, there are a few releases in 2021 I will check out, namely Little Nightmares 2, Mass Effect trilogy remaster, and the Nier remaster which are for sure games I am getting day one.

I know this was a short post this time. I am still working on getting the BTS and ENHYPEN posts going as well and will have some free time soon to be able to really dive into what I want to do with those! And I still need to rewrite my about section. I’m thinking tomorrow will be a great day for writing and studying.

As always, thanks for reading my ramblings on here. Until next time!

inspiration · various life things · writing

New name? Leaving Instagram? Fluent in Korean? – checking in with you all.

What’s up, everyone?!

It’s been awhile. What is my excuse? I was honestly just really Going Through It all of last month and wasn’t feeling motivated to do anything, so the blog just kind of sat here and collected dust for a bit. However, now, I am back! For real! 

I went back and read my last post and figured I would do the same type of thing and just keep this post as a sort of update post on what’s going on with me, what I’ve been doing, and what I have planned! So, here we go!

The first thing you may notice is that the domain name for the blog has changed. When I first made this site, my whole thing was writing about something for roughly 500 words every day. This then turned into more of, well I want to really sit down and write out proper posts and not rush through things just to hit a 500 word count. It’s quite something to look back even a couple of months ago, and see how much of a different headspace you were in as opposed to the present. I link back to this post where I talked about getting back into writing and how much Final Fantasy VII Remake/Aerith Gainsborough really inspired me. That won’t ever change, as it did have a huge impact on motivating me to get creative again. However, for the type of content I want to create here… I feel like having the name of Aerith’s Garden just didn’t quite… fit? 

Solitary Bells from the Demento/Haunting Ground soundtrack.

So, how does Solitary Bells fit? The name is inspired by and taken from a song off the video game soundtrack for Demento/Haunting Ground, a horror game from Capcom that came out back in 2005. It remains one of my favorite horror games of all time, and I figure it’s probably a bit safer to not have a character’s name as your website URL when the site isn’t really about them. With that being said, I’m currently going to be redoing the site a bit and have a better theme, so if things look weird if you visit, I apologise! It will all be worked out soon!

Now, onto my Korean studies. I have had 7 lessons over the last month and it’s been a really fun and rewarding process. My teacher is really incredible and so helpful in every single way. She gives me so much time to speak and get through sentences, and the homework she gives is also very helpful as well! It’s amazing how a month ago I could barely read the Korean alphabet and now I’m reading, speaking, writing and putting together sentences??? Who would have thought! My Korean lessons are definitely a main highlight of 2020 and will continue into 2021.

What’s that about Instagram? Ever since their update (if you’re on there, you know exactly what I’m talking about), I just haven’t really felt like posting. I still like taking screenshots, editing, and so on… but honestly? I think I may have a post here once a week showing some edits I have made. Also, it’s just too much to keep up with right now. Maybe in a few months I’ll get back to it (especially if Facebook really sells it), but until then, my focus is going to be over here. I could say more about this but I think it’s fairly obvious. Also I felt a bit hypocritical remaining on Instagram after watching The Social Dilemma

After all of that, what’s next?

Do you remember my post about the new K-POP group, ENHYPEN

ENHYPEN promotional photo via BE:LIFT.

Since then, they have debuted!! Their debut day was November 30th! There was a lot to unpack about their concept and believe me, I’m still thinking about it. I have a lot of stuff to talk about in regards to these guys so this may turn into a sort of ENHYPEN oasis for a bit, especially once my albums arrive. 

I also have something I’d like to do about BTS and going through their entire discography/videography and discussing it here properly! I’ve always wanted to do that as a huge project, especially being a media major, so it’s going to happen. It will take time, believe me, but I’d like to get it started by the end of the year/start of 2021! 

And of course, the games. I’ll be talking about video games still, don’t worry. I’d like to talk about more obscure games, maybe some retro horror games… stuff like that. Doing deep dives into games and taking them apart and putting them back together again. 

There will also be the occasional random/fun post as well! I’m not limiting myself with what to talk about, but honestly? Writing about ENHYPEN, BTS, and horror games? It’s all I ever wanted.

The frequency of how often I post here is my final thought for this post, as I have rambled on long enough. I’d like to post at least 1-2 times a week. It may possibly even be 3 times a week if I don’t get lazy and actually post some edits on here!

Until next time! And I promise I won’t disappear for a month again! Thank you to everyone who has followed, liked, and commented on my blog so far. It really means a lot to me! 💜

inspiration · various life things

My goals for the rest of the year.

Since I’m still working on writing other posts that are not complete yet, I figured I would write out a post about what my goals are for the rest of the year, and also some plans I have despite everything that is going on in the world! We’re almost to October already, so I’m hoping to get a lot of stuff prepared so that I will be able to meet these goals by the time October 1st hits next week!

  • Learn a new language.

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for… a very long time. I always start but then end up not following through with it. However, I did order the Learn Korean w/ BTS set which I’m excited for! I don’t think it will be here until November, but in the meantime, I really want to get started with the Korean language with the basics, so I’ll be making a plan to start doing this by next week while I wait for my textbooks to arrive. It will be fun for sure!

  • Spend at least 30 minutes a day (or every other day) tidying up a space.

Admittedly, I got this idea from Instagram. On my explore page, there’s a lot of self care stuff that I see and this seems to be a running theme with it. I have a lot of things I need to sort through, get rid of, put in boxes, and other things I want to decorate and add to my space. I always overwhelm myself by trying to do everything at once, but today, I cleaned up one space and it felt really good! So, for the rest of the year, I’m hoping to get more done by doing this! My first thing I really want to do in terms of decorating? When I get paid Friday, I definitely want to get a frame and light decorations for my Jungkook poster to get up by the time the BTS online concert happens! 

  • Do a blog challenge!

I’d love to do some sort of blog challenge. Especially for October leading up to Halloween! I may try to find more challenges and pick and choose from a bunch of them to make the best and most interesting challenge possible for myself.

  • Play a lot of horror games.

There are a lot of horror games coming out next month, some of which I talk about in this post. I really want to embrace the spooky season and play as many horror games as I can. I think possibly the best way to do this is to make some sort of schedule for myself and the games I want to play. I also want to be able to play them and take screenshots and videos to edit for my Instagram as well. So, this weekend, I plan on trying to make a schedule. I may post it here on Monday if I’m successful!

  • Be better at time management.

Ah, yes. Something else I need to work on. I used to be semi decent at time management, but have honestly been awful with it since the pandemic started back in the Spring. I’m hoping to make a better schedule for myself with hobbies, work, and free time. Most importantly, I need to work on a better sleep schedule.

So, there it is! I’m hoping I can achieve these all by the years end! I will definitely be updating about this as time goes on.

gaming · inspiration

The beginnings of tackling a video game backlog.

I think it’s safe to say that I have had a never ending, always growing backlog of video games to be played over the years of having gaming as a hobby. I know I’m not alone in buying every game possible during one of Sony’s many flash sales that seem to happen too frequently. Yesterday, I took a look at my library, and I have over 300 digital games (including free Playstation Plus games), and that doesn’t include the physical games I used to buy (and still buy if I see something really good for super cheap).

With a new generation of console gaming upon us… how will I ever get through my backlog? I really don’t have an answer for it. Or maybe I have part of an answer?

A few “rules” I am making for myself for the next console generation may help solve some of my issues that I have with my backlog:

  • First and foremost!!! I’m done with the remasters. If a game came out on PS1, PS2 or even PS3 and is getting a full on remake, then yes, I am here for it. But if a PS3 game is just getting a visual upgrade or “remastered”, or even a PS4 game, then no thanks. I bought way too many remasters and I regret it. I’ll still play them since I have them. To me, it’s just not necessary to try to remaster a PS4 game on the PS5. Especially since I have a PS4 pro and the games look good enough already.
  • One thing that can possibly backfire with the above, is possibly the fact that developers will just add new content to a PS5 release of a PS4 game and stop supporting the PS4 version. Honestly? Trashy, but I get it from the business standpoint of wanting to make money. I’m curious to see how the first couple of years play out for this reason alone.
  • Something that I also did with the PS3 and PS4: I didn’t buy the new console right away. With PS3, it wasn’t until the end of 2009 when I finally got one thanks to Uncharted 2. With the PS4, since Watch_Dogs was delayed, I didn’t get the console at launch but I did get one that Christmas. And.. I didn’t really use it that much until Watch_Dogs came out in May of 2014. Sure, there were a couple of games that I played on it like Outlast, but I was still mostly using my PS3. This time, I’m waiting for a game to actually be out that I want before I buy the new console. I decided on Resident Evil 8 or Demon’s Souls remake, whichever comes first I suppose!

Speaking of Watch_Dogs

Aiden Pearce in Watch_Dogs, official promotional image from Ubisoft

I’ve decided since I’ve been kind of on a weird “wanting to learn and understand more about digital/social media” binge these days, I’m diving back into Watch_Dogs. My other excuse is that Aiden Pearce is coming back in Legion and I’m super excited to play as him again! I’ve only played both games one time only as they are rather lengthy and have a lot to do. I’ve already done the Alone digital trip to get my favorite costume for Aiden which took me almost 2 hours since I’m still relearning how to play the game again. 

Maybe I will get more inspiration or perspective on how to get through my backlog soon! If anyone else has a backlog and has any tips or wants to share how you get through it, please feel free to leave a comment on here!