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

My personal 2020 year in review.

We still have a bit more of 2020 to go. It’s almost over and things will get better in 2021! With these last couple of weeks of 2020, I figured I would write a post going over my year and address my personal goals for 2021.

What didn’t I accomplish this year?

  • Getting my driver’s license: I was going to go for it way back in the Spring. Once the pandemic hit stateside and everything was uncertain… I just didn’t do anything about it. Until recently, that is! I am going for the written permit exam on Tuesday morning. I have been studying for it so I’m hoping to pass, but I will accept whatever the result is.
  • Getting a new job: I believe I mentioned in a previous post about doing career meetings with a career advisor (via Zoom of course). Unfortunately, the past two months haven’t worked out with that but we have reconnected for January! So hopefully I can get something new for next year.

What did I accomplish this year?

  • Getting help with my back issues: I started acupuncture in November for my back and it is helping a little bit more each time. I don’t go back until January due to the holiday, but am excited to continue with it for however long I need to! It’s also very relaxing so it helps with any of my anxiety and/or stress issues as well.
  • Graduating from university with a second BA: I honestly forget this happened because it just felt kind of… well, it didn’t seem to have a conclusive ending honestly. There really wasn’t any kind of final meeting between my two classes I was taking. I’m not sure if there will be anything for next year to celebrate it, but hoping there will be, even if it’s at the end of the summer or in the fall.
  • Selecting only 2-3 KPOP groups to purchase merch of: Now, don’t get me wrong at all, I still love a lot of KPOP groups, but buying merch for a bunch of different groups wasn’t very realistic for me to do. Now, I only buy BTS, Blackpink and ENHYPEN merch. I’m sure there will be special exceptions sometimes as well, like me trying to buy KAI’s mini album and failing because SM didn’t keep proper stock of it basically anywhere but that’s a whole other thing. Doing this has also allowed me to really appreciate these three groups and their music/concepts more as well which is always a huge plus!
  • Started taking Korean lessons: Probably my favorite thing I accomplished this year! I’ve done 11 lessons and have come a long way from when I started back at the beginning of November. I’m taking a break this week (but will keep studying and I have a lot of homework due for the next lesson), but am super excited to continue next week! I’m also super happy I found the tutor I did because she’s truly wonderful and a great teacher.
  • No longer buying games at launch: After the mess that was Fallout 76, and then buying a couple of broken games this year at full price (and no, Cyberpunk 2077 was not one of them actually!), I have finally made this decision to no longer buy games at launch. I do have a couple of exceptions, and that would only be: Nier remaster, Mass Effect trilogy remaster, and Resident Evil Village. I’d also include anything by FromSoftware on the list since they don’t seem to release broken games. Anyway, this is just me being frustrated at the fact that companies release broken games and just patch them within a few months.
  • Leaving instagram for good: I had a video game screenshot editing account on there that I opened back in February of this year. It picked up when the pandemic started and I was really into it for a few months. However, in recent months, especially since starting my Korean lessons and thinking about my future goals, there really is just no place for the account anymore. I kind of see it as this: it was something I had to help me get through that specific moment in time. I will miss it for sure, but I can’t even be bothered to take screenshots anymore. I just want to play the video game.
  • Opening this blog: Though I neglected this blog for a bit over the past couple of months, I am glad I opened this and got a personalized URL for it as well! It’s been a little all over the place while I figure out what I really want to do here, but I have ideas for 2021. Stay tuned!

What are my goals for 2021?

  • Maximize my language studying: I am continuing my Korean lessons, however, I am also adding not one other language, but two other languages to the mix as well. Tomorrow, I am meeting (over Zoom, don’t worry) a Japanese tutor, and Saturday, a Mandarin Chinese tutor to go over their course and a study plan. I’m really excited for it, and this is another reason why I gave up instagram as well to give me plenty of time to study three languages! I’ll post about my progress here as well!
  • Listen to 12 audiobooks: this is a minimum of one audiobook a month. That should be easily doable!
  • Only focus on my passions and not the excess noise: this was a huge problem I had this year. I was trying to incorporate just a little too much of everything, and ended up with absolutely nothing in the end. I’ve really learned to deal with this over the past couple of months. For me personally, even having 2-3 hobbies I am really into is good, instead of trying to have about 20 that I barely know anything about.
  • Get to 8500-9000 trophies and 75 platinum trophies on Playstation Network: I really fell back into the whole Playstation trophy hunting thing the last couple of months and am really going for it next year! I think this will also help with my backlog as well, weirdly enough. I’ve been using PSNProfiles to track my progress so it’s helpful to see which games I played for about 10 minutes 10 years ago that I can easily go back to and play to completion soon.
  • Watch at least one k-drama, one j-drama, and one regular show per month: I also don’t think should be too hard. I also think this will be helpful for my language studies as well.

I think that about wraps up my 2020 in review. I know it’s pretty basic, although it was interesting to look back over the year and stuff that happened for me personally. I feel like most of the good stuff has happened in the last couple of months, including getting that feeling of hope back. I’m excited for 2021. I know at least the first half of the year will still be difficult for many people. I am holding out hope that things will slowly start to go back to normal starting in the summertime, and maybe by this time next year we will almost be fully back to normal!

Until next time, friends. Take care and stay safe!

gaming · screenshot sunday

Screenshot Sunday – Spider-Man: Miles Morales!

In my last post, I mentioned how I wasn’t really feeling Instagram these days. And that still holds up. I decided every Sunday, I will post roughly 5-6 (or more) screenshots from the game I am currently playing or a game I have recently finished. What better way to start than with Spider-Man: Miles Morales, an incredibly fun experience with a solid story that was definitely worth going through more than once for the platinum trophy. I had so much fun with this one. I’m a fan of Spider-Man in general, and really loved the first game that came out a couple years ago. Also, it was nice to play as Miles and learn more about him. I’m glad he seems to finally be getting more recognition these days. He’s a great character and a great Spider-Man. The ending left me very excited to see where Insomniac Games is going to take the story next and whether we will be playing as both Peter and Miles. I’m hoping that we can or at least get the choice to!

My favorite thing about this game was definitely Spider-Cat. Spider-Cat is part of the Bodega Cat Suit and is unlocked at the end of the game after completing the main story. You also have to complete the sidequest, Looters. Once you have that sidequest done along with the main story, all you need to do is visit Miles’ apartment which will then unlock the post end game content which includes paying a visit to Teo’s Bodega for the Cat’s Pajamas sidequest which unlocks the suit! It’s entirely worth it, and I have screenshots to prove it!

First off, Spider-Cat appears in all the cutscenes… I picked one of the first cutscenes in the game to avoid huge story spoilers.

Peter Parker and Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Miles Morales by Insomniac Games, captured on PS4 Pro by me.

Spider-Cat is also in the loading screens giving helpful tips.

Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Miles Morales by Insomniac Games, captured on PS4 Pro by me.
Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Miles Morales by Insomniac Games, captured on PS4 Pro by me.
Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Miles Morales by Insomniac Games, captured on PS4 Pro by me.

Honestly, that last one is my absolute favorite for some reason.

And of course, Spider-Cat is very cute and snuggly in the selfies!

Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Miles Morales by Insomniac Games, captured on PS4 Pro by me.
Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Miles Morales by Insomniac Games, captured on PS4 Pro by me.

The photo mode in this game is also really good. I like that more and more games are including it now. I might load into the game again in the future and mess around with it a bit more since there are stickers and different lighting methods you can use as well.

That concludes my first Screenshot Sunday post. Apologies that this one is on the shorter side. I’m hoping to get these to be a bit longer as I get used to doing them, so look forward to that! 

Until next time, stay safe friends!

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! 💜

gaming · inspiration · various life things

long time, no see…

Oh hello there.

First off, I have been seeing a career advisor since July. We have basically just been talking about jobs (which might be obvious) and also discussing and working on my master resume which has been a lot more work than expected. She told me it’s like doing a research project/paper on yourself, and honestly? She’s 100% right with that statement! We have one final meeting in a few weeks in December, and in the meantime, I’m finalizing the master resume and putting together a couple different portfolios that cater towards different work (research writing + more project oriented stuff I did). I do feel better about it than when I first started meeting with her, but due to the current circumstances, it still feels impossible to find a job I really love. The struggle has been so real, especially lately.

With that said, I finally am taking Korean lessons. I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to start learning a new language. I was going to do all self study, however, I found a website called Amazing Talker, and found a great tutor on there who is very nice, laid back, patient, and easy to talk to, so we will be meeting over Zoom about 1-2 times a week so that it keeps me on track with studying and learning the language. I did also finally get the Learn Korean with BTS set today so I’ll also be using that and the textbook my tutor sent me in between our sessions. I’m also considering doing Duolingo as well for when I’m on breaks at work or whatever! While job searching, I found there is a high demand for bilingual journalists, so I’m learning for future career purposes and also because I have wanted to learn the language for years and felt this was a great time to start. 

As for my goals for last month, I failed them all. I started about 3 different horror games and never finished them because I lost interest. I wonder if I just have lost interest in the horror genre altogether since I wasn’t even really into Halloween this year either. I have only felt like playing Genshin Impact which I am still completely obsessed with, season 2 of Fall Guys, and I started playing Martian Gothic: Unification since I have wanted to experience it for myself ever since seeing a let’s play on YouTube a few years ago. So far, I’m pretty into it. I’m using save states instead of the actual save system because uhhhh, yeah. If you know the game at all, you will understand. The Playstation 5 comes out in a few days, and like I mentioned before, I am sad that I can’t play the new Demon’s Souls game, but at the same time, I do want to play the original again and it seems many of the games releasing will be on PS4 still with the free upgrade to PS5, so I feel like I’m not missing out on too much. I’m excited to start the new Spider-Man: Miles Morales game on Thursday! I’m going to pre-order it tonight and get the preload started so it’s all set to go Thursday evening when I get home! I’m still working out my backlog, and I feel like it has grown even bigger now with PS1 and PS2 games I never played but now can.

So now, what are my goals for the rest of this year?

  • Keep up with my Korean studies.
  • Work on a backlog spreadsheet.
  • Get my portfolios done.
  • Don’t feel bad if I don’t complete a goal.

With that said, I do want to write here more, and I plan to. I have a lot of ideas I want to do for posts. Since there is a new Genshin Impact update coming tomorrow, I think that might be my first new post. I may also write about Martian Gothic as well since it has intrigued me for years. From there, we’ll see 🙂

Thanks for reading, following, and sticking around if you’re still here!

gaming

I’d like to introduce you to my new obsession.

Oh, hey. It’s me. I decided to come back earlier than anticipated because I was feeling motivated to write about some stuff again. 

Today’s topic is one you have probably seen if you are part of video game Twitter, or into gaming at all. Yes, that’s right! It’s about Genshin Impact!

Before going any further, I will say that I had been looking to jump back into an MMO experience for a couple of months now. I entirely blame Final Fantasy for it. I was actually considering redownloading and resubscribing to Final Fantasy XIV, going back to my Dragoon character I haven’t done anything with in, what? Two years? And most likely ending up as lost as ever in the experience which is why I ended up stopping in the first place. Well, that and also being completely burnt out by it all.

However, last week, I saw people starting to talk about what has been deemed as an “anime styled Breath of the Wild” game that was free to play on mobile, PC, and Playstation. Honestly, at first I was pretty skeptical about it. I figured it would end up being one of those games where you eventually have to pay money to progress. 

That has not been the case. At least, not yet!

Genshin Impact, developed by miHoYo. Screenshot by me.

So, what exactly is Genshin Impact? Aside from it being a free to play game, it takes the concept of an MMO and makes it into a viable solo experience with recruiting other characters, each having their own unique perks and an elemental ability which makes the fighting really fun. There’s a leveling system for characters, their weapons and artifacts that you can equip for them which all give various benefits. As for the story (or what I know of it so far), the focus is of one twin trying to find their other twin (you pick one to play as and the story proceeds from there). Whichever twin you choose, they end up in what I can only describe as the most beautiful fantasy esque world I have ever seen. The prologue introduces you to the main threat (or is it?) and a few different characters, some you end up recruiting into your party, and once that is done, more stuff unlocks for you to complete in order to rank up in the game and be able to do other quest lines and eventually be able to go through what I can assume are dungeons. I hit adventurer rank 10 yesterday so I can continue the main story quest next time I login which will most likely be once this post goes up! 

Genshin Impact, developed by miHoYo. Screenshot by me.

Okay, so now you may be thinking about the fact you have to hit certain adventure ranks in order to proceed in the main story. It’s not that bad. It didn’t take me very long at all to get from rank 7 to rank 10. You get a handbook from the adventurer’s guild with challenges you complete to get points, there are bosses that spawn on the map that you can fight a few times a day, and also by just doing basic things in the world, such as opening treasure chests and exploring, you will rank up in no time to be able to continue. There are also other world quests and side quests you can complete as well! I’m not sure how it will be once you get to 25+ for adventure rank. I’m sure like any other RPG game, there will be some sense of grinding for levels, but that’s really to be expected from a game like this. Trust me, there’s a lot you can do in the game, even at such early levels! The map is huge, too!

Genshin Impact, developed by miHoYo. Screenshot by me.

One final aspect to this game is the gacha system. Yes, there’s a gacha system. I haven’t paid any money so far and have just used what I have been rewarded in game through progression and rewards to play the gacha and form a tiny prayer circle that maybe something amazing will happen and I’ll get awesome characters and weapons from it. Well, I did get Noelle (pictured above), but I think she may be easy to get? But, she is my favorite so far. I really like her combat style and the geo ability she has which has come in handy from the lvl 18+ enemies I have started running into. Aside from Noelle, I have unlocked 3 other characters from the gacha as well, and a whole slew of weapon duplicates which I’m not going to complain too much about since you need duplicate weapons in order to refine them anyway. You can pay real money to get the currency needed to buy more gacha plays but… and maybe I’m just old, but I enjoy getting the in game rewards and then using that for gacha spins, not actually paying my own money for them. Because where’s the fun in that?

Other things to note? The soundtrack is beautiful and very relaxing to listen to while running around exploring. The combat is very smooth and works well. Character switching is super quick so you’re able to stack up elemental abilities against enemies and really cause some DPS mayhem if needed. Most importantly: it’s fun!!! And it’s FREE!!! Did I mention that already?

This will be a title I will go back to and keep playing. I’m sure more things will be added over time and I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes, if there really is any sort of paywall, and what ends up being added to the game in the future!

With that being said, I think I may end up making a game log again with this game as the test title. Once a week, just posting my progress and some new screenshots from the game! I used to make game logs years ago, so we’ll see how this turns out.

gaming · inspiration

Just an adventure with old friends…

I feel like this may be some sort of weird sequel to my post about video game backlogs, or maybe it isn’t. So, as I said a couple of weeks back, I was super excited to get back into Watch_Dogs. Well, I was excited for maybe a week, and then it wore off on me. My answer as to why I lost interest is really, I have no idea. But, I think I may have found an answer through an unlikely game series I haven’t played in quite some time…

Uncharted.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves remastered. Screenshot by me.

I love the Uncharted series. It’s still fresh after all these years since the original version of Drake’s Fortune came out back in 2007. I got the remastered version of the trilogy, The Nathan Drake Collection, when it came out and only ever played through the newer version of Drake’s Fortune once. Now, I’m 100% sucked back into this world. And I think it may possibly be due to nostalgia… but also? I think it’s because I just really needed a good adventure to go on with a bunch of characters I really love.

Watch_Dogs hits too close to home for what’s going on in the digital world, and it seems like a huge downer while playing it. I love the concept, but after watching a documentary like The Social Dilemma? Do I really want to be playing a game that, while it may seem ridiculous, actually parallels reality in some ways? My answer to that is: not right now.

I’ve already completed Drake’s Fortune a few times since getting back into the series and have moved onto one of my absolute favorite games of all time: Among Thieves. It’s been a blast so far. Everything is so familiar, yet it has been that long since I’ve played the games that it’s like discovering everything for the first time all over again. 

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune remastered. Screenshot by me.

I think I have also mentioned this multiple times on here already, but this year has been tough to get through with everything that’s going on. I’ve seen a lot of people talking about going back to comfort shows, books, movies, games, and so on, just because it helps them and their mental health. It made me think about if I had anything like that that I could turn to in times like this to try and de-stress. Well, I think I may have found it in Uncharted. Honestly, booting up the game and getting into the menu to hear a variation of Drake’s Theme really makes me feel good as weird as it may sound! It’s made me rediscover how incredible the soundtracks to these games are (which sadly are not streaming on Apple Music but at least there is YouTube!) and rediscovering the stories has also been amazing and heart warming for me. 


Maybe this is part of the answer to tackling a video game backlog: revisiting games that make you feel good and/or games that you absolutely cherish. While Uncharted is a series I played through, I think game replays also count as part of a backlog as well. I’ve had this series on my list of games to revisit for so long, that now of all times feels the most appropriate to revisit it, and I’m happy that I made the decision to do so. Not to mention, it also reginited my love for Playstation trophy hunting… so now there’s that… It’s funny, because my first ever trophy was from the original version of Drake’s Fortune after I bought a Playstation 3 back in 2009! How fitting.

gaming

Microsoft + Bethesda = Xbox exclusive only? Hang on a second…

Bethesda Softworks used to be my favorite gaming studio and developer. Then, games were coming out from them that were clearly unfinished and rushed (Fallout 76, which I defended until almost every week a new terrible thing happened with the game and I just couldn’t do it anymore). I am still a fan of some of their studios, such as Arkane (Dishonored) and Tango Gameworks (The Evil Within). Bethesda have made some really amazing games as well, even before things started getting a little.. glitchy on the gameplay side of things.

Image from Gamespot’s Twitter.

So, why am I even talking about Bethesda? Well, today, Microsoft and Bethesda have announced a new partnership. According to this article by Gamespot, Microsoft has made a deal with Bethesda to the tune of $7.5 billion USD to acquire them and all their studios. The Gamespot article has all their studios listed in their article and has a lot more information about it, or well, what little information we have for now, so definitely do check out their article! An interesting thing to note? The new Xbox console will go on sale tomorrow. Maybe they were waiting for the prime moment to try to get those sales in because of how much of a disaster the PS5 pre-ordering went last week, for which Sony did apologize for and much respect to them for owning up to it!

It will certainly be interesting to see how this new partnership pans out for both Microsoft and Bethesda. Some concerns or worries would be that, what if future games are only on Xbox or PC? However, I believe not all hope is lost here. Microsoft also owns Minecraft, and that is on almost every platform ever with expansions and the new Minecraft Dungeons game also releasing on multiple platforms. There are also Microsoft “exclusives” that are finding their way onto the Nintendo Switch, with games such as Cuphead (which is now on Playstation), and the Ori game series, appearing on the Nintendo console’s game store for purchase. I also think that, while a few years ago there was a way bigger divide between consoles, that these days, they definitely seem to be coming together and willing to work with each other. I’ve seen nothing but support from both Sony and Microsoft in regards to each other’s new consoles which is honestly pretty heartwarming.

For now, I’m not too worried about the next Elder Scrolls or Fallout game being tied to the Xbox as an exclusive. While I know there will always be exclusives on every platform, I think a majority of the games coming from Bethesda and their studios will still be multiplatform. Some stuff may turn into what is referred to as a “timed exclusive” (basically, when a game or expansion is out first on one console for a period of time, then releases onto everything else after a certain amount of time passes), but I believe there is nothing else to worry about in this regard! I’m hoping with this new partnership, that maybe future Bethesda titles won’t release at launch totally broken like Fallout 76 did, but again, we will have to wait and see what happens!

Until then, let’s all try to get our next gen console of choice pre-ordered and await the amazing games that are coming on all the consoles, whether you are sticking with the current generation for a little bit longer or moving up to next gen later this fall. There’s always something for everyone!

gaming · technology

My thoughts on the Playstation 5 showcase.

Yesterday, the very much anticipated Sony Playstation 5 showcase happened and they did not play around. Not for a single second. I’m only going to go over my personal favorite highlights from it, though there were a TON of amazing games that were shown or teased that I am very excited about!

For those interested in watching, the showcase can be watched here! The showcase is also available in other languages if you go onto the Playstation YouTube channel. If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend watching. It’s been my favorite gaming event so far this year from how well put together it was!

So now, onto my favorite parts!

Resident Evil Village, via Capcom

This franchise has been a favorite since I was very young, playing the first game on the original Playstation way back what feels like a million years ago. I’m a fan of all the games, though admittedly it did start to kind of… fall apart? As in, it was becoming a little too actiony and not enough of the horror elements that made it so special. At least for me. Resident Evil 7 completely turned that around and has gotten the series going back to its roots. I loved RE7. Even with the first person perspective. I thought it made it way more immersive and even though I’ve played it a handful of times, it still scares me to death in some parts! 

Resident Evil Village, via Capcom

Resident Evil VILLAGE looks absolutely terrifying and I could not be happier with how it looks and am very much looking forward to it. I love the weird, fairy tale vibe that it had going during part of the trailer, with who I am assuming is Mia Winters narrating an old tale. I’m also excited to play as Ethan Winters again since I really like him. And I can’t wait to find out what exactly Chris Redfield is up to! Is he the antagonist? Did he live long enough to become the villain? I’m curious to see how his arc goes in this. And I can’t wait to explore the village and see all the new creatures. They look amazing and so creepy! Also may I just add that I love how the story is actually continuing from RE7? Like, we may actually finally get some closure with some characters and not just have them as a one off and then tossed to the void? I hope this trend continues!

I already wrote a post about how excited I am for this which you can find here. However, let me briefly add a few things…

Demon’s Souls Remake, via Sony

The gameplay looks so smooth, and the flow of the combat looks great! I loved seeing the tiny teases of some of the bosses. This looks 100% loyal, true to the original remake which I am very excited for! Also, it’s a launch title. I really played myself when I said I would get a PS5 when DeS Remake came out. Well, here we are…

Also, the realism. This game looks so realistic. I think it’s most likely the player character and how they interact and react to the world. I was noticing it a lot more in this game play trailer. It was just really cool to see how far the series has come! I can’t wait to play this!

God of War: Ragnarok teaser image, via Sony

It was the tiniest crumb of a teaser ever, but it got me hyped. The first entry into the new God of War series was, again, incredible. I know I probably overuse that word, but it’s the truth! The cliffhanger God of War left us with along with the revelation at the end.. I’m hyped. That’s all I can say right now. I cannot wait for more information on this one. It’s going to be a ride, let me tell you. While I wait, it may be a good idea to replay the first one, and then maybe dive deeper into some Norse mythology!

  • Playstation 5 Price & Release Date
Playstation 5 pricing for digital and disc versions, via the Playstation Blog

It comes out November 12th in select countries, and then November 19th for the rest of the world. The digital only version is $399 USD, while the disc tray version is $499 USD. Of course, it’s sold out. I’m not sure how the pre orders were supposed to go. I thought I read that the pre orders were starting today, the 17th, but they popped up last night and sold out very quickly! As to be expected, though. Honestly, the only huge bummer for me is that DeS Remake is a launch title and I probably won’t be getting it at launch and will have to wait, which is also fine! I mentioned it in another post, but I most likely will end up waiting. Maybe for not as long as I initially anticipated because I had no idea that DeS Remake was going to be a launch title. In the meantime, there are plenty of other games to play and explore.

There were a few other things. Of course, the new Spider-Man expansion featuring the amazing Miles Morales. It has recently been revealed it will be coming to PS4, so I will be picking it up there first to play! The Playstation Plus revamp is also intriguing, however, I already own all the games that will be coming to it! Maybe it will be worth it in the future. The one thing I was going to talk about, but then yeah, kind of forgot.. was Final Fantasy XVI! We probably won’t get a ton of new information until next year, but the Awakening trailer was plenty for now. I will most likely give this its own post. There was a lot of stuff to dissect from that trailer! The same can be said for RE8, so stay tuned for some posts like that in the near future!

And with that said, I am very hype for the next generation of Playstation. I may not be able to jump in right away, but it will be well worth the wait! Until then, I’ll continue to get through my backlog!