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The Alphabet of Favorite Video Games – Letter A

I saw someone doing this on Twitter and thought it was a great idea for the blog. I’m going to dedicate regular blog posts every week with a new letter until the alphabet is finished. So yay, more activity on the blog. Now let’s get right to it!

For the letter A, I obviously have to go with Animal Crossing. I started with the original game on the Gamecube and loved the relaxing gameplay, collecting fossils and interacting with my villagers. I was into it enough to get an extra memory card for a second town to trade with. And then New Leaf came out.

I spent so much time in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, nearly 500 hours. The ease of multiplayer was a blast and I made a lot of friends, had great conversations even within the limited text space, and there was more to do than ever. It barely left my 3DS for a very long stretch of time. It is my most played 3DS game, and most definitely my most played console game as a whole. The only possible exception is casual games over several years, but that hardly counts.

Some honorable mentions: Age of Mythology, Age of Empires II. Both of these introduced me to the RTS genre and I had lots of fun using the cheats. Anyone remember the flying purple hippo or the lazer bear? Those were my favorite.

What are your favorite games that start with A?

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Happy New Year, happy blogging!

I kind of had a not so good last week, thanks to injuring myself, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying stuff. So let’s get on with what I enjoyed over the holidays!

Our Star Wars trip got delayed due to snow, but we ended up seeing it on the 31st. We liked it! Despite the negative reviews going around, we still enjoyed it and while there were some things that could have been different, we appreciate the risks they took with it.

On Netflix, we binged Myths & Monsters. Loved the illustrations used in it and it felt like having a story read to you. It was a fun watch overall and I recommend it if you like mythology (though it mainly centers on European mythology).

I didn’t get any reading done, but I’m close to finishing Monster Hunter Stories, and of course continued on in XC2. Outside of those, I enjoyed a game of Carcasonne (great board game if you haven’t played yet and it’s easy to learn). I played Splatoon for the Splatfest but my team was decimated by Sweaters (meh, I’m still #TeamSock). I figured out and recorded on the Switch, and now I have my own personal one! That’s pretty big… ours needed a repair, so we bought another so we wouldn’t be without, now it’s back and all mine. ^_^

This year is all about making time for reading again (I have a 24 books goal), learning Unity (starting anyway), writing again, and crocheting a lot more projects towards a huge goal of mine this year.

Along with reading more, I should say that I’m not actually going to use Goodreads anymore.

May your 2018 be brighter than the past year. And as always, may it be filled with good books, good movies, good games and great experiences.

Weekly Roundup #2

It’s only 6:30 PM and I feel ready to sleep, but it’s Sunday post time and I didn’t get to it earlier so here I am.

Started this week playing the Costume Quest DLC, hoping I will finish those videos in the coming week. I attempted and failed to beat the first boss in Etrian Odyssey V. I need to try again but ended up taking a bit of a break. I played a few more days in Stardew Valley, and I’ve decided to work towards marrying Penny in the game. She has a backstory I can relate to a bit, so I want to rescue her. I also played some of Swords and Soldiers II on Wii U which I got for free during an #indieween event (technically before, it was an old code from another event and it happened to work).

Finished watching Wakfu on Netflix, which was pretty fun. During the weekend, I watched Spiderman Homecoming and Wonder Woman, both of which I really enjoyed. I really thought this iteration of Spiderman was authentic and he acted like a real teenager would. Wonder Woman was very good, despite the questionable boat journey (how could they possibly get to London that fast?). Overall though, I loved it. If we can make it to a movie theater next Saturday, we’ll watch Thor: Ragnarok. I’m really excited for it, so hopefully we can get to it soon.

I’m still in the middle of both books from last mention, as between being busy and head pain, reading hasn’t been an option. Hope that will change, but I did manage to get two more short stories read in The Secret Loves of Geek Girls.

E3 2017: Thoughts on Sony and Nintendo presentations

Sony had their presentation Monday night, but I was feeling too bad to do anything but watch and take notes. Overall, they didn’t show what I most wanted to see, and there wasn’t anything that got me too excited. I had wanted to see a new Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer, Ni No Kuni 2 or The Last of Us 2, though I guess I should be thankful I didn’t see the latter in case of spoilers (I’m still playing the first game).

They showed expansion packs for Uncharted and Horizon Zero Dawn and while I plan on playing both in the future, expansions don’t interest me on their own, unless included in GOTY editions or have a good deal (for instance, I did buy both Witcher 3 expansions, because they were loaded with content). I’m not at all interested in Days Gone. I’ve tried Monster Hunter in the past (MH4U specifically) and it wasn’t really for me, I find it too difficult. Shadow of the Collosus seems to have made a lot of people happy, but I’ve never played it and still don’t think it’s the game for me personally. Marvel vs Capcom Ultimate though? Yes, though it wasn’t “new” as I knew of it already. The only negative I have on the trailer is that it didn’t really show what kind of game it was. There was a single VR game that I wish wasn’t VR; that game was Moss. It was adorable with the mouse warrior! You’d think I would have read Redwall with how I reacted (note to self: read/listen to the Redwall series already). Detroit Become Human looked interesting (I’m a cyberpunk fan), and Marvel Spiderman was a nice surprise.

Now let’s talk Nintendo! This is what I was most excited about and they did not disappoint! I loved EVERYTHING. So let’s get started!

1. Rocket League is coming to Switch, which is awesome though I haven’t played. This fact might make me change my mind though. It will also have exclusive customizations and cross play with other platforms. I can see this being popular for Switch users.
2. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 still has British voice actors! I loved that about Xenoblade Chronicles and will definitely be picking this one up. And yay, there are still Nopons!
3. KIRBY! Not until 2018 but still makes me so happy.
4. METROID PRIME 4. Every fan has already heard about it but hooray for the confirmation, I hope we get actual footage in a future direct or next E3!
5. YOSHI! He’s felted this time, in a cardboard diorama world. The crafty geek in me loves this as much as I loved Yoshi’s Wooly World.
6. Fire Emblem Warriors makes me think I really need to start Hyrule Warriors this weekend.
7. I’m not really planning on buying DLCs for Breath of the Wild, but maybe if there’s a sale or something. There’s so much to do without and I’m nowhere near finished so it’s no rush for me.
8. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle has me sold, even if rabbids are annoying. I like everything I’ve seen.
9. Super Mario Odyssey. Does anything need to be said? I NEED a Switch before it comes out, come on Nintendo, make them more available!

These were announced after the Direct, but nevertheless I’m going to buy both. Metroid Samus Returns is a gorgeous 2D Metroid remake of the 2nd game, but more than just a remake. And the Metroid amiibo is perfect, hope I can get my hands on it. The other game is Mario And Luigi Superstar Saga remake + Bowser’s Minions.

Overall, Nintendo did awesome this E3, while the others were sort of lackluster in comparison. The future of gaming is bright and I have WAY too many games to play already but I don’t care. What was your favorite thing about this E3? Did you watch any of the tournaments?

TTT: Top Ten Games That Made Me Smile in 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and features weekly top-ten lists! This week is a freebie, meaning the topic can be whatever we want! I decided to focus on games this time. So this is my list of Top Ten Games that made me smile in 2015 (and yes, it is two days late). Not best or anything, but they were games that brought me joy during a difficult year. Though some of these are favorites, others are not but will probably always make me smile when I need it.

Fantasy Life
Fantasy Life is so adorable and addictive, I’ve fallen in love with this game. There’s loads of content to keep you busy for hours, and DLC you can add that gives you a whole new area after finishing the story. It was the highlight of my holiday in December, even if I played more of it in 2016 technically.

Bayonetta 2 - Nintendo Wii U
Bayonetta 1 + 2 combo pack was very fun. Although I’d gotten it at the end of 2014 for my husband, I didn’t play it until 2015. And when I did, I had a really great time with it. No link for this one as it’s currently not available at a decent price, but it might still be around in physical stores.

Mario Kart 8 - Nintendo Wii U
Mario Kart 8 was something I got back in 2014, but of course kept playing in 2015. Every time I play this, I’m grinning. It’s a great mood lifter! Also probably the best Mario Kart to date.

Lego Harry Potter 1-4 was my birthday gift, and having missed the HP world and never getting to play this because I’d heard of the bugs, I was so glad to get this DRM-free version on sale. So far as I played, I didn’t run into much problems, and I enjoyed getting to experience some parts of the books again (I just reread the 2nd book via audiobook, and hope to continue listening to the rest as rereads).

Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl - Nintendo 3DS
Etrian Odyssey Untold: Millenium Girl is a game I got when it came out, but it took me getting Fafnir Knight to prompt me to actually get into this one. And I love it a lot, as I did Fafnir Knight before I switched to this one. I should finish it this year so I can get to Untold 2, but I have a ridiculous amount of games to play, so who knows!

Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. - Nintendo 3DS

Puzzles & Dragons is just a fun casual game, that’s highly addictive.


Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is a game I honestly wasn’t sure about, but when I saw the collector’s edition for only $45 at a convention, just a few months after its release, I couldn’t walk away. From what I played, I enjoyed it, until I realized how slowly I was progressing, which put a damper on things. But still, the pet pig and those felynes sure did provoke a smile out of me, and I might return to it from time to time.

Terraria is another game I had before 2015, but learned how to play in 2015, and enjoyed. I like Sandbox games quite a bit, as it turns out (which is why I got excited on Twitter this morning when I saw Starbound is now on GOG).

Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash with Chibi-Robo amiibo bundle - Nintendo 3DS
Chilbi-Robo Zip Lash got a lot of dislike, but I couldn’t help myself. And I couldn’t play this game without a silly grin on my face. Sweet as the candy and snacks you collect, Chibi-Robo wormed his way into my heart, despite the negativity surrounding it. I adore this little robot and hope we’ll get to see more of him.

Super Mario 3D Land
Super Mario Bros 3D Land is a game I waited a long time to play, mainly because I’d wait for Black Friday to try and get a copy, as Target would discount it to $15. This year I had luck on my side, as I was able to grab it before it got sold out like it did in previous years. And it’s quite fun. I look forward to Mario 3D World when I can eventually pick that one up. 🙂

Honorary mention would be Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer, because I’ve loved designing spaces since the original Sims. However, it didn’t make my list simply for the absolute lack of challenge. It’s basically just a sketchbook for designing, but there’s no real point. Still fun though, but I felt I couldn’t add it to this list because of that.

*Amazon links give me a small monetary kickback if you choose to buy from them. GOG links don’t, but I prefer sending people there over Steam and these are the versions I have.*

Square Enix at E3 – A Few Good Showings, a Few Duds

For me, the conference opened slowly as they started with Just Cause 3, coming December 1st for PS4, Xbox One and PC. I don’t care for the franchise personally, but this was one of the few games shown for 2015. TBH, it did look fun, but I won’t be playing it.

Next, they gave us a sneak peek at the new NieR game for PS4, being developed by Platinum Games (they’ve been a very busy studio, having done Star Fox, still working on Scalebound for X1, this new game and the newly announced Transformers game). This game looks great, I enjoyed the first game from what I watched in a Let’s Play (I don’t own a PS3 at this time), so I’m sure it’ll make PS4 fans happy. They’ll reveal more details later this year in the Fall. Also this segment of the conference featured this creepy mask, which no one said anything about:

After this, we saw Rise of the Tomb Raider again, then they did a quick reel of Hitman mobile games before announcing their Lara Croft Go mobile game. Then they quickly showed images from Heavensward FF XIV Online, Life is Strange and Dragon Quest Heroes, but nothing was said about them.

Finally, the Kingdom Hearts producer comes on the stage…and there’s no English translator so the assumption is we’re going to see the KH3 trailer. Instead, we get a repeat viewing of the FF7 Remake trailer so the wait continues. The only news here is that we’ll get more info this Winter and that they’ll be releasing the original PC version to iOS and PS4 at that time.

Just when we get pumped for the Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer, they extend the wait again with a mobile game called Kingdom Hearts Unchained. But finally they show the trailer and we learn that Tangled is a confirmed world. However, it’s still in development with no given date still.

The conference then moved onto World of Final Fantasy, which was first seen at the Sony conference. The director came on and from his speech we gather this is an “all ages” type of game and that his thoughts for the game were to make it like venturing through the world of toys, hinting at this being a possible “toys to life” game. It comes out sometime in 2016, first to play on PS4 and PS Vita.

Next we got some more details on Hitman, and another reel of three other games, including FF XV.

Then there was a reveal for a new Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness slated for 2016 on PS4. After this, they covered some more details for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

The conference ends with a look at a brand new IP with a new studio called Tokyo RPG Factory. The game is currently known as Project Setsuna and the art is a beautiful watercolor paint style, though whether this is what the game’s art will be like remains to be seen as it could very well just be concept art. It is planned for global release in 2016.

Overall, I was very happy with what they had to share, though we didn’t see Bravely Second. Check it out for yourself below:

Nintendo Digital Event at E3 2015 – New Games Announced, More Info on Known Titles

Nintendo started off with a skit featuring puppets…similar to how they started off last years’ with Claymation, except that the puppetry didn’t show up in a game like Claymation leading to Kirby’s Rainbow Curse. This led to the first Star Fox trailer.

Star Fox is officially named Starfox Zero and given a launch window for this holiday season. I want to say it’ll either come at Thanksgiving or at Christmas time; I don’t see it coming any earlier than that. It does not support online multiplayer; the focus this time is on the single player experience. Regardless, the game looks great and I’m excited to play it. The Arwing also transforms, which is kinda fun.

Reggie then sat down with Activision and exclusive Skylander/Amiibos were introduced. They have Hammer Slam Bowser and Turbo Charge Donkey Kong, and they hold data for Skylanders and whatever game you use the amiibo version for (which is a simple turn of the base). These work with the new Skylanders Superchargers game for all Nintendo versions (Wii U, Wii and 3DS).

Then they announced a new 3DS game in the Zelda franchise, Zelda Triforce Heroes. It plays much like Four Swords, but with 3 Links instead of 4. You work together in 3 player co-op and this does have online multiplayer so you can have play sessions with your online friends. If you play single player, you simply switch between control of characters. I rather like Four Swords, so this is a game I’m looking forward to. It is slated for Fall 2015, so just a few more months!

Hyrule Warriors for 3DS was leaked a bit early, but we got to see a trailer and the actual name of Hyrule Warriors Legends. The game includes DLC characters from the Wii U version and includes new characters, one of them being Tetra. It has a launch window of first quarter 2016. I still need to get the Wii U game, but I might just end up with both.

Remember Blast Ball? It’s a side game that’s part of a new game called Metroid Prime: Federation Force. Apparently a lot of fans are disappointed by this, but Federation Force looks like a very fun FPS. I want another Samus Aran focused game as much as the next fan, but I know this is a game I can enjoy to. It’s slated for 2016.

We saw Fire Emblem Fates (originally seen under the Japanese title If) and it’ll be on 3DS in 2016. Next we saw the Fire Emblem X SMT crossover, which still doesn’t have an English title and given the same 2016 window. Hopefully it won’t be long before we see it again.

One of my happy moments was seeing Xenoblade Chronicles X get an official release date. It comes out on December 4th. If you have a Wii U and love epic, open world RPGs, this is a must buy. I’m seriously so excited for this!

Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer got a release date of September 25th, 2015. It comes with an amiibo card to start you off, and the first series of cards include 100 characters with more to come later. I love interior design, so I’ll probably be picking this up.

Fans have been wanting Animal Crossing on Wii U… Nintendo answered in a way no one expected. Disclaimer here though: I honestly didn’t see a traditional AC game on home console, I believe that simply won’t happen due to the real-time aspect being much easier on a handheld. If we got an AC game that was anything like the traditional ones, it would have had to change to in-game time. Instead, they gave us a board game called Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival similar to Mario Party and Fortune Street. I personally love board games, virtual and physical, so I’m still going to enjoy this.

Yoshi’s Wooly World hits stores on Oct 16th, Super Mario Maker arrives on September 11th. To Level-5 fans, they got the announcement of Yokai Watch finally localized for NA and Europe, something people have been wanting. I didn’t know anything about it, but after watching Treehouse play, I’ll be picking it up as well. It’ll be out sometime this holiday season.

I’m finishing this post with two new games announced for Spring and Holiday 2016 respectively. First, there’s Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam, combining both series into one action-packed RPG. There’s a lot to like if you played any of the previous games from Mario and Luigi or Paper Mario, and it’s on my list. Then they announced Mario Tennis Ultra Smash for Wii U, which I’m decidedly less excited about (I’m not really a fan of the tennis games).

Overall, I’m fairly happy. There are certainly more games coming, such as Fatal Frame, but they were left out of this event. However you can see trailers online. Like always, the full video is posted below. I’ll be posting on Square Enix tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

Sony Press Conference E3 2015 – A Good Balance, but Lacking in 2015 Titles

Sony opened their conference to a game fans have been clamoring for since Ico, a game fans had been asking and hoping to one day see. That game is The Last Guardian and it comes sometime in 2016. The only thing that might have softened their excitement was the graphics, as they were sorely lacking for a PS4 title. They look somewhere between early to mid PS3-level graphics. Perhaps they’ll improve as it moves closer to launch.

From that small start, we got a world premiere that would make me consider buying a PS4 for. Unfortunately, it also comes in 2016 and I didn’t see another game here that made me feel quite the same way. However, Horizon: Zero Dawn is definitely a title to keep your eye on. From what I saw of what was shown, the game has an engrossing story, beautiful visuals and an epic, grand feel similar to games like Xenoblade, which is high praise. Seriously, I would recommend all PS4 owners to keep this title in mind over the months to come, because this could be a huge hit.

Then we saw the next Hitman game and Street Fighter 5. After that, we got a glimpse of No Man’s Sky. I liked the exploration aspect more than the space combat, and it could be a cool game for those interested.

Next came a unique game from the creators of Little Big Planet and Tearaway. It’s called Dreams, and it’s basically a creative sandbox tool to create scenes in a lovely watercolor style. This unique game is hard to describe, and there’s no date on it yet.

Then we saw a game called Firewatch, a look at the Destiny expansion, and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Square Enix showed off World of Final Fantasy for PS4 and Vita, which is a cute chibi style game that at first glance seemed Pokemon-like but we don’t actually know much about gameplay… FF spinoffs are a gamble, so we’ll just have to wait and see how this one turns out.

Another bright spot of the conference was the FF7 Remake announcement, and it is gorgeous. I can’t wait to play this game without blocky, ugly characters! It’s not exclusive, but it is available first on PS4. We should hear what other platforms this game will be available during Square Enix’s own conference.

To much fanfare, Shenmue 3 was finally announced…except not in the expected way. It was announced as a Kickstarter, which by the time you read this, has probably already reached its goal. I never played 1 or 2, but if you’re a fan, go check out the Kickstarter anyway for more info.

To end this wrap-up, games we’ve already known about were shown and so was Sony’s VR which I didn’t get. The conference ended with Uncharted 4. So far this E3 has been pretty exciting, and it’s going to get even more awesome with Tuesday’s reveals from Nintendo and Square Enix. There’s the PC Gaming Show as well, which will round out my coverage. Hope you’re as excited as I am for some of these titles shown this E3!

View the full conference here:

A Gaming TBP of Sorts: Also Known As “Quick, put in all the Nintendo Codes!”

In case you hadn’t heard by now, Club Nintendo is shutting down to make way for a currently unknown, new rewards program. So over the weekend I put in all the codes which weren’t plugged in yet in anticipation of the influx of reward options. Now I don’t HAVE to play these games, but I do want the points from post-play surveys to put towards a downloadable game. As the saying goes, you either use it or lose it, and who would want to miss out? Of these games, I only actually played one, but would like to revisit it anyway. Otherwise I haven’t played any of these. As with books, I’m notorious with buying games at discount prices and then letting them sit for when I’ll eventually get around to them…if I do. It’s a bad habit, but I’m never without options.

Anyways, so this month’s To Be Played (at least 1 hour of each, or enough to take the survey) is below.

Super Mario Galaxy – This one I’ve played a bit of, but wouldn’t mind playing some more anyway.

Zelda: Skyward Sword – Looking forward to this, but kind of feel like I won’t love it as much as Windwaker and Twilight Princess. I could be very wrong and I hope that I am. Guess I’ll find out.

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn – Having luckily found a physical copy, I’m definitely excited to check it out.

Zelda: Phantom Hourglass – Not too sure about this one being stylus controls, but Zelda is always worth trying.

Brain Age 2 – Won’t spend much time with this one, as I had 1 and mainly got it to have a handheld Sudoku again. Might be better than the first game, but I’m not expecting much. It was a $3 pick up over the summer.

If you’ve played the Zelda games and the Fire Emblem game, let me know! Also, what game do you think I should start with of these three? And which of these games should I make the effort to play to completion over these next two months?

As for reading, I’m still working on Lailah. My explanation for that is I’m the type of reader that reads best in silence. Currently, I’m in a fairly noisy environment, which really makes it hard for me to read. This bums me out honestly, but the situation should change in the next few months, hopefully. So my plan is to finish Lailah and read a couple of graphic novels to catch up on my reading goal. On the plus side, at least I’m finding a lot of time for games as noise level doesn’t bother that activity.

The Story of How I Became a Gamer

While I’m pretty obviously female as you can tell by my videos and icons, I certainly have my own story of what made me a gamer. I had a friend in elementary school and he had an NES system. I would go to his house after school pretty regularly. Even though I was a “girl” (this was back in the 90’s after all), he decided one day that I could play with him on the NES after we got bored doing origami. So he introduced me to Duck Hunt and it was pretty much the coolest thing ever back then. I was so amazed by it, just sitting there and having essentially an arcade game to play at his house. Seriously, Duck Hunt blew my little kid mind back then. We spent hours taking turns shooting those darn ducks. It was also the moment I knew that I loved Nintendo (many years later, I now have a Gamecube, N64, DS Lite, 3DS, Wii U and a bunch of Club Nintendo stuff too). Later I was introduced to the Zelda series at my best friend’s house, as she had an SNES with A Link to the Past, though I didn’t properly play a Zelda game myself until Windwaker. Those are my first console memories outside of a Commodore, which I played with my neighbor (Bubble Bobble being the game of choice, along with a game that I cannot remember the name of sadly).

So what made me call myself a gamer? It’s a toss up really. I sunk many many hours in Diablo 1, solidifying my absolute love for RPGs. I spent probably even more time with The Sims. The first Sims game offered so many hilarious situations and me and my friends were addicted. Seriously crazy things happened; I had a house where I made Sims of me and my friends and we all had husbands and lived in the same house. Two of the husbands fell in love with each other, leading to constant fighting between our sims. And the situations would just get weird; it was always a soap opera when I played. And then Halo 1 came, ensuring the fact that I needed games in my life and did not want to go without.

All of these games have given me very positive memories, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that. In a way, like books, these games kept me going in a time of darkness and turmoil. It’s not so much where I played them or what we ate when playing (I’m not really even sure, but M&Ms and potato chips stand out in my mind), or drinking soda (though I’ve cut that habit long ago now) while playing, but just the fact that these games connected me to friends, brought me much laughter, allowed me to be a kid and gave an escape from the bad stuff I was dealing with.

If someone were to create a personal nostalgia crate for me, it would probably include a plush of one of the Bubble Bobble dragons, a zapper gun or USB gamepad, a bag of M&Ms, a soundtrack of classic Nintendo songs, and a classic game or two (looking at you, Kirby Nightmare in Dreamland).

I was recently introduced to Man Crates, a small company which sells one time gift boxes catered to men, wooden crates that include their own crowbar to open them. Among their most popular boxes is the Retro Gaming crate (they also have a Super Retro Gaming crate). I did not receive any compensation for writing this blog post. If you’re interested at all in what the Retro Gamer Crate or Super Retro Gamer Crate include, check them out at http://www.mancrates.com.

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