Weekend Gaming Review – August

The summer is coming to a close and the excitement is building as we near the autumn season and with that comes the “prime time” game releases through the rest of the year. With this year looking to be another great one, I usually find myself trying to hurry and finish up many of the games I’m currently working on knowing all too well what happens as we get into October and November. This year the gaming scramble begins a bit sooner as the remake of Link’s Awakening and Borderlands 3 release on the very same day. I’m also looking forward to picking up and playing a couple RPGs on my Switch that I haven’t gotten around to playing yet – Dragon Quest XI and Ni No Kuni. Because I’m the best there is at starting RPGs…and then never finishing them 🙂

In the meantime, I have been playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses and I absolutely love the game! I had been planning on picking it up for a while as I kept hearing about how impressive this game was going to be. I have stated in the past that while I’ve played started playing many Fire Emblem games, for one reason or another, I never end up completing them. This trend becomes especially true when it involves any game involved turn-based strategy elements; the genre of game I’m usually terrible at. Three Houses however, has been a blast to play and I fully intend to see this one through to the end. I love the combat elements within the game as the battles have become my favorite part of the game. I love the choice of picking one of the three houses at the Garreg Mach monastery – Blue Lions, Golden Deer, or Black Eagles. I decided on the Dimitri and the Blue Lions as my typical choice of combat in most games is close quarters combat with swords and axes over bows or magic. I love the soundtrack in the game and how it adds drama during the battles and cutscenes. I’ve played about 28 hours of the game, so I’m roughly half-way through, I think?

All the cats…

This weekend was another Tetris 99 Maximus Cup in which you earn a Fire Emblem theme to use in game. I’m STILL playing Tetris 99 fairly regularly and have collected the Splatoon 2 theme as well as the retro anniversary theme. I feel like I’ve played an excessively amount of Tetris as my Switch profile says I’ve put 55 hours into the game, but then I notice others after the round has finished who are 30 levels past me at 80+.

Over the weekend, I began the demo for Dragon Quest XI that was released a few days ago. Dragon Quest is another game franchise that I have been interested to play for some time as it’s loved and revered by many gamers out there but I’ve sadly never played any of the games. I remember seeing the box for the first Dragon Quest game on NES(listed as Dragon Warrior in North America) and have known of the games, but sadly just that it was another JRPG series similar to the Final Fantasy games. I have only played the Dragon Quest XI demo for a couple hours, but I really really like what I’ve played so far. The fact that I can keep any progress I make on the demo and play from there when I get the full game when it releases on September 27. That blue slime Switch-exclusive controller looks pretty cool as well, I’m a sucker for weird controllers…

I also began a play through of Twilight Princess on my Wii with hopes that I can finish that before Link’s Awakening comes out in a matter of weeks, I usually try not to have more than one Zelda game that I’m working on at any given time. I brought my Wii console out into the living room a couple days ago, and woke up this morning feeling like I wanted to play a Zelda game…so I sat swinging my Wii-mote and nunchuck around for about 4 hours today.

I haven’t been playing as many different games as I normally may be, but the ones I have been playing are the kind of games that you need to devote a certain level of time to. Fire Emblem has been consuming most of my time playing games and I can’t say enough positive things about it. What games have you been playing recently? Or what’s a game that you’ve been meaning to play for a while, whether first time or a replay? Let me know in the comments below. I’ve been keeping up with the Geek Out Challenge questions on a semi-daily basis and didn’t have much lined up for a weekend post, so I thought it would be fun to do a recap of what I’ve been playing recently.

Keep on playing…

Geek Out Challenge – Day 25

YouTube has been monumental in its ability to bring together fans and creators of varying communities around the world, so it’s only fitting uur Day 25 Challenge of the Geek Out Challenge is sharing some of our favorite geeky YouTubers. There’s many different Youtube channels that I’ll spend time watching over any given week, with most of them being related to gaming in some capacity, while others may be vlogs, history, or a combination of things. Here’s a list of some of my favorites…

Favorite geeky YouTuber?

Cinnemassacre

Gaming Historian

Erin Plays

KickThePj

As I mentioned, most of the YouTube channels I watch a primarily gaming related, with others involving history, or food; you know…all my favorite things 🙂 What are some of your favorite geeky YouTubers? Let me know in the comments below. Like and subscribe! See you tomorrow…

Geek Out Challenge – Day 24

As we enter Day 24 of the Geek Out Challenge, our focus now shifts to things that we would love to improve within the geek community. Yesterday’s topic was about things that we love about the community, so we will be examining the other side of that.

Something you want to improve about the geek community?

For all the things I love about the geek community, there is still room for improvement. One of the biggest discussions is concerning toxic behavior within the community and what can be done about it, another issue that seems never to be far away when discussing the toxicity of certain communities is that of gatekeeping. Even if you haven’t experienced it yourself, you have more than likely been around this type of behavior. There are the individuals out there that love to downplay your level of interest or fandom, whether it be music, movies, video games, etc. there seems to be someone who will have whatever stupid reasons to discredit you as a “real” fan; as if you need to meet some arbitrary level of “geek cred” before you’re able to display any degree of interest. An example of this within the gaming community is someone who plays video games, but is told by others that they aren’t a “real gamer” because they only play <insert genre> games or ” I bet they haven’t even played <game>”. You CAN be a gamer without ever playing a Dark Souls game, or spending less that 500 hours playing an online game; and yes, you can still be a gamer if you spend most of your time playing nothing but Fortnite. I tend to get a bit irritated seeing this type of gatekeeping, elitist, b.s. from others that are so concerned with how someone else enjoys a particular fandom or game series. There are issues in the larger community that are significant such as toxicity as it pertains most of the time to one’s race, gender, or sexual orientation. Another issue that I think is interesting and may decide to write about in the future is the topic of accessibility in gaming. I generally try to stay positive focus on thing that I love about video games, but there are many things out there within the gaming community(and geek community in general) that need improvement with much of this simply falling under “Don’t be an asshole!”.

What are some things that you would like to see improved within the geek community? Let me know in the comments below. Be good to each other, see you tomorrow…

Geek Out Challenge – Day 23

Discussing things we love about the geek community is our Day 23 topic for the Geek Out Challenge. Whether it be groups on Facebook, Discord, or our wonderful community here on WordPress, there’s plenty of things that make for a great experience in celebrating all of our interests and obsessions.

Something you love about the geek community?

What I love about the geeky community is the feeling of camaraderie and support amongst everyone, there’s no sense of “factions” within the community. It’s not the Harry Potter fans in one corner and the Doctor Who fans in another, everyone is welcome; there’s a feeling of acceptance and excitement that bonds everyone together. Another example of this would be a local Discord server for Pokemon Go players that I joined a while back; I had been playing Pokemon Go for a while and had met a few people around town once they introduced the raid bosses into the game. A few people suggested that I join the local Discord server and could organize times and places to meet up with others to fight the raid bosses, list nearby sightings, or simply discuss our collection. Using Discord was a bit of a learning curve, but once I got the hang of it, I’m really thankful for the wonderful Pokemon community we have locally. I guess I could simply condense all this down to meeting someone and it being like “Hey! you play Pokemon Go? Me too!” or my being primarily a console gamer and you’re mostly a PC gamer, “That’s cool! What kind of games do you like to play?”. One of my favorite things about the geeky community is the enthusiasm and support from others regardless of which particular fandom you belong to and if only this was as pervasive through the rest of the internet…

What’s something that you love about the geeky community? Let me know in the comments below or you can check out Megan at A Geeky Girl’s blog site for more details if you’d like to join in the last week of fun in the Geek Out Challenge. Until next time…

Geek Out Challenge – Day 22

Day 22 of the Geek Out Challenge! Our geeky challenge question posed by Megan for today is….

Favorite fandom quote?


It was very, very difficult to decide what would be my favorite quote. I knew it would most likely come from either Doctor Who or Harry Potter. The above quote is from of my favorites from Peter Capaldi during his last moments as the Doctor. Peter Capaldi had many great speeches during his three seasons as the Doctor, but it was in his final moments before regenerating that he imparted these words of inspiration to everyone watching. A message of kindness over cruelty(and pears?) and love is always wisest path. This is one of the more memorable quotes of Peter Capaldi’s turn as the Doctor. Other favorites of mine would also be from Matt Smith or David Tennant’s “wobbly wobbly timey wimey….stuff”.

What are your some of your favorite fandom quotes? Let me know in the comments below. Until tomorrow….

Geek Out Challenge – Day 21

We are in the final ten days of the Geek Out Challenge! I have been absent the past few days so I’m looking forward to catching up so I’m going to just jump into this. Our Day 21 challenge question is about how fandoms have influenced my life. There’s many ways that my interests and hobbies have affected my life, but I have condensed it down to a few examples.

How did fandoms influence you and your life?

Safe Haven – The biggest way that my fandoms have influenced my life is probably one of the most common amongst everyone in our geeky community, the haven that something like video games or Star Wars can provide from the stress of life. I don’t want to make it seem like I had much happen in the way of traumatic experiences as a child or adult, but just the simple comfort of having something to retreat to on those days as a kid when you feel like there’s something wrong with you because you’re not exactly the same way as every other kid out there. I was the kid that routinely heard “you’ll never amount to anything just sitting around playing video games” from teachers and family members(I showed them, huh?). It wasn’t until I was a bit older that I became a little more familiar with the traits and tendencies of introverts that stuff started to click; there’s nothing wrong with preferring to stay at home to read or play some video games over “going out” like I felt like I was expected to do. There’s plenty I could write about misconceptions of being introverted or the false perception of gamers simply being “anti-social” types. In short, my interests like gaming, Star Wars, or Batman have provided what I have always considered a “fortress of solitude” where I can simply be myself.

Bonding – Another positive way that video games and my general “nerd culture” interests have affected my life is in how one can bond with others and not be something one exclusively keeps to themselves; just about anyone who loves Doctor Who or Harry Potter will tell you one of the most thrilling aspects of fandoms are finding someone else who shares your passion. This has been one of the most wonderful aspects of my relationship with my wife, we have just about the same tastes and interests in most things. It was actually my wife that introduced me to Doctor Who. I have mentioned in the past that I worked at an Amazon customer service center, and during that time it seemed like just about everyone was a Doctor Who fan and had everything from Dalek figurines to sonic screwdrivers at their desks. I knew of the show but had never actually watched it and wasn’t until my wife started watching the show that I finally started watching and was hooked shortly thereafter. I remember my wife trying to explain to me how sad it was to was David Tennant leave as he regenerated into someone else and not knowing exactly what she was talking about I asked “so…he died?”. I soon began watching through all the Christopher Eccleston episodes before catching up with all the Matt Smith episodes(and being horribly confused). We have since watched all of the Peter Capaldi seasons and have kept up with the 13th Doctor – Jodie Whittaker who we love as well. We still routinely will make some reference to a Doctor Who episode and within a matter of seconds will usually say “I love that episode! Let’s watch it again!”.

Outlet – The last example I have of fandoms affecting me is what I’m currently doing now. I’ve only had a WordPress blog site for 6 months now, but it has been an incredible experience that has to a degree pushed me outside my comfort zone and challenged me to put my thoughts into words, whether they are coherent or not is debatable. I have loved video games my entire life and have been one of my biggest sources of happiness in my life and have been able to use my blog as an outlet to express that.

That’s it for now! How have your fandoms affected your life? Maybe bringing you somewhere you wouldn’t have imagined previously? Let me know in the comments below. See you tomorrow…

Geek Out Challenge – Day 20

Part of the fun of being invested in geeky fandoms is the excitement from “winning over” someone about any particular interest. Day 20 of the Geek Out Challenge is all about what you would recommend to anyone at all. Right off the bat I’m going to pat myself on the back for coming up with something other than a video game answer…a 90’s show! Didn’t see that coming, huh? 😉

What series would you recommend to anyone?The Adventures of Pete and Pete

This song still gets stuck in my head…

The Adventures of Pete and Pete first appeared as short sketches on Nickelodeon in 1989 before finally airing as a 30 minute tv show in 1993. The show follows the lives of two redhead brothers who, as the title indicates, are both named Pete Wrigley. Pete and Pete live in the fictional town of Wellsville with their parents. Their dad is stubborn, competitive, and obsessive over the state of the family lawn, while their mom stays busy making sure everyone goes to sleep on time and off to school the next morning, all with the ability to pick up radio frequencies with the metal plate in her head.

The show itself carries a surreal strangeness to it, as both Petes deal with everyday youthful dilemmas like summer jobs, neighborhood bullies, and road trips with the family. In many ways, The Adventures of Pete and Pete can be viewed in somewhat the same vein as the 1999 NBC show Freaks and Geeks – an adolescent sitcom with a quirky sense of humor that reached cult status after ending way too soon, especially so with the latter show. Pete and Pete is a tv show that I would point to as being as quintessentially 90’s in look and tone, having received much praise for the clever writing.

One of my favorite episodes is “King of the Road” in which the family must endure each other for long enough to reach the peak of human engineering – The Hoover Dam. The trip is jeopardized by the family’s inability to get along and father Wrigley’s insistence on not stopping for anything for fear of not “making good time”; jealousy also rears its ugly head as he soon notices another family in a newer station wagon having luggage more neatly packed all while having a license plate reading – KingofRoad. As mentioned earlier, it’s an odd show with a very unique charm about it. The Adventures of Pete and Pete is a show that I have been telling just about everyone about as I struggle to find too many people around me that remember the show. The show still oozes the grungy, flannel-y 90’s vibe and I still love watching it!

We’re entering the final 10 days of the Geek Out Challenge! Another shout out goes to Megan at A Geeky Gal for initiating the challenge and compiling all the questions, it’s been a blast! Until tomorrow….goodnight, Petunia.

Geek Out Challenge – Day 19

There’s always going to be the game, movie, or tv show that you absolutely love, but don’t come across many others that have the same level of appreciation(obsession?). Our newest challenge question for Day 19 of the Geek Out Challenge is discussing what series do we find underrated.

What series is underrated? – As a surprise to absolutely NO ONE, my pick is a video game series. While I could probably spend a considerable amount of time on different games that I think are a bit underrated. The first games that come to mind for me are the Sony-exclusive inFAMOUS series, which is developed by Sucker Punch Productions – the studio that created the Sly Cooper games of the Playstation 2 era. The first inFAMOUS game was released in 2009 on the Playstation 3 with its sequel inFAMOUS 2 being released in 2011 and inFAMOUS: Second Son in 2014 on the Playstation 4. The series itself received critical acclaim, but it remains a series of games that I never really hear many people talk about. I have always been a huge fan of the PS3 exclusive games like the Last of Us, Uncharted, Resistance, or inFAMOUS games. While the former two received much critical praise and word of mouth amongst gamers, the latter two it seems were relegated to “lesser status”. The first two inFAMOUS games tell the story of protagonist Cole McGrath – an everyman bike messenger in the fictional city of Empire City who is caught in an explosion which infuse his body with a set of electricity-based powers. The setting of the game at first glance seems nothing more than that of a run-of-the-mill comic book story set to a video game. I certainly understand that perception, that is essentially what I though about the game before I ever played it, however it was how well the game works within that setting, in both gameplay mechanics and story. The central theme of the game is the question “if you found yourself in possession of powers far greater than the average person, how would you use them?”. The inFAMOUS games feature a Karma meter similar to the light side/dark side element of the Knights of the Old Republic games, you can simply take anything you want and destroy anyone standing in your way, or you can use your abilities to help and protect those around you; this would be the “with great power comes great responsibility” theme of the game. I also really enjoyed the storyline throughout the game as it establishes Cole’s relationships with his best friend – the slightly meddlesome, yet well-meaning friend Zeke, as well as with his girlfriend Trish. The climax of the first inFAMOUS game features one of the biggest plot twists I had played in a video game in quite some time. Between the seemingly generic superhero sandbox setting and the fact the PS3 was well behind the much better selling Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii at the time the franchise seems to get forgotten quite easily. I heartily recommend the inFAMOUS games to anyone looking for an under-appreciated gem on the PS3.

What are some movie, tv show, or game series that you feel are getting nowhere the appreciation they deserve? Let me know in the comments below. See you tomorrow…

Geek Out Challenge – Day 18

There’s at least one fictional character out there that we would love to meet in real life, that’s what we’re going over for Day 18 of the Geek Out Challenge. Who would your choice be to sit down and have a conversation with? Would it be someone from a book, movie, or video game? There are a few different characters that I think would be really interesting to meet, even if a lot of characters that I enjoy watching or reading about wouldn’t always mean the safest experience…

What character would you like to meet in real life? – Some of the first characters that come to mind when I think of all time favorite fan characters would be someone like Han Solo or Nathan Drake, which would inevitably end up being caught up in some kind of gunfight brave adventure which is entertaining in the fantasy realm, but dangerous and usually downright stupid in reality. So after a little bit more thought, someone I would like to meet in real life would have to be The Doctor from Doctor Who. This could be any regenerated form from William Hartnell to Christopher Eccleston to Jodie Whittaker. This may sound just as dangerous as hanging out with Han Solo or Nathan Drake, which would be true as the most common experience people have in meeting The Doctor in the show involves running away from any number of alien life forms set on your demise. What I love about The Doctor is the youthful enthusiasm and interest in everything in the universe – from something so complex only a Time Lord could comprehend, to something so mundane we don’t give a second thought in our daily lives. The Doctor is always fascinated by everything around them and has the desire to never stop learning, something I mentioned a few challenge questions ago in describing common characteristics of Ravenclaw members. I would love to meet The Doctor in real life and be able to stop running from Daleks or Cybermen long enough to sit back and absorb the wondrous complexity of the universe around us.

Who would you like to meet in real life? Let me know in the comments below. Until tomorrow…allons-y!

Geek Out Challenge – Day 17

Day 17 of the Geek Out Challenge! Today we’re talking about video game soundtracks. The scores and soundtracks for video games are light years away from where they began in the early years of video games in terms of complexity and impact. We’ve come a LONG way since the “bleep-boop-beep” music that accompanied early arcade games. Soundtracks for games play an even more important role in conveying the feelings that may not always be established through just dialogue and setting; some games are remembered almost exclusively for their soundtracks. The problem that arose in thinking of my favorite video game soundtrack is that I don’t think it would be possible to name just one, from classic games like Sonic 2 or Donkey Kong Country, or more modern games like the jazzy upbeat Persona 5 soundtrack or the beautifully ambience of the Red Dead Redemption 2 score. RPGs like Final Fantasy routinely have great soundtracks, as well as Legend of Zelda games. What I have done is included a few examples of single pieces within certain games that I would point to as some of my favorites.

Donkey Kong Country – Underwater Theme – An all-time classic game for the SNES with a classic soundtrack that is still recognizable today. David Wise created the soundtrack for Donkey Kong Country and the underwater theme has always been my favorite. I’ve mentioned before I usually have some sort of attachment to underwater levels, such as Donkey Kong Country and the Mario games. The relaxing aura of the underwater theme in Donkey Kong Country is probably the first example of favorite soundtracks that springs to mind.

Far Cry 5 – Keep Your Rifle By Your Side – This one kind of surprised me at how much I loved it after hearing it in game a couple times. Far Cry 5 has a mixture of original score, licensed classic rock and alternative songs that play primarily in vehicles while driving around, but there is also a list of original songs that are scattered throughout the game. Far Cry takes a cue from games like Grand Theft Auto, you can change between a few different channels while driving vehicles around the fictional Hope County, one channel will have classic rock songs like Ram Jam’s – Black Betty or Free’s – All Right Now, or another will have what is the music played for the cult members of the Project at Eden’s Gate. I found myself really enjoying the…ahem….cult music while playing through Far Cry 5 and the soundtrack has since become one of my favorites. Keep Your Rifle By Your Side is the choral arrangement(there’s different arrangements for all the songs), that exudes a really western “Americana” sound to it; a musical genre that usually doesn’t appeal too much to me. I have become weirdly attached to this soundtrack…

Banjo-Kazooie – Spiral Mountain Theme – The soundtrack from Banjo-Kazooie is still one of my favorites after all these years. Grant Kirkhope’s use of everything from marimba, flute, to banjo(obviously) was really unique at the time and has become a favorite of seemingly many people who grew up with the odd soundtrack from this classic N64 game.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask – Astral Observatory Theme – I wasn’t going to have a list of favorite video game music without something from the Legend of Zelda games, a franchise with many epic soundtracks. Majora’s Mask had a darker, more ominous tone to it than other Zelda games, and I think the soundtrack complimented that perfectly. Out of all the wonderful music in Majora’s Mask, my favorite has to be the ethereal theme for the Astral Observatory, somewhere you only spend a few minutes throughout the entire game, but nonetheless is still one of the most beautiful musical pieces I have heard in a video game.

That’s all for now! What video game soundtracks are your favorite? Let me know in the comments below. Only two weeks left of the Geek Out Challenge, let’s keep this up! See you tomorrow…