Weekend Gaming Review – August 2021

Greetings! We’ve reached August already! It doesn’t seem like I should be looking at the calendar and noticing the autumn season in just a month or so away, but here we are. It’s also been a little while since I sat down and wrote a short update about what I’ve been up to lately(spoiler: video games). Let’s start with the most recent and exciting stuff first…

Quest Complete: PlayStation 5 Acquired

I did it. It’s been 9 months since Sony and Microsoft released their next-gen consoles in the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. Anyone who’s paid the smallest bit of attention to general gaming news knows how difficult it has been to grab either one. I was fortunate enough to notice an email from GameStop announcing they were set to receive another stock of PlayStation 5s this past week; I was even more fortunate making it through the checkout process and receiving a message saying the order of a PS5 bundle was confirmed…to my astonishment. Adding to my surprise, the package arrived at my door a mere 3 days later.

I spent the majority of my Friday evening getting the PS5 set up next to the living room tv before logging in with PSN accounts and beginning the not-entirely-straightforward process of transferring games and save data – something that didn’t affect previous PlayStation generations as they weren’t backwards compatible(well, the PS3…kind of was).

The first game I tried out on the new gaming hardware was Astro’s Playroom – a pre-installed game that essentially serves as a tech demo for the PS5 and the new DualSense controller. I found myself loving Astro’s Playroom and quickly played through the game, grabbing all the trophies along the way. I’m not going to say much more about the game right now, as I plan to write up a post about some of my thoughts on the game in the next week or so. I did also get the chance to play the first 90 minutes or so of Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart and have been pretty impressed with what I’ve seen so far. The PS5 and DualSense controller have already shown some of the interesting things their capable of; here’s hoping to see even more as we progress further.

Other gaming things I’ve been keeping busy with…

Monster Hunter: Rise

Over the past month, I’d be pretty confident in saying that the majority of my gaming time has been spent playing Monster Hunter: Rise. I’ve typically had some issues breaking through the at-times overwhelming combination of game mechanics, tutorials, and inventory, but I finally feel like I have a better grasp on the series after playing the most recent release on the Switch. A fair amount of my time was also spent trophy hunting in Final Fantasy XV as I’m slowly, but surely(?) progressing towards another platinum trophy. When not busy with Monster Hunter or Final Fantasy in my spare time, I’ve also been playing the usual, completely random assortment of games on Twitch a few times a week – wrapping up Bugsnax last Friday and beginning Paper Mario just this morning.

Upcoming Plans

With the summer steadily coming to a close, I’ve begun writing down some ideas for future blog/stream projects later this fall. Each October for the past two years, I’ve come up with a list of specific games I intend to play and write about throughout the month. I ended up using the term “Blogtober” to cover all the different spooky/scary games I would write about(and stream) leading up to Halloween – playing scary games in October…no one’s thought of that. Brilliant idea, right? I’ve started a couple of the games I have planned, as this *should* make it a little easier to have posts lined up ahead of time and not working on something the night before I plan to post it, finally hitting the publish button when I feel it’s as good as it’s gonna get.

This November will also mark the 20th anniversary since the release of the Nintendo GameCube, as well as Microsoft’s entry into the home console market with the original Xbox in 2001. Both consoles hold a special place for me and were responsible for many fond memories growing up, so I have a few ideas in place for something to commemorate their respective releases. Stay tuned to see how those half-baked ideas turn out…

That’s all for now. I’ve been itching to get back to some more Ratchet & Clank on that new PS5, so….the rest of my night is planned out.

Thanks for reading!

Anniversary Time – Two Years!

It’s been a full two years now since I first started this blog site on WordPress and I just wanted to write up a quick post for the occasion and pause my usual self-criticism in an attempt to…god forbid, say something positive and more or less pat myself on the back for stepping outside my comfort zone even the slightest bit and managed to stick with for two entire years. 

It’s funny how, looking back at past posts or on the time I’ve invested into this blog site – between planning for, and sitting here trying my best to wrestle my usual spread shot of half-baked words and ideas into something intelligible. I feel like some significant improvements have been made and then other times….not so much. One of the things I am most satisfied with over the past two years would be the progress I feel like I’ve made in getting comfortable with writing(even if it is just about video games) and can look back and actually point to different things I’ve written that I can say I’m legitimately happy with.

I’ve loved video games since playing my first games on the NES, starting with Super Mario Bros.(most likely) as a little kid all the way to playing Super Mario 3D World on my Nintendo Switch this morning before work. I’ve always known others that would occasionally play video games, but it was always a foregone conclusion that they were something you would eventually grow out of and not something that would have any significant meaning in one’s life. One of the positive, yet unexpected results of this blogging/social experiment is managing to up build the smallest bit of self-confidence, along with making friends – something weirdly awkward and terrifying as an adult…unless that’s just me.

Moving forward, the plan is pretty much the same – keep writing on a consistent basis and try not to get so hung up on things like format or post structure and just….you know, write something and make a blog post of it from there. It’s happened far too many times that I’ve fallen into the “paralysis by analysis” trap and end up making the simplest blog post far more difficult than it needs to be. At the same time, I’ve also come to learn that it’s not really ever productive to sit down and force myself to stay in front of my computer screen until I had come up with something. If I simply don’t have anything to say, be it about a particular game or whatever, you can allow yourself to move on to something else you feel more…inspired to write about and not beat yourself up about it. There’s blog post ideas that I still enjoy thoroughly and will continue to write, as well as a few newer ones that I want to play around with over the next year. I still plan to sit down and dedicate some time to going through and working on some website improvements – layout, art, etc. as that kind of thing tends to get neglected a little too often with my thought process usually being “It’s working, so leave it alone”. 

And finally, I want to express a sincere thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read, comment on, or show the slightest interest in anything I’ve managed to cobble together these past two years. I started this blog primarily as an outlet to talk about video games and something of an online journal, with the thought of people reading anything I posted never being something I anticipated. We’ve all heard the stories of people’s unfortunate experiences with toxic online communities, making me realize how fortunate I’ve been in finding a positive blogging/streaming community such as this to interact with on a near-daily basis. Here’s to another year of talking about video games….

Thanks for reading!