Happy New Year!

A long December and there’s reason to believe, maybe this year will be better than the last…

Greetings! It’s been a few….<ahem>weeks since my last post and I wanted to write up a quick update, if for no other reason than starting off the new year on the right foot. 2021 was a year full of ups and downs. There were many positives to be found in my third year on WordPress and second year on Twitch, along with some negatives as well. I found myself having a hard time feeling particularly motivated or engaged when it came to writing, especially the latter four months of the year where my output dropped to the point I have only managed to write three blog posts since September 26. I was still able to come up with different ideas that I liked, only to struggle to expand upon any of them as the times I would sit down at my computer to begin writing something, I ended up feeling unable to focus and compose any combination of words and phrases I was satisfied with. Stressing out about whether or not I’m able to do something consistently is counterproductive and I made it a point to not beat myself up too much about it – especially something I do purely for my own enjoyment. I ended up backing off a bit not only from WordPress, but also from social media and streaming a few different times over the year when I began to feel a bit overwhelmed. I’ve also noticed many others around the blogging community that have opted to go on hiatus over the course of the year, so it appeared I wasn’t alone in feeling like something was off and deciding to redirect some of that focus to rediscovering things that bring you joy and simply taking care of one’s self.

One consistent thing throughout 2021 was of course, video games. I found myself diving headfirst into gaming as an escape/diversion from everything else – endgame level grinding in Dragon Quest XI, obsessively working towards the platinum trophy in Returnal or simply playing Halo Infinite multiplayer for hours on end. There have been some great games that I played in 2021, whether released just this past year or not and I have been formulating a list of my favorites. I have a gaming blog, so it’s practically a rule that I make up an end of the year list, right? That should be completed sometime between now and this time next year…..keeping expectations in check and all.

It seems I’ve started rambling a bit, per usual, so I’d like to conclude this with wishing you all a happy new year full of great things and a sincere thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read/comment/share anything I’ve written on this site. It truly means a lot.

Have a great 2022 and thanks for reading!

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!