Sunday, June 30, 2019

My Desktop PC is Down

Houston, we have a problem!

Alright, to be fair, it's not as bad as the picture makes it out to be -- but that got your attention, didn't it? At least I didn't use the headline: "Can your PC spontaneously combust? Click here to find out!"

Here's the scoop: My desktop PC stopped working on Thursday. I am pretty sure that it's my power supply since the little light on the back of it doesn't light up. However, if it got a good zap it may have taken my motherboard with it.

How I am writing this: I am currently using my husband's gaming laptop hooked up to my keyboard, mouse and monitor (because my husband is awesome). He was even kind enough to install my core games for me -- LOTRO, RIFT and Town of Salem.

My gameplan: I could see about getting a power supply for my 9-year-old computer. Or I could invest in a new build to last me for the next 9 years. I am leaning towards the latter since I happen to have funds saved up, as well as some gift card money. (Becoming my patron on Patreon would help!)

Plans for the blog: Since I can still play LOTRO and RIFT, I will still have some regular content. I do also have Dead Mountaineer's Hotel installed so I can take care of that incentive from last year, and there are several other incentives I can take care of, too.

But never fear! Even if I didn't have a backup computer to use for games, I'd manage to take pictures of me learning to play The Lord of the Rings Card Game and blog about that!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Reactions to 20 Things from E3

This is not a full review of E3. There are plenty of those.
This is just a list of 20 things I found interesting!

I typically don't sit down and write anything about E3 in this blog for several reasons. First, you can read about pretty much every aspect of E3 from a lot of different gaming news sources, and I'm not likely to say anything mind-blowing in comparison. Trust me, they've beaten me to the punch. Second, I don't want to write about a lot of the titles they mention at E3 because they simply don't interest me. I have a select set of interests from this year's E3, and those are the ones I'm going to talk about here. For all other E3 titles, I recommend reading from the big shots like Kotaku, Polygon, Rock Paper Shotgun, or whatever other gaming news site you prefer.

#20: Final Fantasy VII Remake

Let me be clear: I never played Final Fantasy VII. My first Final Fantasy game was X (and then XV), and I have no regrets about that. But when you have had nothing but relationships with gamers in your life, you're going to pick up a lot about other games -- and boy did I hear plenty about FF VII. When people mention Final Fantasy, and they aren't talking about the most current titles, it's VII that gets all the attention. People talk about Cloud, Aerith, Tifa, and of course... Sephiroth. I know the plot even though I've never played the game, but you can bet I'll want to play this remake! 

Release date: March 2020

#19: Microsoft's Acquisition of Double Fine

Yes, my friends -- our beloved Double Fine is now a subsidiary of the monster known as Microsoft. They say that the studio gets to keep all of its freedom in its creative process and will benefit from Microsoft's resources for publishing and advertising... but I can't help being a little skeptical. I want this to mean we might get some epic future titles like Costume Quest Unlimited (a girl can dream), but likely not.

#18: Project Scarlett

I don't have much to say about this one. It's Xbox, so I don't have much interest in it -- I just happened to think the name was interesting. What does it mean? Does it even matter since this future console is supposedly going to have the same specs as the next PlayStation console? Frankly, Project Scarlett... I don't give a darn gosh heck.

#17: Elden Ring

Here's where some of you may decide to stop reading my blog. I don't like Game of Thrones. I am also not a fan of George R. R. Martin. His work is not that great compared to many other fantasy authors. However, I do think he's capable of building a world and a story -- and I think that skill utilized in tandem with the near-legendary skills of Hidetaka Miyazaki will make something noteworthy for gamers, if not epic. (And if you don't know who Hidetaka is, he's the genius at FromSoftware who directed Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Sekiro.) I'll be waiting to see more trailers and progress on this before I get too excited... mostly.

Release date: Unknown

#16: Phantasy Star Online 2

If you've never had the pleasure of playing a Phantasy Star game, then I feel very sorry for you. My first glimpse into the series was on a friend's GameCube back in 2003, and I was fascinated by the world I saw in Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II. I revisited the series when I had my own PS2 and played a lot of hours in Phantasy Star Universe. It's a great series, and I'm hoping my computer can play it when it reaches us gamers here in the west.

Going international in Spring 2020

#15: Apex Legends - Season 2

Naw, I don't play Apex. But I have spent a lot of late night hours watching my husband play. It's fast, unforgiving, and hilarious to watch. So when I caught that they announced season 2, I paid attention. There's a new Legend being added to the roster, but I don't know quite enough of the game to know if it's a good one or not. Her name is Wattson, and I understand that she has electrical abilities. All I do know is that my first glance at a small screenshot of her made me think she was a Twi'lek from Star Wars. Girl, that hood doesn't do you any favors.

Season 2 begins on July 2nd

#14: The Last Remnant Remastered

This is another awesome title that I never saw get very much attention despite being 10 years old. Not only have I played a good chunk of it, but I spent quite a while watching a friend stream it while they gushed about how much I'd enjoy it (looking at you, Stickman). They weren't wrong. The story hooks you pretty hard, and it's an adventurous RPG at its core with some unique races and characters. It was removed from the Steam store last fall, though remained playable by those who owned it. A PS4 version was released last December, and a few days ago it was released for the Nintendo Switch. I'd like to see a remastered version return to PC, but I won't hold my breath!

#13: Code Vein

I'm following the development of this title for my husband more than anything else, though watching the trailer for it is pretty entertaining. I'm not entirely sold on the style, but... doesn't it look like a lot of fun? The release date for this game has been pushed back several times now, and I wouldn't be surprised if they push it back again closer to the new date. 

Release date: September 27, 2019

#12: Cyberpunk 2077

I freely admit that I completely dismissed this title when I first heard about it a year ago at the 2018 E3 (though it was officially announced back in 2013). It looked pretty enough since it was being done by CD Projekt Red (The Witcher peeps), but I've never been that big on sci-fi things. And then... then the trailer from this year's E3 happened, and there was Keanu. I didn't realize I needed Keanu Reeves in a video game until that moment, and now I wish there were John Wick titles to play as well. My husband is wanting this game, so there's a good chance I'll get to spectate this one without struggling to play it myself. Ah, the benefits of marriage!

Release date: April 16, 2020

#11: Sequel to Breath of the Wild

When my husband had an unplanned appendectomy last fall, he took the opportunity to invest in a Switch and some games to occupy himself with since his recovery needed him to sit in his recliner more than anything else. I watched him play a good portion of Breath of the Wild but I haven't begun playing it yet myself -- now it seems we both have some incentive to remedy that, because they're working on a sequel. If nothing else, it's a breathtakingly beautiful game. Happy to play it with the Switch docked so I can view it on our gigantic TV!

#10: Link's Awakening Remake

Because who can't get enough of the Zelda titles? They're fun, and the different stories keep things fresh. This one is a remake of a 1993 Game Boy title, and there's a claim that the amiibo figurine of Link from this game is the most faithfully rendered version of Link yet. This'll be out on the Switch later this year. Does anyone remember playing the Game Boy version? Did you like it? Will you buy this remake? Talk to me in the comments!

Release date: September 20, 2019

#9: Pokemon Sword & Pokemon Shield

Aight. We're getting into the juicy stuff now! Forget the fact that I don't have a fully trained-up team in Let's Go, Eevee yet... the open world of the Galar region looks very inviting. I don't know what to think of Zacian and Zamazenta, though. The sword one makes sense. The shield one looks like it ought to fall on its face every time it moves. I'm glad the ridiculous Z-moves from Sun & Moon won't be in the game, but a little sad the full roster of Pokemon won't be present. I'm sure there were some tough calls to make on which made the cut and which didn't!

Release date: November 15, 2019

#8: Borderlands 3

I've been excited about this one since the first trailer -- and not just because of the awesome music they used (GRiZ has some great stuff, especially the song 'Wicked' -- but a lot of it is NSFW, so be careful). I haven't gotten through all of the previous games and expansions, but 3 seems like it will be pretty accessible to anyone new to the series -- they just might not get all of the story nuances. Also sad is knowing the voice actor for Claptrap is not returning... but I can't argue with a trailer that has guns raining from the sky, or a machine gun with legs. And how about that sax solo, eh?

Release date: September 13, 2019

#7: Gods & Monsters

Coming from the same Ubisoft team that brought us Assassin's Creed Odyssey, this beautiful game is described as a cross between Zelda and Greek mythology. The game is a story being told by the poet Homer to his grandchildren about the most courageous hero of all time, a fellow named Phoenix. I'll never say no to an adventure game with Greek mythology. Oh, look... just in time for my birthday!

Release date: February 25, 2020

#6: Baldur's Gate III

I dunno about you, but I've been wanting this title for a long while. The original III was cancelled, and I never thought I'd see the series return. Even better, it's being developed by Larian Studios -- the awesome folks responsible for the Divinity: Original Sin series. Plus, we're told it's going to use the most recent D&D mechanics and spells. It should really stand apart from its predecessors, and I'm hoping for a great experience. 

Release date: Sometime between November 2019 and next year

#5: Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Okay, look. I only just got on board with Animal Crossing this past fall when I picked up New Leaf for the 3DS on Black Friday. I still haven't unlocked everything or done everything in my happy little town named Tinsel. I don't know if I'm ready for another Animal Crossing title yet, much less one that takes place on a uninhabited island that I have to build up from scratch. But at least I have plenty of time to finish this one before the next one is out... if I'm going to play it. I'm not entirely sold on it since it'll be a Switch title. My 3DS is a little more portable and less expensive! But we'll see...

Release date: March 20, 2020

#4: SEGA Genesis Mini Console

I never owned my own SEGA Genesis, but I did get to play the mess out of my cousins' and a friend's. The mini console is going to have an Ecco title on there, and that's pretty much all I need to know to want it! It would be fantastic if Jurassic Park: Rage Edition was on there where you play as a raptor, but I have the feeling that has copyright complications. The Genesis was the console that introduced me to the button-mashing fun that is Mortal Kombat. How can I ignore this?

Release date: September 19, 2019

#3: Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Oh. Em. Gee. Have you played Ori and the Blind Forest? If not, you should fix that right now before this sequel comes out. It is beautiful, heart-wrenching, and actually kind of difficult in some places. It's a platforming game with some devilish puzzles, but worth every beautifully rendered moment. The trailer for Will of the Wisps gives me chills, and I can't wait to see more of it! And oh look, another one coming out just in time for my birthday...

Release date: February 11, 2020

#2: Cadence of Hyrule

This one actually released TODAY, and boy do I want to get my hands on it. This is an epic crossover between the Zelda games and a favorite indie game of mine called Crypt of the Necrodancer. It's a rhythm game but also a dungeon crawler. You proceed to the rhythm of the music. Crossing this concept with Zelda just makes it so much better. It's on the Switch, and I wish I could play it on PC like Crypt of the Necrodancer, but... there's a good chance I'm going to get it on Switch. Listening to hours' worth of OC Remix Zelda music is how I got through my papers in college!

Release date: Today! GO GET IT!

#1: Assassin's Creed Odyssey 'Discovery' Update

It shouldn't come as any surprise to you that the thing I was most excited about from E3 was the info about the 'Discovery' mode update coming to Odyssey. Like in Origins, the mode lets you tour the open world without having to fight every enemy that sees you. Players can meet legendary historical tour guides like Leonidas, Herodotus, and more, test their historical knowledge at the end of each tour, unlock 35 unique avatars and 15 mounts to free-roam the entire map. Five different themes can be discovered: philosophy, architecture, daily life, war and myths. This mode will be free for all Odyssey owners, or can be purchased as a standalone experience on PC when it comes out this fall. Yes, please. I can't wait for this!

Release date: Early Fall 2019

What did you get excited about from everything mentioned at E3? What were you expecting to hear about that wasn't mentioned? Start chatting in the comments -- I'm sure we have plenty to talk about!

Monday, June 3, 2019

2019 Donation Incentives

It's taken several months to hash out, but I'm finally here to announce the 2019 Incentives for my Extra Life donors!

You would think that coming up with neat stuff to do for your donors, or finding items to give away, would be easy after so many years of participation in Extra Life. On the contrary: it just gets harder each year. You end up not wanting to feel like a one trick pony, and part of you wants to offer something bigger or better, but at the same time you don't want to set the bar too impossibly high. (I may have actually done that with the Spicy Challenge, but since the video is still in the editing process I'm going to wait to cross that bridge when we get to it!)

The personal incentives remain the same as last year, because apparently you awesome people out there don't really care about what you get out of making the donation -- you're doing it for the cause and to be supportive. (You're awesome and I love you.) The milestone incentives were hard to determine because I didn't want to repeat themes from last year -- and I haven't even begun to deliver on the 2018 incentives aside from the artwork, though many of them are in various stages of completion. Please feel free to let me know what you think of these in the comments. I can always spruce them up to suit my followers!

One thing to note is that while I have already passed the first milestone, I won't begin doing these until I've finished 2018's queue of incentives. I should also note that I meant to say hunter rank instead of level for the Monster Hunter incentive (I'll edit that with the next version of the image). Anything that isn't set in stone will be shaped, determined, and/or voted on by my donors -- so if you want to have a say, put your money where your mouth is!