What’s left to say about Xenoblade Chronicles other than play it?

Forgive the poor quality - I'm pretty sure that my hands were shaking uncontrollably.

Forgive the poor image quality – I’m pretty sure that my hands were shaking uncontrollably while trying to get this shot.

It happens every now and again. I sit down to write about a particular game, and with the blank page in front of me, I can’t think of a single damn word to say. The problem with writing about Xenoblade Chronicles at this moment is that I written about it before, more than once. First, there was that time here a couple years back when I started XC only to realize that there was no way in hell I was ever going to finish it.

Hey, how did that trip to Colony 9 go?

And then, earlier this year, I picked the game back up again, and it became the highlight of my year. Over the summer, I wrote about various aspects of the game in three different posts on United We Game.

If happiness is a battle system, then Xenoblade Chronicles makes me smile

It’s never too late to learn something new (in a video game)

Xenoblade Chronicles is over, and I’m…happy?

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Surviving Against Fallout’s Strongest


Whether you’re new to the Fallout universe or just new to Fallout 4, Hatm0nster’s guide to battling some on that world’s most formidable enemies is not to be missed! He does an excellent job covering the details about how to survive in the Wasteland while not giving up all your precious resources. Head to the article here over on United We Game.

Originally posted on United We Game:

Fallout 4 is finally here! The time has finally come for us Vault Dwellers to step out into the Wasteland and take on everything it’s been waiting to throw at us. Of course, one can hardly expect to survive in the wasteland without first knowing how to successfully engage its more hostile denizens.  So, as a continuation of last week’s Fallout Primer for beginners, the following is a list of the most troublesome enemy types you’re likely to encounter in the Commonwealth, and how to survive such meetings. 

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Four Years, Four Videos

Bonus post incoming!


As I’ve been mucking around more with my Elgato, I got it in my head that maybe a video or four would be a nice way to mark my four-year blogging anniversary, which is today! Four years ago, I began down an online path that has led to some wonderful places and has given me the opportunity to cross paths with some wonderful people. All I can say is thank you a thousand, million, gazillion times…THANK YOU!

Although, I did record various bits of me playing various games, so I guess I do have something else to say. I only wish those somethings had been more coherent and less crass. Really, I’m not that much of a potty-mouth in real life. But put me alone in the room with some games and apparently I’m Denis Leary. If nothing else, these exercises have gone a long way in showing me that I have plenty left to learn when it comes to doing commentary. I can either talk about the game or talk about something else. Trying to do both just leads to random grunt-cussing and way to many fragmented, unfinished sentences. For whatever it’s worth, may you find some glimmer of entertainment in my offerings. As I allude to a couple times, there may be more to come.  But enough blathering. Let the random gameplay celebration commence!

(Vocal Reprise) On L. A. Noire and becoming too emotionally attached (and then detaching)

One of the biggest issues I encountered when I started writing about games was that I always had in mind, like, a million things that I wanted to discuss. When I went to type out those thoughts, I either ended up not talking about any of those million things, or I ended up with a mess of words that was so goddamned jumbled I could barely make any sense of it. It took a few months for me to figure out, since I had no desire to write straight-up game reviews, that I didn’t need to cover every single itty bitty aspect of a game just because. I found it much easier to focus on the elements that really stuck with me after a game was done. In the case of L. A. Noire, I still can’t get over the game’s treatment of the affair between Cole Phelps and Elsa Lichtmann — how it was just so poorly shoehorned into an otherwise decent story. It skewed my whole view of the game. After finishing this post, it occurred to me that I didn’t actually say much about the game. Was that a problem? Only for a moment, because what came out was more personal, and maybe more personable (despite my grumbliness), and I liked that.

On L. A. Noire and becoming too emotionally attached (and then detaching), original post from 1/2/2012.
Duration: 6:36
Final thought: No sign of flying pigs…yet.

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Love or constipation? Sometimes it's hard to tell.

The Completionist Strikes Back


It’s one thing to beat a game. It’s another to fully *complete* it. And I don’t usually complete games to their fullest extents. (I came close with Mass Effect, but I’m not sure I ever got 100%.) By the time the credits roll in a game, no matter how “complete” it may be, I’m usually ready to move onto the next one. But every now and again a game comes along that challenges my lackadaisical nature. Currently, Yoshi’s Woolly World is that game. In this post I wrote for United We Game, I discussed how yarn skeins and a multitude of milti-colored Yoshies are challenging me to be more complete.

Originally posted on United We Game:

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: I am not a completionist. It’s true that I like to play a game till I feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth, but rarely has that translated into garnering a game’s every last item/armor/achievement/trophy/quest/etc. With some games, like with Red Dead Redemption and South Park: The Stick of Truth, I’ll return to them every now and again to fetch a little extra something or finish a sidequest, but that has more to do with the enjoyment that comes from being in a particular game world than it does with completing it. Usually, by the time I finish with any given game’s main story, I’m ready to move onto the next game.

So why then and I utterly compelled to get ALL THE THINGS in Yoshi’s Woolly World?

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Going together and alone in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

At the end of 2013, my husband and I got ourselves a little Christmas present: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. Though we don’t usually play co-op games (Yes, I will beat the Cookie & Cream dead horse into pulpy dust.), this particular LEGO game really seemed to offer the best of both worlds. For one, we both like LEGOs. Two, he’s been a Marvel fan his whole life, and he’s all about jumping into anything that involves that universe. And three, I am always willing to take on just about any LEGO-ized subject in game form. We played through the game over a weekend and managed to beat the thing (main story only, about 10 hours), and we did that without killing each other. (Aw, looky that, we’re all grown up…)

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes cover art © Tt games, Warner Bros., Microsoft

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes cover art © Tt games, Warner Bros., Microsoft

Frankly, it helped that the game was really enjoyable and easy to play. It tells a straight-forward if somewhat bloated story of good versus evil. (I say “bloated” because the game really crammed in as much Marvel as it could. I mean, I knew enough Marvel stuff to have flailed my way around, but after awhile, the constant introduction of new characters was a bit much.) In the game, you, playing as any number of Marvel good guys (Iron Man, Spider-Man, Mr. Fantastic, Captain America, Black Widow, etc. etc.) face off with an assortment of bad guys, from Venom to Mastermind. But your primary objective is to stop Loki, Doctor Doom, and eventually, and most importantly, Galactus from destroying all the things.

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Mission Chrono Trigger: Forest Stops and Frog’s Tales

No grand intro this time round as I made a decent amount of progress with Chrono Trigger this past month and have plenty to highlight. Too much to highlight, probably. But never mind that…on with the screenshots!

When I last left the gang (in this case, Crono, Marle, and Ayla instead of Robo), they had just begun the hunt for their missing gate key that had been stolen after a long night of partying and getting totally krunk on pork soup.  As they made their way through the crazy forests of 65,000,000 B. C., they discovered that Ayla’s oddly deceptive and jealous boyfriend Kino had taken the key…and then lost it to the Reptites, the primary antagonists of the region.

CT01 with Ayla

DO NOT make me open up a can of whoop-ass!

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(Vocal Reprise) Furthering the mayhem in Liberty City – Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

How do you write about a game when all you really want to say is iloveitiloveitILOVEIT? As I discovered when writing about GTA: Chinatown Wars, you try to hone in on what you loved. Because part of you wants to cater to that one reader who’s not tried the game but might after being swayed by your words. Oh, and did I mention that you have  to inflate your ego just a little to believe that could actually happen? Well, it certainly didn’t after I wrote this post. In fact, it pretty much brought me back down to Earth. I was, after all, writing about an “old” Nintendo DS game right when everyone was starting to get hype about the next GTA installment. I’m not known for my great timing. I’m just a silly ol’ blogger saying that everyone should play GTA: Chinatown Wars.

Furthering the mayhem in Liberty City – Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, original post from 4/1/2012.
Duration: 6:05
Final thought: Even with a few more GTA games under my belt, I’m pretty sure that Chinatown Wars is still my favorite.

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Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars cover art (c) 2009 Rockstar, Nintendo