Gaming Goodie of the Month: Christmas Goodies!

Since it’s officially the holiday season, I figured this month’s Gaming Goodie post would be an ode to one of my favorite Christmas experiences! I’m cheating a bit this time around, because this post actually focuses on two presents that I received, but they kind of go together, so… yeah.

Anyway! It was 1995, and I was 9 years old. When I was 8, I received my own Super Nintendo and I loved it! I would often borrow some of my neighborhood friend’s games to see what I would like and then cross my fingers that my mom would buy the game for me. I quickly became obsessed with Donkey Kong Country. The characters, the levels, the music… oh man. I borrowed my friend’s game so much he should have just given it to me! My DKC obsession was so bad, I spent the night at my aunt and uncle’s house and upon learning that a kid in their neighborhood had the game, went over to that kid’s house and asked her to play it. The fact that I didn’t even live in that neighborhood didn’t matter to me, haha!

Naturally, I knew what game to ask for when Christmas rolled around. Then, when browsing an issue of Nintendo Power (probably while waiting around at the grocery store or a book store, I don’t really remember) I saw that Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest was coming out. WHAT!?! A sequel? And it looked so amazing too! Well, now I wanted that game too, dammit!

gaminggoodiesdec
Not pictured- me having a heart attack when I knocked down ornaments trying to get these damn games to stay in my tree.

Christmas came, and I was so excited to find that I had gotten both DKC and DKC2 as presents! Yes! I couldn’t wait to play them. I was excited that I didn’t have to borrow DKC from anyone anymore, and I was so excited to try DKC2 for myself (although I did rent it from Blockbuster before Christmas, just to check out some of the levels). I remember it was probably around midnight and I popped DKC2 into my Super Nintendo and was just so blown away! I played through the first level okay, but died on the second level and thought to myself “This game is way harder than the first one.” Haha! I stayed up as late as I could, then went to bed with happy thoughts about my new games.

Of course, I’ve gotten other games and game systems for Christmas, and I remember them all fondly! But this distant Christmas memory makes me smile every time I think about it, and when I look at those games, I still feel some of the happiness that day brought me. 🙂

End Game Thoughts: Homescapes!

Game Title: Homescapes
Platform: Kindle Fire
Hours Played: maybe an hour

About The Game

Image result for homescapes title screen

Homescapes was released in 2017 for mobile platforms; I played on my Kindle Fire. In this game, you help a balding, middle-aged butler (named Austin) with a creepy ass smile restore his parents’ house to its former glory. I guess he moves back in with his parents and you are just some weird, unseen entity that plays a match-3 game so that the butler can earn stars that will magically pay for all the stupid shit this shitty house needs to be awesome again.

What I Liked

Image result for homescapes

Despite my crabbiness, it is kind of a cute concept for a game, and I liked the idea of methodically moving through the house and restoring each room. The house itself was pretty big, with lots of rooms to restore. That’s… about all I liked.

What I Didn’t Like

Image result for homescapes

Unfortunately, Homescapes falls prey to the typical match-3 bullshit that a lot of games seem to be fond of. There are a lot of gimmicks that quickly grew tiresome and sometimes, if your luck is shit like mine, you’ll fail the same level over and over.

Closing Thoughts

Image result for homescapes

This game definitely had potential, but really ends up falling flat. Why you have to play a shitty Candy Crush clone to restore rooms is beyond me. It would have been much better had they implemented different mini games or puzzle varieties. I wanted to like it, but after getting to Day 3 in the game, I got annoyed and uninstalled it. Sorry Austin, looks like you’ll have to find some other sucker to help you with your parents’ house!

P.S. I hope all my US friends have an awesome Thanksgiving! I’m really looking forward to it, although I have laryngitis and probably won’t be able to chat with my family much. Well, at least I can still eat! 😉

End Game Thoughts: Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp!

Game Title: Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
Platform: Apple iPhone
Hours Played: oh lord… probably over 120 or so

About The Game

animalcrossingpocketcamptitlescreen
I miss this old loading screen… the new one is ugly!

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a mobile game that came out in November 2017. I was SO EXCITED for an Animal Crossing game to play on my phone- I remember I couldn’t wait to get off work so I could download it and play!

This game is a bit different from other AC games in the fact that you “manage” a campsite and invite the villagers to hang out there! You can also decorate you campsite and your rv (and later on, your cabin), collect fish, bugs, fruit and shells, and participate in one of the many events that are always going on!

Note that there really isn’t an “ending” to this game. I considered the game beaten when I invited all of the available animals to my campsite, though more animals are added into the game every so often!

What I Liked

stitchespic

At its core, this game is just… so cute. Seeing so many of my favorite villagers at my campsite is awesome and I love giving them gifts and treats! The more you interact with them, the more they level up, which in turn increases YOUR overall level. As of my time of writing this, I’m at Level 142… after almost 2 years of playing, that’s not too shabby! The level cap is somewhere over 200 right now, though that changes depending on how many villagers are in the game.

I also really like the fact that there are monthly events that keep you wanting to come back and check in. The game has gone through a few evolutions since its inception, but as of now, there are 3 different events each month- a gardening event, a scavenger hunt, and a fishing tourney. These events allow you to collect themed furniture. Last month it was all Halloween furniture, which was awesome!

What I Didn’t Like

Image result for animal crossing pocket camp fortune cookies

Ha… the main gripe I have with this game? It’s a mobile game, and therefore falls into many of the same traps as other mobile games. There is, of course, premium currency (Leaf Tickets) which can be spent on premium items. At first, Leaf Tickets were pretty easy to come by, and it was easy to buy whatever you wanted. THEN they introduced fortune cookies, which can only be purchased with Leaf Tickets (although they do occasionally sell them for Bells, the game’s standard currency). To make matters worse, the item you get is completely random, so you may end up with several of the same item that you don’t want!

I want to point out that I haven’t spent a single dollar on this game. I refuse to participate in gacha type gambles with my real money, so I just earn Leaf Tickets organically as I play the game. Sure, I miss out on stuff sometimes, but oh well.

One other little thing about Pocket Camp… I kind of wish it were more like a mini Animal Crossing town. The villagers don’t really do anything but stand around and sometimes interact with items in your campsite. Even when you visit them in other areas, they are pretty static most of the time. The have little tents, but you can’t go inside and look around like you can with their houses in the core games. With that being said, I know there are probably restrictions placed on the game because it is mobile.

Closing Thoughts

Despite the fact that the gacha mechanics are absolutely ridiculous and the game can be a bit repetitive, I still find myself logging in every day! I just ignore what I don’t like about the game and I don’t feel pressured to spend money either. Animal Crossing has always been about living your life the way you want… don’t want to fish? Don’t bother. Love interacting with villagers and redecorating your house? Do it all day long and no one will try to stop you. Pocket Camp retains some of that charm and doesn’t force you to participate in anything you don’t want to. Many people have Fear Of Missing Out and have to collect ALLTHETHINGS or else their life is ruined, but not me. I’m content to check in on my little buddies, participate in events as much (or as little) as I want, and go about my day.

P.S. The only thing I HAVE to have in this game is all the animal buddies. In the past, new villagers would just randomly appear and you would have to meet them and craft their favorite furniture in order to invite them to your campsite, which was cute and fun. That mechanic has been replaced by a shit mechanic where you have to send Gulliver away for a chance to get an animal map back, and it’s a bit annoying and tedious. Patience is a virtue, though, and it is possible to do it without spending money, so I just take my time with it 😉

Gaming Goodie of the Month: My First (Handheld) Console!

Last month, my featured Gaming Goodie was my first Pokémon card! This month, I decided to go back a little bit farther and revisit the console that started my gaming obsession… the Nintendo Game Boy!

MistyGameBoy
“Misty, PLEASE just pose with it!” -me, begging my cat to stay still so I could take a picture. 10 minutes later, this was the best I could do.

Now, I did write a bit about how I got the Game Boy and my fond memories with it back in 2017, so check that out if you want! For those who haven’t read that article, here’s the lowdown: basically, I saw an advertisement on TV for the Game Boy when I was 6 years old and told my mom “I think I would like one of those.” My mom got me one for Christmas, and the rest is history!

I don’t know if my mom ever imagined what a huge part video games would play in my life from there on out. I was OBSESSED! I would play the Game Boy constantly, asking for “5 more minutes” when it was time to go to bed and no doubt costing her a small fortune in batteries!

I have so many good memories attached to that Game Boy. Playing Tetris and Kirby’s Dream Land over and over. Taking it to my friend’s houses down the street and us taking turns playing while the rest of us crowded around the tiny screen waiting for our turn. Spending the night at my friend’s house and us staying up until almost 2am trying to beat Tetris Blast. I could go on and on.

That clunky gray box has been with me for 27 years now, and though it isn’t in working order anymore (at least not until I attempt to fix it like I’ve been meaning to for like 2 years) it sits proudly on my shelf as the first handheld gaming console I ever owned. It started an obsession with my favorite hobby, and I’ll always treasure it!

The Real Neat Blogger Award!

In August, the awesome Red Metal over at Extra Life Reviews nominated me for The Real Neat Blogger Award. That was Real Neat of him! 😉 I’m always flattered and I always really appreciate when I get a little award- plus, answering random questions is pretty fun! So, let’s get started! Here’s the questions that were asked of me.

1. Have you ever watched a film in theaters that featured an intermission?

Image result for watching movies

Nope, not that I can remember! I don’t know if my attention span could even handle something like that these days, haha!

2. What is the most expensive ticket you’ve ever purchased?

Image result for slipknot

Hmmm… probably the tickets for my husband and I to go to the Slipknot concert in 2009. They were floor tickets and I don’t remember how much they were, but I know it was a little pricey. Totally worth it though… seeing Slipknot up close and personal was EPIC and I’m glad we did it. Probably won’t happen again though- I’m getting too old to participate in mosh pits!

3. If you had to trade in fluency of your first language for another, which one would you choose?

Image result for japanese

Definitely Japanese. I’ve always wanted to learn Japanese, but it’s very difficult!

4. If you could appear on any game show (including ones that have ended), which one would you choose?

Image result for nickelodeon double dare

This is a great question! I’m convinced that I’m one of those people that know all the answers at home but would freeze and forget everything, including my name, if I had to appear on television. You know which one would be fun though? That one that used to be on Nickelodeon where families had to go through obstacle courses… *looks up the name* Double Dare! Some of that shit was so gross and messy, but it looked like a ton of fun!

5. As someone who has watched many classics over the past few years, I’ve concluded that old films are overall better than recent efforts. What do you think the current generation of filmmakers lacks that allowed their predecessors to shine?

Image result for rehashing ideas meme

There is a definite lack of new ideas! People keep re-hashing the same shit in a different format. Some is good, some isn’t… but I’m ready to see more unique ideas!

6. How do you like your eggs prepared?

Image result for i hate eggs

EEWWWW!!! I HATE EGGS!!! I don’t know why, but I’ve hated them ever since I was a kid. Every once and awhile I will make scrambled eggs for my husband for breakfast, and I have to struggle not to puke just looking at them. Don’t even get me started on how slimy and snotty it looks when you first crack it open! Recipes that call for eggs make me want to cry… good thing I don’t bake cakes very often.

7. How do you like your potatoes prepared?

Image result for potatoes

Now this question is more like it! 😉 I love potatoes…. baked potatoes, potatoes au gratin, mashed potatoes, french fries, potato chips… yeah, potatoes are awesome in pretty much any form. Yum!

8. If you found yourself directing films, which genre would you want to specialize in?

Image result for horror movies meme

 

Since horror is my favorite genre, that’s what I would chose! And I would not kill off any animals dammit!

9. What is your favorite band/artist with a limited discography (i.e. no more than four studio albums)?

Image result for 16 second stare

Oh wow, that’s a great question! I used to be so much better at keeping up with bands I like, but now I’m in the “this is the music that I like, I don’t want to hear new stuff” category. Yikes, I’m old! Anyway, many of the bands that I like seem to have released more than 4 albums, so this is a hard question to answer. Poking through my music collection, I only have one cd from a band called 16 Second Stare, and by the looks of it, they have only released one other cd and a few extra songs, so let’s go with them!

I actually remember picking up their cd for 25 CENTS at Best Buy many years back. I took a chance on it because it was cheap and the album cover is a toilet with roses coming out of it- classy! Turns out, there’s some pretty decent hard rock/ metal tracks on the album, which is fine by me!

10. There are many stories over the years of projects or ideas never getting off the ground or being canceled mid-production. Which one would you bring into reality if you could?

I’m hopeless when it comes to news about what’s up and coming, so I’m probably oblivious to most things that get cancelled.

11. What series do you feel managed to be consistently good for an extended period of time?

Image result for original harry potter books

As far as video game series go… the Donkey Kong Country series. I loved the original trilogy and loved the revamped Returns series too- I feel like each game has something different and exciting to offer.

As far as book series, I’ll have to say Harry Potter. Every one of those 7 books keep me enthralled and entertained!

TV series… definitely Breaking Bad! I watched all 5 seasons without once saying “Wow, that was boring” or “That episode was pointless.” I can’t say the same for most other series I’ve watched, even if it’s a series I really like.

So that’s that for this award! Thanks for reading!

Book Review: Assassin Witch by Ashley McCleo!

Assassin Witch is the 2nd book in the Bonegates Series by Ashley McCleo. I reviewed the book for her recently on Goodreads! Here’s the blurb for the book:

Doing away with an evil fae queen to help her kingdom is Princess Lana’s ultimate goal.

But first, allies must be secured. Which means embarking on diplomatic missions that make the introvert in Lana cringe.

Even with the assistance of Garret, her friend, and maybe something more, Lana hates the idea of being an ambassador. And as it turns out, she’s not a natural either.

As her struggles deepen, doubt creeps in. Is she simply an imposter? Can she span the cultural divide between what she knew in the human world and mafias of fae or tribes of giants? Will she deliver on her promise to make a difference in the lives of the fae of Lyonesse?

Lana must convince the skeptics that although she’s not a pure-born elf of Faerie, she’s a worthy leader. And she will fight to improve their lives.

Because war is coming to Faerie, and she could lose everything she’s come to love if she fails.

Assassin Witch is perfect for fans of the Throne of Glass Series and The Cruel Prince. With a slow-burn romance, intricate world-building, and danger lurking in every faerie wood and mafia-run city, it will keep you enthralled long past the last page.

And the cover:

45912695. sy475

Here’s my review!

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review 🙂

Assassin Witch is the 2nd book in the Bonegates series. The book begins with Lana getting her much-anticipated conversation with her father, the king of Lyonesse. She has such a desire to talk to him and get to know him, she is so happy to finally get some one-on-one time with him! After they talk about her life, make other small talk, etc., he drops a bombshell on her: he wants her and her siblings to assassinate Queen Pari of Buyan!

Naturally, Lana has her doubts, because she barely has control over her powers and doesn’t feel quite strong enough to carry on an assassination attempt. Nevertheless, she tries to fake it til she makes it, and it is painfully obvious for her that she is unprepared and knows little about how things work in Faerie. Because of this, she finds it hard to gain her sibling’s respect.

Lana struggles quite a bit throughout this book, because she finds it hard to balance becoming a more knowledgeable Princess General and becoming more friendly with her siblings. In the end, she devises a half decent plan to go after Queen Pari… though it doesn’t go exactly as planned. The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and definitely leaves me wanting more!

One thing I wanted to add: at one point, a strange fae approached Lana and said to her “Your father is a bad man. He brings the darkness with him and will drown out the light… especially yours, princess.” This makes me wonder just how benevolent the king actually is, and what his true intentions are. I cannot wait to see what happens next!

I gave Assassin Witch 5/5 stars on Goodreads!

Sunshine Blogger Award!

In June, The Dragon’s Tea Party answered some interesting questions for the Sunshine Blogger Award. She then came up with her own questions and invited everyone to answer… so here I go! 😉

1. What’s been your favourite movie released in the last year?

Image result for john wick 3

Hmm… I don’t always watch movies anywhere close to the time they come out… but I just recently saw John Wick 3: Parabellum and that came out earlier this year, so let’s go with that one!

2. Does tea taste better from a pot or from a cup?

Image result for tea cup

When I drink tea, I always just make it in the cup! I don’t know if it necessarily tastes better, but that’s just how I roll.

3. Which biscuit do you dunk in tea/coffee?

Image result for bagels cute

I actually don’t really dunk anything in my tea or coffee much anymore, not sure why. But for some reason, whenever I have a bagel and coffee, I dunk the bagel in the coffee, cream cheese and all. Is that gross? That’s probably gross. Oh well!

4. When it’s a sunny, warm day what do you like to do?

Image result for beach sunny day

Go to the beach or the pool. Lounging in the sun (with copious amounts of sunscreen) and listening to music is one of my favorite ways to spend a day!

5. What’s your comfort food of choice?

Image result for french fries meme

When I’m having a shit day, nothing is better than stuffing my face with delicious french fries!

6. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Image result for woodchuck meme

Google tells me 700lbs. worth. Who knew?

7. Which game gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside?

Image result for animal crossing cozy

Definitely any game from the Animal Crossing series! I have happy thoughts just thinking about that series. ❤

8. What was the last game you rage quit?

Image result for samsara deluxe edition

Hmm, let me think for a moment here… I haven’t really rage quit anything in awhile, but some of the puzzles in Samsara: Deluxe Edition for the Switch really tested my patience! I’ve realized I’m not great at games like that, so when it gets really difficult, I want to move on to something else.

9. What’s your feelings on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite?

Image result for harry potter wizards unite

I actually haven’t played this game, because I’m not interested in walking around/ going to different places to try to play. I’m lazy and prefer to game with my ass planted comfortably in a chair!

10. It’s your birthday and you can have any cake you want! What do you go for?

Image result for carrot cake

I’m not much of a cake person, but I had carrot cake for my birthday a couple months ago, so I’ll go with carrot cake!

11. Name your snacks and beverages of choice for while you game.

Image result for playing video games and eating meme

I don’t eat while playing games as much as I used to when I was a kid, because I don’t like touching my controllers with dirty hands, haha! Every once and awhile I’ll snack on some chips though! As far as beverages… I usually like to drink some iced tea or coffee! 🙂

Image result for lunchables pizza 90s

When I WAS a kid though… I would totally eat Lunchables pizza while playing games. I would carefully make each little piece of pizza (bonus points if one of them was a dessert pizza!), have them set out on a plate, and take a bite every now and then while gaming! Man, that was fun…

So that’s it for this award. I’m too lazy as you all know by now, so feel free to answer these questions if you want! 🙂