I Quit Trying to Reduce My Gaming Backlog

You know it does kind of suck being born around Christmas, especially if you are a kid. My birthday gift was often lumped with Christmas presents. In my household, every Christmas, everyone got a barbie doll, including my brothers. Talk about gender equality! Let’s just say… my mom was practical and quite fair. One time, we got a PlayStation instead of barbies so everyone just play games on PlayStation and that is how I became a “gamer”. No it happened before that. Actually, I fell in love with a dolphin simulator game I played at the elementary school’s library. But looking back, I have always enjoyed spending hours solving puzzles or playing computer games and that habit has not died. Now, as a childless full-grown adult (and yes I emphasize childless to explain why I have so much free time for gaming), it doesn’t bother me that my birthday is close to Christmas because there’s nothing I really want. The perfect birthday is peace and quiet and a good game. In fact, I already have a decent amount of games to go through!

So what is my New Year Resolution for a happier and better me? Stop stressing about trying to reduce my gaming backlog. Play what I can without turning it into a chore. So here is my list on top of my head:

  • Eyuiden Rising (PC)
  • Hollow Knight (PS4)
  • Tales of Vesperia (PS4)
  • Tales of Zestiria (Ps4)
  • AI: Sominum Files (PC)
  • Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth (PC)
  • Whisper of Machines (PC)
  • Silver Case (PC)
  • Silver Case II (PS4)
  • Soma (PC)
  • Elden Ring (Ps5)
  • Resident Evil 7 (Ps4)
  • Ace Attorney (Ps4)
  • Sakura Wars (Ps4)
  • Dragon Age Origins (Ps3)
  • Mass Effects (ps3)
  • Peace Walker (ps3)

I rarely make a list of games I want to complete for the year. Who am I to kid? I never stick to a schedule, but I am trying. Games in bold are games that I am currently playing. Games I crossed out means I have a hard time getting into. Maybe I will play it when I am in the right mood. It did take me about seven years to finally play Tales of Xillia. I remember there were several occasions I tried to play. If you force yourself to play games it will become work and that is one big reason why I do not stream. Plus, I find that writing my thoughts out is more meditative. In the end, I like to talk about the games and not much about me. I think readers who have been following me know by now why I stick to blogging. But if you are new to my blog, you can check out my reasons here.

There are a ton of other games I want to add to my list. Some new and some old. Yep, it seems like my backlog is not going anywhere and I gave up on trying to reduce it.

No Excuse, but It Was Hard to Get Out of the ‘Beast’s Den’

I have been charmed by Hollow Knight. This game is brutally charming (no pun intended). There are charms to be collected throughout the game to help ease the player’s experience and exploration. For someone like me who thrives on challenges and exploration, I instantly got addicted to the game fast. The stage designs are well designed and sometimes a bit too rough. If you don’t have a lot of patience, you might end up breaking the screen. As for me, I am just quite persistent when there is a challenge because it feels soooooo good when you overcome it! The game has awaken my enthusiasm for games. I ended up adding a bunch of games to WishList on Steam, thinking the next game I am going to play will be just as good. One in particular I am anticipating to play is Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising. The other games I wanted to purchase were Strange Horticulture and Remothered: Broken Porcelain. But I decided to hold off. I want to enjoy games without feeling pressured to beat it and move on to the next. I promise myself once I beat a game, then I can buy another game. On top of Hollow Knight, I am finally getting around to Tales of Vesperia. I got my gaming plans all sorted out, haha.

So yeah, Hollow Knight is going to take me awhile, but I probably won’t do a review for it. Way back then, when the game was released, there were already enough positive reviews written by passionate gamers. It’s that fun. As you can see in the boss fight below (the 2nd part of the boss fight), I didn’t think I was going to beat it, but the more I play, the better I get. I feel quite satisfied with my progress so far.

Barely did it, but oh boy it felt good defeating it!

On top of the boss fight, I just love exploring the areas. I have more areas to uncover, more abilities to unlock. Overall, more charms to collect. How can something be so charming but be so brutal??? I lost count how many times I died trying to get to hard to reach items. The game sure keeps my my distracted from going crazy. I suppose that is a good thing. Anyway, I hope my readers have a nice holiday with a lot of Christmas cheers.

P.S.

I am not quite sure where this blog is heading in the future. My life has always been a transit, moving from places to places. Maybe one day I can finally find a place I can call home. For now, I will just enjoy the adventure.

hollow knight character sitting in tram

Why Is White Knight Chronicles Not as Popular as Demon’s Souls?

These past few days, I am finishing up WKC II (White Knight Chronicles II) for the second time. I have been enjoying the game a lot. According to Wiki, the first installment was released in 2008, and the second one in 2011 for North America. White Knight Chronicles II has two games in one, and I remember spending less time on it than the first installment. The online part of the game was highly addictive–rare drops and grinding for ranks pushed some gamers to the limits. Around the same time, Demon’s Souls, released in 2009, was also another interesting online game for the Playstation3. It received more praise than White Knight Chronicles by word of mouth. I wonder why? Who the heck wants to play as the pious guy? In the entertainment world, being edgy and flawed is more appealing than being a goody-two-shoes. So I rarely hear anyone boast about White Knight Chronicles platinum for obvious reasons. Honestly, I am prouder of the platinum for White Knight Chronicles than Demon’s Souls because it took a lot of determination and patience. The game can become repetitive and unrewarding unlike Demon’s Souls where players get more gratification out of beating bosses. It’s a different type of determination. Expect to grind for several hours until you receive a rare item drop. When you do receive the drop, you get these incredible feelings as if you just hit the jackpot. I suppose with WKC, it can feel like you are gambling. However, the only thing you are losing is time. It can’t possibly be that bad if you are enjoying it?

stats from PSN profile

If you think about it. Only 1.6 percent out of 81,592 players got a platinum achievement whereas Demon’s Souls has 10.13% out of 209,499 players. If I can recall both of these games are Playstation3 exclusive. Both have high learning curves. I remember I felt overwhelmed with the tutorial and the different classes, but once you master the game, you just learn to appreciate it more. From a broad perspective, I wonder were they trying to turn casual console gamers into PC gamers? These two games sort of feel like miniature multiplayer games (I will do a proper game analysis of Demon’s Souls at a later time).

Demon's Souls stats from PSN Profile

I also want to make a point that both games have a knight in front of their cover. If you dig deeper into the White Knight Chronicles story, it’s the same concept as Demon’s Souls. A broken knight, an evil knight is a dangerous knight. Blah Blah Blah about complex human nature. It’s how the story is executed which distinguishes it. If you want to appeal to the mass, you got to find a way to tell a good story. Playing a corruptible person is more relatable than playing a saint saving a princess. Also, I want to stress that what these two games have in common is the level of details in the game design. They are both highly addictive and fun.  It still blows my mind for someone as thorough as me who originally played for story. So yes, story is as important as gameplay if you want to grab a wider audience, or else you would only be pleasing an exclusive group of people. Of course, I am stating the obvious. If money wasn’t the lord of this earthly realm, it might not be such a bad idea to cater toward a smaller group of appreciative gamers. I can only imagine how tiresome it can get creating the same content over and over simply because there’s a market for it. Anyway, I can explain in further detail why these games are similar but excellent in their way. For now I concluded that Demons’ Souls is more popular than WKC because gamers are more responsive to games with darker than lighter themes.

Note: I pulled the stats from psnprofile.com.

3 Fashionable JRPG Video Games (PS3)

I have been feeling nostalgic about the Playstation3, the console that started to show a decline in good games and started to behave like a social platform (PC). Whatever little hope I have left, I did try to scout out those hidden gems. Today, I would like to share three fashionable JRPG video games that I enjoyed on the PS3 and I just realized that I platinum all 3 of them!

Not only do these games are fun to play but they are fashionably cool to look at. I like to dress up my characters quite often which is why I enjoyed Code Vein (2019) a lot for being a Dark Souls (2011) knockoff. They took all the good things and sort of made them into their own, and oddly, it’s not as generic as you might think to take ideas from a great game. Great things inspired after all. As the saying goes, “imitation is a form of compliment.” Style does matter if you want to attract the ladies.

Resonance of Fate (also known as End of Eternity in Japan), NA released date 2010

Why did I pick Resonance of Fate? Well because I like guns and clothes. Okay, that didn’t sound right. I only like guns in video games. This game did make me grind for clothes. The Boutique serves no additional incentive. It’s all just aesthetic, which is perfectly fine by me. The world is much prettier when everyone dresses nicely. I enjoyed shopping for Leanne the most since there are a few nice wardrobes you can dress her in. However, there was one skirt that shows her underwear when she does her flip in the air during battle. Go figure. Nice shot for the male gaze. Despite that, I still thought it was a neat idea. If I am going to grind in a game, I am going to want to look at something pretty. I suppose that was the logic of the game design. Trust me, this game can get repetitive at a certain point. Battle-system wise is not bad. Just time-consuming, but hey I can brag to other gamers that I (a girl) 100%the games, and I deserve a cookie. I did bake myself a batch of cookies. The only person I impressed was me.

White Knight Chronicle’s International Ed, NA release date (2010)

Like many people, I find wide-eye cartoons very cute and attractive. The characters and monsters in this game are nothing but cute. Players are prompted to create an avatar which you could use to play online (Geonet) to complete quests and farm materials. Unfortunately, the server is down. And yet, here in 2022, I still find it an enjoyable game. Combine cuteness with fun gameplay you get an addiction. I spent so many hours on this game grinding for better equipment that I didn’t realize how great the gameplay and stage design are. Sometimes we enjoy things without knowing why; just think of a puppet who is unaware that he or she is being manipulated by its master. Great game design is seamless. I would say this game has a high learning curve that would look pretty impressive on your work resume. For your money’s worth (I spent about 1000 hours), it’s a high-quality game that teaches you to learn a gaming system, which shows off your mental agility and willingness to learn. It offers fun adventure, attractive cutscenes, and addictive gameplay which it’s no mere hack and slash. Quite frankly, I sort of like turned-based games that reward players on their skills in memorizing monsters’ weaknesses and strengths. Some people have argued that the playstyle is a bit too slow. I suppose it’s a matter of preference, but I like to think and strategize my kills and not pray on luck. Isn’t that the point of a game? You can play as LS (Long Sword), SW (Short Sword), Mage (support or offense), Bow, Spear, and Axe. It is so fun to try different classes. You can check out the trailer for the combat system: For a trophy hunter, this game is super addicting and fun.

Dragon’s Dogma, released date 2012 and Dragon’s Dogma Arisen, released date 2013

If you are wondering what’s the difference between the two, well the second one to the right (Dragon’s Dogma Arisen) has additional content. That means more monsters and more dungeons. I platinum the first one which wasn’t so difficult. Just annoying that I traveled so long in the game to reach from point A to point B. I don’t recall that there’s a teleport ability. On the positive side, gameplay-wise, it respects the player’s time. In this game, you create a pawn (avatar) and your pawn can be used by other players as well. I thought it was an interesting game design. If you don’t have a group of gaming buddies to play with like me, it’s hard to find a decent person to play with online. Dragon’s Dogma solves that problem. I could enjoy that multi-player experience at any time of the day–without having to wait on the real-time player to help me complete a quest. On top of that, what I enjoyed about the game is the classes and their customization (skill sets or skill branches). The character’s appearance customization was also attractive. It makes the whole gaming experience personal and well worth the money. Glad this game is finally getting recognition in the gaming community as a hidden gem.

So, what did these games have in common and what did I learn about myself? If the game is visually attractive with addictive gameplay, I would spend hours playing. Don’t underestimate style and aesthetics in games! You have to give credit to those who design these games (Level-5, Sega, Capcom). You can tell there is a lot of thought and craft put into the making of these games, which make them masterpieces to me, and for that, they are my treasures that deserve more recognition.

A Little Rant about Games and Food

I have been going through my video games backlog. I finally beat Nova-111, developed and published by Funktronic Labs. It was a fun addictive little sci-fi puzzle game. I still have yet to collect all the scientists! The game was originally released in 2015 and I bought it a few years ago. I played it on Steam which it’s currently on sale for $2.49 until July 7, 2022! Woah what a deal. For that price, it’s better than going to the theme park, and/or it is a good substitution for anti-depressant pills. It’s a feel-good game that gives you that lighthearted solitary escape. Then again, this game appeals to me because I’m an introvert who doesn’t do well in crowds, and no, that doesn’t mean I suffer from social anxiety. It is also available on Switch, PS4, and Xbox One (I just read this paragraph again and laughed. I wish I was advertising but I am not. I can only sell what I genuinely like). I thought I would do a little review for it, but I didn’t have much to say about it other than it’s great if you are looking for a turn-based game that progressively gets harder. The end boss took me about an hour before I finally learned the moves and strategy. I became so good at it that when I played the stage again, it only took me 5 minutes or so to beat. It just shows that practice makes perfect. No one is born good. Anyone can get better if they keep practicing. I am only saying this because I realized that as a kid, I used to be very harsh on myself. Everything had to be perfect. Isn’t it a silly mindset? If you always feel inadequate, you will never find happiness or contentment. This realization makes me a lot happier. I still feel that I could go back and replay the game, but I decided to move on because I don’t really care about improving my scores/grades and getting all the trophies like I used to. Actually, I don’t care about ranking up on the leaderboard. I am just glad that I am reducing the size of my gaming backlog, but more importantly, playing games thoroughly until I am satisfied.
Ending for Nova 111
Noval-111. I appreciate it when devs say thank you to the player; after all, there is a human behind the screen
The sad truth is that when you become an adult it means your life priority changes. The little things I used to take for granted– my parent’s cooking. I have not come across a restaurant that serves pine mushroom soup. Let alone, my mom’s recipes. I am missing it a lot. I do struggle to find a good meal I noticed my attention lately has been leaning toward researching recipes and prepping meals rather than researching how to defeat a difficult boss. I learn tons and feel accomplished when I do find a decent meal, but so far none hit the spot like my parents’ food. I don’t know why, but eating well has been my top concern. There’s something about fruits and vegetables and lean meat that I gravitate towards (I am not a vegan or vegetarian as some people might mistake. I do enjoy seafood), I learned that the Western diet, particularly American is not the healthiest (my body can only take so much dairy products). So, my attention these days has been focused on food and not games-which means I don’t have much to write about. Unless you want to read up on my cooking progress? I am definitely no expert when it comes to cooking/baking, but at least I am trying. Making chocolate chip cookie
Making chocolate cookies
Attempted baking in 2018. . Even though the cookies weren’t pretty, it was still good with a glass of milk.🥛 I still have yet to find a good cookie recipe that won’t clog my arteries.
Speaking of games, I went back to playing Dark Souls DLC and Drakengard 3 and plan to focus on my unbeaten games for Playstation3. Finally, I might be able to write something about Yoko Taro games in greater detail. They are thought-provoking and weird. You can find my notes here. However, a part of me feels like I have outgrown all that “deep thinking” stuff. Not to say, I have the answers to life’s mystery (woah such a bold statement. I feel like I know nothing at all), but the older I get, the more pragmatic I become and I am okay with that. It keeps me curious. It keeps me entertained because I get bored easily. Did I just contradict myself? I am only human. Why do we have to be so complex? That is it for this week’s rant. Thanks for listening to my shenanigans. It’s not much. Normally I post on Monday, but it really depends on my mood now. Until next time, see ya!
Code Vein Avatar in Photo shoot

Halsdoll in Code Vein

Gameplay Is Just as Important as Story

If you click on this post thinking it’s about Dark Souls II because of the featured image, I apologize. I couldn’t find a good featured image for today’s little rant.

A long time ago, my brother and I were playing Xenosaga for the Ps2. I remember I would watch him play. It’s a cinematic JRPG with long cutscenes and I liked the story a lot! But when it was my turn to play the game for myself, I skipped all the cutscenes. He gave me a nasty stare and said, “Oh, you are one of those people.” I shot back at him and said, “Why to go through all the cutscenes again when I have already watched you play?” Then he responded, “You have to pay attention to the story to know why you are fighting. It’s part of the game.” With respect, he has a valid point. Having a story can make a game interesting. In fact, some people only play for the story. I don’t think less of those who enjoy video games for the story because my brother is one of those folks who are good at games but mainly play for the story.

However, these past few years, dipping my feet into the indie game world. I noticed a lot of story-driven games that don’t emphasize gameplay, and there is a group of folks who defend such games. I am not all that bothered by it, however, it feels like a slap in the face when someone I come across on WordPress, calls folks like me unsophisticated muscle-heads who think with their fist because we don’t stress about the story.

Avatar inside of a cave in Dark Souls II

I suppose story driven games help people think and make them more socially aware, more socially sophisticated, and civilized as it opens up a dialogue among people. I am not entirely against it. Humanity has come a long way from a monkey brain through years of exchanging ideas, although I don’t think having a monkey brain is such an insult because there are some people out there who are so rational that they start to remind me of a machine (PC) with arms and legs. And if you ask me, I don’t know if they are any better than monkeys because if they are so smart, why are they trying to outsmart each other through debate to the point they destroy the planet altogether with their sophisticated killing toys? I digress.

2b and 9s with Robot in Nier Automata

Anyway, my point being is,video game can be a great place where you don’t have to think and at the same time, think. It’s such a paradox but that’s why I love the medium. Solving problems and strategizing are considered thinking. The point I am trying to make is that gameplay is just as important as the story. For me, it’s a stress reliever. Take gameplay out of the equation, you get nothing more than just an interactive story with some pretty visuals. I have no qualms about it, but just don’t go around hating those who do want a little challenge, a little strategy, a little conquest. Gaming requires a lot of patience. Trials and errors my friend, that’s how we get better.

A-set looking through her social media

For the record, this post is not directed toward anyone in particular. It’s just the information I have gathered over the years observing vocal gamers through the WordPress community attacking things I like. I often ask myself many times as well, why I love horror and challenging games. I don’t know, but it sure doesn’t make me a monster.

Picture Credits: Dark Souls II: Scholar of the first Sin; Nier Automata; and AI_TheSomniumFiles.

Hmm… What Are My Top 3 JRPG Games?

I am a bit late with scheduling posts. Just feeling a bit under the weather. Haven’t had much energy to write. I have been playing Tales of Arise off and on though, and I know that I am coming to an end. I have already spent 40 hours plus to know whether I like it or not and I am just unimpressed with the execution so far. I won’t deny though it has a good political statement. Unfortunately, it falls under my Pretty Face but No Character list of games. In other words, it just means that it’s all for show and not much substance. It’s kind of epically disappointing. Let the audience decide if it is an epic tale rather force-feed it to us. I don’t feel immersed in it and I am just waiting until the credits start rolling to give it a fair review. Not sure whether I will take the time to write a review for this game though. I did feel a little deceived by gaming critics for calling it a good game. The hypes always lead to disappointment. Perhaps, I am just not in the right mental state.

So to vent my disappointment with Tales of Arise, I am replacing my negative emotion with the more positive emotion I had with JRPG. So, I present you the list of my 3 top favorite JRPG games. I really had to think about this one since I enjoyed a lot of JRPGs. Unfortunately, Code Vein didn’t make it to my top 3, so if you clicked on this post because of my featured image, I apologize. In no particular order, I make my list:

  1. Suikoden III (PS2)

2 Trinity: Souls of Zill O’LL (PS3)

3) Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean ( Gamecube)

Honorable mention: Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)

The trailers can’t capture the scope of these epic games. It was hard trying to find a high-quality trailer because I know some people out there care so much about graphics. Graphics are great but it doesn’t make a game. That’s how I feel about Tales of Arise. If you haven’t played any of these JRPGs, I do recommend them. These are the games that made me fall in love with the genre. Hope you enjoy the list and the game trailers. In the future, I may elaborate on the games above, but for now, making a list will suffice. Until next time, see you!

Halsdoll’s Progress Report Card (Video Game & Book Backlogs)

Well, I finally got Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin out of my system. I beat it. It was fun exploring each stage and now I’m all shackled up and become one with the dark. I feel so accomplished–not really because I enjoyed the fairy-tale world atmosphere to part with it. It’s been a great companion for so long. On the bright side, I can start jumping into new games without feeling as if I have forgotten to do something important.

I beat DS2
I finally sit on a throne. It’s not all that comfortable….apparently.
I beat Ds2!!
Hurray!! I am the queen of darkness!

I’m also proud to say I finished Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. I felt as if I ran a Harry Potter Marathon. Two more books to go until I finish the main series. I tell myself I need a bit of a break from the series to process everything I read but found myself starting on the 6th book after just taking one day from reading. Surely, I will write down my thoughts in the upcoming future on the Order of Phoenix. So expect that. Just in case, new folks happen to land on my blog and who is also Harry Potter fan (hi, hello nice to meet you!), please check out my previous Harry Potter posts:

As for video game backlogs, I really am trying to give Sakura Wars a chance even though typically I am not into dating games. I am now on Chapter 3. Checking Howlongtobeat.com website helped me prioritize what games I want to tackle first even though I did say I tried not to make a list. And yet, with Elden Ring lurking around the corner (I’m writing this on the 24th, it comes out on the 25th), I feel as if a chunk of my time for games will be focused on Elden Ring. This means I will drop Sakura Wars for the time being. Yes, if there is such thing as game-hopping like bar-hopping, (not much of a drinker or a socializer unless it’s about video games) I’m trying to find my new favorite drink (I mean game) because I am going to need a lot of booze to escape from current events which it doesn’t seem to get any better by the day.

Playing Sakura Wars
Photoshoot with the girls from Sakura Wars
Playing Sakura Wars
I told you he is like a rooster….

Well, that is it for this weekly post. So important that I had to share when there are far more serious things out there. I know, but this blog helps me stay sane. Until next time. See you!

P.S.

I know I spend a lot of time with games and speed is not my biggest strength. Why do some games grade me on my performance? Ah…..I play to escape. Making adjustments to my report on Sakura Wars made me feel better. 

Playing Sakura Wars

Halsdoll Gaming Rant: Dark Souls II Photo Shoots

There are hundreds of games. So many games and so many options sort of paralyzed me from picking a game and finishing it thoroughly. I look at the pile of games and thought, there’s no way to beat all these games in a year, and setting a goal to beat them is not my thing despite the fact I feel tempted to sit down and make a list right now to put things into perspective by creating some sort of checklist to help ease the feeling that I have a lot on my plate. Whom am I kidding? The thought of it always excites me. But following it through is a different story.

I do like to make list for mundane stuff. Checking off the to-do list helps me get over unpleasant tasksbut games?

Sometimes that enthusiasm wears out and I just rather play something that I’m used to or not play at all. I’m no cheerleader for all video games…no way…

Halsdoll playing in dark souls 2
Where are you going, Halsdoll?

So, I went back to my PS3 and played Dragon Age Origin, which I never finished and I was like wow…so laggy, but the cutscenes and the music is great. I am digging it. Then I revert to my pile of games and saw that maybe I should play Sakura Wars and then I got annoyed with the main character for having to flirt with girls. The concept of a rooster surrounded by several romantic prospects is a new territory for me to explore. It’s a curiosity more than anything which is why I picked up the game. And yet in my mind, I kept thinking…let’s go back to DARK SOULS 2??!! Dominating the world is more appealing than idle pointless chit-chat. But oh, there’s more to Sakura Wars…why don’t I give it a shot? I guess when I feel like flirting with girls but I don’t know when the time will come around because as much as girls are cool, I’m pretty darn straight. All I just want to do is take photo shoots.

Halsdoll playing dark souls 2
Halsdoll playing Dark Souls 2
Halsdoll playing Dark Souls 2
Halsdoll playing in Dark Souls 2

I had fun gathering the pictures for this blog post. They were taken from Crown of the Ivory King DLC. I managed to defeat two bosses out of three. One more to go in the cold blizzard… I think I ran out of patience. Dark Souls II is a great game, but the DS II: Scholar of First Sin edition, might not be so much. The game was intended for people who play for difficulty’s sake. It’s not that cool. For the most part, I got what I want from the DLCs. It’s all about adventure, shiny objects, pretty cool weapons, armor, and exploration. I can platinum the game, but for now, I decided to move on to Skyrim.

Check out my other posts for Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin:

I will try not to write so much about this game. Other games deserve some attention too. And that is it for video game updates. Until next time, bye~

Halsdoll’s New Year Rant: Harry Potter, Scarlet Nexus & DS2 Scholar of the First Sin

New Year and a new start are never the cases for me. I never wait around when I want to achieve a new goal. My New Year Resolution started in December after my fiancé gave me my birthday present. This year. I want to make more time for books. It doesn’t matter if it’s a children’s book as long it got some depth, which is how I got started with the adventure to Hogwarts. Me being the curious cat picked up the book and started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone despite being unimpressed with the movie’s adaptation many years ago. That experience was also my first introduction to the title. Now, I’m more than halfway on book 3, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I intend to finish the entire series because I’m addicted to J.K. Rowling’s imagination and writing style. It made me smile a lot that I couldn’t put the book down, which explains my long absence from this blog. Perhaps, I might write each summary for each book as a writing exercise since that is what has been occupying my thoughts. I’m just so impressed with how well organized J.K. Rowling’s mind is to create such a genuine and humorous but serious world mixed with humility. Somehow the movies failed to capture it, which is why I was never a fan of the Harry Potter franchise until now. I see why all of my good friends were obsessed with it.

When it comes to games, I find that playing game back-to-back can be quite a chore. Forcing myself to conquer my backlog is not fun. Since beating Tales of Xillia, I haven’t been eager to jump into a new game and I thought I would play Tales of Vesperia, but I changed my mind. I played a little bit of Scarlet Nexus instead. The concept of the story and gameplay is promising but feels a little bit too hip and young for my taste. I’m not feeling the characters at the moment or maybe it’s the fact the English voice dub failed to capture the character’s personality. Just not a fan of hearing people read scripts in manga-style cutscenes. Well, I didn’t mind so much in Folklore but it just seems like a lazy tactic in storytelling. Despite all of that, it may have a good story. It’s BANDAI NAMCO StudiosTose after all. I can see some cool things with this game but so far it tries too hard to be cool and deep. Well, I will put it aside. I may play it. Maybe in 7 years when I decided to turn into a teenager again.

SCARLET NEXUS

For now, I find myself going back to Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin. Yes, I finally beat all the bosses in the Sunken Crown King DLC. This time around, I just needed to step back from the game to have a fresh mindset. So here is what I learn: When playing a difficult game that required some sort of quick reflex, you have to talk mean to your opponent. “Get your ass down here! “Is the magic phrase I used in defeating the Sinh, the Slumbering Dragon, and with a little help from the NPCs. At this point, I just want to complete the DLC without caring how well I kill it. Thank goodness this game does not grade me on my performance.

Telling the dragon to get its ass down here
Sinh, the Slumbering Dragon

I suppose, you just have to be a little angry to play this sort of game at the same time be calm and collected. It’s all about balance and perhaps that is why I keep coming back to the soul games. I have two more DLCs to go: Crown of the Old Iron King, and Crown of the Ivory King. I’m not kidding when I said I keep coming back to this game which I bought it back in 2015. This will be the second time I play this game. I already played it on the PS3 version which honestly, I prefer than the PS4 version which included all three DLCs. I even have the PC version (wow I didn’t know I like the game that much!). I may go into details at a later time if I feel up for it. So far, I have already clocked in over 200 hours. Talking about great gameplay value. Why would I even bother with other games at this rate? I like to see games surpass the Dark Souls franchise. It’s unlikely. As I mentioned before, once you give your soul to the game, there’s no coming back. All other games will appear lacking or petty in comparison. Souls’ game is just that rewarding and addictingly fun. Or perhaps, I just have fallen under its spell. It’s like playing inside an adventurous book and who can ask for more, especially for folks like me who love books and games? It’s the greatest combo.

I stop to read in video games…ooooh if only school was this fun, I would have paid more attention in class once upon a time…

Well, that is it for now. I will leave you folks with a tip. Being a barrel doesn’t hurt if you are trying to reach the next bonfire! Whatever it takes to stay alive. Until next time~

getting close to the bonfire