Devil On My Shoulder

It honestly seems like just yesterday I was serving pumpkin spice lattes, which by the way are fucking disgusting and you need to reconsider your life if this is your drink of choice. Anyway, it most certainly was not yesterday, it’s been over a year since then and eight months since I left Starbucks altogether. During the past eight months I’ve been having an internal battle almost every day. I’m an extremely lazy person, or at least the little voice in my head is. All he wants to do is smoke weed and play video games. Suppressing his wants and working on my needs is a daily struggle that I’ve been losing lately.

I think we are all creatures of habit and depending on which habits you choose to develop will either set you up for success or failure. I laid my groundwork over a three-year span where that was all I did, went to school or work, came home, smoked up and did nothing. Or worse mixed some liquor in. I’ve talked about this before, back then I had a much more positive outlook on this time of my life because it was in the past. I followed these years up with 2-3 years of working out, rarely smoking, and working towards what I thought at the time would be the start to my career. So what’s different?

Lately I’ve been getting to the gym about twice a week and barely eating enough to maintain my current weight. That’s not good enough. Not nearly good enough. Sure I’m much busier now going to school full time and working about 16 hours a week but that’s just an excuse. I’ve been full of excuses the last 8 months and really my whole life. I never want to face the fact that I’m the one making these choices. Staying up until 3 am the night before class, skipping the gym to play Paragon, and just straight up not eating. Do I think weed is the cause to this? No. Do I think it brings out the worst in me? Sometimes, yeah.

After saying all this I know I will most likely never completely give up smoking. Last fall shortly after Bri and I moved in together I gave it up for about a month and it was an interesting experience. I was more productive, got more sleep, and was much better at managing my time. But I was always stressed. Is that a worthy trade-off? Tough to say. As of right now I’m doing extremely well in school, having just got 100% and 92% on my math and computer applications midterms, but I know it is just the beginning and I’m already feeling a half step behind. So it’s time to stifle that little bitch that keeps telling me to push off my responsibilities till tomorrow and get shit done. Now. I’m excited for the next month for the first time in almost a year. It’s going to be a lot of work and I am probably going to be extremely stressed out but that’s the price I have to pay for slipping back into my old ways. I know I will smoke occasionally and that’s fine. If I have my school work taken care of and I’ve already hit the gym then give er. However, I quit drinking for almost a full year at one point and it was one of the best decisions I made. I’m back to having the odd pop with friends again but it really changed my mentality around drinking to get wasted all the time. So if this isn’t the last time I have this little ‘change in mentality’ talk with myself then it may be time to give it up for a good while.

Advertisements

Backlog Game Reviews: Dragon Age Inquisition

In a generation of expansive western RPG’s Dragon Age: Inquisition falls just short of being a must-have. Succeeding the events of both the first two games Inquisition has you facing the threat of total world destruction as ‘The Herald of Andraste’. A prophet in simplest terms. Tasked with saving all of Thedas and perhaps the world, you set off with a certain amount of animosity surrounding you. Following the short tutorial and initial story beats you awaken in a makeshift town charged with closing the Breach. Without spoiling too many story elements, you and the Breach are intrinsically tied which serves as the main motivation for all your choices and actions in the game. So how does the newest entry in the series stack up?

Story

With the war between mages and templars portraying just how badly Thedas is in shambles following the events at the Conclave you feel a great need to find a resolution and return Thedas to peace. Or at least a veil of constraint. While I wouldn’t say it is the most intriguing BioWare plot I’ve played the character development is where the story really shines. Whether the supportive, friendly Varric, distant Solas or discriminatory Vivienne each companion has their preferences. Your actions and conversations with each character will directly affect their relationship with you and the Inquisition. Will you give Cole a chance or banish him from the Inquisition? This is but one of many choices that will shape how the Inquisition views you and your cause. In terms of stand out story beats, there was only one, when the members of your group name the Inquisitor. Depending on how you choose to play this moment out you may not see it as such however for myself, I had been rejecting any and all claims that I was anything other than a normal guy. So then to have everyone unanimously go against me and demand I take charge left me feeling fairly upbeat.

Gameplay

Dragon Age has blurred the lines between tactical and action combat much more successfully than Bioware’s other series Mass Effect. Inquisition is no different here. Other than the odd camera glitch tactical mode is extremely useful and even somewhat necessary on the harder difficulties as your companion’s AI can be frustratingly stupid at some points. The depth and customization of the gameplay is fantastic. At the beginning of the game you’ll choose your gender, race, and class. Depending which class you choose (warrior, rogue, mage) you’ll then have multiple sub-classes to put points into and eventually even specializations which unlock some interesting options. The only issue I found with the gameplay isn’t more than a personnel issue. Due to choosing a mage class for my character it kind of limited my ability to play with party makeup. Let me explain. On easy, I’m sure you could walk into a fight with four rogues, three mages, and one warrior etc. and be completely fine. However, with how much damage your enemies put out on hard I found that unless I went in with either a two warrior, one rogue, one mage setup or a two warrior, two mage setup I was doomed (And you usually wanted to have a rogue for unlocking doors so even the ladder composition wasn’t very viable). Therefore there were quite a few characters I never was able to bring along for a mission due to me filling the mage role already. Perhaps this has more to do with my skill and less to do with the game but I kind of doubt it. You need those warriors to soak up as much damage as possible and without them I struggled. A minor complaint but it would have increased my enjoyment a little bringing some opposite personalities on the same mission just to hear the banter that goes on in the background during missions.

Setting

Thedas is an expansive, yet contained land. One area will be completely open and establish your sense of exploration while the next is a single, guided pathway. Each area, regardless of structure, has a unique backdrop. From dry deserts to flourishing forests the beauty of Thedas is on full display. In terms of content in these regions, it’s insane. It took me 54 hours to roll credits and I skipped tons of content. This may be my one real criticism of Inquisition. While having a limited amount of content isn’t the answer I don’t believe filling the world with mindless busy work is the answer either. Many quests, whether at the war table or directly within an area, felt pointless other than to gain power (the “currency” required to unlock story missions). I can’t help but compare this to The Witcher 3 which undoubtedly has way more side quests. However, the difference is in The Witcher each quest feels organic as if the world is progressing without your influence and you can choose whether to intervene or not. Dragon Age severely misses this and therefore I felt no obligation to complete half of the side quests.

Dragons

Now for the burning question, how do the dragon fights stack up to other games. I say pretty damn well. Now I only defeated three out of the ten optional dragons plus the story mission to make four in total. There were a few similarities between each dragon but overall the differences between each really made them stand out. Unlike other games where fighting a dragon means walking around, waiting for it to land, and then beating the crap out of it for five seconds while it sits motionless. Rinsing and repeating the process until dead (I’m looking at you Skyrim) these fights were seemed fairly dynamic with each dragon having at least one unique attack and seemingly different attributes (preferring to fly, wing attacks, swinging tail etc). Thus I’d say the dragons are really where this game shines and if that’s what you’re looking for I definitely recommend it.

Verdict

When I began writing this review I really wasn’t sure whether or not I would recommend it to the average gamer. Now I have a pretty clear idea who might and might not enjoy this title. First, if you’re a fan of the Dragon Age series, go get it. It’s a good game with a few issues that you’ll easily be able to overlook due to your fandom. Next is general RPG fans. Honestly, I can’t in good conscious recommend this title to you. In my opinion there are many other RPG’s out there that do what Dragon Age does better. If you’re looking for a completely open game where you can do whatever you can imagine I would recommend Divinity Original Sin 2. If you’re looking for something with an incredible story I would recommend The Witcher 3, or actually even Dragon Age: Origins. Obviously there are countless RPG’s out there and these are just a couple that jumped to mind but my point is when there are games that nail certain aspects why play a game that does a little bit of it all but nothing spectacularly. Now I don’t want to sound like I’m down on the game, I think it’s a good game and if I had to put a score on it I would probably put it at 7.5/10, mainly due to the great characters, dragon fights, and combat. I just think there are other games out there now that your time and money investment would be better spent on. But that’s just my opinion, I’d love to hear from you. What did you think of Dragon Age: Inquisition?

Blog Update #1

Sup! This is a new idea I’ve come up with to be able to communicate with those of you who care about what’s happening around here. There will be very little…how shall we say… propperness to these. As you can probably tell by the opening and the fact that propperness isn’t actually a word. The dictionary thinks I mean proneness. Nah b. Alright so other than seeing my goofiness what can you expect from these? Well basically what the title says. Good job dude, already over-explaining the simple things. So the first portion of this update is to let everyone know I’m no longer going to be including images on my posts. Why? Well first let’s talk about why I was doing it in the first place. I was trying to create levels of interpretation and relation. The image, the title, the category, and the blog itself all kind of interact with each other and I found including an image gave another angle to whatever topic I was discussing. Plus I found some of them pretty humorous. However I’m just ripping them off of Google as I’m sure was pretty damn obvious. So I tinkered with a way to try and give the original creator credit but then I found that damn real impossible as often times the site I ripped them off wasn’t the original creator anyway. It’s not THAT big of a deal to be using Google images for stuff, hell tons of youtubers use them for their thing….that I’m blanking on the name for… you know that screenshot thing that makes you want to click on the video….fuck this is gonna bug me. ANYWAY. Between that and the humor kind of wearing off I’m going to take a break from the images for a bit. That’s the first portion. Second is addressing my constant disappearances and then random reappearances. Basically if I’m not writing, I’m not inspired to write. It’s as simple as that. I understand that there is a place for ‘today I did this, and this and this’ type blogs but that’s not who I am. I personally don’t find those the most interesting to read and so why would I create something along those lines. When I write I want to explore an idea or topic that I find interesting and that I think someone else may enjoy. Currently my ‘inspiration’ is pretty low, and this happened last summer as well. Who knows, maybe next summer I won’t be able to shut up. And finally I have a new series I would like to announce. It’s called Backlog Game Reviews: ‘insert game title hither’. This is a series I thought of back in January when I gave themodernmanchild a bit of a makeover and have been playing with the idea ever since. I understand it’s a topic that won’t really have much of an audience and that’s fine. I just told you I don’t enjoy reading diary type stuff so if this doesn’t tickle your fancy then don’t read it. I mean unless you want to support your boy and then really all you have to do is click on the post and it gives me a view and then you don’t even have to read it, it’s actually pretty cool. You could even take your significant others phone and then go through and just click on each one of my posts and really boost my views it’d be super nice of you and… okay I’m done 🙂 But yeah it’s going to be a series where I review the games I passed over but have now completed. And that’s the key thing here, I purchase games like a son of a bitch and then never finish them, sometimes, okay lots of times, never even start them. So this is me going into my backlog, beating these games and then reviewing them. Telling you if they’re worth your time and money, or if they were even worth my time. There is absolutely no kind of schedule on these as I am approximately 5 weeks away from signing 4-5 years of my life away (yay going back to school!) however I do have the first game finished (playing) and have started the second. They are Dragon Age Inquisition and XCOM 2 respectively. So look for the Dragon Age review some time. Just some time. Alright that’s enough from me, thank god I don’t actually write like this eh? I mean terrible vocabulary, run-on sentenc…

Lost Connection

Between today being an excruciatingly slow day at Panago and Center of Gravity just on the horizon my mind was wandering more than usual. This is a great feeling as it usually results in some inspiration to write; something that has been lacking lately. As I slowly turned the dish I was ‘washing’ over in my hands, my train of thought led to all the amazing, and less than desirable, connections I’ve made in my short time on this earth. Co-workers, schoolmates, teammates, friends, and some rivals. Once I get over my initial anxiety of meeting new people I tend to create great relationships with others. Whether it be during my time at UofL, FutureShop, Starbucks, or any of the part time jobs I held in-between those times where I met some great individuals. Each incredibly unique, as was our relationships with each other. Yet I was left feeling quite empty as I reflected on each of these instances. My inability to maintain any long-term contact with individuals who I valued as friends was extremely clear to me. Why is this? Why am I unable to have a continued relationship with these people? I think there’s a couple reasons, though neither adequate.

Distance is definitely the greatest offender. Since I left Medicine Hat in late 2013 I have only returned three times? Maybe four I can’t quite remember (I have never returned to Lethbridge). Regardless an amount of trips that makes it near impossible to maintain any kind of human contact with those who still live there. Especially when my time is mainly spent with family (though there’s always some time for a dirty Rona night). Therefore that leaves communication to text/call/facetime etc. There’s nothing wrong with these means of communicating, I know plenty of people who facetime on a bi-daily basis, however I am terrible with these. This leads us to the next issue. I am so fucking engulfed in my own life that reaching out to someone else just doesn’t happen. I can’t remember the last time I spoke to my Brother on the phone, and he’s blood. That means the deck is already stacked against my friends. This has caused a few lost friendships in my life, one in particular which never leaves the back of my mind. They say the first step towards dealing with a problem is accepting there is a problem. That’s the goal with this piece. I can’t go back and fix the mistakes I’ve already made, but I can try and limit them in the future. Losing a friend sucks, losing a friend because of your own complacency leaves a gaping hole. However there are those in my life in which I do still maintain contact with and I am incredibly thankful to have them in my life. Taylor is the one example I feel comfortable sharing. Taylor and I met when I started at Starbucks. She left soon after that and our lives have rarely intertwined since then. Yet whenever one of us contacts the other and we do the inevitable ‘we should grab a drink sometime’ it isn’t an empty gesture. When our schedules finally have some free time that coincide we meet up for drinks and much needed catching up. We have glaring differences and yet I think I speak for both of us when I say our time together, however scattered it may be, is a great time to decompress and escape the never ending cycle that is life. I can only hope to form and maintain more of these kinds of connections.

E3 2017

As of yesterday the press conference portion of E3 2017 has come to an end. For the past four or five years I’ve watched every single E3 press conference both to keep up on where the gaming industry is headed and for some simple entertainment. If you don’t know what E3 is it’s basically the gaming industry’s equivalent to CES (Consumer Electronics Show). In fact E3 was born because many game publishers grew tired of being treated poorly when they attended CES in the 1990’s. They would have to set up in tents which were located behind the pornography booths, a great way to reel in the average American. So in 1995 the first E3 was held and it’s been a yearly expo ever since. It once was the premier expo for companies to show off their new titles and hardware however with the rise of publishers holding their own, smaller events for individual games I would argue E3’s importance has waned slightly. Nonetheless no single weekend gets gamers around the world more excited than E3. The past three years Sony, in my opinion, has dominated the press conferences almost with ease. So how did they stack up this year? Let’s take a quick look at each companies showing and you can decide for yourself.

EA

First up on Saturday was Electronic Arts. The publishers of Battlefront, Mass Effect, Battlefield, and pretty much every sports franchise known to man. It’s been a few days since I’ve watched the conference so I’ll do my best to recall everything they showed. First off was NFL Long Shot. A new take on the NFL franchise with an in depth story mode called, you guessed it, Long Shot. Basically what the NBA2K and FIFA series have been doing. It’s great to see some spice being added to an otherwise extremely stale series that could basically be considered roster updates. Next was Battlefield 1 DLC. Cool. FIFA 18 The Journey: Hunter Returns was announced, continuing the story/be a pro mode they started last year. Then the most awkward moment out of any of the conferences happened. Jesse from the BFvGF YouTube channel was supposed to introduce Need For Speed. What he actually did was struggle to get a single word out. A minor hiccup in the grand scheme of things but still unfortunate. So Need For Speed Payback is a thing. The trailer was almost beat for beat the beginning of Fast and Furious 4. Makes you wonder why they don’t simply re-brand the game Fast and Furious at this point. Then came A Way Out. Easily the game of the show for me. It’s a CO-OP prison escape game that tells a story from both characters’ perspective. Unless I’m mistaken which is quite possible, this is the first ever mandatory two player story game. It looks amazing. EA followed that up with NBA Live which still looks like shit. I have no idea how they can make FIFA, NFL, and NHL so high quality but never, ever create a good looking NBA game. Looks like 2K will continue to have a strangle hold over the basketball franchise’s. Battlefront 2 closed out the conference with 30 minutes of gameplay. Sounds great in theory, slightly boring in reality. Looks like a great game, I loved the old ones but never played the previous as I didn’t want to pay $79.99 for a half baked product again. I’m looking at you Destiny. Overall, not the conference for me, without the announcement of A Way Out I would denounce it a complete failure.

Microsoft

Personally I felt Microsoft had their backs against a wall coming into E3 this year. There had been so many rumors of a new Xbox being revealed and expectations were running away. Starting off the show, Phil Spencer explained they had 42 games to show, easily the most out of all the companies at E3. I was happily surprised; at the beginning. Unfortunately it was quantity over quality this year. Within the gaming Industry there has been the thought that the “middle” ground of games has fallen out. AA and A quality games have almost completely fallen out in favor of indie and AAA quality games. However watching Microsoft’s conference you wouldn’t think that to be true. Other than Anthem, which looks many, many years out (despite the apparent 2018 release window)  and Forza Horizon 7 I don’t think there was another AAA game among everything shown. Now that isn’t an issue for me, there are many quality games made without having a AAA budget behind them. However, when you’re showing a new Xbox within the same conference you have to show me multiple reasons why I need to rush out and buy the Xbox One X for $499. That’s right $499 for an upgraded Xbox One. Sure it does 4K, so fucking what. This may be the Sony fanboy in me but what games on Xbox are a must buy? Halo? Not there. Gears of War? Also not there. Currently Microsoft has three different versions of Xbox One. The original, the S version, and now the X version. I unfortunately see the exact same thing that happened to Nintendo with WiiU happening. No regular consumer will even know what the differences between the S and X are. They will see the cheaper price tag on the original and pick that up. I foresee this console bombing. The only thing that this upgrade brings is better graphics and load times and if you care that much about graphics you should be in the PC space. I don’t understand these mid-generation upgrades, who is the audience for these products? Anyway, rant over. I mentioned Anthem, a game that looks like an online multiplayer game with a vibe of Destiny and Mass Effect mixed together. Looked fantastic but there’s no way it was running on a console. More than likely they were running it on a super powerful computer, so what will it actually look like? Now some quick fire Xbox exclusive games: Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, Cuphead, Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Tacoma, and State of Decay 2. All cool games, none are really a killer app though. Then they had some third party presence including Assassin’s Creed Origin and Metro: Exodus. Both look like great games, however when neither are exclusives why would I buy an Xbox? PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was announced for a console released on Xbox. Great news for Xbox owners. The footnote on the conference was Xbox One backwards compatibility being extended to the Xbox Original catalog. My take away from all this is great news for Xbox owners, they have some great games coming to them in the next two years. But again, for having a brand new piece of hardware which you’re looking to get into some new consumers hands I think they failed to give anyone a single reason they absolutely need to purchase the One X. If anything I’ll pick up a used Xbox One to play Anthem when it comes out and sell it immediately afterwards. If you’re an Xbox fan I’d love to hear what you thought of the games shown, and if you’re planning on picking up an Xbox One X.

Bethesda

I’m going to steal a line from ProJared on YouTube for this one. “Wow Bethesda if I wanted to watch someone jerk themselves off for that long I would just go on Omegle.”   Basically Bethesda wasted everybody’s time with this one. The couple things they showed that were mildly impressive was Fallout 4, Doom, and Skyrim in VR. Could be cool, could be just as janky and awkward as it seemed in the presentation. Next up was some Elder Scrolls Online updates which is great, new content for their MMO fans. However it’s what followed this that disturbed me the most. The Bethesda Creation Club. Glorified, dumbed down mods for Skyrim and Fallout 4 in which you have to pay ACTUAL money for each individual mod. What the fuck. I am a huge Skyrim fan, easily my favorite game ever, and I’ve grown to respect and love Bethesda’s products. Which is why it pains me to really go in on them here but I have to call out bullshit when I see it. Paid mods? Seriously Bethesda? First off, FREE mods are on every single platform for their big titles. Secondly, there are literally YouTube videos of modders trying to make Skyrim look completely unrecognizable. You think you’re going to release a mod so impressive no one has ever seen something like it before? I guarantee you won’t. Lastly, Skyrim is almost six years old. Stop. Just stop with the Skyrim shit. I get it, it was huge but it’s time to move on. Please don’t give them your money for this. Please please please do not. But guess what!? They followed this up with you guessed it, MORE SKYRIM. This time Nintendo Switch Skyrim, showing Link Amiibo compatibility and motion controls. Oh boy. Following that nonsense they revealed Death of the Outsider, a DLC story pack for Dishonored 2 as well as Quake Champions and their plans for a massive tournament. Alright finally some things I can get behind. I personally don’t play either of these titles but Dishonored is a great franchise from what I can tell and Quake was one of if not the very first esports games so great to see them trying to get an arena shooter back into the mix. Then we got a lengthy cg trailer for The Evil Within 2. Awesome trailer, extremely twisted and visually stimulating but lacking a certain amount of oh I don’t know game play? Wolfenstein II The New Colossus closed out the conference and honestly looked amazing! A great end cap to an overall lack luster showing. Easily the worst conference of E3 in my opinion. Too much focus on old games, paid mods, and poor showcasing of their two or three new games. I was honestly shocked Todd Howard the Director of Bethesda Games Studio wasn’t anywhere to be seen but after watching the conference in it’s entirety I wouldn’t want to be there either.

Ubisoft

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was first out of the gate for Ubisoft. A game that had received a ton of hate before it had been shown this year. However the showcase did well to show why this isn’t just a game for children. It has XCOM style tactical combat which seems fantastic. Releasing August 29th this could possibly be another mover of units for the Switch but we’ll have to wait and see. Another short showcase of Assassin’s Creed which was shown at Microsoft’s conference followed. Looks great, it’s more Assassin’s Creed. Hard to tell what they improved during their year off. The Crew 2 was announced next showing that it’s broadening the usable vehicles to boats, planes, bikes, cars, trucks, rally cars, basically everything. The VR game made with Elijah Wood named Transference was up next. Can’t really tell what it’s about other than that you’ll be going into other peoples consciousness. Wish they would have elaborated a little more on that one but alas. Next was Skull & Bones, a naval pirate game basically elaborating on the warfare from Assassin’s Creed Black Flag but without any of the good parts. It’s a multiplayer online game, and I don’t think you can actually get out of your boat. Or maybe you can and they just didn’t show any of that. Could be cool if there is more to the story but if it’s just an online naval warfare game I foresee it flopping worse than For Honor. The next Just Dance was revealed. And moving on Starlink Battle For Atlas, a toy to life space ship fighting game will be coming out next year. You can physically build a toy ship and place it on your controller which changes your ship in game as well. Steep Olympic DLC was next, nothing really to comment on there. Then the big guns came out. Far Cry 5. The move to America has me extremely interested in this iteration as well as the inclusion of AI companions. Sounds cool, they worked perfectly in the showcase of course but we’ll see how they work in game. My only experience with companions is Skyrim and oh boy that was terrible. Entertaining, but terrible. Then they closed out the conference with Beyond Good and Evil 2. The pre-rendered trailer looks amazing but they’ve teased this game before so who knows how far out it actually is. A fairly decent conference overall but nothing that blew me away. Far Cry 5 looks great, I’m excited to see how Assassin’s Creed pans out after taking a year off, and the idea of Beyond Good and Evil returning after so many years leaves me impressed. But it’s Ubisoft, they’ll find a way to screw it up, or laden it with micro-transactions.

Sony

Naughty Dog kicked things off with Uncharted The Lost Legacy. A standalone $40 game that brings back Chloe (my favorite character other than Sully) and teams her up with Nadine in a new adventure. The witty banter you expect from an Uncharted game is alive and well in the story trailer they showed and I’m looking forward to this one, especially seen as it is priced appropriately. Then came a DLC story pack for Horizon a game which I still badly need to get my hands on (curse you bills and responsibilities). Looks great, but also didn’t really show much of what you’ll actually be doing. Then they showed a game play portion of Days Gone, an open world zombie game. They showed this last year and I really wasn’t impressed however this year made the game seem much less scripted and more dynamic. Monster Hunter World followed up Days Gone. I’ve never really been a fan of the series but it looks fantastic graphically. I know my friend Jacob is extremely stoked for this one. The remake of Shadow of Colossus was shown and it really didn’t do much for me. Fans of the series were hyped on the internet but after how badly Japan Studio botched The Last Guardian I won’t be touching this one. Call of Duty World War II looks interesting, don’t know if I’ll be picking this one up either. Kind of burnt out on Call of Duty to be honest but maybe this will be the year I jump back in. Then guess what!? Fucking Skyrim VR was shown. I have nothing more to say. This was the introduction to the VR section for Sony. Star Child, The Impatient, Final Fantasy XV Fishing, Bravo Team, and Moss were all VR titles shown in short sequences. Other than the bullshit Final Fantasy Fishing game they all look like full fledged games which is fantastic for the future of VR. God of War had a story and game play section and even though we saw this last year I’m incredibly excited for this game. I’ve never been interested in God of War previously as it has never had a compelling story or character but this time around Kratos is a father and it seems like the whole game is about him teaching his son how to be a warrior. Could make for a much more intriguing game this time around. Detroit Become Human had a lengthy showing this time around revealing a new character and showcasing how different each scene can play out depending on your decisions. If you haven’t played Heavy Rain first off shame on you, this comes from the same company and their games are the only franchise I know of where your actions and decisions truly change the outcome of the game. Characters can die, mistakes can be made, triumphs can be had, overall Heavy Rain was one of my favorite games. However, they also did create Beyond Two Souls which was a terrible, terrible game so we’ll have to wait and hope this one turns out to be more Heavy Rain than Beyond Two Souls. Destiny 2 trailer was shown, but everyone knows about that already. Finally was Spider-Man. Looks…like Arkham. More high flying obviously as Spider-Man is much more about finesse than pure strength. If you’re a fan of the combat in the Arkham games or even Shadow of Mordor you’ll know what you’re getting here. Great for superhero fans, doesn’t do anything for me. If I’m being honest, Sony’s conference was about exactly what I expected. Last year was such a great conference with so many new games shown that they had no hope of upping the ante. All the games shown looked fantastic but we’ve seen them all before. I’m a fan of Sony obviously but I can’t give them a glowing review for showing so many games we already know about especially seen as most are either 2018 releases or later.

Nintendo

Nintendo began with Xenoblade Chronicles 2. A game I know literally nothing about. Seems fun though. Kirby was up next, another game I have never played but Kirby fans were stoked about this one on the internet. Looks fairly similar to all the other iterations but what do I know. A core Pokemon game is in development for the Switch but they didn’t show anything, not even a title. Good to hear but hard to care when you can’t even show a title. Their next announcement was Metro Prime 4. Again nothing shown but at least we got a title eh? eh? Fans have been pining for this series to come back but again, literally no info about it. Don’t think you’ll be getting that any time soon. Yoshi was up next, showing a cool new mechanic where every level has two sides which you can switch between. Fire Emblem Warriors had some cut scenes shown but again I know nothing about this game and what they showed didn’t help me any either. Then guess what!? Skyrim. Eugh. Zelda had some DLC showcased, a harder version called Master Mode I believe and then a story expansion as well. More Mario + Rabbids was shown. Following that cross platform Rocket League was announced, meaning no matter what platform you’re on you can play together (Except Playstation because apparently Sony’s stock holder don’t want it…). Ending the direct, conference, what ever you want to call it was Super Mario Odyssey. It looks fantastic, they showed Mario’s ability to take over whatever he throws his cap at. I’m intrigued with this new ability and the game in general. Nothing crazy here but good to see Nintendo is supporting the Switch with a diversity of their properties, unlike the WiiU.

The Wrap Up

Unfortunately this years E3 was not for me. That’s okay though I understand there is a diverse group of gamers in the world and I’m sure some thought this was the best E3 ever. I really thought Microsoft would come out swinging and prove to the world why the Xbox One X is a must buy. In reality they proved it’s just another piece of hardware that will fall to the wayside, similar to the PS4 Pro. If I had to pick a “winner” of E3 2017 it would have to be the micro-transaction loving Ubisoft. They had the most surprises with something to actually show from each title. I do firmly believe they will pull a classic Ubisoft and find a way to ruin them but if they somehow leave the micro-transactions behind and focus on making each of their new titles great it could pan out. Even though Microsoft didn’t wow me I would definitely place them firmly in second place simply because of the sheer amount of new IP they showcased this year. EA, Sony, and Nintendo all were fairly close in my opinion with Bethesda pulling up the rear. A far, far away rear. So that’s the end of my E3 2017 coverage. Hopefully you found a game or two you’re excited about! Let me know in the comments which games you’re most anticipating and if you’re planning on picking up an Xbox One X, I’m intrigued to hear what the buzz is around Microsoft’s new hardware.

NOS + Ice Tea Lemonade Vape Juice

Over the past month or so Kelowna has received more rain than my previous two years here combined, it’s led to flooding and quite a bit of property damage unfortunately. May long has been another story entirely however and I’m quite happy about it. My parents are here visiting and it’s been mid-high twenties all weekend. I’ve spent a few hours with them so far but have missed most of the planned activities due to work. That’s alright though, this weekend was fairly busy at work.  I saw them all day today and then they head back tomorrow. It was a good to see them, let them know about my plans for school and discuss updates. As we were catching up I fully realized just how poor I’ve been taking care of myself. My training has completely fallen apart, working two jobs will do that to you, I’ve barely been eating, losing 10 pound in the past two months. It feels like my diet consists of pizza, NOS energy drinks, and vape juice: the building blocks of health and strength. Usually when I’m updating my parents it consists of weight or strength plateaus I’ve passed and not much else. This time it was just not much else. That might be why I’m excited to see my schedule return back to normal tomorrow. I’m no longer working two jobs so I’ll have ample time to get my training and diet back on track while still focusing on saving money for school in September. Fitness is my motivation for returning to school after all so it’s important I maintain focus on constant improvement and ensure this is just a small hiccup and not a defining moment of lapsed concentration. Tomorrow I begin again at stage one and will be doing a bit of an accelerated beginner program to gain back my base level strength and then move on from there.

As for a bit of an update in regards to the blog my Take a Minute series has been put to slumber. I really enjoy sharing music with others as well as having people share music with me. However the format didn’t really work for people and so it’s done for now. Perhaps it will come back in one offs when I have something I really want to share with you guys but even then I will probably title them as such to avoid confusion. In the mean time if you are interested in discovering some music you may have never heard before and some you probably already love you can check out my spotify playlists. I’ve created three, two with laughably opposite titles: Light & Breezy and Dark & Dirty. The third called Go Hard is my workout oriented playlist. Don’t sleep on it if you’re not a regular gym goer though. Check them out if you’re interested and like I said, if there’s anything that interests me in a major way I’ll be sure to share it with you.

Right Person, Wrong Time

Happy (belated) Easter! I hope everyone enjoyed some time spent with family and/or friends this weekend. I ended up heading to my uncle and aunt’s place for Easter dinner last night. My sister, brother in law, niece, nephew, and my aunt’s mother were all there as well. We eventually finished a wonderful meal (and even better dessert) before settling in the living room for some must needed catching up. After awhile the topic of relationships inevitably came up. Now if there is a single subject I detest discussing with family more than dating I’m yet to discover it. Displaying an interest in aspects of each other’s life is natural and I understand why it comes up; yet I cringe whenever it does. “Seeing anyone lately?” is usually how it’s posed in my family. Every time I reply the same.

Some months ago I had a candid conversation with one of my friends who is a few years older than me on the idea of dating at our age. We both shared a similar opinion though he was able to put his together much more elegantly and coherent than myself. They (basically) said that at our age with our dreams and more realistically goals, unless you feel some sort of “spark” immediately, any time spent perusing this relationship takes away from your ability to achieve these aspirations. A fairly bleak, pessimistic view on the matter. One that I echo completely.

This is a viewpoint I’ve shared with others before and received surprisingly unsupportive feedback so I’ll do my best to convince you it’s a valid one; or at the very least not crazy. In regards to the two of us, we both are in places in our lives which we view as a stepping stone on the path to where we actually want to be. Personally I’ve been working at jobs which don’t have a great earning potential or spark a passion within myself – a considerable motive for my return to school come September. So in other words I’m broke and uninspired. I have grand plans for working within the fitness, tech, or marketing industries so I know everything I do now is simply the means to an end. I’m not currently the best version of myself and it will take an immense amount of time and effort to get to that point. A challenge I’m excited to see play out. The idea of bringing someone else along for this journey just sounds like insanity to me. I believe that for any relationship to last you need to care about the other person more than yourself and be willing to compromise. Two things I’m not currently capable of while pursuing the life I desire. You might think this is incredibly selfish and in reality it is, but I don’t see that as a bad thing. I’d rather set myself and potential future partner up for success than struggle to ever get out of lower class together. I’ve heard the idea of meeting the right person at the wrong time before and at this point in my life there’s nothing that rings truer. Having said all that, about eight months ago I disregarded everything I believe and fell head over heels for a girl. I was in daily discussions with the aforementioned friend over this change in mentality. We barely knew each other and she was all I could think about it. That’s the kind of feeling required to sway me from my staunch position. The whole time my friend was supportive despite his lack of agreement. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) she did not feel the same spark and we went our separate ways. So for now my response will continue to remain the same: “Nope, just been working and lifting weights.” Perhaps one day that will change and perhaps by then I’ll be ready to commit the love and attention necessary to make it work. Until then I’ve got PR’s to hit and soon enough exams to study for. Hooray!