Howdy Neighbor: Favorite Animal Crossing Villagers

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has celebrated its one year anniversary since the game released on March 20, 2020. New Horizons went on to become the best selling Switch game of 2020, selling 11.77 million copies, and the predominant game of choice that got people through the pandemic. Although Nintendo celebrated the video game’s anniversary last month, complete with a one-year cake, my one-year with the game is actually this month when I first received it as a birthday gift last year from a friend. In honor of my whole year of playing New Horizons, I list my favorite villagers.

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V’s Got The Look: The Fashion Of Cyberpunk 2077

Three months into CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 and the game never fails to stun every time I load it up and play. Night City is a gritty, neon colored dream (or hell) and it’s easy to get lost in the different neighborhoods that make up the world. One of the things I love most about the game is the many styles and options a player has to dress up their character V. When I’m not busy hacking, shooting, or fighting my way through Night City, I’m spending part of my time hunting down new pieces of clothing to create a unique look for V. My efforts in coming up with the best outfit combinations has led to an ever growing collection of pictures of V nailing each look every time she’s out on the town. Check out my mini lookbook of V in the sleekest and cutting edge trends in Night City.

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Toughing It Out With Ori And The Blind Forest

Being a gamer often means you’ll discover what types of video games you enjoy overtime. There will be genres you’ll most likely play each and every time, and others you’ll prefer to steer clear from. After playing a wide range of games in my short tenure as a gamer, I know what my strengths and weaknesses are. One of my biggest weaknesses are platformers. I’ve never been good with wall jumps or timed jumps that make up most Mario games and others of that type. This is why I mostly avoid them for fear of never really finishing the game, or if I have finished one, it’s almost always with a bit of help from the gamers in my life who are better at these than I am. But when faced with a game that has been given to me as a present, I’m more inclined to try and finish it. This is my current situation with Ori and the Blind Forest.

[Credit: Nintendo]
Originally released in 2015 for Windows and Xbox One, Ori and the Blind Forest became available to play on the Nintendo Switch in 2019. Like all other games that first come out Ori and the Blind Forest was a critical hit and a must-play. The images released from the game were beautiful and reminded me of a well-drawn, animated storybook come to life. When I heard Ori and the Blind Forest was a platform-adventure game, the word “platform” alone was enough to give it an immediate pass. I already knew where my strengths in gaming were and platformers, along with puzzle games, weren’t one of them. Then this past Christmas my older sister thoughtfully gifted me with two highly regarded games, and if you guessed Ori and the Blind Forest for the Nintendo Switch as one of them, you’d be right.

Whenever someone in my life spends the time and money to give me a game I may not necessarily have asked for, but knew it would be a worthy one to have in my backlog, there is a strong desire on my part to play and beat the game. If I don’t there’s a sense of guilt I feel for letting a game go neglected after a friend or family member carefully picked it out just for me. Granted I have just way too many games to play now, but it’s a concerted effort to try and prioritize the ones I received as gifts.

Over the past month I’ve been adding a few hours into playing Ori and the Blind Forest. As I expected the game itself is a beauty to behold from the first and very emotional opening scenes. The story follows a guardian spirit named Ori, with the assistance of a small orb called Sein, who is tasked with restoring a dying forest back to life. As Ori you collect valuable upgrades scattered throughout the forest that will help you along on your journey.

Despite playing on easy mode, because I can’t imagine trying to tackle this game on normal or higher with my poor platformer skills, Ori and the Blind Forest is still a challenging game for me to get through. Again, playing a game where the majority of it requires me to get from one high platform to the next with careful and timed jumps is my worst nightmare. What might probably take a better player about 2-3 minutes to make the jump, it would take me 20 minutes or an hour to finish one section. Once I achieve one hurdle in the game I’m pretty much ready to call it a day.

As frustrating as playing a platformer like Ori and the Blind Forest is I’m willing to try and beat this one, albeit very very slowly. When I’m not about ready to tear my hair out after Ori dies for the umpteenth time or I can’t make a somewhat complicated jump, it is a beautiful world to spend time in. It’s a small consolation for someone like me who has a steep learning curve with platform games.

Have you played Ori and the Blind Forest? What do you love or hate about the game?

Welcome To Night City: First Impressions On Cyberpunk 2077

CD Projekt Red’s newest video game Cyberpunk 2077 was the anticipated game on almost every gamer’s wish list. When it finally came out on December 10, 2020 it was revealed to be a buggy and nearly unplayable game for most players, especially if you were playing it on the last gen consoles and not the latest ones. As unexpectedly contentious as Cyberpunk 2077 has been since its release, I had the opportunity to play some of it during the holiday break I had in December on my Xbox One console. What I’ve experienced so far has been fun and enjoyable in spite of the game’s flaws.

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Animal Crossing – New Horizons: The Joys And Pitfalls Of Creating Your Own Island Paradise

If there is one video game I’ve played consistently without fail, even with all the other games I’ve played in between, it’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons. From checking the Able Sisters shop for new clothes to hoping a villager will give you a DIY recipe you don’t have yet, there’s something enticing about this game that’s hard to ignore. After focusing many months on unlocking new island features and expanding my character’s house to the maximum rooms it’s allowed, the time has finally come to design and decorate the island I envisioned. However, where to get started and what I actually want to do with it has been the biggest challenge of playing this game so far.

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Dusting Off The Cobwebs: Revisiting And Playing Older Video Games

Retreading video games you started years ago, but never finished, brings forth a number of feelings. It’s like someone you met briefly but never really got to know better, or recalling memories that now seem vague and hazy with the passage of time. Since the pandemic has forced many of us to stay at home longer than we would have under normal circumstances, it has opened up opportunities to shift your attention on other activities that used to be deemed as “I’ll get to it eventually.” The much older video games in my backlog have been getting a lot more love and attention in recent months.

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The Complexity And Surprise Of The Witcher 2: The Assassins Of Kings

Making the most out of a crap year means retreating into the things that give you a measure of joy and escape. Being stuck at home a lot of the time has encouraged me to revisit video game backlogs and select games I’ll want to pick up again after not touching some of them in months or years. When I’m able to fully focus my attention on one game I accomplish a lot. Recently I finished playing The Witcher 2: The Assassins of Kings, and I’m thoroughly impressed with the work CD Projekt Red had put into this 2011 game.

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Which Way Is North?: Making Sense Of Video Game Maps

When you’re playing any video game and you’re looking to tick off a number of quests from your to-do list, you highlight the quest you’re in the process of finishing and then consult the in-game map to know exactly where you need to go to get to your destination. Most maps are straight-forward and allows you to place a marker at or near the area you want to be. But when a map is poorly designed or just too damn difficult to understand, then it makes your task much harder to complete.

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Revisiting The Backlog Part 2: When Having Less Games You Want Means More Attention On The Ones You Own

One of the great burdens of being an adult is weighing your options to make the best possible decision. Is this really a need or a want? With the world being what it is these days, those choices are crucial to ensure you have enough in your savings to pay bills, meet basic necessities, and still have enough for those just in case emergencies. Buying the latest video game release would be far below anyone’s list of priorities right now, if you have the extra money to spare. If you’re a gamer cutting back on purchasing games on a whim for any number of reasons, the ever daunting backlog becomes increasingly useful to have when saving money is what’s more important at the moment.

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Vacation Vibes: Playing Through Animal Crossing – New Horizon’s Summer Update

Summer vacations are looking a little different this year. It’s around this time that most people would be jetting off to an exciting country, or hitting the road to spend a weekend at a beach side town. But with the novel coronavirus, everyone the world over has been forced to put the breaks on those plans. While vacationing anywhere this summer is not ideal or even possible, I’ve been turning towards gaming for a sliver of that escape vibe, and Animal Crossing: New Horizon’s summer update has made spending time on your island that much fun.

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