First Few Hours With Neo: The World Ends With You

Of all the video games to come out of the 2021 season Neo: The World Ends With You is by far the highest on my list of games I’ve been looking forward to play. Now that the game is fully released, I have spent a good many hours diving back into Shibuya and the Reapers’ Game.

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GRIS: A Deeply Moving And Affecting Video Game On Grief And Depression

Sometimes you’ll go into a video game not knowing what to expect, but give it time, and you may find the hidden jewel underneath. The 2018 game Gris by Spanish developer Nomada Studio, and published by Devolver Digital, is one of those games that will stand out in your mind as a uniquely crafted game full of beauty and emotional depth.

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A Promising Sneak Peek: Neo – The World Ends With You Demo

When I know there’s a video game I’ll want to play I rarely bother with the demo. The purpose of a demo is to sample a game you’re potentially interested in but not quite sure if you should get. But in the case of Square Enix’s upcoming Neo: The World Ends With You, the sequel to 2007’s The World Ends With You, it was too good of an opportunity to pass on getting an earlier feel of the game. From what I’ve experienced so far I’m now more than ever eager to continue playing it.

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Looking Ahead: Most Anticipated Video Games Of The Summer Season

When it comes to upcoming video game releases there isn’t a lot I would buy for pre-order or on Day 1. Usually I’m very selective about what I’m willing to buy, or I’ll wait until a big games sale happens during the holiday season. But when there are games I simply have to have, one of those reasons could be because it’s a sequel to a beloved game I already played and enjoyed. There are at least two I have my eyes on for next month.

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May Update: What I Have Been Playing, Reading, And Watching

As the weather warms up and optimism grows around the U.S. over a successful vaccine rollout, there’s potential in the air that the rest of 2021 can be salvaged. While I am one of the many eager to step out of self-hibernation and into the world once more, the past few months has been good for video games, reading, and watching. Here’s a brief roundup of what has been keeping me entertained until those summer vibes eventually lure me away from the comfort of my own home.

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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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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?

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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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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Do It With Style: Living Out All My Fashion Fantasies Through Animal Crossing – New Horizons

Spending most of your time at home, until it is deemed safe to resume life somewhat normally again, means you’re no longer figuring out what to wear each day. Your outfit of choice when you’re working from home is either your PJs or sweatpants. When your every day clothes has been reduced to whatever is comfy at home, unless you have to show your face from the waist up for a video conference, there hasn’t been a lot of need to “dress to impress” these days. Although the pandemic has temporarily taken the stress out of deciding what to wear before leaving the house each morning, I do find myself longing for a time where I was able to wear my prettiest dress to a party or donning a favorite sweater and jeans when I went to the office. The fashion deprivation I’m currently going through has led me to live my best stylish life through Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

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