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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One Hundred Percent Completion: Finishing And Unlocking Everything In A Game

The longer I play video games the more I realize I can’t recall a time where I have ever finished a game at 100 percent. There have definitely been games where I completed the main story and even did almost all of the side quests. But being able to boast about finding every collectible there is, unlocking every secret tucked away in a level, it’s not something I can put a claim on.

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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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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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Roaming The Streets And Wide Open Spaces Of Cyberpunk 2077

March marks a whole year since this pandemic started. At this point almost everyone is feeling fatigued and frustrated with being stuck at home in an effort to curb the virus. Even self-proclaimed introverts and homebodies are longing for those days when we can gather with our friends and family, or simply enjoy a meal at a restaurant without fretting about following COVID-19 guidelines.

What I miss the most is traveling. Though the vaccines are slowly rolling out in countries all over the world, we’re currently no where near done with this pandemic just yet. What can a person who has serious wanderlust do? Fortunately, there’s video games and Cyberpunk 2077 has been one of the ones that has made me appreciate the art of savoring the places you’re in.

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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?

Walk This Way: Turning Night City Into My Very Own Fashion Photo Shoot In Cyberpunk 2077

As CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 continues to be mired in lawsuits and new issues with the game, I have continued my journey through Night City undeterred. Playing as the mercenary V I have tackled the plethora of side jobs the game has, while leveling up and raising V’s street cred. An open world game as big as Cyberpunk 2077 is you’re bound to get lost in it, and spend more time doing other things instead of really playing the game. Cyberpunk 2077’s photo mode has served as the biggest distraction of all but one I come back to every time I play.

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New Year, New Beginning: What I’m Currently Playing, Watching, and Reading

A new year means new possibilities and a chance to set some new goals. While we’re nearing the end of January (time flies!), and 2021 is still feeling a lot like 2020, I’ve already begun to add a number of things on my roster as far as leisure pursuits go. Here’s how I’m kicking off my 2021 in video games, TV, and books.

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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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Video Game Review: Twin Mirror

Interactive, point and click narrative video games are one of my favorite types to play, especially when key decisions in a game will shape how your story unfolds and ends. One of the developers who have been doing an impressive job of creating memorable stories and characters is Dontnod Entertainment. When Twin Mirror came out on December 1st I was eager to check out what new adventure the studio behind Life Is Strange and the recent Tell Me Why will be taking players on this time.

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