What’s New — August 2016

The summer is almost over, and I have to say I’m ready for it. Fall is probably my favorite season, as I always look forward to cooler weather and the holidays. Plus, more video game releases, and if I’m lucky, more time to play them!

Last month I focused a lot on playing through the first Mass Effect game. I’m just about at the Virmire mission, so I’ll probably wrap it up in a couple more sessions! You can read my game diary here. =)

I also tried Mortal Kombat X, which is my first experience with the series. My boyfriend bought the game and wanted me to try it, so even though I don’t usually like fighting games, I eventually caved and played with him. It was instant love. I was hooked. I’ve been playing mostly as D’Vorah, and while the learning curve is steep, mastering her moves is a lot of fun. I’m sure I’ll write a blog post about the game soon. I’m so addicted my fingers actually get tired of playing before I do.

As for writing my sci-fi novel, last week I had a major breakthrough that really tied a lot of subplots and themes together. It’s like I had more of an idea — characters, a world, a premise — than a story, until now. I used Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey to flesh out the plot and hit all of the major beats in my story. I’m really excited to finish this thing now! I have this bottle of wine from a wine club I’m in, which has a typewriter as part of the logo design. Partly just to be funny, I decided to save it until I finish the first draft of my novel. Now, I really hope to drink it this year!

Anyway, this coming month, I’m excited to watch Suicide Squad. One of my favorite shows, Halt and Catch Fire, is also kicking off its third season this month.

But the real excitement is with all the video game releases — the holiday season feels like it’s already getting started, as I don’t think things are going to slow down until next year! The big ones for me this month are No Man’s Sky, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and Telltale’s first episode of their Batman series. I’m really curious about that last one, as I just wrapped up their Tales from the Borderlands series and kind of flipped out over how good it was. Tales really showed their range, as it has a much different tone — and greater sense of humor — than their other titles. Now I want to see what they can do with Batman, and how they approach it in terms of tone.

What are you guys looking forward to this month? And what have you been playing lately?

— Ashley

Testing My Luck in “Mortal Kombat X”

Last month I picked up Mortal Kombat X for the first time. My boyfriend (who has been playing the series since he was a kid) bought the game and wanted me to try it, so I did on a whim. I didn’t expect to like it, as fighting games never really appealed to me before. But hey, I believe almost any game is worth at least trying, especially if someone is recommending it. (Someone trustworthy, anyway.)

Within a few minutes of starting up the game, I was hooked.

Continue reading Testing My Luck in “Mortal Kombat X”

Why “Mass Effect 2” is My Favorite of the Trilogy

You guys may know that Mass Effect is my favorite video game series ever. I’m replaying it right now and approaching the end of the first game. It feels like coming home.

When I talk to people who like the Mass Effect series, I always want to ask them which game of the trilogy is their favorite. A lot of people say the first game, because it has a very strong story and great RPG elements. Other people say the third game, which does a good job of fixing past problems and creating a cinematic experience (whether you like the ending or not).

I am one of the people who loves the second game. I’ve played that one more than any other (three times all the way through, and I’m on my way to a fourth time). Of the three games, it has the thinnest story. There are literally less than a handful of main story missions. In between those are dossier quests, which position Shepard to recruit a crew and then get to the know them. That’s exactly what I love about the game.

Continue reading Why “Mass Effect 2” is My Favorite of the Trilogy

What Rocked (And Didn’t) About “Star Trek Beyond” (*SPOILERS!)

As some of you may already know, this week I saw the movie Star Trek Beyond. I posted a spoiler-free review of the movie here. In this post, I’m going to discuss some of the things I loved (and didn’t) about this new Star Trek experience — so spoilers away!

Continue reading What Rocked (And Didn’t) About “Star Trek Beyond” (*SPOILERS!)

Movie Review: “Star Trek Beyond”

Last night I saw the new Star Trek movie. I was excited because in addition to loving Star Trek, I really enjoyed the 2009 J.J. Abrams film — it was an awesome action movie with a great origin story and character arc for Kirk. However, after the debacle (is that too strong a word?) that was its sequel, Into Darkness, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this new movie Beyond.

For one thing, it’s changed hands — Beyond is directed by Justin Lin (best known for Fast and Furious movies) and co-written by Simon Pegg, who was in the previous films and is also a longtime Trek fan. Though I wasn’t sure what to think of Lin, I wanted to believe in Pegg’s fandom, and I watch all of his movies anyway.

Now that I’ve seen Beyond, I have to say that it’s the best of the three new Star Trek movies, even if it doesn’t exactly shine. It feels like it can’t decide whether it wants to be more of a Star Trek movie or more of an action movie, so it walks a tightrope between the two that may not make it the most memorable or exciting movie the world… but hey, at least it keeps its balance.
Continue reading Movie Review: “Star Trek Beyond”

SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, and VIDEO GAMES!

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