What’s New — October 2017

Happy October, everybody!

September was a busy and memorable month for me. I wrote about some of it in a Life Update post a couple of weeks ago. I took a dream vacation to the Big Island of Hawaii, where I went parasailing, zip-lining, snorkeling, and volcano-hiking. I’m honestly not that adventurous a person most of the time, so it was pretty cool to spend so much time outdoors trying new things. I went with my boyfriend, who proposed on our anniversary while we were there. It was an awesome surprise.

21427180_10155640733451445_8145737233947251484_o.jpgNow that I’m engaged, I’ve been checking out wedding venues and starting a lot of wedding-related Pinterest boards. It’s all been really fun so far, and I’m so excited I found such a great guy to keep having adventures with. (Also to play video games with — that’s a big one for me!)

I love October because it marks the beginning of fall. I’ve decorated my apartment for Halloween and am trying to figure out what I’m going to do for the holiday and who/what I’ll dress up as, if I dress up. A couple of years ago I was Lara Croft, which was so much fun because she’s a character I really admire. It would be great to find a new character I like… maybe Catwoman, since I played  as her in Injustice 2 this year! We shall see…

And now to the nerdy stuff!

Star Trek: Discovery — I was really excited about the brand new Star Trek show airing on CBS All-Access. You can read my review of the premiere here. The third episode really took me by surprise, and even though the show isn’t quite what I expected, I’m definitely enjoying it so far.

maxresdefault.jpgCuphead — A couple of days ago I started playing the new game Cuphead, which has been on my most anticipated games list for quite awhile. It’s just as charming as I thought it would be. The retro cartoon art style, the throwback music, and even the story make the game feel totally unique. But if you’re expecting to play this game like you watch Saturday morning cartoons — feet up, relaxed, with your morning coffee in one hand — it’s just not going to happen. Cuphead is gaining a reputation of being hugely challenging. It’s all about memorizing levels and quick reflexes; I don’t have the patience for the first, and I kind of lack the second. I’m not sure it’s the game for me, but it’s been an interesting, totally original experience so far.

Destiny 2 — Now that I’ve finished the campaign, I may whip up a review of this one. It came out while I was still in Hawaii, so naturally the first thing I did when I got home from vacation was install it. I’m playing a Warlock who looks a lot like my last redheaded Warlock, and sinking back into the smooth shooting has been so satisfying. There’s just no other game that feels like Destiny.

The Walking Dead — October is the month we get to see the premiere of the new season of The Walking Dead! (MINOR SPOILERS TO FOLLOW, MAYBE?) This is a show I’ve had a love-hate relationship with over the years. I loved the first two or three seasons, stopped watching for awhile because I wasn’t crazy about the governor storyline — and then I picked it up again a couple of years ago with my fiancé. I used to enjoy the survival story aspect. I struggle more with the “war” aspect. I think it’s because I’m more of an optimist when it comes to survival stories; I think we’ll band together and help each other in that scenario, so seeing people with weapons ready to tear each other to pieces and steal from each other just doesn’t ring true to me. But Negan, the current “villain” of the show, is a disgustingly entertaining person to watch. So I’m getting back into it. I also love Maggie and watch every episode just to make sure she’s okay! I can’t wait to see how the characters I’ve grown to love manage to take Negan down.

What are you all doing and playing this month? Are you dressing up for Halloween or celebrating it some other way? I’m also in desperate need of some TV show recommendations, since I need something new to binge-watch! Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. =)

— Ashley

Getting to Know the Witcher in “The Last Wish”

At its heart, The Last Wish is a series of monster stories. The first book in Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher series (which CD Projekt RED’s video games are based on), it’s not so much a novel as a line-up of short stories that depict Geralt of Rivia taking on monster-hunting contracts. It feels like reading dark fairy tales, similar to The Bloody Chamber, and the reason is that the monsters aren’t all crazed animals or mythical beasts — they are usually regular men, women, and children who have been cursed.

I read the book a few years ago, when I first got into The Witcher video game series. After hearing that the series is going to be made into a Netflix show, I got onto a Witcher kick and decided to re-read The Last Wish and then continue with the novels that follow. I purchased the audiobook, which is excellent, although I think I prefer reading rather than listening to this series due to the depth of the conversations and world-building. This is a book full of details you don’t want to miss.

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Reading “American Gods”: The Longest Road Trip Ever

This past month I finally read a Neil Gaiman novel. I’ve been wanting to read his work forever, as he’s a sort of mythic figure in nerd culture for his comic books, his work on Doctor Who, and his fantastical stories and books. I know a lot of people who are huge fans, so hearing that his novel American Gods was being made into a Starz TV series, I settled in to explore what might be the most famous work from Gaiman.

American Gods poses a fascinating idea: What if pagan gods were trying to survive in modern-day America? Immigrants would bring their beliefs from their original countries to the United States, and the gods would survive through people’s belief — however long that lasts.

So what if the goddess Bilquis (the Queen of Sheba) — a divine being who eats men alive as they worship her during lovemaking — lived in the United States today? And how would the ancient Egyptian gods fare, if they made their livings as modern undertakers? The idea that their enemies would be today’s media and technology — the things we American are currently obsessed with — manifests into exactly those kinds of new gods, like Media and the Technical Boy. So a war is brewing between the old gods and the new.

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Why I ♥ “Cosmic Star Heroine”

This past month I have fallen in love with a little game called Cosmic Star Heroine. It’s a Kickstarter by Zeboyd Games, featuring 16-bit graphics and a conspiracy story set on another planet. Because of the retro art style and turn-based combat, I would recommend it specifically to gamers who enjoy those things. It’s not for everybody. But it feels made for me, and since it’s not a AAA title getting tons of attention, I want to make sure to share it with you all. Here are a few reasons I’m loving it so much.

Continue reading Why I ♥ “Cosmic Star Heroine”