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What’s New — July 2016

July is here, which is means it’s almost Robo♥beat’s fourth birthday! I’m kind of amazed I’m still blogging, but it’s just such a part of my life now and so much fun for me. I’m also for the long weekend that is about to happen in honor of the Fourth of July. =)

Here’s how things have been going for me lately, and my plans for this month!

Video Games

In June, I succeeded in wrapping up my playthrough of Dragon Age Inquisition, which was a lot of fun despite the fact that I’m not a fan of how the game handled its limited open world. The funny thing about that playthrough is that I didn’t successfully romance anyone. I wanted to go for Solas, then switched to Sera… but she didn’t like me enough by the time I was ready for the final mission, so I just left my Inquisitor badass and single. That’s a first for me in a Bioware game!

2559202-the_witcher_3_wild_hunt_geralt_ready_to_deliver_the_final_blow.pngThis month I’m focusing on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I’ve already been chomping away at it, so now that Inquisition is done, I can put more attention there!

I’m also replaying the whole Mass Effect series. You can read my game log as I go here!

There aren’t a lot of new games coming out that I want to play this month, although I played The Banner Saga for work awhile back and really enjoyed it. Now that Banner Saga 2 is out on Xbox One, I might pick it up and spend a lazy weekend with it. If you haven’t heard of these games, they feature beautiful artwork, Oregon Trail-style travel and exploration, turn-based strategy combat, and cutscenes with dialogue options and story choices. It’s like everything I enjoy about games all wrapped up in one pretty package. =)


th_b_jemisin_fifth.jpgAfter finishing Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan, I’ve been struggling to find another science fiction or fantasy book. Nothing quite compares, as I enjoyed the prose and pacing so much in Altered Carbon.

I’m kind of trying to read Ancillary Justice, but I’m extremely close to lemming it. It feels cold, moves slowly, and has no great hook in terms of an interesting plot. I guess I just haven’t “gotten” it yet.

I think I’m going to stick with The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, who wrote one of my favorite novels The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. I’m at chapter three right now and finding it pretty intriguing, if a little slower and more mysterious than Altered Carbon, so it’s an adjustment.


Some of you might know that I like to exercise. It’s not something I talk about a lot on a fantasy and sci-fi blog, but it’s become a big part of my lifestyle in the past couple of years, thanks largely to my boyfriend who had already been into fitness when we started dating. After running a 10K in April and taking a vacation to New York City, I kind of stopped running for awhile.

Fortunately, I did get back with it last month! My new goal is to run eight miles per week, which feels like the perfect amount for me. I split it up however I want, figuring I’ll do a longer run on Saturdays. That means if I spread it out — two miles here and there throughout the week — I can just run a 5K on Saturday and be done. But if I’m bad and wait until the end of the week to run, I have to go through some pretty grueling miles on the weekend. But that’s also good for me, so I’ve been enjoying the challenging and have done it successfully three out of the four weeks last month.

It’s also a good amount because it leaves me a couple of days free to do other workouts. I’m trying to do more pilates and yoga at home for mild strength training. And obviously I like to have a couple of rest days every week too. You will not see me doing much of anything on a Sunday. =)

— Ashley

6 thoughts on “What’s New — July 2016”

  1. Sera is a tough nut to crack.

    Out of curiosity, did you do any of the DLC? Trespasser is, IMO, by far and away the best part of the game (and the whole franchise to date honestly), and Descent is also pretty awesome. Jaws of Hakkon… is mostly just more open world grinding and probably skippable, but it did make me even more pissed at those filthy shemlen.

    I’m not quite sure what I’m doing this month gaming-wise. Been playing the anniversary event in TSW, but between some questionable decisions by the devs this time around and the heroic amount of time I’ve already spent on it in past years, it’s losing some of its lustre.

    WoW and SW:TOR both have stuff coming up I’m interested in, but I’m not sure which I’ll get to first. And there’s the stuff I bought on the Steam sale. Already finished Oxenfree, but I may start on something else soon.

    Oh, and they’ve just announced Auriel for Heroes of the Storm. Not sure if she’ll make it in by month’s end, but I’ve wanted to play her since alpha, so hopefully she’ll meet my expectations. About damn time we got another support character.

    I’ve let reading fall by the wayside again, which is becoming a bad habit. Should get to that. New Ian Irvine book is calling my name. On that note, if you want something new to read, I can’t recommend “The View from the Mirror” enough. Absolutely must-read for any fan of sci-fi or fantasy.

    I’m feeling an increasing urge to get back to writing sometime soon, but, well, that’s all still a mess, so likely my writer’s block will continue. I threw together some short TSW fan fic recently, but I’m still stalled when it comes to things that would actually be worth reading for people who aren’t me.

    1. Thanks for the book recommendation! I’ve got the WoW books to read too, forgot to mention those. I always need new reading recommendations. :)

      I haven’t played the Dragon Age DLCs, though I would like to. I think I’m ready for a little break and then maybe I’ll go back to it later this year.

      1. I second the notion that Trespasser is essential. Not playing Trespasser is exactly like reading a book and shelving it two chapters before it is over (though in fairness you don’t usually have to go back to the bookseller to buy the last two chapters). It’s also WAY harder than the main game, so I’d recommend not putting too much distance between finishing the main story and trying DLC or you may be too rusty to manage the challenging combat without serious frustration.

        (I’m planning to dive into Witcher 3 this month too! Though I’ve not played the first two so I feel like I should probably do some reading to brush up on the prior games or the books)

        1. Okay! Thanks for the tip about Trespasser being challenging, maybe I’ll play it earlier. Would like to know more about how certain things go down… I think I know a little what that one is about!

  2. Congatulations on the 4th year blogging achievement, but also on the running. Ah, if I only had my youth back… I’d probably not be exercising as much as I should.

    GO YOU!

    1. Thanks! Ha I understand about the running. I actually used to hate working out and was the kid in P.E. class who always wanted an excuse to get out of class. Times change…

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