What’s New — June 2017

Hey everybody! I can’t believe summer is already here, and this month the thing I am most looking forward to is E3. While I’m not attending this year, I am eager to see what new games are announced so I can keep on filling my already way-too-full stack of games I need to play. =)

eos outpostRight now, I’m in the process of finishing my playthrough of Mass Effect Andromeda. I’m not sure exactly how far along I am, but I feel like things are starting to crescendo, so the finale must be on the way! While I can’t say I am as hooked on the game as I was on the original Mass Effect trilogy, it’s definitely scratching my itch for sci-fi, and I love the exploration aspect of the game. The characters are great, missions are exciting — the biggest issue I have, I would say, is that it does still rely too much on fetch quests and repetitive side missions, like their other open world game, Dragon Age Inquisition. But I’ll post my thoughts when I’m all done with the game!

DA8KVQHUMAAsJr5I’ve also been really into Injustice 2 lately, although it’s harder for me to get the hang of than Mortal Kombat X was. I tried a bunch of characters until I decided Catwoman was the one for me, but even then, it’s been taking some time to nail her special moves and combos. She doesn’t come as naturally to me as D’Vorah did in Mortal Kombat X. I’ve also enjoyed playing as Poison Ivy, Black Adam, and Robin, and I’m in love with Black Canary’s outfits which makes me want to play as her sometime too. But I have to focus on one character at a time, because getting those combos down is all about muscle memory! I can only learn so much at once. Plus, Catwoman has some pretty kickass moves — she uses a whip, guys — and I love her gear. One of my favorite things about Injustice 2 so far is the ability to play with gear, outfitting your characters the way you want. Different outfits come with different stats, but you can swap gear with something you like the look of more, and use shaders to customize colors. For someone like me who gets way to into character creators, playing dress-up like this is really addicting.

Anyway, other than that I’ve been reading The Witcher books. I just re-read The Last Wish — well, specifically I listened to the audiobook this time — and now I’m moving on to Sword of Destiny (which I totally missed before) and then the first novel in the series, Blood of Elves. You can read my thoughts on The Last Wish here!

uk-orig-the-blade-itselfI also just started reading my first Joe Abercrombie book, The Blade Itself. I know I just started it yesterday, but I’m now five chapters in and falling in love fast. It feels like everything I want in an epic fantasy — amazing world-building, deep characters, hand-to-hand combat action — but with a real sense of humor. It actually reminds me of the tone of The Witcher series, just because it’s both fun and funny, while still tackling some serious fantasy politics and danger. (I mean, one of the main characters is a torturer.)

For other entertainment, I’ve been watching The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu and American Gods on Starz.

The first is an adaptation of one of my favorite books, and in the latest episodes it’s been taking some very dark turns, some of which deviate a little bit from the novel. I think everyone should read the book, honestly. The show is excellent too, but I think it would probably help to read the book first, as it’s a pretty stark world to dive into on a screen; somehow reading it feels like a more gentle, if still disturbing, introduction to this world where fertile women are forced into servitude to produce children.

american gods tv show.pngThe latter, American Gods, is an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel, which I read recently and only kind of liked. However, the show is amazing. I like it a lot more than the book so far, in part because it visualizes things with much more color and excitement than the novel did. Where the book plodded along, the show creates a distinct energy as you take in the details of the setting, the characters’ expressions, and the beautiful cinematography. The fact that the show doesn’t shy away from the conquests of Bilquis, who devours those she sleeps with, is impressive too. I appreciate the novel’s concept so much, but in execution, it works better as a show for me.

And then there’s my writing. I am getting back into noveling lately. I miss it. I’ve been pretty busy with work and video games the past couple of months, but National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is also awesome enough to organize a couple of months every year dedicated to making your own writing goals. The next one is in July, so I’m going to come up with a goal for it. In the meantime, I’m prepping by getting back into the habit of writing on a daily (or almost daily) basis, and outlining in greater detail so I don’t get stuck when I sit down to stare at a blank page!

What are you all up to this month? Are there any new games or shows you are excited about, and what are you most excited to see from E3?!

Ashley

13 thoughts on “What’s New — June 2017”

  1. So glad to know people are having fun with Andromeda. Can’t wait to get to it once I set aside some time.

    American gods looks really cool definitely going to check it out.

    Btw your post about Legion got me onto that show now. Loving it, it’s so trippy and out there, yet I never feel too lost. It has a great soundtrack to.

    1. Oh that’s awesome! I’m glad you’re looking Legion, I agree it’s really out there but I never felt lost either. I hope you enjoy Andromeda when you get it! I have been hearing lots of people liking it as much as I do, which is cool especially at it got such negative attention those first few days. It’s a fun game. :)

  2. I’m feeling a little directionless when it comes to gaming at the moment. I started a second playthrough of Andromeda, but as much as I love the game, the first playthrough is still very fresh in mind, so it’s not as exciting as it could be. Hoping for some DLC news soon — maybe at E3. Give me Quarians or give me death.

    I kind of want to go back to WoW soon, but they recently announced they won’t finish releasing Tomb of Sargeras until August (!), so maybe I should hold off a little longer.

    Also not really reading anything at the moment. Couple book releases this month I’m excited for, but I might wait to get them until July. Make them my birthday present to myself.

    Season three of Dark Matter is now only a week away, though, so that’s something to be excited for.

    Are you planning to see Wonder Woman? I’m not big on DC, but the trailers look surprisingly promising, so I might take a chance on it.

    1. Oh yeah, I need to get back to Dark Matter! Thanks for the reminder. I understand about Mass Effect, it’s hard for me to replay a video game that back to back. I did see Wonder Woman last night actually! I really enjoyed it, much better than DC’s other recent films, and the way they present the character is really refreshing. I’d recommend it!

  3. I’ve also been enjoying Injustice 2, but I’m less impressed with the gear. I’ve been maining Harley due to her having some quick and easy combos to pull off, but I’m certainly not good at playing her. Aqua man is a good second choice for my play style.

    1. Interesting. I have such a hard time fighting Harley, she has great ranged attacks and is really quick! My boyfriend is using her as his main so I hate fighting against him haha. I don’t think I’ve tried Aquaman, I will now!

  4. As someone that doesn’t generally play fighting games but enjoys the DC characters that Injustice employs, I’ve been interested in it. Would you recommend it for a someone like me that generally just button mashes?

  5. As a heads-up, you might want to clear your reading schedule if you’ve just started on The First Law trilogy. I read the blade itself, then *had* to read the other two straight away. Then, because they were all awesome, I *had* to get the three other books set in that Universe too – quickly followed by the “Shattered Sea” books just because I was jonesing for more Abercrombie.

    I’ve got an addictive personality, admittedly, but that Dude’s got some bona fide fantasy skillz!

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