Tag Archives: exercise

What’s New — April 2017

Well, March turned out to be a pretty amazing month for me, and now I’m hoping April will top it. =)

YjgxZjk5MDcxMCMvMU5aSXU4Z2lxdzJWRjVReHdmLVBPYlZzVE1NPS8xOTEweDEwMDAvc21hcnQvaHR0cHM6Ly9zMy5hbWF6b25hd3MuY29tL3BvbGljeW1pYy1pbWFnZXMvd2p1a3hycGJtd3JocGMyaWtpeHA2a2dkN2o3dWdmMG52cWVoanZ2Y2Last month I played Horizon Zero Dawn. It was easily one of the best video games I’ve ever played. The story, the lead character Aloy, the graphics, the scenery, the structure to the open-world questing… everything was near perfect. I’ll post something about it soon, because I’d like to discuss how it approaches an open world format and compare it to other open-world games like The Witcher 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and Skyrim.

Aside from that, I started re-reading one of my favorite books ever, the science fiction classic Dune by Frank Herbert. I’m actually listening to the audiobook on my commute, downloaded from Audible, so if anyone is interested in what it’s like to listen to I can review that aspect of it. You can read about my history with Dune here — it’s kind of the book that got me into sci-fi in the first place!

C7yMP1wVUAAZ6yqI also started playing Mass Effect: Andromeda last month, and I must say, it is so much better than I expected. While I tried to avoid reviews before starting, I was hearing a lot of complaints — not just about the facial animations (which honestly doesn’t phase me, that’s not why I play Mass Effect), but also about the writing not being great and the story not being very captivating. Fortunately, I disagree with those complaints. I am loving the game so far. I feel really connected to my Ryder, the protagonist of the game, because Andromeda features four tone options that really shape a unique personality for her. It’s much deeper than what I’ve seen in previous BioWare games.

Anyway, I’m sure I’ll review the game when I’m done with it. In the meantime, you can read my game diary as I play it here.

In other news, baseball season is back! I went to my first game (pre-season) a couple of days ago, and I can’t wait to start watching games again. If you’re into baseball, you can read this post I wrote about the baseball team roster I would create out of Mass Effect trilogy characters. I totally want to do that again for Andromeda now!

I’ve also been working on fitness goals a lot lately. Originally I was going to train for a 10K this month, but I decided to postpone running goals to focus more on strength training and flexibility. I took my first lyra class last week — it’s an aerial sport where you perform transitions and poses in a hoop suspended from the ceiling — and am so sore and bruised, I have some work to do to get in shape for it! I’m excited to start training more heavily as I continue to take beginner’s classes.

As for writing… I haven’t done anything all month. I want to change that in April. I have been thinking about my novel a lot lately, and I miss writing it. I think I just needed a breather to focus on other things (new job, fitness, and video games!) and gain a little perspective on my story. I feel I have that now, so it’s time to dive back in.

Dragon Age OriginsI also attended a Game of Thrones concert last week which was extremely fun. You can check out my mini-review here.

This month is also my birthday, and as always, I’ll be honoring my tradition of playing Dragon Age: Origins again. I hope to complete a playthrough this year, since I didn’t last year. I think I’ll go with a male character this time, which is something I just never do…

What are you guys up to this month? What games are you playing?

— Ashley

What’s New — February 2017

Hello, everybody! Now that we’ve made it through the first month of the year — which for me was all about getting back on track with my health, and starting a new job — it’s time to start getting excited about the springtime of video game releases.

Last month I played a little Skyrim, a little Iron Banner in Destiny, a little of the For Honor beta, and a lot of Titanfall 2.

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Nioh

This month, I’m jumping into three games: Nioh, For Honor, and Horizon: Zero Dawn. Nioh is new to my radar — it’s a Team Ninja title featuring a samurai battling it out against demons in 17th century Japan. It’s also a PlayStation exclusive. While it’s said to be inspired by Dark Souls, it’s reminding me more of The Witcher — though maybe that’s just because of the white-haired hero. Meanwhile, For Honor is a game featuring knights, Vikings, and samurai battling in an epic war. Like Nioh, the combat is all about your stance, and timing your blocking and attacks just right. (I’m gonna be soooo good at blocking after this month. Currently I sort of hate it.) Finally, Horizon: Zero Dawn (another PlayStation exclusive) features a young woman who wields a bow and arrows against robotic enemies, in a post-apocalyptic tribal setting. It just looks amazing. I’ve already pre-ordered the Collector’s Edition for the amazing bust of Aloy, the hero of the game.

As for other entertainment, there’s not a lot on my radar right now. Last month I watched my very first Resident Evil movie, which also happens to be the very last in the (long) series. All I can say is… it is action-packed. This month my plan is to catch up on some of the Oscar nominated films that I missed. Since I tend to see mostly action movies in theaters, it never fails that when Oscar season rolls around, I’m totally behind on all the good dramas and comedies that came out!

51GpIPXGToL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgLast month I also read the book Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. Well, I listened to the audiobook, I should say. It’s how I keep myself entertained on my commutes, and while the past few months I’ve been listening to the In Death series of sci-fi romance mysteries by J.D. Robb (that’s Nora Roberts), I decided to change it up now. Hidden Figures is a really interesting study of some of the African-American women who worked at NASA during the Mercury and Apollo missions, as well as the women before them who did the math calculations for airplanes during the 1940’s and 1950’s. I love that they are not only so accomplished in their field, but that field also happens to be mathematics. Now I’d like to see the movie this month if it’s still in theaters!

The other book I’m currently reading is a fantasy novel by Robert Jackson Bennett called City of Stairs. I’m only about a third of the way through, but it’s fascinating so far — all about a world where the gods have been killed, which has also destroyed the magic they imbued in the world. Studying the gods or any type of magic is outlawed. The story itself is a murder mystery, but what’s really interesting (so far) is learning about this place and its history.

As for exercise, I’ve been getting back into it… slowly. I started a new job this month at Sony Playstation (which I should warn you will prevent me from writing about a lot of games, but I’ll still review other titles!), so I sort of let exercise go since I can only focus on one big thing at a time! Now that I’m settling in, though, I have a new schedule to keep up with exercise, writing, learning Spanish, and all the other things I like to make time for. I’ve also been running again, which feels really good. It’s the hardest workout for me, but that’s what makes it the most rewarding at the end of the day. =)

What are you guys up to this month, and what games are you playing?

— Ashley

What’s New – December 2016

I’m so happy the holidays are officially here! The past 11 months have been extremely fun, but I am feeling the exhaustion that goes along with hitting the end of the year. I’m also ready for some time off to catch up on gaming. :)

Last month was full of travel and writing for me. A trip to Mexico, then a trip to my family’s for Thanksgiving, meant that I was on the road for a lot of the month. I’ve had a really fun month because of that. And because I was also participating in National Novel Writing Month, I spent every spare minute at home writing. I haven’t even played a video game in like three weeks. It’s insane.

Now that my 50,000 words are done (my novel isn’t finished, but I made way more progress than I expected!), I’m eager to retrieve a better work/play balance in my life this month. Here’s what I’m looking forward to this December!

Dishonored 2

While I had every intention of playing this game right away, I haven’t had a chance to yet due to the traveling and the writing. But my boyfriend was sweet enough to buy me the game as a reward for finishing NaNoWriMo, so I’m starting it now! I may not be the best at stealth — so yes, I will probably kill enemies instead of doing a clean hands playthrough — but I can’t wait to wreak supernatural chaos all over this new city!

Watch_Dogs 2

I have no idea what I’ll think of this game. The first Watch Dogs didn’t interest me, but just the fact that this one is set in San Francisco, where I live, has captured my attention. The main character also seems more intriguing than the last… and I love the idea of hacking my way through missions. This will be my big game to play over the holiday break!

Mobile Gaming

While I’m at my mom’s for Christmas, I’ll be playing on my handhelds a lot. It’s a great way to pass the time while I’m hanging out in the living room and the TV screen is already in use! I just have to remember to pack my Nintendo 3DS and see if my Vita is around somewhere…

Rogue One

rogueone_onesheeta_1000_309ed8f6It took me awhile to come around to Star Wars. I’ve always enjoyed the worldbuilding of it, but not seeing the movies until I was in my teens and/or an adult made it hard for me to fall in insta-love with them like so many people seem to. However, the movies have grown on me the past few years, and I’m very excited for the new releases. I loved The Force Awakens, and I’m hoping that Rogue One has a darker story and tone than the episode films. I’m ready for a little change of pace in that respect! I also credit Felicity Jones as one of my favorite actresses, since seeing her in Like Crazy a few years ago… but I guess I haven’t seen her in an action role before. That should be interesting!

More Writing!

I feel like I’m on a roll with my novel right now, so I’ll continue writing tons throughout the month. It would feel amazing to finish my book by the end of the year! I don’t know if that will happen or not, but I’m going to make every effort to maintain the good writing habits I fostered during NaNoWriMo — just minus the crazy no-time-for-video-games part. :)

Getting Healthy

Obviously it’s hard to stay healthy during the holidays, and I have no regrets about how much I ate and how little I worked out over Thanksgiving. But now that I am going to be home for most of the month, I’m planning a workout routine and some more home-cooked healthy meals that I can incorporate into my daily life here! For some reason, planning these things as part of a schedule — including the meal prep — really helps me stay on track. I’m going to act like this is a treat for myself, because now that my traveling and crazy schedules are over, I have time to work on myself and enjoy the experience!

What are you guys up to for the holidays/New Year’s?

— Ashley