Dragon Age, part 1

This may contain spoilers. I think it’s been out long enough that I probably don’t need to warn anybody, but I’d rather give warning just in case!

I’ve been putting off writing about Dragon Age, because it’s going to be tricky to write about. I started playing it back in early July on my partner’s Xbox. I can’t play it very often because it’s at his house and sometimes he wants to use it or we’re just busy doing other things. It’s also tricky because I started playing it a while ago, so I’m not sure how to write about how far into the game I am. I definitely do not have the time or energy to go back and write about everything I’ve done in the game so far! It’s such a massive game.

I’m playing as a male forest elf rogue named Oberon. The amount of customization was amazing! It would be nice to see as much variety in the NPCs, but at least you can have variety for your PC. My usual party is Morrigan, Shale, and Alistair. I love the dialog you can hear between the other characters while I’m running around. Their conversations can be hilarious. It took me a while to get the hang of the controls and customizing the tactics, so I was glad to have my partner helping me out in the beginning. You have so much control over so many things and you have to keep an eye on all of it, so it can felt quite overwhelming at first!

The amount of choices can be overwhelming too! I’m trying to play as a generally good person, or at least well-meaning. It’s a little stressful to know that every choice can impact things later on. I’m also a fairly thorough person and I would love to see how every choice would turn out, but that is clearly not going to be possible. There are just so many combinations. It would probably take a lifetime.

I guess I can write about the mission I most recently played. We had to go into the mountains to a town called Haven to try to track down the Ashes of Andraste. This town is home to dragon cultists. I thought this was awesomely creepy and fictional or not, cults tend to fascinate me! I haven’t quite reached the Ashes yet, but I hope to soon. I’ll keep updating as I go.

Pokemon Soul Silver, part 1

I managed to find Soul Silver at a used game store for only $40. Compared to the prices I saw online for it, I think I got a great deal! I decided yesterday to get a Pokewalker too, so I found on online for about $25. I’ll have to get a new battery for it, but that’s not a big deal. I have to walk a lot for my job and I run at least 3 miles a week, so I’m hoping it will be worth it!

I have played Gold version before. Last summer, my partner dug up all his old games and Gameboys from his closet, including Gold version. We had to replace the internal batteries, which was tricky but we managed it. If any of you want to know how to do that, I can try to dig up the instructional video we found.  I remember Gold version enough that I know what to expect in Soul Silver.

Even though Soul Silver is familiar, it is still different enough that I don’t mind. There are updates that make it easier to play and the graphics are nicer. It still feels like a step down from Black version, but the fact that you can have your Pokemon follow you around makes up for it in my book! It’s so cute.

I have beaten the first gym. It’s the flying gym, and I caught a Mereep who easily took out all the birds. The rest of my team is only Totodile, Hoothoot, and the egg. Because you get Pokeballs so late, I didn’t start out catching very much right away. Also, I just haven’t found very many good Pokemon yet. I’m hoping that when my Pokewalker gets here, that will change!

Animal Crossing: Wild World

Like Minecraft, Animal Crossing is one of those games that I’d always hear about but didn’t understand until I tried it. I would just hear about paying off loans and I didn’t get why that would be fun. But now I’ve picked up Wild World from a used game store and tried it, and I have to say I love it. The controls are a little bit awkward, but it’s nothing I can’t get used to. Sometimes the dialog drags on a bit too long or gets repetitive, but it’s not too big an issue for me.

It’s really nice to have your own little house that you can decorate however you like, especially when you can go and make your own patterns at the Able sisters’ store. I just paid off my first mortgage too, so soon I’ll have a bigger house to decorate. I’ve already almost filled it up with gyroids. Other than that, it’s weirdly satisfying to me to go beachcombing and bug hunting. I’m starting to get how to fish as well. I can also recognize where to dig now to find fossils and gyroids. Even though I still have a hard time fishing, I like to donate them to the museum so I can see them in the aquarium rather than selling them to Tom Nook, who is such a crook! Also I find Blathers, the owl who runs the museum, adorable. He reminds me of Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which I am also watching for the first time. (I’m catching up on a lot of TV shows I missed out on when I was younger too, not just video games!)

All in all, Animal Crossing is a simple, charming game. I definitely want to buy the newest version so I can play that too. It’s also going to make a great break for when I’m trying to play scarier or more stressful games.

Pokemon Black, part 11

I managed to raise all of my Pokemon to level 51.  Then I finally took on the Elite Four. I started with the Fighting type trainer, and Musharna and Swanna were the MVPs in that fight. Next I took on the Psychic trainer, where Musharna was useful because I taught her Shadow Ball (a Ghost type move). Excadrill was also important because I taught him X-Scissor (a Bug type move). I then took on the Dark type trainer, which ended up being the easiest fight of all.  Excadrill and Emboar were very useful here. Finally I took on the Ghost type trainer. This was probably the hardest fight out of the Elite Four, but still not as hard as I expected it would be . Musharna was useful here, but I had to be careful because while she was super effective against Ghost type because of Shadow Ball, they were also super effective against her. To my surprise, Swanna ended up being very important here because several of the Ghost types had secondary types where water was super effective.

Then I had to go face N. First I wandered the castle, picking up lots of free items. When I finally reached N, Reshiram finally showed up! After a surprisingly easy battle to get lower its HP and putting it to sleep using Musharna, I caught it with my first Ultra Ball. I was lucky! Reshiram replaced Dragonair. Then I battled N, and he really didn’t give me too much trouble.

Next was the fight with Ghetsis. I had a brief moment of panic before I realized that N was kind enough to heal me before I fought Ghetsis. This was by far the hardest battle. The Seismitoad in particular was difficult since I didn’t have any Grass types with me. The Eelektross was difficult too, since I couldn’t use Ground types against it because of its ability. I finally got them though, and I was left to face the Hydreigon with Reshiram. Since Dragon types are super effective against each other, I was really worried. But I got very lucky again and Dragon Breath paralyzed the Hydreigon before it could attack, and I took it out!

Now in the post-game, I’m trying to grind more so I’m up to the other trainers’ levels. I don’t know why all their Pokemon are level 65 now! My Pokemon leveled up some after fighting the Elite Four, but not that much. My highest level one, Musharna, is only at 55!

I also may start playing other Pokemon games. I went to a used game store yesterday and found Soul Silver!

Pokemon Black, part 10

This will just be another short update on my progress. I’m almost ready to face the Elite Four. All of my Pokemon are at level 50, with the exception of a Dragonair that my partner caught and traded to me as a surprise present! He is at level 51. Dragonair replaces Tornadus, so my current team is now Emboar, Dragonair, Swanna, Zebstrika, Musharna, and Excadrill.

I gave the Elite Four a quick try last night, and quickly regretted it. My Pokemon just aren’t quite ready. I think I will grind just a bit more to get them all up to level 51. I also need to go buy lots of items to boost everyone’s stats. After that, I’ll give the Elite Four another try, probably sometime this weekend. I’ll let you all know how it goes!

Pokemon black, part 9

After I beat the dragon gym in Opelucid City, I found it pretty hard to stay motivated. I have a lot of grinding to do. My team is Tornadus, Zebstrika, Emboar, Swanna, Musharna, and Excadrill. Right now they are level 44-46, and I want them all to be closer to level 50. Right after I beat the dragon gym though, they were more like level 42-44. I think the leveling up will go faster now too because I finally made it onto Victory Road and the Pokemon there are closer to my level. I just need to keep myself going even when it’s tedious. Feeling like I have to post on this blog helps, because how am I going to post anything if I don’t play? I also really want that Reshiram!

Minecraft

Unlike with a lot of the other games I’m trying out, I have been playing Minecraft for a while. I first tried it for Xbox at a friend’s house, and liked it enough to buy it for PC. However, when I first heard about it I didn’t think it would be something I enjoy. I tend to like having a set goal and purpose and I’m not always the best at making my own goals.

Minecraft is so much like Lego, and is not nearly as messy! I’m sure most people have stepped on a Lego at some point in their lives. With Minecraft, there is no such risk! You can also have the added thrill of monsters. When I’m playing with my friends, I don’t mind having the monsters as much because they can come help me if I need it. However, when I’m playing on my own I play on peaceful mode because I’m a giant wimp. I don’t like to play on creation mode either, because I do like the exploring and finding resources part. I just don’t like the suddenly getting blown up part.

Since my old laptop can’t really handle Minecraft anymore, I’ve been playing it on Xbox at my friend C’s house. He and D play the most, and love to build giant elaborate fortresses. Our current fortress is surrounded by cacti, so they stop most things and hurt the spiders then they try to climb over. Past fortresses even included lava defenses. I’m not nearly as ambitious, and I am most proud of building a house entirely out of pumpkins. I do like to set up farms though, and so we all made a tree farm and a sugarcane farm. We have also started a chicken, cow, and sheep farm. Although the genetics hurts my love of biology, the sheep are my favorite, because I keep dying them different colors and then breeding them to get more colors. I eventually want a rainbow herd.