Mass Effect Andromeda initial thoughts

So, I have played 5 hours of the Mass Effect: Andromeda campaign. Here are my thoughts.

I tried to keep things less on the spoiler-y side, focusing on aesthetics, combat, and dialog. But since the game does not launch until the 20th, by the very nature of things there will be minor spoilers.

Meet Dick Ryder! I am SO sorry, my beautiful daughter, but I can never pass up a pun.

Continue reading “Mass Effect Andromeda initial thoughts”


Astoundingly beautiful Fallout 4 mods you NEED to know about

While I love Fallout 4, there’s something about the environment of the Commonwealth that bothers me. I’m obviously not a climatologist by profession but 210 years after atomic destruction, shouldn’t there be more regrowth and flora blooming across the state? The Commonwealth in its vanilla state feels flat, and after significant time invested… it’s somewhat even boring. The desolation of the Mojave worked in New Vegas because of the arid temperament of the southwestern United States. Coastal New England? Not so much.

Enter some bad ass mods that breathe new life into the Commonwealth. Unique cloud formations! Gorgeous sunsets! Overgrowth on bridges! Moss overtaking old buildings! Weeds! Flowers! Vegetation! CORAL REEFS! What was once a stagnant, lifeless world has come to life in glorious colour.

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Currently Obsessed

¡Hola, muchachos! May has come and gone in what felt like a flash. (Seriously, can life have a pause button?!) But overall, it was a pretty good month, once I kicked my cold for good. Modern medicine, I love you.

Jake and I booked our BlizzCon hotel, so the trip to Anaheim is feeling more “real”. The total cost ended up being a steal of a deal because we booked through a site that specializes in reselling non-refundable hotel bookings. Not all hotels allow the transfer of guest information, but one of our three choices did and we ended up saving about $100 overall! Hello, that’s the price of a Disneyland ticket! #Win

As part of our “getting shit together” movement, we joined a gym! During the month, I lost 5lbs the healthy way, through logging my meals/macros and exercising. While it’s a battle not to obsess over the numbers on the scale and fighting the urge to heavily restrict, I’m proud of not letting my issues consume me.

I also signed up for Fall classes and ended up going in a direction that that surprised everyone. (Eep!) I’m sticking with my History major and Education minor. After some soul searching, I realized that I’d be happiest teaching in a field that I’ve had a lifelong passion for. I admit that it’d be awesome to work in the management side of eSports, but I was never completely sold on going the communications route. I’ll be taking 3 online classes through my university and 2 online classes through my community college. I didn’t want to go the entirely online route because I love History lecture courses, but since I registered late, most of the classes left were early morning. Womp, womp.

To go along with this monthly recap, I thought I’d mention some of the things I’ve been obsessed with during May.

currentlyobsessed-mayOld Navy’s Rockstar High Rise Skinnies

As I’m in between sizes and continuing to lose weight, cheap jeans are my friend. I typically dislike Old Navy’s denim, but these skinny jeans are both comfortable and flattering. AND THEY’RE LONG ENOUGH FOR ME TO NOT HAVE TO SEARCH FOR THE EVER-ELUSIVE TALL INSEAM. Glory hallelujah! I like the high rise as it camouflages the belly and the destressed detailing is fun. (OMG, don’t judge, I’m forever stuck in 2007 with my love of ripped jeans.)

Origin’s Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask

I received a dreaded foil sample (hiss) of this mask in my May Sephora Play! box. I normally toss foil samples because I loathe them, but my love for the brand AND face masks made me try it. Hoo boy, I’m glad I did because it was love at first application. After the 10 minutes of having a grey face, my skin was left soft, smooth, and with minimized pores. I can see why this baby has a cult following!

Lilly Pulitzer’s “Out to Sea” print

Um yes hello, y’all know I’m obsessed with Lilly. And this print? It’s my personal favourite of the current collection. It’s like, Red Right Return’s pastel spiritual sister and I want everything! As I’m NOT a lottery winner or Ladies Who Lunch wealthy, everything isn’t going to happen but I did buy the Ali t-shirt dress. Me gusta.

Mantra Bands

I accidentally stumbled upon this brand while creeping on Instagram (#SorryNotSorry) and I love everything about these bracelets. I love positive affirmations and dainty jewellery, so it’s like the bracelets were made for me. Ha! The “Fearless” bracelet is my personal favourite because 1) it reminds me of old school Taylor Swift and 2) I tell myself to fearlessly chase whatever makes me happy because happiness is my number one goal in life.

World of Warcraft

GUESS WHO’S BACK? Yuuuup! Since Jake and I were lonely Alliance-side and the game is best played socially, we applied to Reciprocity during their open recruitment. I had an itch to return to my Horde roots and I thought it’d be cool possibly joining a guild where I already had made some Twitter friend connections with. Happily, we were accepted and we have been having a good time in our new guild. It’s nice to once again have the feeling of WANTING to log in and play, rather than signing in because I feel like I “have” to. It’s doubly nice to be in a casual raiding guild because the pressure of always being “on” makes me feel anxious and leads to me no longer having fun with the game. (That’s not saying that I don’t try in raid settings, but it’s lovely to not have to be constantly worried about being benched because I underperformed on a fight.)


Fallout 4 Survival Mode Beta Review

If I could use only one word to summarize Bethesda’s new survival mode rework, it would be “brutal“.


The Fallout universe is one that I am familiar with.  I had little trouble with the original survival mode that shipped with launch, so I went into the beta feeling cocky. I dealt with juggling an appetite, thirst, and the need to rest in Fallout: New Vegas’ survival mode, so how much harder could the addition of diseases and the removal of fast travel be?

Really, really goddamned hard.

Every time you take a Stimpack, you gain a point of dehydration. This easily overwhelms when you when you are far from vendors or bodies of water to replenish yourself. (Much like I was in this screenshot. Look at those stats! Ouch.) When you take RadAway, your immune system becomes suppressed and you easily gain diseases from the drugs and food that you ingest to try and make it to another battle. Oh, and drug use ALSO causes dehydration. Good luck downing the delightful combination of Med-X, Psycho, and Jet because you will end up Severely Dehydrated. You see that “fatigue” debuff? It is a disease I picked up from using chems that I do not currently have the antibiotics to cure. It forces me to continually seek shelter so my “weary” debuff does not continue to build. Plus, being Fatigued damages my Action Points and the AP refresh, so a lot of combat situations have to be done without the assistance of VATS.

As for the combat, even with the new Adrenaline perk, it is rough. My biggest enemy in early game, besides my friggin’ health problems, are grenades. It is Game Over when a Raider lobs one of those bad boys at me because I cannot get out of the way fast enough. Which then puts me back at the last place I saved, which typically is far from where I died at because you cannot automatically save in survival mode. (Your progress is only saved when you sleep for an hour or longer.) The best way I can describe early game is that you constantly take two steps forward and ten steps back. Tough combat and even the disabled save feature does not bother me, sure it can be irritating when you have to clear out a place for the fourth time because you accidentally trip a mine but that is a challenge that I expected.

As for the personal need system? I think it needs some fine tuning before Bethesda launches their live survival mode. It is much too unforgiving in its current state. I do not think there is enough water in the entire Commonwealth that could quench the Sole Survivour’s constant dehydration!

If you are up for a challenge, FO4’s survival mode totally delivers. I however, will stick to the original difficulties because it is a little too much for me.


Oh WoW, let’s kill some Dragons!

Recently I have fallen back into gaming. As like any hobby, my enthusiasm ebbs and wanes. But this November is special because of two games: World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor and Dragon Age: Inquisition! Both are dear to my heart; WoW is the first game I was ever “serious” about and Dragon Age: Origins is the game that started my love affair with BioWare and led me to explore other IPs outside of Warcraft. I am a territorial kind of nerd, what can I say? 😉


Since I have my Warden and Champion all situated for my first DA:I play-through, I have been focusing on WoW. Leveling alts (I went from one level 90 to 4!!), cleaning up some easy achievements, and running old raids for fun and profit. Mostly profit because scuttlebutt says that Garrisons are going to be costly and I have a major addiction to dropping mad gold on transmog gear. Ha. What’s amusing is that I walk away from WoW with intentions of staying away for good but the game itself is serious comfort food.


For DA:I, I am torn between creating an Elf Rogue or a Qunari Mage for my first go around. I am impressed with the creative folks I follow on Tumblr who already have their parties situated, love interest chosen, and backstories for their Inquisitors at the ready because I am probably going to end up jumping into the Character Creation screen head first and wing it. #HowIRoll

Since I have been screenshotting and talking my head off about games, I have kept most of the chatter to likeminded spaces.

Anook_logoAnook is a social network that I picked up a year ago and let go whenever my appetite for gaming decreased. It is still a clever, well designed site and perfect for dumping screen shots and short blurbs that will not unfold into actual lengthy blog posts. The developers and community are also quite friendly, which is nice especially with the lousy attitudes that can overtake the gaming community at times.

gamemerseGamemerse is a brand new forum that is the brainchild of an acquaintance that I met off of Anook, Maeka. Right now the community is in its infancy so if you like chatting about gaming, various aspects of culture, and are not generally a butthead – you should come and play! Tell ‘em Alenko sent ya. 🙂


Warcraft: I just can’t quit you

After a six-month hiatus, I decided to return to the world of Azeroth.

So far, casual life suits me just fine. Even though a small part of me misses the thrill of downing bosses with a group of peers and pushing Heroic content, I do not miss it enough to once again rearrange my life around raiding hours. It is nice to be able to PvP or just goof off without someone whispering that I need to be working on dailies or valor capping instead. (I get to be completely selfish for once!) I do wish that my main was in an active guild instead of being parked in an IRL friends inactive guild so I could potentially join in on group LFR runs, Flex Raids, and Heroic Scenarios. But eh, it is not the end of the world. I have Jake’s mage to get into trouble with.

Continue reading “Warcraft: I just can’t quit you”


Diablo III progress redux

I have not had the time for gaming lately that I have in the past. So I am excited to share that I FINALLY beat Diablo 3 on Inferno!

If anyone with a 60 is serious about getting speed run achievements with me and Jake, either let me know here or contact me on Twitter and we can work something out. 🙂

We are also going to farm the final piece we need to access Whimsyshire soon, which makes me happy. I am SO ready to get slaughtered by cuddle bears and unicorns!