Thursday, 11 December 2014

Dragon Age 2 is done - twice!

I've played through Dragon Age 2 twice since my last post... That's twice in a week xD I expected something really bad and extremely different from Origins, because I haven't encountered ANYONE who's had anything positive to say about Dragon Age 2. But tbf I don't find it bad or even extremely different from Origins. Sure it took me a really long time to figure out what was actually the main story of 2, and it felt like lazy game design to make every single dungeon look the same - but that's the only bad things I have noticed about 2. The fighting has cooler animations and movements than in Origins, but I don't find it very different from Origins otherwise. It's still tell the active character what to attack and press numbers for special abilities. No button-mashing and no hack'n'slash.

Also, I've gone through both games saying: "Please, don't be a dragon. I don't want to fight a dragon. Please, don't be... oh fuck..." Seriously, I'm playing a game series called Dragon Age, the word dragon is literally in the name of the series, and I still expect on some level to not have to fight dragons?! I'm such a baka. xD

When it comes to characters there wasn't a single one that didn't give me some kind of intense feelings, and to me a character that gives me some kind of feeling definitely shows of good characters. Aveline bothered me, I just want to hug Merrill cause she's so adorable, Fenris is just... wow o.o, Anders makes me angry, Varric is like an awesome big brother, Isabela is like the crazy best friend that you know you shouldn't hang out with but you just can't stay away, and Sebastian is the calm in the storm - the voice of reason among all the other crazy. It's funny how the only characters I never really liked were the family ones. I know there's a scenario where Carver lives through the prologue, but it didn't happen in neither of my playthroughs so I have no opinion whatsoever of him, Leandra is passéiste (French word because it's the best word ever for someone living in the past), Gamlen is an ass, and Bethany is just plain bland.
The companions: Fenris, Isabela, Varric, Aveline, (player), Bethany, Merrill, Anders, Sebastian

During my first playthrough I always chose the diplomatic/helpful dialogue options. As soon as I saw that Anders was in the game as a companion I had decided to pursue a romance with him and so I always sided with the mages. Until Anders blew up the chantry with all the chantry people still inside. I did a complete turnaround and sided with Meredith in the end (although I really don't like her and preferred Orsino). My default team became Fenris, Merrill and Anders. But I seriously didn't like how my first playthrough came about, so I decided to go through it all again. I really liked both Anders and Justice in Awakening, so it made me kind of angry to discover what they had done with two of my boys :/

During my second playthrough I always chose the humorous/charming dialogue options which made my new character a really joking personality which was a lot more fun to play. I wanted to get everyone to like me this time (except Anders cause I got really mad at him after his little stunt), but getting Merrill to like me was difficult since I had decided to pursue Fenris romantically and, due to Anders' stunt, side with the templars all the time. I had also read that the end of act 2 would be easier if Isabela was friendly with me so this time I made sure to always have her in my party. My default party in my second playthrough became Fenris, Isabela and Sebastian. Although I switched Isabela for Aveline or Varric sometimes, and Sebastian for Merrill or Anders sometimes. In my first playthrough I had decided to leave Bethany at home when I went into the Deep Roads, but that ended up with her getting caught in the Circle. So for my second playthrough I decided to bring her with me to save her from that - and that had her killed. Great -.-' Is there even a way to keep Bethany?

So for my second playthrough I made a character that held nothing sacred, joked about everything and only did what she wanted. So I flirted with everyone, but only actively pursued Fenris. I got him in bed and he walked out on me. So I went to Isabela and she wanted nothing serious. So I went to Merrill who blurted out that she loved me, and I was still convinced that there would be a way to continue my romance with Fenris if I wasn't involved with anyone else, so I turned Merrill down - something I sort of regret now, but I won't make a third playthrough just because of Merrill. (Although she's adorable enough to play the game for. Seriously, Fenris and Merrill are the best ones in the entire game).

Let's not go into the fact that I mentally squealed every time I encountered a character from Origins: Flemeth, Bodahn, Sandal, Anders, Isabela, Alistair, Nathaniel, Sketch, Leliana... It was a lot of fun to run into a bunch of the Denerim nobles at the party in Mark of the Assassin DLC. Also, Tallis bothered me for ages! As soon as she showed up I thought the she really reminded me of someone and I just couldn't figure out who. So I looked it up - Felicia Day! Ofc she's Felicia Day. That's also when I realised that I didn't fight Sten 5-6 times in the end of Act 2. It says on Tallis' wiki page that "just like Sten, Tallis isn't her name but her grade within the Qunari"... Well, that explained a lot! xD I also loved all the references to Awakening DLC in Legacy DLC.

But to sum things up - I like Dragon Age 2. Not as much as Origins obviously, but I don't think it's bad. I was given the impression that it would be terrible. But I liked it. I enjoyed it.

Also: "The Champion is gone. Just like the Warden." "That can't be a coincidence." Dare I hope that I will encounter my previous characters in Dragon Age: Inquisition?!?!?!??!?!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Dragon Age: Origins has been completed

After years of being nagged suggested by guy friends to play Dragon Age, I finally picked up Origins in 2012, but I just couldn't get into the story. I tried again in 2013 and it was the same thing. Then when Dragon Age 3 was released a couple of weeks ago I decided to get through it, because the Internet basically exploded with Dragon Age and I always want to know what the hell is going on. But I didn't have the energy to start over with the prologue again so I decided to continue with the save I started in 2013. In that save I had completed the city elf prologue and the battle of Ostagar, been saved by Flemeth, been given Morrigan, met Leliana and Sten, lost Lothering, and found my way to Redcliffe. So that's where I was when I picked up the story. I didn't remember all of that when I picked it up, but as I played the holes were filled. 

It soon became obvious that I had quit playing just before the action really started and it didn't take long for me to really get into the game and become completely addicted. I had chosen to play as a female city elf and it was a lot of fun, despite the blatant racism in the game towards elves (although I'm kinda used to that from Elder Scrolls). I soon had my favourite team that I picked every time I left camp; Leliana, Alistair, and Morrigan. I apparantly missed two companions; Wynne and Zevran. Zevran was sent by Loghain as an assassin to kill me so I killed him. Wynne didn't like that I sided with the templars during the quest in the Circle's tower so she challenged me to a battle and died. Otherwise I got them all :) I knew that the game had romance options and to begin with I had decided to go for Leliana as she was the my first favourite character. But the romance options showed up for Alistair before they showed up for Leliana so I decided to go for Alistair, and it was the best move ever! Alistair is incredibly cute. Before I knew it the love story around Alistair became the ground work for every decision I made. I decided not to make Alistair king because he didn't want to and that would separate us. I figured an unhappy king would make a bad king. I didn't force-marry him to Anora cause that would also qualify as an unhappy king. The love story was also the reason why I decided to go along with Morrigan's ritual so that none of us would have to die. 
The companions: Ohgren, Leliana, Sten, Morrigan, (player), dog, Alistair, Wynne, Zevran, Shale

I continued on with Awakening DLC and for a really long time I wanted to find Alistair, but then I read on the wiki that he wouldn't show unless he was made king in the base game. Too bad. But then in the epilogue it showed up that the Grey Warden only stayed in Amaranthine for a short while and then went away to be with Alistair. That made me squeal. Such a fangirl :3 I really liked both Anders and Nathaniel however. Would've been fun to flirt a bit with either of them, but the DLCs don't have romance. My default group in Awakening became Nathaniel, Anders, and Justice. It was also nice to see Ohgren make a comeback in the DLC :)
The companions: Velanna, Nathaniel, Ohgren, (player), Anders, Sigrun, Justice

Then I played Witch Hunt, Leliana's Song, The Golems of Angarrak, and The Darkspawn Chronicles - in that order. Witch Hunt was very interesting and I really liked Finn and the short reunion with Morrigan was so worth it ^^ Leliana's Song told the story (in a kind of Kill Bill style) what happened when Leliana broke it off with Marjolaine. It was a lot of fun to play through that story, especially with the catchy and fun background music. The Golems of Angarrak had the hardest final boss fight in the entire game. To the point where all of my characters were dead except Brogan who successfully (and with the help of the humongous pile of health potions I had collected throughout base game and DLCs) defeated the disgusting Harvester. I didn't play much of The Darkspawn Chronicles tbh. I started it and then got as far as having to kill the Arl. No health potions and my darkspawn outnumbered five-to-one... Yeah... No. Also I really liked Denerim as a city so it felt like betrayal to be the forces to attack and destroy it. 
Companions of the small DLCs: Ariane & Finn (& dog) from Witch Hunt, Sketch, Tug & Silas from Leliana's Song, Jerrik, Snug, Golem & Brogan from Golems of Angarrak

I finished The Golems of Angarrak and The Darkspawn Chronicles yesterday and immediately after that I started up Dragon Age 2. I have heard a lot of bad things about that game, but thus far I don't think it's that different from Origins. Tbf I haven't left Kirkwall yet. I love all the references to what I did in Origins! And I squealed when Anders showed up! My female Hawke is so getting together with him!

And I had planned on having lots of screenshots in this post, but since DA:O refuses to upload the screenshots to my online profile, and Origin doesn't have a screenshot button that saves screenshots to my computer... that proved impossible. So all pictures in this post is from the courtesy of Google. 

Monday, 1 December 2014

All that adultness!

So right after I complained about not feeling properly adult in my last post I've had one of my most adult weeks ever. On Sunday 23rd I did a testrun for a job I had applied for. It went well and on Thursday I went to the subsequent staff meeting, receiving work clothes etc. On Friday and Saturday I had work with one of my dad's contacts, which went really well and was surprisingly fun considering it was mostly the same thing I've been doing my entire life and which I now want to move on from. I've done that for 20 years - time to move on to the next thing. And then today I had work from early morning to early afternoon.

The bad thing is that I'm not used to having an ordinary sleeping pattern. Usually I go to sleep around 3am and get up around 1pm, so now when I've been forced to adjust my sleep the result is that I'm constantly tired. I went to bed around 2am on Thursday to be able to rise early for the staff meeting - unfortunately I couldn't sleep until 4.30am. So I only got about 5½ hours sleep, thanks to that I fell into bed at 11.30pm but was still dead tired when I woke up at 6am on Friday. I fell to bed at 11.30pm again that night and then got up at 7am.

Basically I've gotten the sleeping pattern and all those working hours down. I've had coffee in the staff room, bantered with co-workers during work hours, and felt accomplished once I left work for the day. It all feels so grown-up. And instead of going to sleep when I got home today I did two batches of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, went to buy groceries and cooked dinner. I'm on a roll!

So for the rest of the day I'm going to eat crisps on a work day and watch Pokémon. Just to neutralise all the adultness.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

I'm an adult now... well, sort of.

And there was my 24th birthday. I'm 24 years old now and I feel like I'm supposed to be an adult now, but I still feel as in-between as I did 10 years ago. At 14 I felt in-between a child and an adult, and as a teenager that's what I was. At 24 I feel in-between a teenager and an adult. But that's the problem; I'm not a teenager and I feel very grown up when I'm around them, but I also feel very young and inexperienced when I'm around older adults. I also feel as if that's what they think about me. Older adults don't think of me as an equal - as someone just as grown up as they are, they still see me as young, almost a child. I don't belong with the adults, not really. But I neither belong with the teenagers.

I've heard of a rift before. That my generation is taking longer to "grow up" than earlier generations. That my generation considers themselves grown-up around 30-35, while earlier generations considered themselves grown-up around 20-25. I don't know if it's true, but I certainly feel that way. It's sort of conflicting. I'm supposed to be an adult now, but I don't feel it.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Doctor Who series 8 - my thoughts

This post is basically a major spoiler. I you have yet to complete series 8 of Doctor Who don't even look at it! And if you still do... well, it's your funeral.

Series 8 of Doctor Who is over and I'm a mess! I saw it today and omg it was a masterpiece! I don't even know where to start. Every single episode has been amazing in its own way. My favourites by far are Flatline and the double episode finale Dark Water/Death in Heaven. Capaldi's Doctor grows on me the more I see of him and amazingly Clara has grown so much as a character in this series that I'm actually sad to see her go. There were hints before the season started that Jenna Coleman wouldn't be around for another season and that last bit of Death in Heaven felt very final. But I don't want it to be. Clara is his new best friend. He needs a best friend, we've already established that he shouldn't be alone for too long. And I've come to like Clara, although I never thought I would, I don't want to see her go.

Then there's Missy. Holy shit Missy! There were whispers from the very first episode that she was a new incarnation of some gallifreyan from Classic era. I was hoping for Romana, and I after the revealing in the end of Dark Water I couldn't really wrap my head around the fact that Missy was the Master. But now after I've seen Death in Heaven it fits so well. Missy is the Master and she's bananas.

The series have been bursting with references to Classic and I feel all warm inside when I spot them. Although I still haven't seen further than half of Pertwee's era. And oh, the double finale were basically filled to the brim with references! The Brig finally got his salute and I felt like crying (and all I did was smiling like an idiot). I also felt like crying when I thought Kate died and when Osgood died...

But seriously, these episodes... Was Doctor Who always such an emotional roller coaster? Series 8 has been emotionally amazing, and no episode can be forgotten.

Deep Breath. I've already talked about Deep Breath. But let's sum it up once more: Paternoster Gang, sequel to The Girl in the Fireplace, dinosaur in London, wonderfully steampunk, and absolutely brilliant.

Into the Dalek."Don't be lasagne." The episode in which the Doctor is actually a doctor. Well, trying. Trying to help a dalek get better and the only reward he gets is being called a good dalek. Nice one. Also parallells to Eccleston's first dalek episode.

Robot of Sherwood. "I am the Doctor and this is my spoon." I don't think any other episode of this season has made me laugh as much as this one. It was hilarious, although it got a little confusing at the end with the Sheriff being friends with robots who needs melted gold... But on the whole a really heart-warming and funny episode.

Listen. I feel like the episode was ruined by the ending. It was properly creepy up until you found out the source of everything, then it all just collapsed and I felt a bit disappointed. But up until that moment it was a fantastic episode! Unfortunately it's one of those that can only be seen once because all the mystery has now been taken out of it...

Time Heist. "Basically, it's the eyebrows." A bit James Bond/Mission Impossible themed. I really liked it. The fact that the bad guy and the good guy were the same person was really interesting and the whole objectibe behind the scheme made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

The Caretaker. This episode was basically about Danny getting in the way of the Doctor. I was looking forward for a cameo by William Russell as Ian Chesterton, who was a teacher at Coal Hill School in the 60's and is apparantly now on the board according to last year's Christmas special. But nope. Still a lot of fun (albeit a bit annoying) to have Danny get in on the action.

Kill the Moon. Probably my least favourite episode of the season, but it still had its moments. Courtney was definitely one of them. I feel like the Doctor's behaviour was a bit unfair towards Clara, and I definitely understood why she got angry with him. The episode in all was a bit depressing, but also exciting and a bit creepy. What other TV show can get away with making the moon a giant egg? And what was that thing that came out of it? A space dragon? xD

Mummy on the Orient Express. Another of my favourites. Beautifully steampunk, with a homicidal AI. It felt a bit Sherlock Holmes, like a video version of one of those Sherlock Holmes point-and-click games, but set in space instead of Victorian London. A wonderfully haunting episode, with a whodunit twist.

Flatline. Easily my favourite of the season and the most creepy of them all. This episode also gave Clara a huge opportunity to shine, which she really did. Two dimensional creatures trying to figure out how three dimensions work and accidentally flattening people in the process. Isn't that lovely? Having the Doctor trapped in his Tardis did call for some funny moments too :)

In the Forest of the Night. This was a weird one, but it can also be seen as a homage to nature. The trees protect us. Although the episode was weird and hard to make sense of it was also a milestone in Danny and Clara's relationship, as well as getting the Doctor to declare the Earth as his new home. It was teary-eyed beautiful in the end, despite all the confusion.

Dark Water. Danny died and I was unsure whether he would come back. Moffat had addressed his problem with reviving dead characters during the summer, and I took that as a hint that dead characters would stay dead in series 8. No more Rorys. I figured out that the finale concered Cybermen pretty quickly. Something stirred when Dr. Chang told us that only organic matter was visible in the dark water, and then everything clicked when I saw the shape of the windows in the doors. Then there's the beautiful reference to The Tomb of the Cybermen.

Death in Heaven. The Master is back, Cybermen all over the place, the Brig is there, UNIT is around, Osgood is quoting Eleventh, Missy is quoting Second ("Oh, my giddy aunt!"), and Danny saves the day. I was right that Danny wouldn't come back to life, so now I'm also sure that Osgood won't. I was so relieved when they found out that the Brig had saved Kate - they can't kill a Lethbridge-Stewart, and that's final! I'm pretty sure that Missy will be back, though. They were hinting towards her getting killed, but honestly the Master has cheated death so many times that it wouldn't even be Moffat's fault if she did come back.

I don't know why people complain about the new Doctor. They say he's too grumpy, too mean, too cynical... I love him. He's not the good-looking potential love-interest boy anymore. He's like he should be. Like he was supposed to be to begin with. And who says the Doctor is not funny?

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014 update

NaNo is not going well. It's day 12 now and I'm supposed to have hit 20,000 words. I'm 6,000 below that. I know if I really put my back into it I could do all those 6,000 words in one day, but I keep getting side-tracked. I knew from the beginning that NaNo probably wasn't my thing. Writing a novel in 30 days, are you out of your friggin' mind?! But I thought that since I have no job or school work in the way for this year's NaNo I thought I'd give it a go. What I've found is that it's no my thing. I have a more leisurely pace of writing. I can write thousands of words in a day, but that happens when I'm not stressed over deadlines. NaNo is a huge, deadline that looms over me, makes me stressed out and that stress clears my head from any inspiration.

When this week started I thought I could do it, now I'm halfway through this week and now I''m convinced that I can't. NaNo feels like being extremely hormonal and going through puberty all over again. It's an emotional roller-coaster and I don't know what to do with all the feels :P

I'm going to keep writing because maybe there'll be a miracle and I'll finish on time. But for the rest of this day I'm going to play The Sims 4. I've been staring at that screen for long enough for one day.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

The Sims 4 - first impressions

I finally bought The Sims 4 last Sunday. It was time. Interestingly enough the households I created in the demo weren't available although I have both the game and the demo on the same profile on Origin. To get those households, I had to start up the demo, share those households to the gallery, and then start up the game and download them there. Honestly ^^; I also realised that with Origin, the only way to get screenshots is to play the game in windowed mode - just like I did with The Sims 2. Origin really ought to introduce a screenshot button à la Steam. Here are the households I did in the demo:

Thus far I really enjoy 4 and I'm actually looking forward to following a Sims game again, with releases etc. When I started the game last Sunday I created a girl named Sonequa Malkins. I played her a little bit and then I started up a new household consisting of a girl named Sakura Umetani. I've played the most in Sakura's household.

However, I've come to realise that although the neighbourhood isn't open like in 3 (thank god) time still passes in other households while I play on one specific lot. So imagine my surprise when I later return to the Malkins household and realise that Sonequa and her subsequent boyfriend have gotten two roomies without my knowledge! xD

I've mostly played on Sakura, though, and she's now a widow with six children :P She got twins twice! Not my fault! :P

I've experimented with building, decorating, careers etc since I bought it last Sunday. But something I really enjoy are the steps you take to create successful Sims. Like it's not just a skill point and attendance that matters. The kids need to do a bunch of stuff to get a better grade and there's more than just skill points to advancing in a chosen career as well. I really enjoy that!

I also had a laugh at Sakura's budding romance with the Grim Reaper! And since Sakura started flirting with the Grim Reaper after her husband's death the Grim Reaper calls to chat every day! It's hilarious! Also the day after the death of her husband the maid died right on the lawn. So Sakura got another day with the Reaper :P There aren't any expansions yet and the game is already crazy! Love it! The Grim Reaper isn't interactable in 2... Otherwise I would've probably incorporated him in my family there by now :P

Something I don't like is that there are so few lots in the neighbourhoods! (Fair enough, there are two, but still...) I don't remember what it was like in 3. I didn't play 3 enough. But in 2... This is my current neighbourhood in 2 (created from scratch - everything is built by me):

So you see the difference in lots right? xD I hope there will be more neighbourhoods in coming expansions, otherwise this is just ridiculous.

I'm also torn as to whether I should uninstall The Sims 2 from my computer. I've grown fond of my family there, although I haven't played in a while. I still have so many plans to unfold with that family! My plans to have one Sim knocked up by Bigfoot is something I feel that I have to do before I uninstall!

When it was announced that 4 wouldn't have toddlers or pools there was a big outrage. I expect the pool stuff was mostly from Americans, because I've come to understand that most Americans see a swimming pool as something essential to a house. I only know one family IRL who has a pool and it's seen as something extravagant and unnecessary here ;) But some also complained about the fact that the abscence of swimming pools made it harder to kill Sims. I don't kill my Sims for fun, so I didn't notice that. But pools came along in a patch two days ago. I don't even notice that the toddlers aren't there. And I love that the children are more independent in 4 than in 2 (they can actually be home alone - holy shit!). I thought toddlers were mostly annoying in 2, so to not have them is awesome. 

Speaking of babies and children I also love that the babies are automatically sent to daycare when the parents leave the lot! No more late for work because there always has to be one adult around (and I hate the nannys in 2 so I refuse to get one of those). 

The Sims 4 is, imo, a really great game. It feels like an updated version of The Sims 2, rather than the exaggerated we-want-to-do-everything-at-once that The Sims 3 was. I really like it.