music

Is it really the end of an era?

This past weekend, the long awaited BTS Map of the Soul ON:E online concerts happened! Originally, I had only bought a 4K ticket through the BTS ARMY Fanclub membership for the Saturday show, which for me started at 6am. However, as soon as that concert ended, I bought a ticket for the Sunday show as well, and that one started at 3am for me. It’s now Monday and I’m still super tired and trying to catch up on sleep, however, seeing both shows was 100% entirely worth the exhaustion I will be consumed with for the next few days.

Promotional image for Map of the Soul ON:E concerts, via BigHit Entertainment.

The set list for both shows were the same, save for the encore which was different. There were also some differences such as some outfit choices for the solo songs. Jungkook and Jimin seemed to do a color swap for their solos, with Jimin having a red suit on Saturday and then Jungkook had a red outfit for Sunday. Even if nothing was different, it would have been amazing regardless!

The set list for both days are as follows:

Opening VCRON, N.O, We Are Bulletproof Pt.2

VCR,  Intro: Persona (RM solo), Boy in Luv, MENT, Dionysus

VCR, Interlude: Shadow (SUGA solo), Black Swan, Jimin dance solo, UGH! (Rap line), 00:00 Zero o’Clock (Vocal line)

VCR, My Time (Jungkook solo), Filter (Jimin solo), Moon (Jin solo), Inner Child (V solo)

VCR, Outro: Ego (J-Hope solo), Boy With Luv, MENT, DNA, Dope, No More Dream
Encore Day 1: Butterfly, RUN, Dynamite, Ending MENT, We Are Bulletproof: The Eternal

Encore Day 2: Spring Day, IDOL, Dynamite, Ending MENT, We Are Bulletproof: The Eternal

Both shows were incredible. It was really nice being able to see them perform in this way again since it’s been a while, well almost a year, since they had a concert save for the performances they have done for promotions and “smaller concerts” like the Tiny Desk concert just as an example. With the concerts being online, they were able to achieve some really cool effects throughout the performances with the stage. The “elevator” set up they had for their Dope performance was really cool.

I think the first show was more emotional than the second. Jimin cried and seemed very emotional, I think mostly because he didn’t realize that he would actually see fans on the screen (there were fans that were “there” through their webcams on the screen that the members could see and hear which was really heart warming!), and I also think just the overall state of things at the moment with COVID-19, how things are so much different right now and a lot of people are struggling no matter where you are or what you’re doing. I think Jimin’s feelings could really be felt by a lot of people watching. For the second show, Jimin seemed better and more cheerful so that was nice to see! Also, finally hearing them sing We Are Bulletproof: The Eternal gave me all the feels. Even though it wasn’t in person, I’m glad I was still able to “see” them sing it live.

Each member did really well throughout all the songs. The solos were incredible. It’s hard to pick a favorite performance because I loved them all so much. Jungkook is my favorite member so I’m biased towards him and his performances, so I could say that his solo was my favorite. Really though, they were all amazing and worthy of being on my top tier favorites list. I think this may be one of my favorite concerts. I really love the setlist they had. The solos were wonderful, the group songs were amazing, both encores were definitely made with the fans in mind, and the VCRs!! They obviously filmed these months ago so I’m glad they were finally able to use them. The one before Shadow and then the vocal line one are probably my favorites. I also liked the one before Ego because J-Hope and Jungkook were together in it and it was just super cute. The mixes for a lot of the songs were also very good, and I really wish they would release the mixes or even a live album? Maybe this concert will somehow be available to purchase in the future so I can just have these mixes forever? Because they were all amazing!

One cool thing about these concerts? Syncing up the lightstick! I bought tour merch for the original tour a few months ago and got the Map of the Soul lightstick. Through the live streaming site, you were able to connect the lightstick via bluetooth so it was like you were really there! It was really nice! I love the lightstick and the colors from the concert were so pretty. It was the easiest thing to set up as well. It was easier than connecting my wireless earbuds if I’m being honest…

The ending screen for both concerts featuring the ARMY Bomb (BTS lightstick). Left is 10/10 and Right is 10/11. Photos taken by me.

With the conclusion of these concerts and the fact that BTS have a new album coming next month which means a new era is upon us… does this mean that the Map of the Soul era is truly over? From what RM said yesterday, it seems like this journey has, in fact, come to an end and we should be ready for the next journey to go on with them. It’s sad, because the Map of the Soul era didn’t have a proper tour, but these two shows were better than nothing at all. Maybe there is still hope for a proper MotS tour, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the tickets for that tour were converted into whatever tour they will hopefully be able to have for their new era. Time will tell. Let’s hold onto the words that the members said and hope we can all meet next year and have a proper concert safely together.

gaming

I’d like to introduce you to my new obsession.

Oh, hey. It’s me. I decided to come back earlier than anticipated because I was feeling motivated to write about some stuff again. 

Today’s topic is one you have probably seen if you are part of video game Twitter, or into gaming at all. Yes, that’s right! It’s about Genshin Impact!

Before going any further, I will say that I had been looking to jump back into an MMO experience for a couple of months now. I entirely blame Final Fantasy for it. I was actually considering redownloading and resubscribing to Final Fantasy XIV, going back to my Dragoon character I haven’t done anything with in, what? Two years? And most likely ending up as lost as ever in the experience which is why I ended up stopping in the first place. Well, that and also being completely burnt out by it all.

However, last week, I saw people starting to talk about what has been deemed as an “anime styled Breath of the Wild” game that was free to play on mobile, PC, and Playstation. Honestly, at first I was pretty skeptical about it. I figured it would end up being one of those games where you eventually have to pay money to progress. 

That has not been the case. At least, not yet!

Genshin Impact, developed by miHoYo. Screenshot by me.

So, what exactly is Genshin Impact? Aside from it being a free to play game, it takes the concept of an MMO and makes it into a viable solo experience with recruiting other characters, each having their own unique perks and an elemental ability which makes the fighting really fun. There’s a leveling system for characters, their weapons and artifacts that you can equip for them which all give various benefits. As for the story (or what I know of it so far), the focus is of one twin trying to find their other twin (you pick one to play as and the story proceeds from there). Whichever twin you choose, they end up in what I can only describe as the most beautiful fantasy esque world I have ever seen. The prologue introduces you to the main threat (or is it?) and a few different characters, some you end up recruiting into your party, and once that is done, more stuff unlocks for you to complete in order to rank up in the game and be able to do other quest lines and eventually be able to go through what I can assume are dungeons. I hit adventurer rank 10 yesterday so I can continue the main story quest next time I login which will most likely be once this post goes up! 

Genshin Impact, developed by miHoYo. Screenshot by me.

Okay, so now you may be thinking about the fact you have to hit certain adventure ranks in order to proceed in the main story. It’s not that bad. It didn’t take me very long at all to get from rank 7 to rank 10. You get a handbook from the adventurer’s guild with challenges you complete to get points, there are bosses that spawn on the map that you can fight a few times a day, and also by just doing basic things in the world, such as opening treasure chests and exploring, you will rank up in no time to be able to continue. There are also other world quests and side quests you can complete as well! I’m not sure how it will be once you get to 25+ for adventure rank. I’m sure like any other RPG game, there will be some sense of grinding for levels, but that’s really to be expected from a game like this. Trust me, there’s a lot you can do in the game, even at such early levels! The map is huge, too!

Genshin Impact, developed by miHoYo. Screenshot by me.

One final aspect to this game is the gacha system. Yes, there’s a gacha system. I haven’t paid any money so far and have just used what I have been rewarded in game through progression and rewards to play the gacha and form a tiny prayer circle that maybe something amazing will happen and I’ll get awesome characters and weapons from it. Well, I did get Noelle (pictured above), but I think she may be easy to get? But, she is my favorite so far. I really like her combat style and the geo ability she has which has come in handy from the lvl 18+ enemies I have started running into. Aside from Noelle, I have unlocked 3 other characters from the gacha as well, and a whole slew of weapon duplicates which I’m not going to complain too much about since you need duplicate weapons in order to refine them anyway. You can pay real money to get the currency needed to buy more gacha plays but… and maybe I’m just old, but I enjoy getting the in game rewards and then using that for gacha spins, not actually paying my own money for them. Because where’s the fun in that?

Other things to note? The soundtrack is beautiful and very relaxing to listen to while running around exploring. The combat is very smooth and works well. Character switching is super quick so you’re able to stack up elemental abilities against enemies and really cause some DPS mayhem if needed. Most importantly: it’s fun!!! And it’s FREE!!! Did I mention that already?

This will be a title I will go back to and keep playing. I’m sure more things will be added over time and I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes, if there really is any sort of paywall, and what ends up being added to the game in the future!

With that being said, I think I may end up making a game log again with this game as the test title. Once a week, just posting my progress and some new screenshots from the game! I used to make game logs years ago, so we’ll see how this turns out.

music

How you like that? You better like that.

One of my favorite KPOP groups, Blackpink, are releasing their first ever full length album this Friday! It’s definitely an exciting time since they debuted back in 2016 and have yet to release an album (only mini albums/EPs consisting of 2-4 original songs each), and the length of time between each of their comebacks seemed to be growing longer and longer. So far, we have gotten not one, but two amazing songs and videos from them with How You Like That and Ice Cream (feat. Selena Gomez). And Friday, The Album (yes, that’s the title), will arrive for all of us Blinks around the world who have been waiting for this moment for a long time.

The teasers for The Album have been great so far. I love the vibe and aesthetic they are going with for the title track, which we now know is called Lovesick Girls, and even features writing credits from Jisoo and Jennie, and a production credit from Jennie as well! Yesterday, they dropped the tracklist, and before I go any further I will say this: yes, I am excited for The Album, and yes I will be supporting it as best I can by purchasing it and streaming!

Okay, so now, let’s go…

Blackpink’s The Album track list, via YG Entertainment.

The first thing I noticed? 8 songs. I was honestly pretty disappointed to only see that we are getting 8 songs total, 6 of which are new, for their first full length album. One thing I will say, and maybe this falls under the category of just being my opinion: at least Blackpink’s discography is solid. I feel like their songs have high production value and they have consistently delivered with their title tracks and their b-sides since their debut. I have no doubt that the 6 new songs will also follow this same formula of having high production and being solid bops that I’ll be listening to for a very long time. Still, it kind of stung to see that it’s 8 songs only. I’m very much hoping for quality over quantity for this one.

Some things I’d love to hear on this album? I really would love to have Jennie rapping again. I’ll say right now that yes, Jennie is my favorite, though Blackpink really is one of those groups where I love each and every member and whoever’s photocard I pull, I won’t be disappointed. Anyway, please have Jennie rapping! I love when she and Lisa get paired up as well (like in Kill This Love) since I feel they suit each other very well. Another thing I want more of is Jisoo lines! Please give Jisoo more lines and also screentime in the new video coming this Friday!! Most importantly, I hope that the girls had fun making the album for all of us and that they enjoy the songs, and that their hard work is appreciated. Please no bullying any members if they get a line that you wanted someone else to get. I don’t want to see a repeat of what happened to Lisa with her rap in Ice Cream.


I’d love to see the girls reach #1 on the Billboard charts with The Album. I’m only able to get a couple versions when it releases but will be collecting them all… kind of like what I’m doing with SuperM. Expect to see me back posting about The Album once it releases and my copies arrive in the mail. I’m hoping by midweek next week!

gaming · inspiration

Just an adventure with old friends…

I feel like this may be some sort of weird sequel to my post about video game backlogs, or maybe it isn’t. So, as I said a couple of weeks back, I was super excited to get back into Watch_Dogs. Well, I was excited for maybe a week, and then it wore off on me. My answer as to why I lost interest is really, I have no idea. But, I think I may have found an answer through an unlikely game series I haven’t played in quite some time…

Uncharted.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves remastered. Screenshot by me.

I love the Uncharted series. It’s still fresh after all these years since the original version of Drake’s Fortune came out back in 2007. I got the remastered version of the trilogy, The Nathan Drake Collection, when it came out and only ever played through the newer version of Drake’s Fortune once. Now, I’m 100% sucked back into this world. And I think it may possibly be due to nostalgia… but also? I think it’s because I just really needed a good adventure to go on with a bunch of characters I really love.

Watch_Dogs hits too close to home for what’s going on in the digital world, and it seems like a huge downer while playing it. I love the concept, but after watching a documentary like The Social Dilemma? Do I really want to be playing a game that, while it may seem ridiculous, actually parallels reality in some ways? My answer to that is: not right now.

I’ve already completed Drake’s Fortune a few times since getting back into the series and have moved onto one of my absolute favorite games of all time: Among Thieves. It’s been a blast so far. Everything is so familiar, yet it has been that long since I’ve played the games that it’s like discovering everything for the first time all over again. 

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune remastered. Screenshot by me.

I think I have also mentioned this multiple times on here already, but this year has been tough to get through with everything that’s going on. I’ve seen a lot of people talking about going back to comfort shows, books, movies, games, and so on, just because it helps them and their mental health. It made me think about if I had anything like that that I could turn to in times like this to try and de-stress. Well, I think I may have found it in Uncharted. Honestly, booting up the game and getting into the menu to hear a variation of Drake’s Theme really makes me feel good as weird as it may sound! It’s made me rediscover how incredible the soundtracks to these games are (which sadly are not streaming on Apple Music but at least there is YouTube!) and rediscovering the stories has also been amazing and heart warming for me. 


Maybe this is part of the answer to tackling a video game backlog: revisiting games that make you feel good and/or games that you absolutely cherish. While Uncharted is a series I played through, I think game replays also count as part of a backlog as well. I’ve had this series on my list of games to revisit for so long, that now of all times feels the most appropriate to revisit it, and I’m happy that I made the decision to do so. Not to mention, it also reginited my love for Playstation trophy hunting… so now there’s that… It’s funny, because my first ever trophy was from the original version of Drake’s Fortune after I bought a Playstation 3 back in 2009! How fitting.

inspiration · various life things

My goals for the rest of the year.

Since I’m still working on writing other posts that are not complete yet, I figured I would write out a post about what my goals are for the rest of the year, and also some plans I have despite everything that is going on in the world! We’re almost to October already, so I’m hoping to get a lot of stuff prepared so that I will be able to meet these goals by the time October 1st hits next week!

  • Learn a new language.

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for… a very long time. I always start but then end up not following through with it. However, I did order the Learn Korean w/ BTS set which I’m excited for! I don’t think it will be here until November, but in the meantime, I really want to get started with the Korean language with the basics, so I’ll be making a plan to start doing this by next week while I wait for my textbooks to arrive. It will be fun for sure!

  • Spend at least 30 minutes a day (or every other day) tidying up a space.

Admittedly, I got this idea from Instagram. On my explore page, there’s a lot of self care stuff that I see and this seems to be a running theme with it. I have a lot of things I need to sort through, get rid of, put in boxes, and other things I want to decorate and add to my space. I always overwhelm myself by trying to do everything at once, but today, I cleaned up one space and it felt really good! So, for the rest of the year, I’m hoping to get more done by doing this! My first thing I really want to do in terms of decorating? When I get paid Friday, I definitely want to get a frame and light decorations for my Jungkook poster to get up by the time the BTS online concert happens! 

  • Do a blog challenge!

I’d love to do some sort of blog challenge. Especially for October leading up to Halloween! I may try to find more challenges and pick and choose from a bunch of them to make the best and most interesting challenge possible for myself.

  • Play a lot of horror games.

There are a lot of horror games coming out next month, some of which I talk about in this post. I really want to embrace the spooky season and play as many horror games as I can. I think possibly the best way to do this is to make some sort of schedule for myself and the games I want to play. I also want to be able to play them and take screenshots and videos to edit for my Instagram as well. So, this weekend, I plan on trying to make a schedule. I may post it here on Monday if I’m successful!

  • Be better at time management.

Ah, yes. Something else I need to work on. I used to be semi decent at time management, but have honestly been awful with it since the pandemic started back in the Spring. I’m hoping to make a better schedule for myself with hobbies, work, and free time. Most importantly, I need to work on a better sleep schedule.

So, there it is! I’m hoping I can achieve these all by the years end! I will definitely be updating about this as time goes on.

gaming

Microsoft + Bethesda = Xbox exclusive only? Hang on a second…

Bethesda Softworks used to be my favorite gaming studio and developer. Then, games were coming out from them that were clearly unfinished and rushed (Fallout 76, which I defended until almost every week a new terrible thing happened with the game and I just couldn’t do it anymore). I am still a fan of some of their studios, such as Arkane (Dishonored) and Tango Gameworks (The Evil Within). Bethesda have made some really amazing games as well, even before things started getting a little.. glitchy on the gameplay side of things.

Image from Gamespot’s Twitter.

So, why am I even talking about Bethesda? Well, today, Microsoft and Bethesda have announced a new partnership. According to this article by Gamespot, Microsoft has made a deal with Bethesda to the tune of $7.5 billion USD to acquire them and all their studios. The Gamespot article has all their studios listed in their article and has a lot more information about it, or well, what little information we have for now, so definitely do check out their article! An interesting thing to note? The new Xbox console will go on sale tomorrow. Maybe they were waiting for the prime moment to try to get those sales in because of how much of a disaster the PS5 pre-ordering went last week, for which Sony did apologize for and much respect to them for owning up to it!

It will certainly be interesting to see how this new partnership pans out for both Microsoft and Bethesda. Some concerns or worries would be that, what if future games are only on Xbox or PC? However, I believe not all hope is lost here. Microsoft also owns Minecraft, and that is on almost every platform ever with expansions and the new Minecraft Dungeons game also releasing on multiple platforms. There are also Microsoft “exclusives” that are finding their way onto the Nintendo Switch, with games such as Cuphead (which is now on Playstation), and the Ori game series, appearing on the Nintendo console’s game store for purchase. I also think that, while a few years ago there was a way bigger divide between consoles, that these days, they definitely seem to be coming together and willing to work with each other. I’ve seen nothing but support from both Sony and Microsoft in regards to each other’s new consoles which is honestly pretty heartwarming.

For now, I’m not too worried about the next Elder Scrolls or Fallout game being tied to the Xbox as an exclusive. While I know there will always be exclusives on every platform, I think a majority of the games coming from Bethesda and their studios will still be multiplatform. Some stuff may turn into what is referred to as a “timed exclusive” (basically, when a game or expansion is out first on one console for a period of time, then releases onto everything else after a certain amount of time passes), but I believe there is nothing else to worry about in this regard! I’m hoping with this new partnership, that maybe future Bethesda titles won’t release at launch totally broken like Fallout 76 did, but again, we will have to wait and see what happens!

Until then, let’s all try to get our next gen console of choice pre-ordered and await the amazing games that are coming on all the consoles, whether you are sticking with the current generation for a little bit longer or moving up to next gen later this fall. There’s always something for everyone!

music

Getting hyped for ENHYPEN!

I was late coming into the world of I-LAND, only getting to it once the first round of global voting had ended for part one. And this was after I had sworn off any type of KPOP survival show since the whole MNET rigging thing that led to the disbandment of X1 at the beginning of this year. I fell deep into I-LAND, and the final line-up was revealed to us on Friday, and I have to say I am very excited with the results and even more excited for the actual debut!

I-LAND promotional photo from VIKI.

Before getting to my thoughts on the members who made it into ENHYPEN, let me say a brief few words about the final ones who were eliminated: Daniel and K. First, I am legitimately bummed out that Daniel didn’t make it in. I was rooting for him the entire show and I think he has a lot of potential. He did an amazing job doing the Save Me duet with Sunoo back during part one. I hope he is able to train more and will be able to debut someday so that he can be on stage next to the ENHYPEN members soon enough! As for K, well.. I won’t say much about him because I know he is most likely devastated and I know his fans are as well. Just from my observations of the show, I think he would be a great soloist. We’ll see where he ends up.

Now, for my thoughts on the final line-up!

From L-R: NI-KI, Sunghoon, Jake, Jungwon, Heeseung, Jay, Sunoo. via ENHYPEN Members Twitter.

Jungwon: He is really the only one I know the least about since I didn’t have him in my final line-up wish list. It’s not that I dislike him or anything like that! I’m excited to see more from him and form a better opinion. He did impress me a lot during the final episode and I 100% agree with Jungkook with what he said about Jungwon! That also must have been such a moment for Jungwon as well since JK is his role model.

Sunghoon: He 100% got me during the Fake Love unit song. That was it for me. He’s an incredible dancer and has such flow with his dance, most likely because he was a figure skater for so long. He’s the type where even when he’s not the focus, you are still drawn to him because of how well he dances. That’s really Sunghoon in a nutshell. My best example is the Flicker performance. Or just watch any of his fancams from the show. 

Jake: He improved A LOT over the course of the entire show, so I am happy he made it into the final group. It seems like an age ago, but another reason why I like him so much is because I thought he did a great job in the first ever performance on the first episode where he performed with Sunoo and Youngbin (eliminated). He’s demonstrated how dedicated he is and is a hard worker in trying to keep up and learn the routines, so he will be a powerful force in ENHYPEN.

Jay: He was the first one I really liked on the show. It was sad seeing how he wasn’t getting the parts he wanted, but he never gave up and that’s exactly what we need in a group. He showed incredible leadership throughout the show and even when I felt he was being overshadowed by some of the other trainees, he really made a huge comeback and showed his full potential and determination. He’s incredible on stage in every regard. It was like truly watching an already debuted professional.

NI-KI: I am so glad he made it. I have been rooting for him since day one. He is already a great dancer, so let’s see how he improves over time. He definitely has the potential to be an all rounder in the group. I feel that was definitely the victim of the MNET evil edit, and he did display some attitude problems near the beginning, but he really turned himself around and got into the group mentality fairly quickly after that. I think for him being so young, that is definitely a sense of how mature he has become since the show initially started.

Sunoo: What else can I even say about him? Sunoo has such a positive and bubbly aura to him, yet can completely transform himself on stage accordingly. When he performed Crown, it was like he was a member of TXT, honestly. And then, to go from that to performing Save Me and Fake Love as flawlessly as he did? He also did incredibly well in part two. He’s a fan favorite, if not the fan favorite since he was always at the top (until the final.. That’s what happens when you pity vote for others). He, along with Jake, also have the least amount of time being a trainee, so the fact that they both made it in just shows how naturally gifted these two are!

Heeseung: I knew he was going to make it as soon as I saw him. He’s already an all rounder. He has that type of aura when he’s on stage. An incredible vocalist, dancer, and leader all in one. Most importantly: he is consistent in his performance. Whenever his parts came up during a performance, you could just feel the energy and passion behind his performance no matter what he was doing. I feel like ENHYPEN is really going to thrive having him in it as the oldest member both with his experience and leadership.

ENHYPEN has monster rookie group written all over them. I believe they are expected to debut by November, or in November, so let’s support them! I’m so excited to see the concept, teasers, and what type of songs they will do. And of course, purchasing the albums and seeing whose photo card I pull. My favorites though? Definitely Heeseung and Sunoo! 

Top row L-R: Heeseung, Jay, Jake, Sunghoon. Bottom row L-R: Sunoo, Jungwon, NI-KI. Promotional photo from BELIFT.

Until then, you can find performances from I-LAND on YouTube. You can also stream a couple of the I-LAND performance songs on Apple Music and Spotify! Most importantly, follow them on Twitter (also here!) for updates as well. And here’s a list that has all their social media accounts.

gaming · technology

My thoughts on the Playstation 5 showcase.

Yesterday, the very much anticipated Sony Playstation 5 showcase happened and they did not play around. Not for a single second. I’m only going to go over my personal favorite highlights from it, though there were a TON of amazing games that were shown or teased that I am very excited about!

For those interested in watching, the showcase can be watched here! The showcase is also available in other languages if you go onto the Playstation YouTube channel. If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend watching. It’s been my favorite gaming event so far this year from how well put together it was!

So now, onto my favorite parts!

Resident Evil Village, via Capcom

This franchise has been a favorite since I was very young, playing the first game on the original Playstation way back what feels like a million years ago. I’m a fan of all the games, though admittedly it did start to kind of… fall apart? As in, it was becoming a little too actiony and not enough of the horror elements that made it so special. At least for me. Resident Evil 7 completely turned that around and has gotten the series going back to its roots. I loved RE7. Even with the first person perspective. I thought it made it way more immersive and even though I’ve played it a handful of times, it still scares me to death in some parts! 

Resident Evil Village, via Capcom

Resident Evil VILLAGE looks absolutely terrifying and I could not be happier with how it looks and am very much looking forward to it. I love the weird, fairy tale vibe that it had going during part of the trailer, with who I am assuming is Mia Winters narrating an old tale. I’m also excited to play as Ethan Winters again since I really like him. And I can’t wait to find out what exactly Chris Redfield is up to! Is he the antagonist? Did he live long enough to become the villain? I’m curious to see how his arc goes in this. And I can’t wait to explore the village and see all the new creatures. They look amazing and so creepy! Also may I just add that I love how the story is actually continuing from RE7? Like, we may actually finally get some closure with some characters and not just have them as a one off and then tossed to the void? I hope this trend continues!

I already wrote a post about how excited I am for this which you can find here. However, let me briefly add a few things…

Demon’s Souls Remake, via Sony

The gameplay looks so smooth, and the flow of the combat looks great! I loved seeing the tiny teases of some of the bosses. This looks 100% loyal, true to the original remake which I am very excited for! Also, it’s a launch title. I really played myself when I said I would get a PS5 when DeS Remake came out. Well, here we are…

Also, the realism. This game looks so realistic. I think it’s most likely the player character and how they interact and react to the world. I was noticing it a lot more in this game play trailer. It was just really cool to see how far the series has come! I can’t wait to play this!

God of War: Ragnarok teaser image, via Sony

It was the tiniest crumb of a teaser ever, but it got me hyped. The first entry into the new God of War series was, again, incredible. I know I probably overuse that word, but it’s the truth! The cliffhanger God of War left us with along with the revelation at the end.. I’m hyped. That’s all I can say right now. I cannot wait for more information on this one. It’s going to be a ride, let me tell you. While I wait, it may be a good idea to replay the first one, and then maybe dive deeper into some Norse mythology!

  • Playstation 5 Price & Release Date
Playstation 5 pricing for digital and disc versions, via the Playstation Blog

It comes out November 12th in select countries, and then November 19th for the rest of the world. The digital only version is $399 USD, while the disc tray version is $499 USD. Of course, it’s sold out. I’m not sure how the pre orders were supposed to go. I thought I read that the pre orders were starting today, the 17th, but they popped up last night and sold out very quickly! As to be expected, though. Honestly, the only huge bummer for me is that DeS Remake is a launch title and I probably won’t be getting it at launch and will have to wait, which is also fine! I mentioned it in another post, but I most likely will end up waiting. Maybe for not as long as I initially anticipated because I had no idea that DeS Remake was going to be a launch title. In the meantime, there are plenty of other games to play and explore.

There were a few other things. Of course, the new Spider-Man expansion featuring the amazing Miles Morales. It has recently been revealed it will be coming to PS4, so I will be picking it up there first to play! The Playstation Plus revamp is also intriguing, however, I already own all the games that will be coming to it! Maybe it will be worth it in the future. The one thing I was going to talk about, but then yeah, kind of forgot.. was Final Fantasy XVI! We probably won’t get a ton of new information until next year, but the Awakening trailer was plenty for now. I will most likely give this its own post. There was a lot of stuff to dissect from that trailer! The same can be said for RE8, so stay tuned for some posts like that in the near future!

And with that said, I am very hype for the next generation of Playstation. I may not be able to jump in right away, but it will be well worth the wait! Until then, I’ll continue to get through my backlog!

gaming · inspiration

The beginnings of tackling a video game backlog.

I think it’s safe to say that I have had a never ending, always growing backlog of video games to be played over the years of having gaming as a hobby. I know I’m not alone in buying every game possible during one of Sony’s many flash sales that seem to happen too frequently. Yesterday, I took a look at my library, and I have over 300 digital games (including free Playstation Plus games), and that doesn’t include the physical games I used to buy (and still buy if I see something really good for super cheap).

With a new generation of console gaming upon us… how will I ever get through my backlog? I really don’t have an answer for it. Or maybe I have part of an answer?

A few “rules” I am making for myself for the next console generation may help solve some of my issues that I have with my backlog:

  • First and foremost!!! I’m done with the remasters. If a game came out on PS1, PS2 or even PS3 and is getting a full on remake, then yes, I am here for it. But if a PS3 game is just getting a visual upgrade or “remastered”, or even a PS4 game, then no thanks. I bought way too many remasters and I regret it. I’ll still play them since I have them. To me, it’s just not necessary to try to remaster a PS4 game on the PS5. Especially since I have a PS4 pro and the games look good enough already.
  • One thing that can possibly backfire with the above, is possibly the fact that developers will just add new content to a PS5 release of a PS4 game and stop supporting the PS4 version. Honestly? Trashy, but I get it from the business standpoint of wanting to make money. I’m curious to see how the first couple of years play out for this reason alone.
  • Something that I also did with the PS3 and PS4: I didn’t buy the new console right away. With PS3, it wasn’t until the end of 2009 when I finally got one thanks to Uncharted 2. With the PS4, since Watch_Dogs was delayed, I didn’t get the console at launch but I did get one that Christmas. And.. I didn’t really use it that much until Watch_Dogs came out in May of 2014. Sure, there were a couple of games that I played on it like Outlast, but I was still mostly using my PS3. This time, I’m waiting for a game to actually be out that I want before I buy the new console. I decided on Resident Evil 8 or Demon’s Souls remake, whichever comes first I suppose!

Speaking of Watch_Dogs

Aiden Pearce in Watch_Dogs, official promotional image from Ubisoft

I’ve decided since I’ve been kind of on a weird “wanting to learn and understand more about digital/social media” binge these days, I’m diving back into Watch_Dogs. My other excuse is that Aiden Pearce is coming back in Legion and I’m super excited to play as him again! I’ve only played both games one time only as they are rather lengthy and have a lot to do. I’ve already done the Alone digital trip to get my favorite costume for Aiden which took me almost 2 hours since I’m still relearning how to play the game again. 

Maybe I will get more inspiration or perspective on how to get through my backlog soon! If anyone else has a backlog and has any tips or wants to share how you get through it, please feel free to leave a comment on here!

music

No Good? More like So Good.

Jin Akanishi and Ryo Nishikido have finally released their album, No Good, this past week. I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I do, yet here we are. Like my last post, this isn’t really a review.. More so just my feelings on the album overall.

N/A No Good

Released on September 9th, 2020

Official MV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIWAsD0PKNM 

Available for streaming? Yes! Apple Music, Spotify

The album opens up with your standard introduction titled, N / A Introduction. I mean, it’s an intro track. It does its job of getting you properly hyped for what’s to come. Immediately following is a track in all English, Get Loose. Honestly, when I first heard this one, I didn’t like it. It’s kind of grown on me, but the chorus kind of grates through my head.. If that’s even a proper way to describe it. It’s one of those tracks that I think solely exists to be performed live immediately following the introduction, especially going by the lyrics.

Now, we get to one of my favorite tracks which I wanted to put on my previous post, but didn’t because I can talk about it here instead. No Good. This song is CATCHY. I would have much rather had this as the album opener and just cut Get Loose completely, but what do I know? Anyway, No Good is such a feel good, good vibes type song that I have on repeat constantly without even realizing it. It just puts you in that type of mood, and I’m very thankful for that because we could all use that feeling right about now.

The next two tracks, Not Bad and Lap Dance have that mellow vibe to them. Though the title may not seem it, Lap Dance has a lot of positive vibes about wanting to have fun and live life. Hey, What’s Up? Is a song originally by Jin, which I really like. This version is more of a remix of it that adds Ryo and a band atmosphere. It’s still a good song! And I love the tweaks that were made to it and the addition of Ryo’s vocals.

Point of Departure almost acts like a type of interlude, though it arrives more than halfway through the album. It’s another song entirely in English, and discusses moving on to the new, which I think is really symbolic for Ryo since he just left J&A last year and has moved on with his solo career and this venture with Jin. Though, it’s also symbolic for Jin and his history.

Jin Akanishi and Ryo Nishikido (Barks.jp)

Kingdom is probably tied as my favorite track along with No Good. It’s just really good. The production, composition, and vocals are top tier here in my opinion. Just go listen to it. It’s amazing. I think this was the moment I realized that I actually was enjoying this album a lot. I just love songs that have that slow build up throughout the entirety of it, adding layers of vocals and instruments as it continues onward. The melody is also lovely and very catchy.

Now Eve is a more upbeat song and it sounds very… Johnny’s-esque to the point where I was trying to see if I missed something and maybe this was a re-recording of a random solo from years ago that they had the rights to, but couldn’t find anything. It’s kind of cute. Well, as cute as you can get from Ryo and Jin these days. 

Blue has that sound that seemed to be in almost every single song from a few summers ago. Maybe it was 2015-2016. That chorus where there is just a mellow EDM instrumental playing alongside a distorted and pitched voice repeatedly saying the same phrase over and over again. So, this one sounds a bit dated, but it’s still alright. It was a mellow way to end the album. There’s a bonus track called Hey Girl but I haven’t found it and it’s not on the streaming release so I’m just pretending the album ends here.

If you have a spare 30 minutes, check out this album. It’s worth a listen. Even from ex-fans. I hope they continue to make music together. Maybe they’ll do an online concert or tour whenever the pandemic goes away. This would be a fun album to see live. Until then, I’ll go catch up on their YouTube stuff.