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 · 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!

films · inspiration · technology

My Social Dilemma

This morning, I was able to watch a documentary I have been interested in since I learned of its existence about a couple of weeks ago: The Social Dilemma. It’s available starting today on Netflix and I urge everyone to give it a watch. And when you do, put your phone on silent or even turn it off so you don’t get distracted because this throws a lot at you and will have you thinking about your social media usage and your relationship with your phone and technology by the time it’s over. It goes into great detail about how these social media apps actually work and the bubble that we are all in. It also discusses how we are products being sold. Some of the concepts were very obvious, but it felt that it needed to be addressed by people who worked with these systems and know how they work firsthand in order to really get it.

The Social Dilemma promotional image courtesy of Netflix

Honestly, this might be one of the scariest documentaries I have seen so far because it’s very real and it’s happening right now with no end in sight, or so it seems. Despite not wanting to, I saw myself too many times being described in this documentary. And it truly haunted me a little bit. I do have some hope with The Center for Humane Technology (https://www.humanetech.com/), which I definitely plan to learn more about in the near future! I already subscribed to their podcast!

As a result from watching this documentary, it really inspired me to look more at my phone usage and the apps I have on there. I deleted almost 50 apps today, as well as almost my entire photo gallery that was sadly, mostly full of memes I had saved while endlessly scrolling through the depths of Twitter.

So, which apps survived? Well, not a whole lot. I have what I would categorize as “essential apps”, like apps to pay my bills and an app for my bank account. I went down from about 14 photo editing apps to only one, PicsArt, which I use to edit my gaming screenshots for Instagram, which is the only social media app I have left on my phone. I debated keeping Twitter, but ultimately, it had to go. Apple Music and Play Music are also still on my phone, as well as Audible and the Google Podcast app for some nice, easy listening on breaks. I do have Ipsy, Amazon, Dunkin, and Starbucks apps on my phone as well… that can’t hurt, right?

Another thing that I did?

I turned off notifications for the apps that remain. I have text and phone notifications on, and that’s it. I don’t get a notification every single time I get an email, or someone “likes” something I posted. It’s been only 12 hours but let me tell you, it feels awesome. It’s sad to wonder what life was before all of this technology just… happened. You don’t need to always be online or be connected to live. I think it’s the opposite: you need to disconnect. Not even 100% or permanently, unless you want to, but just enough so that using these things becomes healthier.

This even rolled over to my Playstation 4. I cleared out the storage almost completely, deleting games I doubt I will ever play again or am completely done with. And it felt good! 

We’ll see how it goes. I’m wondering how much of an impact this has all had on my mental health. Time will tell.


PS: An interesting article popped up today about bringing back the old school “away message”, and seems relevant, check it out here!

inspiration · various life things

Decluttering Online: a small start.

With how things have ended up this year, there’s been more time to sit around and think about things that I normally wouldn’t have thought about since there hasn’t been as much to do the past few months. 

Things such as… why do I still have a last.fm account? Why do I subscribe to it for $3 USD a month just to change the scrobble tags since they never come out right? Why do I even waste my time doing this?

I used last.fm for a long time. It’s a good way to observe your listening habits across all (or most) platforms you would use to listen to music. I liked it because not all the artists I listen to are on streaming platforms (yet), so it was perfect to be able to see how many times I listened to all these artists.

But, is it really necessary? Especially when I was actually paying money just to change tags because they didn’t scrobble correctly? Hello? 

I got caught up in the whole STREAM STREAM STREAM thing and it really came to a head earlier this year when I realized I just didn’t care anymore to make the effort. I had templates saved for how to make playlists on Spotify and YouTube to get artists streaming numbers up. It’s not that I don’t care to stream my favorite artists, it’s that I want to stream them and have fun listening to them without worrying about the numbers and how many times I streamed X song. I realized that I was not having fun listening to music anymore. It was actually becoming stressful. Stressful to the point where I actually missed a ton of releases earlier this year because I just couldn’t be bothered with it. I deleted my last.fm account a couple months ago and it was a very freeing moment. I’m finally catching up on music releases and most importantly, I’m having fun!

Another thing I realized was how many subscription services I was actually subscribed to but wasn’t really using. I ended up getting rid of Disney+ (though, it will be back for the second season of The Mandalorian), and Hulu because I was barely using them. I also got rid of Spotify after also using them for years and am now with Apple Music because they have a much wider selection of Japanese pop music which I have gotten back into full force this year. And Apple Music is cheaper for me too since I’m still able to use a student discount. I did get rid of YouTube Premium for awhile, but it’s back now to get rid of political ads. Or maybe I shouldn’t be watching YouTube as much as I do so I wouldn’t have that problem.

For the platforms I did keep (Netflix, Prime and HBO Max only because I get it for free with my phone plan), I deleted my entire queue for each one and have started over completely with them. It has actually helped me find shows and movies to watch that I have ended up completely loving like Extracurricular on Netflix which I can’t recommend enough! Also, it’s not overwhelming anymore to log on to them and feel like I can’t find anything to watch among the thousands of options. 

The only thing I still need to work on is my video game backlog which just continues to grow everyday it seems like… always something to work on!