Vacation

Donkey Kong Is No Joke

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Switch) Review — DarkStation

I’ve just come back from having my throat and nose swabbed by a woman in a white hazmat suit with facial protection. The joys of suspecting you may have corona symptoms and then needing to be tested to see if this is indeed the case. I started feeling sick on Saturday, although initially I thought I was having some allergy symptoms. Runny nose, watery eyes. I didn’t immediatly make the connection that it could be anything else. Then on Sunday I started feeling like I had a bad cold. Runny nose, constant sneezing, throat ache and coughing. Normally I’d not make a fuzz about it but the climate being how it is these days I couldn’t rule out if I may have been infected with corona at some point last week. So I scheduled a test and went to get it done about an hour ago. I can’t really recommend it. There’s multiple q-tips involved that go way too far up your nose and down your throat. Now I just have to wait 48 hours to see if it is indeed corona or if I’ve just been struck down with a common cold. Time will tell.

Right now I’m in my second week of a two week holiday. I was supposed to go to Spain for a week of lounging at a pool with a cocktail and not a care in the world. Unfortunately due to multpile outbreaks of corona across Europe that vacation was cancelled and left me sitting at home for two weeks trying to decide what I wanted to be doing with my time instead. As it so happens my best friend was off for a week aswell last week. We had already agreed to meet up, you can here in the Netherlands, but I thought it would also be fun if we would start the same game to spend our vacation time on. We both own a Switch and a 3DS and he has some Switch games that I have on my WiiU so there was plenty to pick from.

He decided on Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. A game that had been sitting in my library for a bit, and that I was supposed to tackle over the summer anyway, and one he borrowed from a co-worker with the intent of playing it and returning it as soon as possible. So after that decision was made we both set out to complete the game before the week was over. Initially things seemed to be going well for the both of us and I was already in world number 3 when he started complaining that the game was “too hard”. I had warned him beforehand that reviews of this game indicated that it was no joke and had a few levels that required some pretty tight platforming. Since he had the Switch version of the game though, instead of dropping it he opted to play “Funky Mode” and, not surprising, blew past me once he made the swap over to that. Unfortunately I didn’t have the luxury to switch to an easier mode so I plodded along playing on the normal difficulty. In the end I didn’t have that many issues. Way less than I had with New Super Mario Bros U anyway. I think one of the only levels that really got to me was a level where you’re riding a rocket in the final world. Steering the rocket was a bit of a pain in the ass to begin with and then I had to maneuver my way through really tight corridors with only two chances to hit something and nowhere to replenish a heart once I lost one.
Other than that I really enjoyed the game. It took me back to being a kid and playing Donkey Kong on my Gameboy. I remember being hooked on those games and spent a lot of time trying to get all the stuff I could back then. I made it in the end though and managed to finish the “final” boss and get to the credits yesterday. It was a relatively short game, according to my WiiU log it took me around 9 hours to finish it. Then again I did skip out on most of the collectibles and finding hidden exits to levels and all that stuff. I just wanted to get to the credit roll and call it a day. I know that eventually another world unlocks if you do all the bonus stuff like get all the KONG letters, unlock all hidden levels and all that jazz but I’m not really feeling up to doing that right now. Maybe at some point in the future when I’ve played through some other games and I feel the need to go back and get games to 100% completion. But the tight platforming and sheer determination that is needed to do all that is not something I want to spend time and energy on as of right now.
That being said I really hope that Nintendo will drop a new Donkey Kong game somewhere in the near future. Tropical Freeze was initially brought to the WiiU in 2014 so it’s high time they come with a new entry in the franchise. I’m certain to be more hyped for that than for anything they would bring out with the Mario label.

For now though I’m happy that I’ve finished off another game from my backlog. I’ve been really inconsistent with playing single player games over the summer, even though I had really big plans. I guess life happens. For now though me and my best friend have picked a new game to play through, one of my choice this time. It’s Xenoblade Chronicles 2 on the Switch. A game that I started a long time ago but kind of gave up on when I was 8 hours in. We both started a new game and I’m running around again in the first little town you get to. It’s a vastly different game from Donkey Kong but I feel like I can do with a longer JRPG right now. So I guess we’ll see where that ship strands. I hope that having someone else play the game simultaneously will keep me motivated to play aswell so that we can share our thoughts on stories and fights. Maybe this is what I needed all along to finally tackle my backlog…

End of Vacation

They say that time flies when you’re having fun. It’s not a wrong saying but time seems to fly by in general these days. I blinked and my two week vacation was done. I went to my cabin in the woods. I’ve relaxed. I did a small project that was sort of related to work but not really and I’ve slipped back into the habit of reading a bit every day.
I managed to get my Warrior to level 80 in Final Fantasy XIV and I’m turning my attention towards leveling Dark Knight now. Being a tank aswell I’m sure I’ll have that up to 80 in no time and then it’s just Gunbreaker left.
I’ve been poking about in World of Warcraft the most on my Warrior. I’ve been diligently doing my dailies on her and managed to get the Uldum Accord reputation up to Exalted, which means I can drop doing those dailies (yay!) and only have the Rajani reputation left to get to Exalted… I’m only 5k reputation off that so I think I can get to it next week maybe.
With working on these reputations I realized I wasn’t too far off the 100 reputations to Exalted achievement. I went back to Desolace to bump up the centaur reputations to Exalted there and I’m working on the Sha’tari Defense reputation now that we have Warlords of Draenor timewalking up. If I can finish that up and get Exalted with the Rajani I only have one more reputation left. Unfortunately that one will require some grinding on my end since it’s one of the goblin town reputations (Gadgetzan) and I’m about 5k off there aswell… And the only way to get that up is to repeatedly kill pirates in Tanaris that give 5 reputation per kill. I kill them pretty fast but it’s 200 kills for 1k rep so that means that I’ll have to kill around 1000 mobs to get where I need to be. I could sit down for a day and grind it out but I’m not that masochistic so I’m taking 30 minutes here and there to dedicate to that grind.

I’m not sure how to feel about these two weeks off. I did what I wanted to do in regards to taking a weekend away from my house and I managed to read through two full books, but on the gaming front and on the relaxation front I’m not that happy. I do feel more relaxed than I have been in a long time, but I’m also still somewhat restless and dreading to go back to work on Monday. In the gaming world I’ve been mostly hopping back and forth between games but never sat down to play through something properly. I spent most of my time poking around on WoW and chasing silly goals and I did a light leveling bit on FFXIV but that’s mostly it. I didn’t touch Ratchet & Clank and I didn’t touch the Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
I didn’t even manage to keep up with my weekly planner, something I have been doing since I got it and it kind of stings. Luckily I’ll have a rematch next week which I will be planning out tomorrow.. But it still doesn’t sit quite right with me.
If anything it shows me I’m still far away from forming good habits and having a clear structure to my days. Going back to work may help a bit in that regard but I struggle with making “optimal use” of my free time. I tend to spend a lot of time just lounging on the couch and staring into the abyss or the tv while time ticks away and it annoys me. I want to be more productive and I want to have more fun doing things after work but I’m just struggling to motivate myself to get there.

For now though it’s time that I get a good night’s sleep and then have my final day of no work that’s probably filled with doing chores tomorrow… I can’t wait till my next two weeks off.

Cabin in the Woods

Vacation has been treating me well. It’s taken a few days to wind down and not feel completely exhausted, 5 to be precise, and I’ve been enjoying the stress free life. A part of me is curious how my team is doing without me but I need to learn to let go, so I’m doing exactly that.
I’ve been spending a lot of time sleeping, doing as little as possible and gaming. Especially World of Warcraft has seen a lot of love the past few days with me kind of abandoning the gold grind for a bit and instead hunting achievements on my Warrior. The army of alts that I’ve been using to grind gold have kind of worn me out and as such it was nice to put that on hold and just play my Warrior and not worry about running EVERYTHING because I feel like I have to. We still do our weekly heroic Ny’alotha clear and I’m helping people with some Mythic+ keys but overall I’m noticing that my playtime has gone down significantly and my focus has shifted to other things.
Like playing Final Fantasy XIV! The next patch, 5.3, is due to land on August 11th. I managed to get the Ixion mount that I had been wanting from the Moogle Tome Event today so I’m essentially done with that for now. My Warrior is sitting at level 78 and I managed to unlock two more Relic Weapons for my Dragoon and Bard respectively. I love that they only take 1000 Tomestones of Poetics to unlock since you kind of get those passively if you do roulettes anyway. After my Warrior gets to level 80 I only have Dark Knight and Gunblade left and then I’m done with all my battle jobs. I may turn my attention back to crafting instead then to get all those jobs from 70 to 80 and then I really only have Blue Mage left before I’m officially done with leveling everything.

However those plans need to be put on hold for a few days since I’m leaving for a cabin in the woods tomorrow for a long weekend. I have my bag already packed. I’m taking my Switch and an e-reader and nothing else. I just have to check the air in my tires before I go tomorrow and do a few groceries and then I’m all set. It’s going to be so nice to escape my apartment for a bit and have a “vacation feel” for real, even if it’s only for a few days. I’m planning to keep my phone off for most of the time when I’m there since I just really need to disconnect from social media and everything related to that for a bit. I’m planning on doing some nice walks and maybe dip into the local swimming pool but otherwise it’s just relaxing to the max. The cabin I’m renting is a bit of a luxury one which comes with a bath that also doubles as jacuzzi and a sauna and I’m going to use both. I even finally get to use some of the bathbombs I’ve taken home with me from work!

I’ll come back on Monday afternoon and then I still have the rest of the week off to enjoy untill I go back to work. For now though I’m going to get a good night’s sleep before I do the final round of apartment cleaning tomorrow morning and head off for a few days.

What are you doing this weekend?

Vacation, finally.

This past week has been rough. I’m starting a two week vacation today where I don’t have to do anything for my job and can finally relax for the first time since March. And for longer than a week aswell!
I’ve been looking forward to this for a while because I could seriously feel the burn from work. It’s been crazy with everything that has happened the past four months. The pandemic hitting, suddenly being forced to work from home and having almost no live social interaction for weeks to finally being allowed back into the office again for a few days a week and getting a sense of normalcy back.
Not to mention that it feels like there was an even bigger amount of work piling up than normal and we were going stir crazy with all the projects and last minute jobs that needed to be done.

Two of my coworkers had a few weeks of in the weeks before this and as such a lot of the day to day work had landed on my shoulders since we’re a really small team. In my current position I’m a senior and even though I do help with the day to day stuff I often don’t partake in a lot of recurring work anymore since my focus has shifted towards other things. So having to do my current job and part of the “old” work takes it’s toll after a while. I could feel myself just not being able to care about the work anymore and having an increasingly harder time focusing on just getting stuff done. That’s usually the sign I really need a break so I’m happy to have the coming two weeks to rest up, relax and hopefully tackle some of my backlog of games.

I have planned to take a long weekend getaway to a different part of the country in a bit of a luxury cabin with a sauna and jacuzzi. I’ll be in a very wooded area so I also plan to take a few nice long walks and enjoy the scenery, but mostly I just need a few days away from my regular environment. Being cooped up in my apartment for the last four months hasn’t been the best on my mental health unfortunately, so being able to get away is extremely nice. I’m probably going to pack my e-reader and my switch and just spend a few days in an extremely relaxed state reading and gaming and not being available to anyone.

As for the rest of my vacation plans… I will be attending my cousin’s wedding, in my country the COVID-19 restrictions have been slowly lifted so this is possible again, and otherwise it will hopefully be a lot of sleeping in and gaming and then hopefully be all fresh and happy to go back to work!

Physical keyboard again!

For the first time in a couple of weeks I finally have a physical keyboard to work with again so I figured I might aswell pump out a blog post. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures for this one so you’ll just have to do with words.

I’ve had a two week hiatus off work where I settled into my new home and tried to find a new rhythm for life in general. It included a bunch of gaming, watching TV shows and movies and reading books. It also included a lot of anxiety about leaving home, lots of cleaning of the new place and getting adjusted to life on my own. All in all I think I’ve done a decent job so far. The only things I need to work on now are making sure that I eat properly during the evenings and start up my workout schedule again. I have taken the first few babysteps to achieve this by going out for a walk after dinner every night. For now the walks are only about 30 minutes long but I hope to go up to an hour. It’s a great way to digest my food and clear my head, especially now that I’m back at work with all the chaos and stress that accompanies that. I don’t take my phone with me on these walks, just my iPod with some music and my house keys and that’s it. I really hope to expand on this by going to the gym during the weekends but I’m not there yet.

As far as games go. I’ve been spending a lot of my time playing FFXIV. My Carpenter is currently sitting on level 63, my White Mage has gotten a nice weapon and is sitting around ilvl 375. I have collected all the items from the crossover event with FFXV and I’ve picked up finishing off all the ARR relics again. Right now I’m in the middle of the questline on my Warrior and once I finish that I only need Scholar to be done. For now I’m focusing mainly on completing these quests and leveling my crafters. I’m sure my Carpenter will be level 70 before the month is over and I have already started doing Ixal dailies for my Goldsmith which I want to bring to 70 next. For the rest I’m just waiting out my time untill the new expansion launches. I’m planning to level my White Mage first through the story but I’m also really interested in picking up Dancer.
As far as other games go… I’ve made some decent progress in Yoshi’s Crafted World. I have collected 3 out of 5 gems and make sure to get as much collectibles as possible during my first playthrough of a level. Of course I will need to go back to the flipsides to find all the Poochy Pups and collect all the flowers and other things but for now I’m focusing on getting through the worlds and claiming all the gems. I have to say that the level based on a Haunted Mansion is my favourite so far, I’m hoping there is one that can top it.

Against all the deals I made with myself I picked up a new game aswell: Monster Hunter World. I’m really interested in the franchise and I need something to do besides the classic MMO. After messaging Belghast on Twitter whether it would be a good time/deal to pick up the game now I just went ahead and purchased it. I don’t understand most of the systems yet but for now it’s nice to be able to drop into quests that complete fairly fast and see immediate progress as result. I’m sure that things will pick up in difficulty soon but for now I’m enjoying myself and taking a really relaxed approach to the game.

I do notice that I miss my computer in more ways than one. I miss playing WoW and I may want to take another stab at GW2 but unfortunately I won’t have access for another 3 weeks or so. In that time my main gaming will come from my consoles which isn’t too bad considering I can play on a comfy couch while watching a nice big screen now.

In non gaming related news I’ve finally gotten round to watching some films and series. I watched Avengers: Endgame in the theatre two weeks ago, great movie by the way, and I watched The Social Network last weekend. Next to that I’m watching Lucifer on Netflix and of course Game of Thrones. Only one more episode to go and honestly I’m really disappointed with this final season. Everything is super rushed and it feels really underwhelming. I don’t agree with all the story line endings and I really hope that if the books ever get finished they’ll be better than this hot mess.

All in all it’s been a very busy couple of weeks and being back at work where it’s just a gigantic chaos isn’t really making anything much better.

Two weeks of freedom?

As I sit down to write this blogpost I’ve had a really long tiresome day. Having barely slept last night I could only think of my bed when I was at work but now that I’m home, and it’s actually time to sleep, my head is a bit too filled with random thoughts to really settle down and snooze. So instead I’m just going to write down what’s going on inside this messy brain of mine today and see if that will help me clear it.

We have a midyear evaluation at work and I had mine today. I tend to get the same comments every evaluation: you’re not professional enough and you lack some communication skills. So far I’ve taken the criticisms as they come but there has never really been a follow up to them. I tend to get told that I’m a bit blunt which may come across as me being bitchy at times but I don’t really see it that way myself. It may come with the fact that the moment I step foot into the office people start asking me questions within two minutes of me sitting down. I get a bit annoyed by that sometimes because I really would like the first ten to fifteen minutes of my work day for myself to make a planning, look at what kind of mails I have and just settle down before the questions are fired. I’m already not a morning person by any means so stuff like this just tends to get me irritable, which I then show in my answers to people. It’s not something that is completely concious but it happens nonetheless.
My manager has offered me to work with me on my professionalism and my communication skills and I’ll gladly take any chance to grow as a person at work. I’m just seriously curious what exactly I should do to make strides and grow, but I guess I’ll see in a few weeks when we have our first “session”.

In other news my dad and his girlfriend departed for Spain this afternoon to enjoy a two week holiday over there, leaving me alone in the house untill the 28th. I have to say that I’m kind of happy to have this time to myself because I was getting irritated a lot by them lately and I just really needed some space. I do hope that I can use the coming two weeks to start getting into the habit of going to the gym again. My weight has been bothering me for a very long time now and now that I’m able, for two weeks atleast, to spend my time the way I want to I kind of want to use to start setting up a gym routine again. Working out is healthy and even though the first few weeks tend to be tough I also know that it gives me energy and stamina, which translates into a better mood overall for myself. I may use the topic of gyms and workouts for my blogposts the coming weeks but that is yet to be seen.
For now though I want to reserve some time on the weekends, probably in the morning, and weekdays after work to go to the gym for 30 mins – one hour. I realise that I have to start from scratch again but that’s okay. I’m not setting the bar extremely high for myself. I just want to make sure that I’m going again and build a steady rythm of getting myself to go before actually pushing hard for weight loss goals.

Tied into the whole gym thing I also want to cook healthy for myself these two weeks. I have one pizza in the freezer for emergencies but as far as I’m concerned I want to cook myself healthy meals every day if I can. This probably means a lot of rice and veggies since that is what I enjoy. I’m also stocking up on stuff like yoghurt and fruit so I can take that as a snack during the evening/weekends instead of candy or crisps and I want to make sure I’m taking fruit with me to work every day. I have a new backpack incoming and an insulated lunch bag which means I could cut myself some fruit in the evening and put it in a plastic container in the fridge so that it can go into the insulated bag in the morning, keeping it more cool and fresh than it would be otherwise. I could also try to do something with the yoghurt that way but for now I’m a bit hesitant because it’s dairy and already kind of sour so I don’t really want to take it with me where it’s not properly cooled, because I probably can’t taste if it’s gone “sour” that way.

As far as games are concerned I  want to cut back on time on those and spend that time on my gym stuff and some other hobbies instead. I am probably going to tackle Trine 2 with a friend and I will still be playing WoW probably on a daily basis but that will probably be it. During the weekends I will have a bit more time to do some more and branch out to other games like FFXIV or a single player game of my choosing but for the week nights it’ll be WoW exclusive.
I want to get back to reading my book and tackling an embroidery kit that I’ve started a few years ago but never finished. I also really want to build one of the Toy-Cons from the Nintendo Labo kit I scored for cheap a while back, probably the motorcycle one since I can use that with Mario Kart for fun and giggles. I will make pictures during my building process to post for my blog so definitely stay tuned for that!

At the end of the day though my plans for the coming two weeks are hopefully a foundation for a change that is more lasting. I want to step away from constantly gaming and work on my health. I also want to pick up some of my old hobbies and make myself less reliant on my PC/PS4/Switch for enjoyment or relaxation. The biggest thing is that I want to start having a more structured life where I am more calm and capable of getting things done. As for right now I feel like I’ve gotten off my chest what has been going on in my head, which means I can close down the house and get ready for a good night’s sleep.

Cleaning House

I’m sitting here staring at my blog, wondering what to write. It’s been a while and even though I have a lot of things to discuss I’m not sure where to really start.
Maybe I’ll start with telling you guys that I just came back from a wonderful 8 day trip to Mallorca. I’ve been needing a vacation for quite some time now and flying off to the sun for a full week was something I’ve been looking forward to for a while. I managed to get some relaxation time in and tanned a little bit. I’m really white skinned so getting any sort of tan takes me a while, especially having to prevent turning lobster red instead. I’ve done a lot of things, visited a water park, aquarium and midget golf, but mostly I took the time to destress and relax away from home.
I had my 3DS with me and I managed to finally sit down and play a few games that I’ve been meaning to. I’m about 4.5 hours into Bravely Default now, playing through Chapter 1. I never got past the intro first so it’s a milestone! I also spent about 5.5 hours total playing Ever Oasis and I’ve fallen in love with that game. The combination of having to maintain a town and also dungeoning is quite refreshing and the whole atmosphere of the game is insanely cute. I might dedicate a post to it later.

Next to going on vacation I’ve been using my free time to work through the mess that is my room and the attic. My room is more or less empty right now and I’ve thrown away about 3 trash bags worth of stuff from the attic. I’ve also been giving away a lot of my old children’s books which frees up even more room. During my cleaning I’ve stumbled across my old Sega Mega Drive (Genesis in the US) and all of its’ games and the two nintendo mini classics you see on the picture at the start of my post. I’m fully intending to put batteries in atleast one of these and hang it on my bag to play. I remember having a very good time as a 9 year old with these games and I’m sure if they still work they’re still a blast to play. The silver one is Super Mario Bros. and the green one is Donkey Kong jr. It made me insanely happy to find these because well, I like my game collection and these two were “missing” for quite a while.
It feels nice to get rid of things. I’ve never been a hoarder, but a lot of my stuff got chucked up on the attic out of habit. It was and still is quite full with tons of things that I need to sift through, but for now I’m happy with my progress and I will continue a later time. Ideally I want the shelves that now hold old toys and books to be reserved for my older gaming gear, mostly so I know where it is and it’s easy to pick up whenever I would want to play it.

Speaking of games…
Ofcourse I have played the shit out of Stormblood. My Ninja is currently sitting on level 70 with a full Lakshmi Ex kitted right side and waiting on her Susano ex weapon. I am going to do Omega Normal tonight with my Free Company, something I’m quite looking forward to aswell. Leveling a DPS hasn’t been the easiest this expansion, mostly due to insane queue times. I think the longest I’ve had so far has been an hour. And that’s not even counting the queue times to get on the server itself. I really enjoyed the Stormblood story, especially the Doman part. My Ninja plays really nicely if we forget about Ten-Chi-Jin for a minute and my static will be starting up Savage raiding soon. I’ve really enjoyed Lakshmi ex aswell, although the Bollywood music tends to get kind of annoying after two straight hours of it.
As far as the new classes go I’ve mostly been exploring Red Mage. The playstyle is very refreshing and fast once you get the hang of it and I’m pretty sure I’ll level it up fast after Bard and Warrior. Samurai right now just feels very complicated. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it once I start playing properly but for now I’m leaving the class alone. Bard is a different story. I really like that they removed the casttimes and what they did with the songs. It’s my second favourite class after Ninja and I’m slowly leveling it up, being stuck at 63 right now.

I’ve also been grinding out my crafters, kicking my miner up to level 50. I notice that the game as a whole is taking up a lot of my time so I might take a bit of a step back, map out what I want to do exactly and invest a bit less time. There’s a lot of other things that need my attention right now so I want the time that I do put into FFXIV to be useful, be it through leveling another class, working on my gatherers or getting my Ninja in the best gear. I may actually make a “roadmap for Stormblood” in which I put weekly, monthly and yearly goals. I know it sounds like quite the project but it’s something I’ve been thinking about longer and I may actually just go forward with it.
Ofcourse I’ll share this on the blog aswell, hopefully somewhere the next week.

All in all the vacation time has done me good. I’m more relaxed and focused and ready to take on everything again. I hope this also means I can get a bit more structured with my routines and include blogging more again. For now though I will have to finish here and head to bed… Seeing as I’m more tired from the vacation than when I flew off to go there!

Sun, Games and Planning

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It’s always a sad moment when you find yourself sitting in your room, typing up a blog post when only two days ago you were still enjoying the amazing sun in Lisbon, Portugal. I really wanted to go down to southern Europe for a vacation or citytrip this year. Here in the Netherlands the sun is scarce and temperatures are often cold. We don’t really have a summer to speak of, not in the way southern Europe has so I never really get a chance to tan or enjoy the weather here. So way back in March I decided I wanted to go on a citytrip to Lisbon, dragged a friend along, and there we were.
I have to say it’s a seriously amazing city. The weather was great, even though we had clouds on our second day, the food was good and cheap and the people were nice and all spoke English very well, something a few other countries can learn from *stares at France*. The climate alone has me wanting to go back to Portugal for atleast a proper vacation. It’s a beautiful country and I really want to explore more of it, but that will be something for in the future. Now real life has started back up again and I’m only 4 days off going back to work.

Super Mario Time
I took my 3DS with me to Portugal and managed to get a lot of time to play New Super Mario Bros. 2. As you all may remember, or maybe not, one of my goals for this year was to finish that game since it’s one of the first games I bought with my original 3DS and I never really finished it. So 3 hours back and forth on an airplane would be an ideal time to atleast work through some of the levels… And I have! When I started out a few days ago I was still sitting at the first level of world two, now I’m halfway through world four! Which means I only have two worlds left to complete after this.
I’m not running a perfect game, when the big coins you get in every level are too hard to reach I just skip them, but I do try to obtain them wherever I can. Then there’s the issue of seeing hidden levels and not really knowing how to get there, not even to mention the two complete worlds that you need to access via a special way. I will look up how to get there eventually, but for now I just want to aim to defeat the last boss… And then go back to unlock additional stuff.
Next to Super Mario I’ve also spent a lot of time playing FFXIV. I have unlocked all the patch 3.3 content there is on my Moogle character next to being on time to finish the Golden Saucer event on both my characters. I also dinged my MCH level 50, so I’m quite a way in when it comes to my gaming goals for this month! I even switched over to Monk now and she is sitting at level 42. I hope I can push that to 50 aswell before the end of the month.
All in all my gaming comes along really nicely. Which brings me to my next topic…

Planning my life
I am hopeless when it comes to starting and completing things. A lot of my time is spent either staring into the abyss or lying on my bed feeling tired when I’m home from work. I have real issues deciding what I want to do on any given day, and when I have decided it takes me forever to get my butt into gear and go. I think the foundation of this lies in the fact that I’m a very chaotic person who on top of that is quite unmotivated to do a lot of things. So I decided to set things straight and start using Google Calendar to plan my days and sync said calendar to both my iPhone and my tablet. Although I don’t really plan every minuscule detail for every minute there is a bit more structure to my days now, which allows me to actually get stuff done. As example I “reserved” an hour to blog today (from 10-11am). I probably won’t use the entire hour this time, but sometimes when I have a bit of a writer’s block I do need an entire hour to blog, so that gives me some space to work with. It also helps me settle down and actually write instead of thinking “I should blog sometime today” and then just not do it.
The same goes for planning my gametime. I realise that sitting on my butt and gaming all day on my days off is just as bad as sitting on my butt in the office all day… So I’ve been hacking my gametime into 1 or 2 hour periods inbetween doing other stuff like chores, working out or appointments. I’ve also decided to already fill in those chunks of gametime because I know myself too well. If I don’t plan in advance what game I want to turn my attention to I will never play anything but FFXIV, and that’s seriously a shame. Obviously 1-2 hours isn’t enough to really get into the big RPG’s and thus I’m saving those for the weekends when I have more time to play and I can fill more blocks with one single game. Instead I’m choosing mostly platformers that I want to play and can play for an hour or so and then just shut down without feeling like I should be playing more or that I forget where I was.
This whole system is still more or less in a testing phase, but I do hope that I can start using my time better and actually feel like I’ve accomplished something, instead of now where I wish I had done a lot of things in hindsight.

A Good Vacation Start

Today kicked off my vacation and it couldn’t get off to a better start. I went to the gym first thing in the morning and have been feeling energetic all day. I played some WoW, some FFXIV and Pokémon X aswell as watch the last few episodes of Gotham I had left, which means I have finished the first season.
I haven’t felt this relaxed in a very long time and very motivated to game again. Funnily enough I decided to spend a lot of time on World of Warcraft yesterday evening and tonight. I have made some goals for WoW this month and I’m happy to report I achieved one of them today already! With a small stroke of luck I had gotten an Elixir of Rapid Experience and two Champion’s Honor’s from my missions. I sold all of those combined for about 20-25k gold and I broke the 100k gold barrier once again. I’ve been flooding the markets with a lot of other stuff I still have on my various toons (mostly crafting mats) and I’ve been raking in a lot of money. As of now I’m looking forward to getting another 800 gold just from selling Savage Bloods. It really proves that the economy on my server isn’t as dead as I thought it was. It’s certainly alive enough for me to make a nice bit of gold atleast!
100k gold! And selling more.For now I’ve mostly sent all the gold from my inactive alts to my Warrior, only really using my Priest and Paladin to generate even more revenue since they both have level 3 Garrisons and a lot of gold missions aswell as missions that give me more stuff to sell on the AH. All in all the gold flow is nice and I’m building up a nice little fortune before Legion launches.

Next to churning out gold I’ve also been doing some other things WoW related. I caught the rumour that Blizzard will be putting the Brawler’s guild on hiatus sometime before Legion launches so right now is the perfect time to start getting involved. As I’m typing up this post my Warrior is sitting on rank 5, which isn’t really that impressive. I aim to get to rank 8 in a considerable amount of time and also to complete the special brawls that I’ve unlocked by finding items throughout the game.  I really like the Brawler’s Guild so far because it makes you think about how you want to kill the bosses you’re faced with. Although some you can mostly get through with using brute force, others are a little bit more difficult and take more strategy to take down. As an added bonus when you reach rank 8 you can buy a nice Mushan Beast as mount for only 1.2k gold. Being the collector I am I obviously really want that mount so I will continue to grind on this as the month passes.

FFXIV and Pokémon X have gotten some love aswell with my MCH dinging 47 earlier today and I’ve reached the city for the second Pokémon Gym, so I should be able to cross two more goals off my list for June very soon. I’m unsure why but I’m really enjoying Pokémon X again over Blue and Alpha Sapphire. Maybe it’s because I’ve never actually finished the game so the story is fresh to me, maybe it’s because I like the setting and all the little quirks they put into the game. There are so many events and places outside of the regular “beat 8 Gyms and the Elite Four” story… You can really notice Nintendo and Game Freak wanted to show off this game as the first 3DS Pokémon game. I hope I can get to beating the second Gym and then continue on because I’ve never really gotten past it in my previous playthroughs so the game is mostly new to me anyway. It looks like I will though because I’m slightly hooked to my 3DS lately and it’s the only thing I’ve been playing outside of Blizzard games and FFXIV.

 

No Overwatch?

Honestly on launch day I can’t really ignore the fact that Overwatch is now officially playable. I dipped my toes in earlier this evening after dinner, but a pounding head and an overwhelming desire to sleep drove me away from the game to relaxation instead. Trying to learn new heroes and staying with the pace of the game while also trying to not fall asleep in my chair wasn’t really doable, so I’ll probably play some more over the week and then talk a bit more about it aswell.
Instead I want to talk a bit about Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright.

A local multimedia store had a nice sale going this week. Buy three games and only pay for two. I took this opportunity to nab a copy of Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario 3D World for my WiiU but also my very first Fire Emblem game. I have heard a lot about the series and they seem to have gotten positive reviews, plus I have a serious weakness for JRPG graphics in a game so I got the last nudge I needed to pick up the game and experience what it’s all about. I picked Birthright because apparently it’s the easier of the two latest Fire Emblem games that are out now. I plopped the game into my 3DS last night and played for a bit before hopping onto FFXIV for my roulettes. I’ve also played a bit on the train to work this morning and on the way back home and I think I’m done with the prologue/tutorial part, which takes about 1.5 hours to complete. I unlocked my castle and built my first building and now I’m kind of poking around what exactly I need to be doing to advance in the game. I think I’ll need multiple playthroughs in this game to begin with because the game lets you choose multiple storylines and I kind of want to explore them all… But let’s just start with the one I chose: the Hoshido story. I play the game on Classic mode since that is apparently how it’s meant to be played and I managed to already get two of my dudes killed off so that’s a good start, right?!
So far the story is a bit thin but the graphics and music of the game are absolutely stunning. I haven’t been able to skip a single cutscene just because how breathtaking the design of this game looks. I like how you can customize your character up to a point and how they allow you to switch your hairstyle halfway through the game. As said I’m only 1.5 hours in so I can’t really comment too much on the game yet, but it looks to be an epic experience and I’ve currently set aside all my other handheld games to play it.

From what I understood the story of this game is cut up in three separate games so if I would want to experience it fully I’d need to get my hands on the other two paths aswell. However since this is my first game and I’m not sure how much I like the franchise yet I think I’ll stick to finishing Birthright first, and then I can always look into getting Conquest and/or Revelations later. Maybe Nintendo will let us purchase the other paths for cheaper when the games are out longer. Who knows. For now though the game has really captivated me and I want to know how the story unfolds and how bad (or good) I really am at the strategy parts of this game.

Vacation Inbound
My two-and-a-half weeks off are getting closer and closer aswell. With officially only 5 days of work still ahead of me I can feel my body ache for some nice relaxing time off. My vacation starts on June 2nd and I won’t have to go back to work untill June 20th. The idea of having 18 days off is seriously amazing and I’ve also booked a 4-day citytrip to Lisbon to get me out of the country and the house for a bit. I hope I can use this time to sort through a lot of junk on the attic and in the shed, tie up loose ends in my life, work out a lot and maybe finish a game or two that I have bought over the years. It’s just a really nice feeling to not have any obligations or alarm clocks in my life for a bit and that I finally can spend my time the way I want to without feeling guilty, because next to having 18 days off I also have the house to myself. My father and his girlfriend are going on vacation to Canada for almost 5 weeks, and I will have the house and car to myself for that time. So yay for me!
As for the rest of this week, I’m going to be very busy so I doubt I can get much gaming hours in. I do hope to push my Machinist to level 50 though with my Monk trailing not that far behind. But Overwatch will dominate my free time the most.