Rundown (7/07-7/13) The Lattice Method

Back in grade school when I was learning long multiplication, my teacher introduced my class to a method to simplify complex multi-digit multiplication problems into single digit problems known as the Lattice Method.  It involves taking the equation, making a grid or rather a lattice, and then splitting the equation into several single digit multiplication problems, the answers of which are added up at the end to determine the overall answer to the equation.  It was always my preferred method of multiplication, but once I started attending high school, none of my teachers understood what this method was or why I was doing it, and since then I have never heard anybody reference this method, at all. Which is weird because while it is a bit time consuming and requires a sizable amount of space to write out, it is a very easy and reliable way to calculate an equation.  Anyways, that’s all I have to share this week. Time for video games!
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Rundown (6/30-7/06) The Great Eoten Consumption

Over the past few weeks I decided to see what all the hubbub was about with Attack on Titan, and jumped into the manga, having previously watched the first season of the anime 6 years ago.  I found the series to substantially improve following the first few arcs. I enjoyed the way the story routinely shifts from a political thriller to a high octane visceral battle manga.  I was impressed by how the series managed to keep so many questions lingering, but gets to answering all of them eventually, and it answers them quite well. The art is detailed and distinctive the characters have some ingenuity to them, the writer clearly put a lot of forethought into the world building, and it’s overall quite riveting stuff.  So yes, the popular thing is good, I like it, and I’m looking forward to it ending… within the next year or so.
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Rundown (6/23-6/29) Art Is Hard!

For years I have contemplated posting my novels in their entirety on Nigma Box rather than hosting them via Google Docs, but have not done so because I like having a header image associated with each of my posts and, well, I don’t have any visual assets to represent these works.  I thought about commissioning art for each chapter, or just the novel overall, but that could get expensive, and would require me working with an artist, which kinda scares me. So I said screw it, I’ll make my own headers. But I cannot draw, barely know how to use Photoshop, and lack visual artistic sensibilities, so what can I do?  I know! I made crummy sprite edits of 8-bit Danganronpa character sprites for my cover of A Vile Doohickey back in 2014, so I’ll just do that again!  So I tested this idea by making a header for Random #001: Grandpappy Pyra, and… it took me like 3 hours to make in total… Art is hard!
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Rundown (6/16-6/22) Super Graphical Butthurt

Something that routinely baffles me nowadays is the fervor that people get into regarding a game’s graphics.  While I get the obsession over frame rate and resolution, I honestly assumed that the greater dedicated gaming audience has moved beyond voicing dissatisfaction with some games not looking as good as their peers, or looking like a “last gen” game, while posting cherry picked comparisons in order to make themselves feel like they are more… sophisticated?  This recently happened with Pokemon fanatics who are super butthurt about Pokemon Sword and Shield, with its graphics not being as good as people want them to be, and I feel like such a tired old bastard whenever I try to understand why this is important to them.  Sure, I’d like the game to look a bit better, but I’m someone who said they would be fine, if not happy, with graphical fidelity never advancing beyond that of HD renditions of GameCube games, and I goldarn meant it.  
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Rundown (6/12-6/15) The Rubbish That Remains

E3 came, E3 went, and E3 will swing around again next year, where it will hopefully be filled with far more enticing announcements on account of the next generation.  Overall, it was easily one of the weaker years, with Microsoft, Ubisoft, Bethesda, and Square Enix all having some cool things to show, and avoiding a lot of bad or ‘cringey’ moments, but few things to necessarily wow people or with a lot of deeper dives into previously announced games, but also brought with it two new Smash characters, and a Smash character reveal is basically the equivalent to a game reveal on the hyp-o-meter.  Anyways, in my blitz through the news, wherein I mentioned that games existed and could possibly be good, I naturally missed some things, and this post is to remedy that.
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Rundown (6/11) E3 2019: Hyper Bursting!

Woo!  E3 is mostly over, and the hype has undoubtedly causes every audience member to burst with powerhouse excitement, and things may have gotten more than a little messy in the process.  Anyways, the main conferences are done, the actual E3 event, where people try to get work done in a loud, crowded, and smelly convention center, is underway, and the only press conferences of the day was Nintendo’s.  So let’s cut all pretense and jump right into the gooey center of the E3 Claire eclair.
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Rundown (6/10) E3 2019: Work X School X Conferences

You know what the worst past of E3 is?  The fact that I cannot simply drop everything to enjoy spending an entire day in video game wonderment.  As such, since 2013 the Monday kicking off E3 has always been a frustrating affair where I not only want to watch the conferences, do a write-up, which takes time because I am a slow writer, and keep up with the news that falls between the cracks, but I need to attend college classes and do part-time office work that mostly consists of spreadsheets, filing, and processing bodily specimens.  Anyways, enough customary moaning.  The video games are here!
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Rundown (6/09) E3 2019: Get Your News While It’s Hot!

I am very well aware of the fact that it is beyond pointless for me to try and cover an event like E3 or offer my hot takes on any given press conference due to the simple fact that everybody and their baby cousin is doing the same darn thing, and that my posts do not technically go up until hours later, where they offer a text-based summary of a video broadcast.  It is all kind of pointless in a sense, but I have fun making this elongated opinionated summaries, and that’s the important part. …I think.
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Rundown (6/02-6/08) PRE3 2019: Hustle and Bustle

Gather your things, ready your streams, call off of work assuming you can, make a bunch of snacks, and get foked my sweet little chickpeas!  Because it is that marvelous time of the year where all the video games happen at once, meaning that nobody who likes video games is actually playing video games, and they are instead yucking it up on their internets, wallowing in the succulent juices of hype that encapsulate the industry many times in a given year, but never quite this intensely or fervorously!  Or in other words, E3 is starting in a few hours, so I probably should go through the news that came in the past week or so. But not the many leaks, since that’d just be redundant, yo!
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Rundown (5/26-6/01) Everything is Dirty!

I personally am not a germaphobe or neat freak by any means, but there are two things that generally speaking freak me out whenever I see, and I see them frequently.  People eating food with unwashed hands and people lounging around in their home in “outside clothes”. My reasoning for this stems from the fact that the outside world is filthy, everything is dirty, and while people lack the ability to fully control the unclean, they should take care to not ingest vile germs or bring them into their home.  I have not gotten sick in a decade and want to continue that streak, and the idea of bringing germs into the home makes me want to immediately jump into the shower when I get home after work. Sure, I change my clothes and wash my hands, but my hair may as well have been dumped into a garbage bin.
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Rundown (5/19-5/25) The Future Is Random!

This past week I finished up the first iteration of what I hope to be a new segment to go alongside my Reviews, Rundowns, and Rambles, which I’m dubbing Randoms.  Randoms are short stories based on various ideas, concepts, and prompts that I either stumble across or pop into my weird brain. A segment meant to contrast my novels and novellas, which take me forever to write, and require me to commit to an idea and characters and make everything part of one big continuous multiverse.  The first Random will debut on May 31st, but I am not committing to a more specific schedule going forward. Could be monthly, could be quarterly, could be whenever the hell I feel like it.  Remember kids: Die Zukunft ist Zufällig.
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Rundown (5/12-5/18) Writing Woes

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but throughout primary school I was not allowed to take regular English classes for reasons I still don’t fully understand.  I did not really mind it at the time, but I regularly wonder if I would be a better writer if I had been permitted to take regular classes. I bring this up because I recently fell down a rabbit hole of some of my old writing on this site, and found it to be rife with minor mistakes I either did not catch the first time, or did not know any better back then.  It makes me wonder if I am still a garbage writer and will always be, or if this is just a natural creative process, where one grows to dislike the work they did a few years prior, as I have seen that mentality pop up from time to time.
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Rundown (5/05-5/11) Ticking Troublesome Time Bomb

Over the past few years there have been a number of instances where individuals with a strong internet following have effectively ruined their self-made careers.  Through hateful comments, improper conduct, or general misuse of their platform, it is very easy for acclaim accumulated by individuals to be demolished in a matter of days, if not hours, and for their reputation to be effectively tainted by their misactions.  It’s something I am very well aware of, have been for years, and after seeing this process undergo so many iterations, it’s all too easy to view every creator, if not every human being, to be a ticking time bomb of troublesome activities. Or in other words, the longer anybody exists, the more likely it is that they will become racist, sexist, hateful, psychotic, or try to exchange pornographic images of themselves with children.
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Rundown (4/28-5/04) The Reviews Will Never End!

I’m steadily approaching the 7th anniversary of this site’s quaint little existence, and with it over 7 full years of reviewing every game I played for a significant amount of time, amounting to something like 370 reviews in total, only 230 of which are still public.  In that time, I have begun associating the very act of playing a game with the act of collecting my thoughts, writing the review, editing it with varying levels of thoroughness, gathering a sample of the hundreds of screenshots I took, and posting it onto this site where it likely will not garner any real attention, as the only things people come here for are my Press-Switch and Student Transfer reviews.  Or rather my flowcharts.  It has become such a big part of gaming for me that I honestly cannot ever see myself stopping, and even if I did, I would assuredly miss the sense of closure that penning a review provides.  But enough about reviews. This is a rundown, so rundown some gaming news!
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Rundown (4/21-4/27) Resolution Solutions

One of the reasons why I am apprehensive towards the very idea of upgrading beyond my current 1080p monitor is that I play a large number of games with set resolutions that generally look like crap when scaled upwards due their quantity of 2D art assets.  While 3D games are generally safe from this thanks to the magic of polygons and anti-aliasing, and sprite-based games can look great when displayed at 3 times their original resolution, games that rely heavily on 2D art assets are not so lucky, and it makes me worry about their future.  I know there are programs like Waifu2x that can quadruple the size of artwork with minimal quality loss and ReShade can do great things for 3D titles, but I have yet to see anything that allows for, say, Muv-Luv to be boosted up to 1080p as you play it, which would be bonkers and make me utterly ecstatic.
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Rundown (4/14-4/20) Natalie Versus Transit

Sometimes when travelling back between the standbys of home, school, and work, I pontificate about how few placed I typically visit in a given year, and how that number is realistically less than 30 unique locations.  I suppose this is a sign that I should “get out” more, but I truly have little desire in going to places for the mere sake of leaving, especially when the process of getting from one place to another is such a dull affair for people without the ability to work, read, or mess around on their phone while in transit.  Seriously, I went to two new places yesterday but my 6 hours out involved about 4 hours of setting up computers and another 2 of sitting in a hot car in silence. It, combined with how often paratransit is late in picking me up really does make me worry about the future and the transportation related woes it will contain.
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Rundown (4/07-4/13) Natalie Likes Schedules

When I schedule the games that I review, I tend to prioritize two things.  Variety and timeliness, as I do not want to have two similar reviews back to back, but I also need to take into consideration my schedule, which I have ranted about in detail over the past year or so.  This has left me unable to keep my promise of reviewing longer games, as I only get about 15 hours of quality gaming time in a given week, and is largely the reason why I started the whole monthly Ramble segment.  That, and I wanted to try performing deeper dives into subjects that I feel strongly about and do not see discussed by people better and smarter than me.
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Rundown (3/31-4/06) Natalie Got Her Gacha Fix!

Ever since I stopped playing Fire Emblem Heroes a year ago, I’ve been craving a game with some sort of gacha mechanics, as I love the sensations that come with getting rare and powerful characters accompanied with light flavor text and unique artwork.  It is a desire that I have been looking to satiate in a somewhat healthy manner, and wouldn’t you know it, the Student Transfer dev team provided just that with their latest April Fools goof.  A standard no-frills card collector gacha title where the player can earn 160 unique cards with flavor text that were enough to drive me to achieve a 100% completion rate, and then proceed to happily read through the descriptions, taking delight in the information, background, and general absurdity they provided.
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Rundown (3/24-3/30) Japan Vs West: A Statistical Battle!

A topic that I regularly see brought up in the circles I follow is the idea of western game design versus Japanese design, what distinguishes them, and how Japanese game design is better.  While it would be easy for me to say that I tend to prefer Japanese games, I’m the sort of person who likes to have data for things, and as such, I decided to go through every game I played from 2016 to now, and compile whether or not I have a preference towards Japanese games.  What I found is that things are split fairly evenly between both fronts, as in that time I played 156 games, 53% of which were Japanese, and 47% of which were western.
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Rundown (3/17-3/23) Gaming Distribution Cataclysm

If this past week is any indication, I think one of the biggest issues that will permeate throughout gaming this upcoming generation is the matter of games distribution.  This was originally a fairly simple concept, but with digital distribution growing in popularity, many game companies have been looking for ways to have the means of distribution better serve them by creating their own platforms or signing exclusivity deals in order to lessen the risk associated with launching any kind of product.  While this sort of thing typically results in the establishment of a diverse and competitive marketplace that ultimately benefits the consumer in the long run, in the short run it creates a very hectic environment where the consumer is put in a place of uncertainty and inconvenience as they need to choose what platform they’re going to invest their time and money into.
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Rundown (3/10-3/16) Crack the Mind into the Bowl!

This past week I’ve been wrapping up my review of Student Transfer V4.1, and in doing so I noticed just how much of this update deals with mental alterations and the chaotic events such changes can lead to.  This in turn caused me to realize that, despite never really seeking this sort of thing out, I am actually somewhat fascinated by the concept of information being added, removed, or replaced in one’s mind, and seeing the ensuing results.  While I have seen a fair share of media depicting identity death or mind breaks, a lot of ST’s more mental focused content has a tinge of uniqueness to it that honestly gets my creative juices flowing, and is something that I hope to eventually work into some of my future novels… which I really ought to get back to working on.  Oh life, why do you insist on keeping me so gosh danged busy?
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Rundown (3/03-3/09) Natalie Should Read More Books!

Seeing as how my status as a writer should not be up for much contention given how much rubbish I’ve written over the years for this site, between novels, hundreds of reviews, and the weekly musings about game industry news, one would most likely expect that I am something of a reader as well.  However, that really is not the case, as while I do read a good number of articles, short stories, and many visual novels, it has been quite a while since I last read a full book. I used to read novels frequently back in high school, but as I started putting more and more attention into my site, and began writing my own stories, I began developing an urge to work on my own writing pursuits whenever I tried to start reading a book.  It just reminds me of how I have not told the stories I’ve wanted to tell yet, and I begin to feel like I’m procrastinating. Though, this does not really apply to watching videos, probably because it is a more passive activity and a different medium entirely.
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Rundown (2/24-3/02) Petty Platinums, Predictable Pokémon, and Prosperous Positions

About two weeks ago I started playing through Bayonetta, a title that I have tried multiple times in the past, yet struggled to get into due to my ineptitude when it comes to ‘real’ action games and obsessive personality traits that are triggered based on hyper specific criteria.  Or in other words, I positively suck at the game, but also wanted to go through the game while doing two very specific things. Get high rankings from every encounter and get all of the collectibles. While I believe that the former is very possible if I were to play through the game on easy, difficulties below normal automatically give the player all the health and magic upgrades from the get-go, and that approach deeply bothers me.  These are two incredibly petty things to hold against a game, but it left me unable to truly enjoy myself with the game, so for the fourth time in my life, I’ve given up on Bayonetta.  Though if someone were to make an ‘auto-platinum’ mod, I would probably give it a proper playthrough.
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Rundown (2/17-2/23) Tax Time Makes You Go Crazy!

So this past week I began another engagement with a CPA, wherein I aid him in various tax related activities while juggling my office job, grad school, personal time, and time spent making content for this quaint little site.  It is a side job that pays well, and is rather pertinent to my interests as an accounting major, but it also represents yet another activity that impedes my ability to go through games or work on my own projects. It’s not ideal, and this week is a particularly hectic, since I am going into my part-time job today, on a Sunday, when the office is closed, because somebody thought it would be a nice treat if I went home early on Monday.  I swear, I was mentally referencing last week’s header image for the past 5 days, stewing over how much I wish I had done everything sooner rather than later.  Garf!
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Rundown (2/10-2/16) Flowchart Nightmares Ahead 2: You Can (Not) Prepare

Last Friday the Student Transfer development team announced that Version 4 will be coming before the end of February, boasting that this version will contain roughly twice the content as Version 3.  A surprising bit of news that I find to be simultaneously exciting and intimidating to me, as I have taken on the duty of creating the flowcharts for sprawling choose-your-own adventure style visual novels about TG, body swapping, and more.  I very much want to enjoy the game and take my time with it, but Version 3 took me a good week to get through, so I am a bit concerned about getting a flowchart ready in a timely manner, especially with work and grad school keeping me so busy.  As such, I decided to do my homework in advance and download what I can off of the public Student Transfer GitHub in order to get cracking on a rough flowchart for V4 at the risk of spoiling myself.  Only to discover that with the way this game is developed, I would basically need to consolidate the builds available myself and… yeah, that sounds like more trouble than it’s worth.
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Rundown (2/03-2/09) Natalie Will Never Give Up the Fight

After writing for pleasure for about 7 years now, I have learned a lot, and developed my skills considerably, though even with a plethora of writing experience behind me, I still have some bad writing habits (though I don’t really know what they are), and the act of putting my thoughts into words in a semi-articulate manner still takes me longer than I would like.  While I have gotten good at the college approach of squirting out papers with relative quickness, for a lot of personal pieces that flood this site, I regularly struggle when describing or wording certain things, and have been known to spend several hours rewriting parts of a review. I’m not sure if this is just a deficiency on my end, or if this is due to how I often write whenever I have the time, and not necessarily when I am in the right mindset.  But regardless of the reason, I’m not going to get discouraged and I’ll never give up the fight!
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Rundown (1/27-2/02) The Saga Must Go On!

So, just a few days ago I released The Saga of Vincent Dawn, and while I am ultimately happy with the finished project, I am aware that some of the writing seen throughout the story is not up to my previous writing standards.  The act of going through and summarizing a hundreds of pages of poorly written text is an arduous process, especially when it is very personal to you, and when it came time to edit it all once more, my patience grew slim, as I just wanted to be done with the project and get started on the next one.  Though considering how I am still working on the outline, I really have no idea when it will be done. But it will get done, ‘cos I’ve got a story to tell and I’m gonna tell it no matter what, even if nobody actually reads it.
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Rundown (1/20-1/26) The Next Level In Graphical Technology

As someone who did not grow up with CRT displays, or at least they were phased out so early in my life that I genuinely cannot remember gaming on them, I developed a fondness for older games being emulated as sharply as they could be.  Or in other words, I like older games to have big, chunky, and clean pixels or smooth blocky anti-aliased polygons, all projected in HD resolutions (without stretching). However, one of the problems with up-resing 3D games like this is the fact that most textures are very low resolutions, and remaking textures is a very intensive process.  Yet just this past week I discovered of what could easily be described as witchcraft, as it is an AI neural network that can be used to recreate and remaster video game textures.  
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Rundown (1/13-1/19) Fetishes Are the Sexuality of the Next Generation

Maybe this is because I delved into dark niches of the internet back during my formative years, but I often think about the sheer variety and volume of hyper-specific and obscure fetishes a person can have.  Not just vanilla stuff like feet, BBWs, certain ethnicities, or unique sexual positions though. I’m talking about stuff like transforming into cactuses, fart vore, vaginafication, and milking women like cows.  I am under the impression that a growing number of people are developing a fetish for the more weirder stuff as time goes on, either due to exposure at an impressionable point in their life, or a thirst for a new kind of sexy.  As fetish culture only grows in size, I think it will go to become as prominent as sexuality by the time the next generation starts taking over popular culture.
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Rundown (1/06-1/12) Destiny is Destiny and Destiny is Free!

While I have admittedly given the western AAA industry the cold shoulder of indifference and apathy this past generation, I have been, obviously, keeping an eye on it and one of the more interesting titles to come out of the industry this generation was Destiny.  A highly anticipated title that was met with a middling critical reception before strong arming the idea of live services into the popular consciousness and also popularizing the numbers driven “Looter Shooter” genre.  Following that, it’s development and expansion was just plain old bizarre with voice actors being replaced, the story being fragmented as all heck, a bunch of dirtbag monetization tactics that were introduced in its sequel, quality going up and down sporadically, and dozens of millions of units being sold, because of course they were.
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Rundown (12/30-1/05) Editing Woes

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am currently editing my latest novel, and with the rate things are going, it is definitely coming out sometime this month.  The novel itself is primarily a summary of stories I wrote back when I was a teenager, recontextualized around a greater narrative I had loose plans for… about 5 years ago.  I consider the material to be very personal, but also very… messy, as my writing skills have developed a lot over the years, and the imperfections with the narrative construction in these stories are obvious to me.  This makes reading these stories difficult for me, let alone retelling them in a clear and concise manner, and ensuing that through editing is a more time consuming process than what I would like. But it is almost over, and within a few weeks I will be able to begin production on the next novel.  Because the train of creativity is powered by thousand year atomic batteries and if it stops, it will blow into bits!
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Rundown (12/23-12/29) Humdrum Holiday Hoopla

As I have gotten older I have become increasingly accustomed to the structure and format of a work week to the point where I honestly find any deviation to that to be bizarre.  Most notably in the form of holidays, as they either serve as days off from work, or a heavily marketed events that encourage rampant consumerism, sometimes both. Honestly, they all feel arbitrary and kind of pointless to me, and while I do appreciate having additional free time sporadically throughout the year, various obligations and festivities only go to limit that free time more, making the whole ordeal rather pointless.  Also, my Christmas consisted of sitting around in a noisy condo for 4 hours, eating mediocre fattening food, and wishing that I could be home working on my novel, or at work making money.
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Rundown (12/16-12/22) Friends Until It All Ends

The biggest most tangentially gaming related news for me this week would easily be the announced end of the Super Best Friends.  A group of three, formerly four, let’s players whose videos and podcast have been a part of my life for… about 6 years or so, providing bumbling playthroughs, endearing goofs, and general happiness for me and thousands of others.  While all three will continue to do their own thing, they will no longer be collaborating as they once were due to personal issues and, well, their friendship fading. It’s been a fun time following the miscellaneous nonsense attached to these scrublords over the years, but I suppose that all good things must end, and at least things ended reasonably here.  It’s better than Pat dying from scurvy, or the channel and the three slowly spiralling into a void of lackadaisical rambling nothingness, like some other people who I used to follow.
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Rundown (12/09-12/15) A Year with a Pretty Face

So, it just occurred to me that today, December 16th, 2018, is the one year anniversary of my Facial Feminization Surgery.  An intensive, and pricy, procedure that took me quite a while to recover from, but thanks to it I can present myself as female without getting weird looks from people, and hate looking at my face in the mirror significantly less.  Mind you, my transition is still not really done yet, as I have to take care of unwanted hair removal and the genital conversion, but those things will come in due time, and I kind of needed to save up money this year. Anyways, enough trans talk, on with the gaming news!
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Rundown (12/02-12/08) Transformation In Process!

As some of you may have noticed, over this past week I have been changing bits and pieces of this site around in an attempt to clean up the residual rubbish that pops up when running a website for… over 6 years.  Now, this is really just a change in title, the removal of old (bad) content, and little else, as I am still going to be updating this site with reviews, rundowns, and the occasional novel. If anything, this is a change made to facilitate this site’s future, as after spending the better half of a decade fumbling through this wackadoo writing experiment devised by 17-year-old me, there are some things that I really should revise.  I would also want to change the theme, but a lot of the alternative offerings are lacking in what I want, so I’m going to just stick with the theme I copied from Divine Intervention.  For now anyways.
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Rundown (11/25-12/01) Corporate Woes

Currently my school-based workload is diminishing, my mother is doing a lot better, and my mental state is in a more stable position, so reviews will resume on Wednesday, and a more structured format will hopefully be established in the following weeks.  But in the meantime, the small assortments of stories I found noteworthy this past week all followed a corporate theme of sorts and, while ultimately positive, are difficult for me to not view in a cynical light. My reasoning from this universally stems from how much corporations get away with in these modern times, and how, well, following just about anything for years upon years causes people to become jaded.
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Rundown (11/18-11/24) Natalie’s Adventures with Streaming

Two weeks ago, prior to having a bit of a meltdown over the sheer amount of things I need to do, I played through the first stretch of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey using Google’s Project Stream service.  While I personally found the game to be the same sort of highly detailed yet ultimately unmemorable open world fluff that has come to define so much of AAA gaming, and positively groaned as I briefly sifted through the microtransaction riddled storefront, I did find the performance of the game over my 50 mbps internet to be quite impressive.  While I could tell that there was some degree of latency with my actions, the quality of the service did convince me that streaming is a viable option for gaming in the future, as, well, it worked.
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Rundown (11/11-11/17) Welcome Impromptu Hiatus!

So, remember how a few weeks ago I talked about how my schedule was going to get out of wack in the future?  Well, it will get out of wack for a while, but not for the reasons I mentioned. Quite simply, my mother fell and damaged her arm, so I need to help out around the house a lot more while she heals, limiting my free time after work or school, and especially on weekends, when I need to help with the shopping, cooking, and cleaning.  That not being enough, I am getting absolutely wrecked by projects at school, where I am getting incredibly anxious about the lot of them. I hope to have things in a more stable condition by December, but until then, reviews are on hiatus, as I simply cannot comfortably play games while trying to juggle all of this rubbish.  Also, today is my 24th birthday, and I am celebrating it by making food and doing accounting homework instead of relaxing and playing Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee like I originally plannedHell, I doubt I’ll even touch the game, or any game for that matter, until after American Thanksgiving.
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Rundown (11/03-11/10) Natalie’s Not With It!

So, those who have followed my work for any amount of time would have inevitably picked up on clues that I am, to an extent, quite privy to certain concepts such as TG, body swapping, possession, and to a lesser extent whatever narratively flexible and interesting concepts that have been hued by the billowing fetish community.  But lately I feel that whatever part of me that would obsess over these things has been steadily and slowly fading away.
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Rundown (10/28-11/03) Everyone is Here and Everyone Is Dead!

For as much as some people love criticizing them, it cannot be argued that despite faltering in numerous other areas, Nintendo is absolutely excellent at garnering excitement, hype, and fervor from its fanbase.  Whenever a new Nintendo Direct happens, the excitement is often contagious, and while this does have the adverse effect of causing certain unscrupulous individuals to channel their excitement in ways destructive to themselves and others, one can argue that individuals such as them are simply inclined towards such hateful tendencies.  Anyways, another Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct happened, so let’s start with that.

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Rundown (10/21-10/27) Performance and Progression: A Manifestation of New Elements

So lately I have been trying to determine the metrics that can determine whether or not I personally would be interested in a game, partially inspired by certain things I have been doing as part of my master’s program, and determining incremental value-relevance of financial and non-financial measures.  Riveting stuff, I know.  Basically, when thinking about metrics I stumbled onto how many games can be divided into experiences that are either progression or performance driven.
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Rundown (10/14-10/20) Scheduling Woes Await…

For about three years now I have been attempting, and succeeding, in posting regular weekly game reviews, and while I am somewhat proud of my ability to maintain a schedule like that, recent circumstances in my life have made doing so increasingly difficult.  A mixture of work, grad school, and other real life obligations have limited my free time, and I simply cannot play through games quite as often as I used to. Furthermore, over the years there are a collection of lengthier titles that I have been neglecting due to my desire to maintain a schedule and, well, I want to get around to them sooner than later.  I will still try to post reviews as often as I can, but as things are ramping up with school, and missing a week becomes more and more likely, I want to let you know that I may have periodic spurts where I only update bi-weekly. Either due to how I need to work on school projects, or I’m playing a 50 hour visual novel over multiple weeks.
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Rundown (10/7-10/13) Dreams of A Better Gacha

Lately the subject of Gacha games has been present on my mind, and how they are ultimately designed to manipulate people into spending large amounts of money on shiny husbandos, sexy doohickeys, and handsome waifus by tricking them into thinking that they can beat out the mathematical juggernaut known as probability.  So, I got to thinking what if a gacha game were either 100% free or a premium title rid of any microtransactions? It’s a fantasy that I find to be fairly easy to imagine, as from what I know of the bigger Gacha RPGs, there is a core gameplay loop to make the games entertaining, and all that would really need to be changed is to prevent events from being limited on a daily basis, remove the stamina system, rework the probability of drawing rare characters, and make currency easier to obtain.
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Rundown (9/30-10/06) Backup Your Backup’s Backup!

Something I really have not addressed in the 6 years I have been doing this (yes, really) is my stance on the physical vs. digital debate.  The argument often seen here is between the permanence of physical goods versus the convenience of digital goods, with the arguments against each reflecting the alternative’s benefit.  A la, physical goods can be cumbersome, and require install times and such, while digital goods are temporary licenses that could be revoked in many instances.
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Rundown (9/23-9/29) No One Can Stop The Koopa Queen!

You know how they say you cannot have too much of a good thing?  Yeah, that is complete nonsense. After last week’s rundown, where I was positively ecstatic about how Bowsette blew up, it completely went wild after a while, with thousands of people “jumping on the bandwagon” and drawing their own interpretations of the character, including some especially well known artists.  Things went completely nuts once Japan found the fan art, and proceeded to turn Bowsette into the highest trending topic on Japanese Twitter, and continued to flood Twitter, Pixiv, and more with an absolute deluge of art.

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Rundown (9/16-9/22) I Welcome Our New Koopa Queen Overlord

Bowser Peach Best by MariTheLilimRemember how last week I was befuddled by the notion of Toadette obtaining a Royal Crown power up to become Peachette, as demonstrated in the reveal trailer for New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe?  While doing so, I also wondered what would happen if other characters got ahold of the item, though I never would have expected much to come from this.  Then somebody made a comic featuring Bowser using a Super Crown, and turning into “Bowsette”, which in turn sparked a slew of confusion and fan art.  I have made it no secret that I like TG stuff, and seeing something like this pop up and become a big deal is akin to a miniature Christmas for me, as it is rare that such a niche interest gets meaningful exposure.  Plus, the sheer quantity of art that has been made is downright absurd.  I thought that the Fatal Cutie Terry Bogard craze was the best I was ever going to get, but this makes that look like the Mario Odyssey possession craze, which was so upsettingly small!
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Rundown (9/09-9/15) Bonk This Bank!

This is such a petty thing, but the way Pokemon Bank subscriptions are handled really bothers me.  At first I thought that if your subscription lapsed, you could more or less indefinitely recover your stored Pokemon, but no, they are erased from the server after a while, and then they are gone forever, which is utter nonsense, especially considering how renewing one’s subscription works.  You need to wait until you have 14 days or less left on your pass before you can extend the subscription, and if you forget, say goodbye to whatever is in there. No email notifications, no nothing. I have a near complete Pokedex (I missed Marshadow a while back), a box of shinies, alternate forms, and a Ditto with 3 perfect IVs in there.  Do you know how upset and fundamentally broken I would be if I were to lose all of that? More than a goldarn smidget.
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Rundown (9/02-9/08) Work X Work X Work X Grad School

So, this past week it became abundantly apparent to me just how busy my schedule is.  With my ongoing part-time job of the past two years, my occasional second job where I help out an accountant kicking off again, a new third job where I help another accountant with more complicated matters, and the beginning of my accounting master’s program, which is like a bachelor’s program, but with more projects.  When combined with the stuff I do for this site, and the production of a novel, it amounts to a pretty hectic time, but with the education, experience, and money I am getting, I really cannot complain.
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Rundown (8/26-9/01) The Trans Everywhere System

Something I have noticed as of late is the bizarrely high number of people whose work I either follow or followed at some point in my life wound up being transgender.  Just going off the top of my head there are Lily Orchard, Jacob Hope Chapman, Tiffany Brockhoff, Kdin Jenzen, Momoka Truong, Katie Lynne Harder, a whole bunch of TG artists who have come and gone over the years, along with people like Laura Kate Dale and Uber Anne, whose I knew were trans when I started following their work.  It is all quite different compared to, say, 5 years ago, when I had next to no exposure to trans people beyond a few designated sites I checked. Because of this I struggled to come to terms that I was trans myself, and was only really inspired after seeing someone who I was following announce and begin their transition. Anyways, time for video game news!
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Rundown (8/19-8/25) Miscellaneous Ho-Humming

So, earlier this week things more or less collided in my mind and I realized that I am doing quite well for someone my age and stature.  I have a bachelor’s degree and am going for a master, I am a highly valued employee at my place of work. I have a steady stream of income coming in.  I have a loving significant other and an incredibly supportive mother. And I am very much happy. Though, I still cannot help but view this site in a less pleasing manner, and I cannot help but feel indecisive about whether or not I should replace it, heavily rework things while removing old content, or just abandon this pursuit in general, because the things I write are read by very few people.  I mean, if I picked the latter option I would have a lot of free time to spend working on my novels… which I do not think are read by anyone, period. Ho-hum.
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