Natalie Rambles About 2019

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  • Reading time:63 mins read
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Because 2019 is dead… or close enough to warrant a retrospective.

The sky has been painted a persistent white from constant clouds, the ground has become caked with snow and ice (or at least it should be), and everybody’s school and work schedules are thrown out of whack as the year comes to a close.  It’s the much terrified year end, the point in time when people are expected to look back on the year that passed us by, highlighting the highs and the lows, and hopefully re-centering oneself during a period comprised of both frantic activity and mellow relaxation around loved ones.  Or at least that’s my skewed perspective on the matter.  

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Rundown (9/01-9/07) Natalie Must Remain Enigmatic

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  • Reading time:15 mins read
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Something that might not be obvious from the deluge of personal information and historically hued anecdotes I offer throughout this jolly old website is the fact that ‘in real life’ I tend to be immensely reserved around others.  As in, I like to give as few personal details as possible, and only share said details when prompted. This applies from co-workers to classmates to even my immediate family, and my justification stems from a deep fear of rejection or being misunderstood by others.  I mean, I could tell them that I enjoy writing and video games, but those things could be wildly thrown out of proportions, and saying that I write novels and review games for a small website sounds a trifle bit bizarre to some people. So the way I view it, there is no winning and I ought to keep my mouth shut, lest I accidentally spew something problematic.
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Rundown (8/11-8/17) My Game Collection Fits in a Shoebox

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  • Reading time:8 mins read
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I often stumble onto musings from gaming enthusiasts who boast about their collections or hem and haw about physical clutter being an annoyance.  I’ve been playing primarily on PC since 2013, so I don’t have much of a modern physical library, and I have long since given up any aspirations of keeping a presentable collection and chucked my games in assorted cases and disc binders years ago so they consume less space.  Now everything roughly fits inside a shoebox! I still have the cases mind you, mostly in the event that I choose to sell off parts of my collection, which I would be willing to do, since I’m never going to hook up and play something on any of my older systems, but that would require actual work.  
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Rundown (8/04-8/10) Drop the Crack, Nat!

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  • Reading time:9 mins read
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Seeing as how I now have a smartphone, the idea of playing mobile games suddenly became a very real possibility for me, and I figured what better way to go about things than returning to Fire Emblem Heroes.  After using up the orbs I accumulated on my Android tablet, I tried getting back into the established groove, and quickly remembered why I stopped playing the game in the first place.  This game is bloated with content, time locks just about everything it can, and is designed to fuel obsessive tendencies while being built around a stream of constant grinding. It is suffocating and overwhelming how much time-gated content and rewards there are in this game, and I honestly could not tolerate it after a two days of playing it during my free time rather than doing anything remotely productive.  Like playing Sushi Striker.
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Rundown (7/07-7/13) The Lattice Method

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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 (6/16-6/22) Super Graphical Butthurt

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  • Reading time:7 mins read
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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

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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!

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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 (6/02-6/08) PRE3 2019: Hustle and Bustle

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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 (2/24-3/02) Petty Platinums, Predictable Pokémon, and Prosperous Positions

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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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