Natalie Rambles About 2019

Because 2019 is dead… or close enough to warrant a retrospective.
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Rundown (8/11-8/17) My Game Collection Fits in a Shoebox

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 (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 (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 (2/10-2/16) 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 (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 (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 (9/02-9/08) 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 (8/12-8/18) P-S & ST Forever!

So, I have been looking at some of my site’s analytics, and it turns out that a whole lot of traffic is generated by my reviews of Student Transfer and Press-Switch, as they are both super niche projects that aside from their own forums, one person’s youtube channel, and 4Chan, have little presence on the internet.  While I do not really gain anything by generating views, and what I do generate is measly in the grand scheme of things, I really enjoy talking about these two games, and due to how the reception to them is positive as far as I can tell, I intend on continuing to review each new release of both titles.  This also includes the latest 0.5b build, which I will have a review of this Wednesday.  Anyways, I just wanted to get that out into the open.  Onto video game news. Continue reading

Rundown (3/18-3/24) Break Time is Work Time!

Ever since I started working part-time in 2014, that part time work quickly became full time, or at least close to full time, whenever I happened to have a break from school.  Spring break has meant that I work for a full week, winter break rounds out to a full month, excluding holidays and half days, and summer amounts to, well, near full time work for several months, where the projects just keep on coming.  I’m not complaining about this, I just find it odd how a “break” to me now means that I wind up working more than I would otherwise.
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Rundown (2/11-2/17) Gameindustri Is a Business!

Something that I tend to forget from time to time is that the video game industry is really just a large scale multi-billion dollar business run by companies that, above all else, are searching for ways to remain profitable in what is a rather turbulent market.  While games are unquestionably art, they are sold as products and produced by studios with the goal of creating revenue likely surpassing whatever goals are held by the developers themselves.  Yes, of course there is the independent scene where things work different, but when talking about industry, only the biggest players really warrant much attention.
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Darksiders Warmastered Edition Review

“Natalie, why do you do this to yourself?”  Do what to myself, voice in my head?  “Why are you going back to a game that you remember disliking when you played it 5 years ago?”  Because I always felt that I should actually like this game, and wanted to give it another shake.  “Even after re-reading your original review?”  Well, I tried to.  My writing was just awful back then.  “You know, you sometimes have a really bad tendency for self-destructive behavior.”  I know voice in my head, I know. Continue reading

Rundown (8/20-8/26) Natalie Will Spend All Her Money!

So, I recently made my appointment for facial feminization surgery, and as it turns out, I will be using approximately all of my money outside of my IRA to pay for it.  Because of this, I will not be doing as I originally planned, and I believe referenced in a prior Rundown, and purchase a Nintendo Switch for my recuperation period.  I will also be taking a hiatus beginning in mid-December and lasting until sometime in January.  I take pride in how I have maintained a constant weekly review schedule for the past two years, but I will need to break it, on account of my face being reformed into something prettier.   Continue reading

Rundown (8/07-8/13) “Moo Moo Moo” Said the Cow

20160805135636_1So this week I began a project that will involve months of tedious data entry, and nearly everything that could go wrong with getting this project set up occurred when I tried setting it up.  But I’m going to be paid good money for doing it.  Also, my mother gave me a tablet that she got for free from AT&T.  Meaning I could play Pokemon Go, if I had a data plan, quite easily as well due to the pair of Pokestops that are just a few blocks away from my house.  However, I don’t, and I do not have anything else I can really use a tablet for.   Continue reading