Sometimes, I sit in my office and realize that in, order to fulfill my dream of writing about and participating in a medium that I love quite dearly, I will have to prepare myself to defend against constant harassment, verbal and emotional abuse, threats against my life and graphic threats of sexual rape.
All because I’m a woman that likes to play and talk about video games.
You know, all the stuff I’ve already had to deal with when I worked at the arcade and Gamestop.
One good thing about my current job: I’m called an asshole about once a week, if not more, for doing my job properly. And after ten years of it? I am well capable of cutting a person down to size.
I think I’ll be alright.
I just can’t get over how frickin’ pumped he is. It’s so dang funny.
In some bizarre effort on my part to play a non-review game before the end of the year, and to hack through the dense forest that is my backlog, I started Xenoblade Chronicles, a Wii title I had picked up forever and a day ago because I was supporting localization of titles etc, etc. In fact, I have all three of the Operation Rainfall games (Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, Pandora’s Tower) which I bought purely to support localization and with no actual interest in the games themselves.
But Xenoblade Chronicles was sitting there (right next to both Tales of Xillia and Tales of Graces f, as well as The Last of Us, all three of which are in their shrinkwrap), and since I hadn’t played a JRPG in a while, I figured I’d make use of my Wii U’s backwards compatibility and give it a whirl.
And now I’m 10 hours in, and I’ve realized I’m playing an MMO. An MMO with, thus far, bland characters and an uninteresting story. And also side quests. OH MY GOSH sidequests. Which all ties back into the MMO feeling again, because zero to none of these sidequests have amounted to any more than killing X number of Y species of monster, with an occasional “Bring me X animal parts” or “Kill X Named Monster” thrown between. So far I’ve encountered about 50 sidequests (maybe more) and they have all been equally shallow.
In fact, that’s how I realized I was playing an MMO: I was doing my umpteenth “Go to this zone that I’ve outleveled and farm this one particular mob for a drop,” and I started feeling World of Warcraft-levels of deja vu. I quit MMORPGs for a reason, and that reason being that the previous style of questing, involving loads of monotonous busy work, was just that: monotonous. And at only ten hours, it is way too early for Xenoblade Chronicles to start triggering my monotonous nerve.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve developed a lack of patience for games that don’t capture my attention, because often there are other things I can do, other games more engaging, that I can find to entertain myself with, and so if a game starts to bore me I’ll usually have no trouble pitching it. But I’m willing to give Xenoblade Chronicles a fair shake, at least in the interest of seeing if it was worth the localization drive. So from here on out, I’ll just plow through the story and see if it gets better for me.
Somewhere, I’ve made a completionist cry.
*idily listening to Gopher’s Let’s Play Skyrim while working*
*hears Gopher get mad that nobody acknowledges that he’s thane of Whiterun*
*hears Gopher ask his follower to carry a banner*
HARK NEEDS HERALDRY
*immediately installs Custom Sigils*
[Image - Anthy holding a cat.]
[Text - (859): Reasons why I love cats more than people: 1. They’re not fucking people.]
Recently, I’ve noticed that it’s common for gamers to have no sense of etiquette. This is not because they are naturally impolite, but because rules in games are limited to what can be controlled in the coded environment. There is no way to enforce rules for the real world, so they’re not bothered…
Roland’s a werewolf.
This kinda happened to him out of the blue. Skjor told him to meet him late at night for some seeecreeet meeeeting and Roland rolled his eyes, but went anyway. And then Skjor told him to drink Aela’s blood and that was all sorts of creepy out the innards, but, you know what? Why the heck not.
So Roland chugged some Aela blood.
And the next thing he knew, he was lying on his back in the snow, Aela (a very human and non-werewolf Aela) was standing over him, shining a torch into his eyes, he was buck naked, and Inigo was nowhere in sight.
Roland’s memory was a fuzzy haze of howling a lot and something about a cow.
Alright, so- werewolf. A “howl at the moon, smell like a wet dog constantly, possibly maul little girls to death and be hunted by Hircine, never get into Sovongarde maybe” werewolf.
You can cure lycanthropy, right?
Aela laughed mockingly at him and tossed him his armor and weapons. She briefed him as he got dressed about the Silver Hand stronghold they were about to ransack, and that Skjor had already gone inside.
Roland half-listened as he re-armed himself, the feel of his battleaxe, with him for so long, now unfamiliar and heavy in his hands. The air smelled like frost and blood and smoke. His armor, worn for weeks and as comfortable as a second skin, chaffed and itched, urging him to take it back off.
He was a werewolf.
Where was Inigo?
Roland’s a bit underwhelmed with the Companions.
Thus far, they’ve sent him on fetch quests and menial labor- clear this fort of bandits, get that sword from giants- easy, peasy stuff. He barely breaks a sweat. He admits to some slight appreciation for Farkas apparently being a werewolf; seeing the Shield-Brother tear through an entire squad of Silver Hand warriors was impressive, but with his silver greatsword, Roland’s willing to bet any amount of money that he could take the werewolf on and get a new fur hood in the bargain.
But the Companion did vouch for him, so…
And what the heck does Skjor want to meet him for in the middle of the night, anyway?
Meanwhile, Hark set forth into Ridgewood, eager and ready to start her new life as a hero.
She was promptly mauled to death by a pack of wolves.
I mean, er, she successfully defeated a pack of wolves and found herself inside the town proper, where the local merchant lamented that some bandits had made off with his prized golden claw, and was willing to pay to see it returned. Hark rejoiced! Her first quest was upon her!
Eager to prove herself, she set out that very day for the ancient barrow that the bandits had taken refuge in. Halfway up the mountain, she found a small tower, and a trio of nefarious ne’er-do-wells blocking her path. With a prayer to Stendarr, the Khajit paladin hurled herself against her humanoid foes-
And promptly got the piss beaten out of her.
I mean, uh, she hurled herself against the bandits and got completely trashed.
Wait, no, I mean that she got her tail whipped-
-she got her ass kicked-
-she got her pelt skinned-
-she got turned into a rug-
-she took advantage of the terrain and picked apart the bandits one by one, leaving them crushed and dead in her wake.
And then she retreated to Ridgewood because dude, those three bandits? How tough they were? Okay, yeah, no, Hark needs to train on how to be a better fighter because that was tough as claws. And she should know, because she has claws.
Hark’s a terrible fighter, is what I’m trying to say.
A terrible, terrible fighter.
Divines help her and her horrible, horrible fighting ability.
Skyrim is stable enough to survive streaming to Twitch.
*rubs hands together gleefully*