With my husband seemingly more willing to spend time in the Game Room with me, I finally picked up a second Play Station 4 DualShock controller in case he wanted to play something on that platform. The thing is, I do have that habit of getting two controllers for each of my past platforms in that desperate hope that I get to play all of my games with someone eventually along my gaming journey. There is an exception to this however for I just realized that I only have one GameCube controller! I must get another one before they go out of fashion - at least it's good to know that Nintendo is still selling it due to the recent arrival of Super Smash Bros. on the Wii U. Back to the DualShock 4 controller, I almost picked up the Glacier White edition so that I could differentiate between my two controllers but at the last minute, I had a change of heart and went for the Urban Camouflage instead. I am not big into camo-wear but I really like its application on the DualShock 4 since all the other color schemes look a little too plain:
Co-op Skylanders session coming soon? I sure hope so!
So it finally happened. After we were done eating Thanksgiving dinner earlier this evening, my husband informed his family about our relationship and that we had been married for quite a while now. I was bracing myself for the worst only to discover that the family was receptive and open about the situation. I was very relieved. Apparently, the family had suspected that something was going on between the two of us because they have seen my husband and I being together for a very long time. I am very proud of my husband for his bravery and honesty. I am glad that everything worked out with his side of the family when it didn't on mine. Now, we don't have to live in secret anymore around our family members. I hope your Thanksgiving was a joyous and happy occasion as well.
I no longer have to take these rings off when meeting the family.
I have mentioned many times in the past that I would have liked my husband to join me in my Game Room every so often, even if he would just be watching me playing games instead of playing them together with me but he's just not into video games whatsoever. Well, I was surprised that when I asked him again about streaming together on my twitch.tv channel, I do this every so often since I don't give up even against impossible odds, he actually agreed to do it! I don't know if this has a lot to do with his recent realization - the event did not happen on his birthday however because it got cancelled due to an unexpected circumstance and he now plans to do it tomorrow after Thanksgiving dinner, which of course makes me more nervous - but whatever it is, I love it! I really look forward to have him by my side during my future streaming sessions.
How I have longed to share the webcam with my husband and it's finally going to happen.
I went out shopping at Target last night and I saw the Nintendo amiibo figures physically for the very first time. I was so very impressed with the build quality as well as the likeness of the Mario and Yoshi amiibos that I almost picked one of those up. Then, I saw the one for Princess Peach and I almost threw up. It was totally disgusting. Nintendo should be ashamed for what had happened to Peach in her amiibo form and all Peach amiibo figures should be collected, burned, and forever forgotten. Please take a look for yourself:
Left: Figure Concept, Right: Actual Figure
Apparently, something must have happened during the construction of the Peach amiibo that turned her into a possible transvestite. The real figure doesn't even come close to the delicateness of the original vision. If you have purchased this amiibo, I urge you to contact Nintendo and demand a replacement from them.
I got a nice gift from my husband today in the form of the Skylanders Trap Team Starter Pack for the PlayStation 4 in addition to a bunch of figurines and accessories for it. I must say that I am very impressed with the Trap Master figurines. They are big, they are bold, and they are very bulky. They are definitely more stylish and certainly much more beautiful than the Swap Force figurines with Trap Master Head Rush being my absolute favorite.
I am ready for more Skylanders action!
Aesthetically perfect. I am in love with this figurine.
I was thinking that if I ever get this game, I was only going to get one Trap Master for each of the 8 elements but since I am very impressed with the ones that I have now, I may end up getting them all. The husband was nice enough to actually get me all of the elemental traps but I know that I still have to get that one Chaos Trap eventually. I already have the included character list poster up on my wall, ready to be filled up with the purchase stickers. I really look forward to play this game, especially since Dragon Age: Inquisition that I am currently playing via Origin ended up being a bit of a disappointment.
I had to remove a couple of old posters to accomplish this.
Remember that stupid preview during the PlayStation 4 reveal that showed the console's supposed ability to allow one to hand over the game controller virtually over the Internet to allow the other person to help complete a section of a game that one has troubles with? I thought it was a stupid feature back then because the whole really beats the purpose of one buying a video game in the first place if one is not going to play it by him or herself. Well, the "Share Play" feature finally arrived at the end of last month - notice the release delay - and I hadn't been bothered to check it out until yesterday. In addition to allowing you to let others play your games for you, which is a deliciously sloppy wet dream for trophy whores who can now recruit help from their more determined friends, this feature supposedly would also allow you to hand over a second controller virtually to your friend. which basically means that even games that have no online multiplayer function can be played with a friend. An acquaintance of mine wanted to test out the local multiplayer of Skylanders: Trap Team with me only to discover a message which stated that the game screen was not allowed to be shared and was restricted for our country and region! We were both shocked.
Sony has given the controller over to the developers so don't even bother with it.
Further research revealed that Sony had actually provided developers the ability to block this feature for the games of their choosing - now how stupid is that? As if it was not weird enough that they implemented a 60 minutes limit per Share Play session though one can reconnect for more after the time expired but with developers blocking games left and right, this feature has now become useless. Sony needs to grow some balls and tell developers that if they want to release their games on the PlayStation 4, the Share Play feature must be enabled. I understand the fear here - developers want to make sure that people will buy their games instead of playing their friend's copy virtually over the Internet but Sony should have learned from Valve, who fully enables Family Sharing of games on Steam and how that feature didn't ruin Valve's relationship with developers with plenty of games being released on Steam nonstop. Sony has missed out on a really huge opportunity to make the PS4 shine. So they want people to pay money for that stupid PlayStation Plus subscription by ensuring that online multiplayer becomes unavailable without it but then they would limit the ability for people to play local co-op games virtually. Bad move Sony.
I am quite excited about the upcoming Dragon Age: Inquisition, so much so that I finally completed the always stunted play-through of Dragon Age II. In the past, I had to restart playing that game twice from the very beginning because I left the game for quite a while on both occasions. It's always hard for me to get into a game again after leaving it behind for too long but thankfully I decided to just brave through the disorientation and confusion this time around only to discover that I was actually very close to the end of the game. It felt good to see the end of the sequel's tale, even though the epilogue was rather disappointing. More disappointing however was the discovery that Inquisition will not have an import save feature and instead, one has to manually plug in decisions made in past games via the Dragon Age Keep website. Such an odd choice. Surely there has got to be a way to make importing save files possible here because completing the "World State" from the website is a frustrating process since I really couldn't remember - and I doubt that I'm the only one - the specific choices I made while playing the first game. Thank the galaxy that I was fresh off the second game so I was able to complete entries for that game with ease.
Video games don't remember choices anymore. That task belongs to the humans now.
Gaming technology is supposed to advance forward and BioWare's approach to interconnect the first two games with Inquisition is a rather embarrassing one. Now I worked hard on completing all the choices on the website so I better see clever implementation of all that data in Inquisition. And please, no more of this manual crap in the future. I have a feeling that they are doing this primarily to help the PlayStation 4 and X-Box One players because it would be hard to get the save files from the previous versions of those consoles over. Just randomize events or create a default state for those are new to the series and mandate only the PS4/XOne players to complete the plot tapestry on the website instead of making everyone suffer just to play the game properly.
I don't know why I recently ordered the new "Super Smash Bros. 3-Poster Set" from Club Nintendo after I have turned my Game Room into The Luigi Room because I am really out of wall space at this point. I did manage to place one of them on the door to the Game Treasury underneath one of my Zelda posters and you know that's really pushing it. I probably have to post the remaining two in the laundry room or something because I know the bedroom is still off limits!
I go into my Game Treasury often so this isn't as bad as I originally thought.
Something important happened today. Something that I never knew would happen this soon. I don't have to say that I have a "spouse" anymore, for what I actually have is a husband. Yes, all this time, the reason why I had used the gender neutral word of "spouse" to describe whom I married was because my husband was not comfortable with the whole situation being out in the open. Though he has some friends who know about his marriage (most of mine know about it), that information is unknown to his family. And of course, this has been very, very hard for me whenever I spend time with him and his family, which just happens to be the only family I know since I had to abandon my side of the family because of their absolute inability to accept me for who I am. Yeah, it has been very hard to try to describe my husband in my posts sometimes because I always have to dance around words. But not anymore.
Our anniversary rings.
My husband is going to be celebrating his birthday next week and this morning, he revealed his plan to have the celebration with his family at a restaurant. I asked to be excused from the event and told him that I would celebrate with him separately and that I would pass on the family get-together. He knows that I have always been uncomfortable being "that friend" whenever I hang out with him and his family and once again, I told him how much it hurts being in that situation and I just couldn't handle it anymore, thus my request to skip the event. That was when the unexpected happened. He asked me if I could be there with him if he tells his family about us. I was hesitant but of course I said yes. I advised him that perhaps it would be wiser to be in a more private setting when announcing our relationship to them but he is determined to do it during the birthday dinner. I am very nervous right now and I am sure that the nervousness is going to keep building up until the actual announcement yet my husband feels like he's at peace with it. I never knew that this would ever happen. I have shared with him in the past that if he passed away before I do, it would be hard for me because his family would only know about the relationship then and that may cause unnecessary heartaches as if the death itself would't be hard enough for me to bear. There used to be a time when he would just look at me and said "Deal with it." I am glad that I will not longer have that concern looming over me anymore. I told him that I will be writing this piece on the website and he is fine with it. I am so happy that my husband is finally at that point where he is fully embracing his freedom. He said that he is done with worrying about what his family or others think about his life. I do hope that his family will be able to accept him after the reveal but he agrees that if things don't work out for the best, we both still have our lives with each other.
I was a little worried yesterday that the Summoner's Rift visual update in League of Legends was going to be delayed for another week because it was not until the early evening that Riot Games rolled out the improved map to the live server though limited to Team Builder and bot modes, which is of course fine with me because Team Builder is the absolute best thing about the game. I was so excited to check it out and of course, I wasn't disappointment. The map is quite stylish and beautiful, very pleasing to the eyes, and the turret, inhibitor, and nexus destruction are truly something to behold. It is time to push that ARAM mode off to the side and concentrate on Team Builder. Now if only Riot can implement a Team Builder mode for Summoner's Rift ranked matches by allowing players to choose a role before queuing, that would be awesome.
DOTA 2 may still be the best looking MOBA out there but this visual upgrade is still impressive.
I had to get my blood drawn this morning and it wasn't a great experience because I ended up getting poked twice. And it wasn't just that I was getting poked twice but it was the whole poke then the needle gets moved around in that in and out motion to find a vein thing per poke that got me. It's been a little cold here and I knew from experience that I needed to make sure that I dressed warmly to ensure that my veins won't shriveled up but apparently this still happened. Since they couldn't find a vein in my arm, they ended up going for the top of my hand and well, that wasn't fun. I have had a needle gone there before when I gotten an IV for an operation and even then, they tried tricking me into a conversation before they poked the needle in so that I wouldn't freak out and back then, they had to do that twice because during the surprise poke, the nurse couldn't find the vein. Why haven't we invented a technology yet to enable a blood draw with a 100% success rate with each poke?
I have been waiting for this skin to arrive for a while now and it's finally here! The Reaper Soraka skin is finally available in League of Legendsand I immediately snatched it up, just like I did before when Celestine Soraka was released. I really love the idea behind the skin since it turns Soraka, whom we normally associate with life and light, into a deliciously evil agent of death and darkness. This is definitely the best Soraka skin to date.
While I was browsing the Sony Entertainment Network Store yesterday, imagine my absolute thrill when I saw that SingStar was finally released for the PlayStation 4. The PlayStation 3 version is certainly the best karaoke game out there, though I wished it had more of the music I like, and I thought that this PS4 release would replace it. I was wrong. Just like the PS3 version, this game is free to download but it comes with only one demo song. If the songs you have purchased are available in the PS4's store, then you can download them for free. I was not able to find quite a number of my previously purchased songs because they are not available yet for this version and that is okay. The main problem here is that you cannot use the past SingStar discs you own. I was flabbergasted. I mean, surely, Sony should know better. We all know that they have the capability to make the PS4 read those old SingStar discs but I am certain that greed got in the way. There doesn't seem to be any indication that Sony is planning to allow these old discs to be usable with this new SingStar, which is a shame because there is a lot of potential here: the game menu and interface are both super slick and the pitch detection has been improved.
In addition to the lack of backwards compatibility, there are also several other weird things about this PS4 version of the game. First is the inability to stop your PlayStation Camera from recording you while playing the game. I am still unable to find the option to turn this off so if you are kind of shy, you may want to unplug that camera before you start singing. Second is the poor sound quality. Everything is very quiet and even when I slid the microphone volume to max, my voice hardly came out through my speakers. It is as if Sony doesn't want the player's own voice to overshadow the original artist's even when you chose to turn on vocal reduction. Last but not least is the lack of native streaming support for this game so if you depend on the PS4 to do your live game broadcasting, you are out of luck. This is so crazy because you know that karaoke is a spectator sport but Sony doesn't want you to broadcast your performance on the streaming sites. I know this has a lot to do with copyright issues but you would think that Sony and the record companies should know by now that getting this game the exposure on Twitch and/or Ustream is never a detriment but an enhancement to the popularity of the game. I think this problem can easily be addressed by forcing the players to use their own camera feed instead of the music videos while having the original vocals muted when they want to use the native streaming capability. SingStar on the PlayStation 4 could have been a phenomenon but at its current form, it's not even remotely close to being good. Worst of all, it is a totally disgusting mishmash, or an example if you will, of pure greed and selfish copyright politics in the gaming industry.
"U Can't Stream This" by Sony Banhammer.
Update Note: 11/15/2014 - I booted up SingStar on the PS3 today and noticed that it had been updated into the same version for the PS4. All of the technical problems I mentioned above - including the muted player vocals - also showed up in this PS3 version. The only good thing here is of course at least the PS3 version is still capable of reading both the PS3 and PS2 SingStar discs and all of the downloaded songs didn't get axed. What have you done, Sony? It looks like Sony has completely destroyed this game.
01/19/2015 - Good news: the sound issue that plague the game on the PS3 has been fixed so the game is playable there again! Bad news: the problem still persists on the PS4 version.
I have been inducting Wii U games almost exclusively via digital means. It's risky, I know, since Nintendo is still stubborn about the implementation of profile-based digital ownership where all digital games are not tied to the consoles but I have the confidence that they will be mending their way in regards to this hopefully soon. Today, I was surprised by the spouse with a gift of a Wii U game while we were out running some rather boring errands in the form of Hyrule Warriors. When I got home, I noticed that the pin number for the Club Nintendo game registration was printed on the inner sleeve of the cover instead of the usual colorful insert that was always included alongside the game manual:
I bet those physical-copy fanatics are not happy about this...
The decision to do this is financially sound but many people love the whole physical copy thing so they can lust after what they can hold in their hands and Nintendo keeps diminishing that joy a little bit at a time. I tell you what Nintendo. Why don't you immediately abandon your draconian digital game digital rights management as well as fully eliminate all physical game distribution and I am sure that people will embrace buying their Nintendo games via digital means. If Valve can do it with Steam, you know that any other game companies can.
The results shown below are of course based on the combined data from the Daily Game Log which should provide a clear indication of a game's usage frequency. Bear in mind that even if a game is played twice or more during a particular day, it would still register as 1 in the Day Count column below. In a sense, "merits" are given based on how often a particular game can make me play it again throughout the entire period of the month on a daily basis. A game that makes a gamer play it over and over again or at least spend a lot of time with it... Isn't that what we mostly want from a great game? I don't think it's really fair to count all the way down to the number of hours played since some games only require a short amount of time to properly serve their purposes.