In Review – November 2019

For the most part, November was a month of dabbling in some lovely stuff, but rarely finding myself tremendously invested in any of it.


What I Played This Month

Aurora Hex: Pattern Puzzles – A fun little puzzler which is great for nibbling on between more meaty entries.

Sunset Overdrive – I downloaded it on a whim, and I got a good 20 or so hours out of it before I wandered off to do other things.

Happy Color – We upgraded our phones at the beginning of the month, which meant actually getting to download new apps for the first time in a long time – for reference, I couldn’t update the OS on my old phone because it had so little memory. Happy Color was a huge hit with both me and my husband – a very chill, almost meditative experience. There’s so many pictures to work on, I didn’t even hesitate to spend the $5 asking price to get rid of all those pesky ads.

Onirim – Solitaire Card Game: A surprisingly difficult solitaire game that’s (almost) completely free on Steam. Although there are a couple of paid expansions, I don’t see myself spending an extensive amount of time with it – and if I do, $1 per expac is cheap enough.

West of Loathing: I really just wanted to take a peek while I had access to this one XBox Game Pass for PC. Surprisingly, I played for about 8 hours before the repetitiveness got to me.

Guild Wars 2: It was barely a dabble – maybe an hour, but it was enough to make me want to go back and play some more. I have completely forgotten everything I once knew.

My Time at Portia: When this showed up as one of the December Humble Monthly early unlocks, I remembered I already had it, and wanted to check it out. I’d say I was loving it if it weren’t for a bunch of random crashes making me replay days. Still, it’s enjoyable enough that I’m dealing with it.


An impulsive decision to subscribe to Disney+ meant a lot of time I would have normally spent gaming or watching other things was taken up instead by some Disney animated movies from the vault. We did also finish watching the first season of The Boys, and watched some of American Horror Story: Hotel.

I also finished up the first volume of The Boys (graphic novel), but I didn’t make much progress on the rest of my reading interests this month.


Finally, I got all of my 10 games to tackle in 2020 installed and put into their own little category in my Steam library.


Finding time to actually blog this month was far more challenging than I expected, and I chalk that up in part to how little time I actually spent at my computer.

Ten Games to Tackle in 2020

Since I’m not going to be buying much in the way of new games next year, I decided that I’d use at least some of that time to tackle some games that have been lingering in my library that just seem too damn long or overwhelming.

Now, I don’t actually expect to finish all of them, and it’s possible I won’t even start all of them, but what I am doing is getting myself prepped and making sure things are installed. I chose ten games with some pretty significant potential play times, because really, the only better time to play these monsters than during low-spend 2020 is if I had played them when I actually bought them.

Assassin’s Creed: Origins

[How Long to Beat: 29 – 81 hours]

Received in the May 2019 Humble Monthly

I have a weird relationship with the Assassin’s Creed games. Weird, in that, I buy them but I don’t really play them. After my third or fourth attempt to get into the first game, I decided that playing them in order was overrated. Although there are some earlier entries in the series I want to spend some more time with, I decided to go for Origins.

Borderlands

[How Long to Beat : 22 – 63 hours]

Purchased Jan 3, 2013 for $4.99

I have played a little bit of Borderlands quite a few times, but never really stuck with it. Rumor has it that’s it’s better in co-op, but that’s not really my thing, but I feel like my recent interest in shooters filled with mayhem and destruction mean it’s time to give it another go.

Crusader Kings 2

[How Long to Beat: 65 – 291 hours]

Purchased September 2013 in a Humble Weekly Bundle (total bundle price: $6.00)

Crusader Kings 2 is another game that irks me – I should like it, I want to like it, I keep buying more and more DLC for it, but I don’t actually play it long enough to get up and over the learning curve.

Dying Light The Following Enhanced Edition

[How Long to Beat: 20 – 83 hours]

Purchased July 6, 2018 for $15.99

I really have no excuse for not diving into this sooner (except maybe that I keep going to back to the Dead Rising series whenever I feel the need to get my zombie killer on).

Fallout 4 GOTY

[How Long to Beat: 34 – 208 hours]

Purchased November 25, 2018 for $19.98

Here’s another series I had to finally give in and tell myself it was ok to play the later iterations without having completed the early games. I still probably SHOULD start with 3 or New Vegas, but I think I want to go into this one with very low expectations if I want to actually get my money’s worth.

Far Cry: Primal

[How Long to Beat: 14 – 36 hours]

Purchased August 22, 2019 for $5.50

I have no idea if I’ll even like this one – I’ve never played further than half an hour or so into any Far Cry title, but I love the concept, and I just kind of want to mess around and be all prehistoric and make my tools out of sticks and stones.

Grim Dawn

[How Long to Beat: 22 – 106 hours]

Received in the October 2016 Humble Monthly

This one I’ve dabbled in, but never really gotten into for no real reason I can fathom.

Slay the Spire

[How Long to Beat: 10 – 234 hours]

Purchased July 5, 2019 for $12.50

True confession: I’m worried this one is going to be too good, too addictive, and I haven’t had space for that kind of game in my life. Guess we’ll see how it goes.

Starbound

[How Long to Beat: 21 – 192 hours]

Received as a gift June 2017.

As one of the half a dozen people worldwide who couldn’t get into Terraria, I’m afraid I won’t like this. Or, more precisely, that I won’t get it.

The Witcher 3

[How Long to Beat: 52 – 191 hours]

Not yet purchased.

Will the hype machine kill this one for me? Will I finally discover that I no longer enjoy long & meaty RPGs? Will I finally understand what Gwent is all about? I suppose we’ll find out.


Honorable Mentions

  • Bioshock Trilogy
  • Call of Cthulu
  • Divinity: Original Sin
  • Endless Legend
  • The Witness

These didn’t quite make the cut, but if I wanted to leave them here in case I nope out of any (or, god forbid, all) of my top 10.

Because I really struggle with giving myself permission to play even one massive, life-eating game – actually listing out a bunch I really want to spend some serious time with feels kind of overwhelming. However, since I’m also not restricting myself to these titles only, I’m hoping to open myself up to a good balance of intimidating titles, with some lovely little palette cleansers from my library in between.

Nerd Girl Goals – November 2019

This month’s focus point has absolutely NOTHING to do with the Nerd Girl life, but I’m going to put it here anyway. When things get busy (or we get too deep into whatever), our eating habits suffer a lot. Will more time cooking and meal planning translate into less time for gaming, reading, watching and blogging? We shall see.

GAMING

Play to Satisfaction

For me, saying “Play to Satisfaction” gives me explicit permission to drop a game that’s not working for me, but also to grind away for nerd points if I’m really loving something. I’m trying to make it a policy for myself that I will always play to satisfaction – no more, no less.

Since I’m fairly certain I’m keeping XBox Game Pass for PC, at least as long as it stays at the beta price, I am going to let myself dive into The Outer Worlds, which means that might be the only thing I play this month. However, I would like to check out a few games while I have Origin Access Basic during November (Unravel, Fe, Vambrace: Cold Soul, & They are Billions look the most promising to me at the moment). I tacked on Spyro: Reignited Trilogy, one of the November Humble Monthly early unlocks, but more likely than not, I won’t actually get to it because…

Reactivate my World of Warcraft Account

I have tokens burning a hole in my bank alt’s bags, and renewing my sub this month means I can earn two mounts on a single token – I didn’t go for the bee last month, and who am I to turn down a Deathwing mount?


WATCHING

I am sure we’re going to finish up The Boys before too long, and I figured I’d switch it up this month, and put Westworld, Undone, and the seasons of American Horror Story we haven’t seen yet on deck.

We’re also planning an evening in which we watch Unbreakable, Split, and Glass. I think it’ll be interesting to see them all back to back (and only Unbreakable will be a rewatch).


READING

I need to get through four books this month to stay on track (which is absolutely doable), but I never seem to know what I’m going to want to read before I read it. Still, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m currently partway through both The Boys, Omnibus 1 and The Haunting of Saxton Mansion. I’ll add in Kind Nepethe and Locke & Key Volume One to round out the month.


Interested in seeing my October 2019 recap? You can find it here!

In Review – October 2019

With things returning – more or less – to normal around here, I found myself with more leisure time than I’ve had for several months. As a result, I did a lot of gaming, reading and watching throughout October, and this blog is WAY longer than I anticipated it being.


What I Played This Month

Haunted Domains – The first week of October was hectic as well, heck, so I picked something that I could play in REALLY little increments if needed. This creepy time management game fit the bill – each level is only about 5 minutes long! I didn’t finish it, but I would say I played to satisfaction.

Gourmania 2: Great Expectations – I remember really liking the first Gourmania, so when the second one showed up on Utomik, I thought I’d give it a whirl. It wasn’t great, but I managed to run through from beginning to end in under three hours, so, I guess I can’t say it was completely awful either.

Elder Scrolls Online – After barely touching ESO for almost a month, I started logging in daily again for the Dragon Rise event – not because the event interested me, but because I still needed two berries for my Onyx Indrik.

Dead Rising 3 – Completing the main story with the “S” ending took me just over 20 hours. By far, the easiest of the Dead Rising games I’ve played – I really enjoyed the more relaxed time limit, although I could have done with a LOT less driving.

Monster Prom – It took me a little while to “get” this one, but it has grown on me. It’s perfect for when I only have a little time to game (I read fast enough that the 60 minute game is about half that), and it oh-so-vaguely reminds me of Long Live the Queen, which I played obsessively for awhile.

Yoku’s Island ExpressI spent a lot of time confused, and ho-boy, I am bad at pinball, but I just kept going back to it over and over. I couldn’t really play in long bursts since using the controller makes my hands cramp after awhile, but it was charming and adorable. Despite one very frustrating part, I was able to finish the main story.

The World Next Door – True confession – I was totally in this for the frenetic match-3 game play, and that aspect of the game did not disappoint. It was super short, which, to be fair, I apparently missed a lot of side quests, but nothing that detracted from the actual combat game play. Overall, I was pleased for the $3 I paid.

Night Call – I’d never heard of this before browsing the XBox Game Pass for PC library, but I am so glad that I did. Totally captivating.

Taptiles – I had completely forgotten about this game, but I was in the Windows store looking for something else, and I re-discovered it. I was even going to pony up and pay for it to get rid of the ads, but apparently, it’s not a one-time purchase but a subscription? Oh no. I’ll live with ads, thanks.

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine – It makes me a little sad when a really interesting concept becomes a mediocre (and sometimes frustrating) game, but I am going to poke at it for a little longer, because the good stuff is oh-so-good.

Viscera Cleanup Detail – House of Horror DLC – I only dabbled a little in this, to have something to keep my hands busy while I watched scary stuff on TV. Although I’ve enjoyed VCD in the past, this is a LONG level, and I’m not sure I’ll ever actually complete it.

This month I played 2 games on Utomik, 2 on XBox Game Pass for PC, and 7 from my own library!


What I Read This Month

I read five books this month – all of them ghost stories, and three from the Riveting Haunted House Mystery series. I abandoned one book, and have two in progress. Not bad, coming off a couple of months where I didn’t read much of anything at all. I’m at 22/30 for my 2019 Good Reads Challenge.


What I Watched This Month

The Boys – Although I initially wasn’t much interested, this is the dark and awful super hero show I didn’t know I wanted. I’ve been savoring it, so I still have a couple episodes left to go, but I’m surprised how captivating it is.

Halloween Baking Championship – I not only watched the new season, but devoured the past seasons available on Hulu as well. This also reminded me how much I hate waiting for new episodes.

Hallotober Movies Galore – I’m sure I missed some, but every chance I got, I tossed a horror movie on TV.


Whew, that was a lot. Sure, I deviated a bunch from my initial monthly goals, but I’m really satisfied with all the good stuff I got to enjoy in October.

Nerd Girl Goals – October 2019

There’s another week or two of the busy, and then we have a couple days parceled out for doing Halloween-y stuff, so I’m again anticipating less leisure time than normal. Knowing this, let’s try to be a smidgen more realistic this time, shall we?


GAMING

Play to Satisfaction

For me, saying “Play to Satisfaction” gives me explicit permission to drop a game that’s not working for me, but also to grind away for nerd points if I’m really loving something. I’m trying to make it a policy for myself that I will always play to satisfaction – no more, no less.

On the agenda this month (maybe):

  • Dead Rising 3
  • Equilinox
  • Monster Prom
  • Rise of Balloons
  • Saints Row IV
  • Yoku’s Island Express

Go Get a Bee

This is one of those things I’ve been waiting awhile for, and had long ago decided it was worth popping one of my game time tokens to acquire. I always say I won’t go back to WoW, and I always do. I was interested in the anniversary event anyhow, so two mounts, one token, as it were.

Try Out XBox Gamepass for PC

I’ve surprised myself at how much I’ve been digging the gaming subscription services, and this month, it’s Microsoft’s turn.


WATCHING

It’s October. I’m going to watch a lot of horror movies. Probably really bad horror movies, and I’m going to be totally okay with that. I’m likely going to even stay up too late a few time to do so.

If I make time for some series watching, I’m planning to stick to the spooky, creepy, and oh yeah, The Halloween Baking Championship (the only new entry in this category this month).


I’m going to skip READING this month because either I will or I won’t, and if I don’t start picking up some kind of book sometime soon, I won’t make my yearly GoodReads goal, and I will be displeased with myself, but cooler weather is coming, and that usually leads to oodles of reading in bed.


September Goal Review

Can I just start off by saying I did not do well? Because I did not do well this month. I did spend half the month being crazy busy (and dealing with the accompanying exhaustion), but it’s not like I didn’t know that was coming, and I was absolutely overly ambitious.

Gaming

Play to satisfaction: 3 of 6. 1 of 6 still in progress. 2 of 6 untouched.

ESO: Didn’t log in once, but I did at least remember to cancel my ESO+ so I can stop paying to not play.

Key Cleanout: Fanatical keys sorted, everything else not sorted.

(and this? this was my most successful category!)

Watching

I finished watching Mindhunters S2. I attempted to watch Sucker Punch, but got derailed by a case of wrong-movie-itis. Otherwise, I occasionally stared at what my husband was watching, or put on Murder She Wrote for reasons.

Reading

I read absolutely nothing except clickbait articles and an absurd number of Reddit posts this month. Ugh.

Nerd Girl Goals – September 2019

Every month of 2019, I’ve hopped on over to Canva, and made myself a quick header image for my Facebook to remind me of something I want to focus on in the coming month. I won’t swear it has kept me 100% on track, because this has been A Year, my friends, but I think it helps.

Make Time for Joy

To align with my September focus, I’m going to double up, and make some Nerd Girl Goals, so that maybe – just maybe – when I carve out some time to do the things that make me happy, I won’t squander it trying to figure out exactly what that might be.


GAMING

Play to Satisfaction

For me, saying “Play to Satisfaction” gives me explicit permission to drop a game that’s not working for me, but also to grind away for nerd points if I’m really loving something. I’m trying to make it a policy for myself that I will always play to satisfaction – no more, no less.

  • Albion Online
  • Areia: Pathway to Dawn
  • Aven Colony
  • Deep Sky Derelicts
  • Dry Drowning
  • World of Final Fantasy

While it’s highly unlikely that I will play everything this month – or at all – having a short list of new-to-me games in various genres that I want to try out might curtail some of the decision paralysis that comes from staring at my gaming library.

Which is not to say that if I decide I want to play something else, I won’t. Because I absolutely will. I just want to have a jumping off point to make it a whole lot easier to answer the “What should I play now?” question.

Get Back Into Elder Scrolls Online

I have basically wasted half of my most recent three-month ESO+ sub, and honestly? I also miss it a whole damn lot. I have four more magicka based DPS characters – I intend to get at least one to 50 before the month is out. I might even gear her up. Maybe.

Redeem or Release My Unused Bundle Keys

Now, this doesn’t mean I’m going to give up my trading entirely, but the number of games I have in various accounts that I’m just not sure about has gotten so unwieldy, I have no idea what I actually already own. Although this is less about pure joy, there’s an element of deep satisfaction which comes from me completing a big old organizational project.


WATCHING

Again, I don’t actually intent to watch ALL OF THIS in a month, but damn, I feel like I’m crazy behind on all the shows I want to watch, and I still keep putting on Law & Order: SVU or Murder She Wrote for the umpteenth million time. There’s only one movie on here, and it is a re-watch, but it’s been stuck in my mind for a bit and is returning to stream this month, so I want to remember to watch it.

Of course, a lot of things to watch also means a lot of time I can be spending on other hobbies as well – I’ll be digging out my knitting and my doodling book and a diamond painting. Not only do I get to double up on things I love to do, it also keeps me from stuffing copious amounts of junk food in my face while I watch.

Series (in no particular order): Mindhunter (2 more episodes!!!), Carnival Row, Wayward Pines, Good Omens, Castle Rock, and Stranger Things.

Movies: Sucker Punch


READING

A much smaller list. The Feast of Love is a long overdue reread, but I just unearthed my copy in a long forgotten box o’junk. Dead Spots has been sitting in my Kindle library since May, when I started reading E.A. Copen’s Lazarus Codex instead, and I’m ready for another urban fantasy adventure. Finally, I’d love to get through a little more of the Lucifer comics since I want to finish those before going back to the television show.


What do you really want to play, watch or read this month?