My Thoughts on The Legend of Korra Season Three

I finished season three of The Legend of Korra last night, and I thought I would share my thoughts on it. It was a truly great season and maybe my favorite so far? So, last time Korra set the spirits loose on the world with the harmonic convergence, and I just knew that would have some consequences. I can't say I expected it would mean some non-benders now get air bending powers. Why just air bending and not the other elements as well? I guess it was kind of a plot device to restore the air nation, which is fine. Unfortunately that also means bad people could now have powers too. And so we have the Red Lotus who are after Korra to achieve their goal of an anarchist world. What I don't understand is how Zaheer was able to master air bending so easily right away when you have a guy like Bumi, who needed more work on it.

But before that really unfolds, Korra goes on a journey to find more air benders, and bring them to the air temple for training. What I love about this season is everyone gets involved. It's all about the team work. Side characters are given more important roles rather than being well ... put off to the side. Korra did seem to need a lot of saving in this season though. Not that she couldn't take care of herself either. It's just an observation. Not a criticism. Oh yeah, I forgot. One of the new characters is Kai. A boy with air bending, except he's a thief and a liar, but they take him in anyway and forgive him even after he breaks their trust a second time. Yeah, I really didn't like him. Yes, he came around in the end, but I still don't like him. And I really didn't like that they tried to ship him with Jinora (Just found out btw she's voiced by Kiernan Shipka of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina fame. Thought that was cool. Of course that's not the only known actor in this series. Others I thought were cool too, but I digress.) I would not have kept that kid around after he stole from Bolin and Mako. If I was in charge, I would have thrown him overboard *shrugs*.

Anyway, back to the Furious Four aka the Red Lotus. In terms of ultimate destruction, they were probably the worst. The death of the earth queen, while she kind of deserved it, was horrifying. Probably just as scary as blood bending. And then Zaheer also tries to do it to Korra. :O The last few episodes were really intense. I was on the edge of my seat and genuinely worried about the characters. And you know, I really liked that they didn't have Korra suddenly be OK and back to normal after the ordeal she went through. After being beaten to a pulp and poisoned! You're not going to be OK after that. I did have hard time interpreting Korra's facial expressions at the end there, which I also loved because "Hello PTSD!" She was in bad shape, but it made me wonder was the avatar cycle actually destroyed, and that's why she looks really depressed? I'm thinking not though because Zaheer had to kill her in order for that to happen, and he didn't accomplish that. At least I don't think so? She was brought back to life. I don't think it matters because there wasn't a sequel after this series, at least not thus far. I know there are more Avatar series in the works.

Some other things: I liked the subplot about Lin making up with her sister. I guess I forgot that Lin is Toph's daughter. It makes total sense now. The personality fits lol. And it was nice to see Toph in flashback too. And it was great to see Zuko again too and Iroh of course. Always Iroh! Whatever happened to Zuko's son though? Grandson? Descendant? I guess I don't remember. *shrugs* Both Mako and Bolin really shined. What will the final season bring now? I'm curious if they will go right where they left off or not. I don't know how they top this. I'm going to be sad when it's over. But as I always do, it's back to watching another season of classic Doctor Who reviews and reactions. Starting this time with the Third Doctor. My personal favorite, so that should be fun. So it probably will be months before I return back to Korra again, but maybe less time this time because I think the Doctor Who seasons get shorter from here on out.

Back to Disneyland Finally

It's been a while. I finally have something to write about that isn't game related. My mom and I finally got to go back to Disneyland yesterday. I probably would have gone earlier if not waiting to hear about the replacement for the annual passes. And then the announcement finally came, and the new passes arrived on August 25th. Even though we didn't have to we got ours on that day. They are pretty much the same with the exception of needing to make reservations for your trips. I was glad I could get back to Disneyland again, but our first visit there since the parks closed down wasn't without its headaches and stress.

The first thing is things have obviously changed just driving to get into the park. They removed a turn lane for getting off the freeway for instance, which was the first anxiety trigger for my mom, and then to get to the parking structure they took us in a whole different direction. We were sent to the new structure. I'm not sure if the old structure was open or it was filled up already. Another thing is the use of the Disneyland app to scan yourself in with the pass barcode and basically needing to use the app for other things as well. That's another nightmare I will get into in a little while. So we got through and parked. That part was smooth enough, but then we were kind of stuck in a land of confusion about where we were supposed to go to after leaving the structure. There didn't seem to be any directions or anything, but we figured we'd just follow where the people were walking. We entered the former tram loading area on the left and then made a right turn around where they check your bags. OK. After that, where do we go from there? I knew they weren't running the trams anymore, so was prepared for a walk to get to the parks. Followed the people again, and found out they're having us actually walk down the road the tram takes. WTF? And this, this … is a looong walk. It's probably a mile. It's absolutely ridiculous that they're making people do this, and on top of that, after you've been walking around the parks all day, you have to make that long walk back again to get to your car. It's not friendly to people to with disabilities. I hope one day they'll change that and bring the trams back, but for now it's uncertain. :/

After what seemed like an eternity, we finally made it to the esplanade. With the new passes (and the tickets I guess), you have to pick a starting park and then you can't crossover to the other park until 1 pm. It's sort of a bummer, and I wonder if they'll ever change that. We chose DCA as our starting park because I wanted to check out the new Avengers Campus first. We got in line and got ready to get scanned in when the app wouldn't load. Great. I've heard stories about this. Disney's wifi is bad, ect, and unfortunately it happened to us. The guy told us to exit the line and come back to the front when we got it to work. It makes me so mad. That's the problem with relying on phones or apps to enter the park, and then if it doesn't work, then what? You're screwed? Well after leaving the line, the app still wouldn't load, so I told my mom to try turning her phone off and on again, and then it worked and we got in the park. Let me tell you, we're not going to rely on Disney's spotty wifi again. Next time we're going to print out the barcodes for the passes, and hope that's acceptable because if it isn't, I don't know, we'll throw a tantrum. Stupid stupid idea not to have physical passes anymore. Of course you can buy a physical pass for $20, but it's made of paper. :/ No thanks.

I was hoping I would be feeling that emotional blissful feeling when entering the park for the first time since March 2020, but the stress of the morning ruined that tbh. I was just relieved we could finally get into the park. So we headed over to Avengers Campus. It is small, but so was A Bug's Land, the land it replaced. There was a show going on with Black Widow and Captain America, so we watched it. The choreography is a little silly, but otherwise it's pretty entertaining to watch. The Dora Milaje that came out were cooler. I pointed out the Pym Test Kitchen to my mom where I wanted to get lunch later. I should note that it was very crowded. I was actually shocked after hearing about how people online have been talking about shorter lines and all. After doing some searching online later when I got home though, it sounds like the reason is that the SoCal 3-Day pass deal was expiring soon, so that's probably why people were flooding the parks. Sounds like it was just a case of bad timing on our parts sadly. Of course how could we have known? But back to the Avengers Campus … we didn't do virtual queue for Web Slingers, the new Spider-Man ride. I didn't plan on doing that though. It might not have been a good day to try anyway. It may have been difficult. I've heard it's not super special, so it's not a big deal really. Maybe next time, or not? Because I want Disneyland to be our starter park next time.

We left the area, and went to Cars Land. Standby time for RSR was 90 minutes, so we went in the single rider line as usual and it was pretty much a walk on. Now, masks are still required indoors, including rides that go inside or are enclosed, and that includes RSR. Before the mask requirement was only for those who were unvaccinated, but then Delta happened and they brought it back, but fortunately you don't have to wear them outdoors. If you did, I don't think I would come. I was kind of worried about my mask flying off on the ride. Didn't happen, but it's all I was really thinking about while I was riding unfortunately. :/ My mom told me she got sat next to a mom and a little boy who was crying. The mom apologized, but my mom said it was OK, she understood. Silly moment, but I saw a sign saying exit, but it led to a wall. I realized my mistake and remember you go up some stairs. Has it really been that long that I got disoriented about where I was? LOL. I blame the stress. I even had think about what side you had to exit the car.

After that ride, we headed over to the Little Mermaid ride. Even that ride had a longer than usual line, but it was still short. Then I thought about going in the Grand Californian hotel because they had an Oogie Boogie in there to check out, but decided against it because we would have to deal with the app madness again trying to get in the park again. I think I'm going to develop PTSD over this lol. So instead we watched people on Grizzly River Run, that is until we spotted the cat. The same cat I think I've seen a few times over the years now. His/Her name is Snicker. They like to hang out there. She/He was busy grooming themselves and wouldn't even come over when a cast member was shaking a bag of food. Ah well, we had to watch her/him from a distance.

Then we decided maybe we should head back to Avengers Campus to try mobile ordering our food for the first time. I could tell my mom didn't really like didn't like using an app to order food. I didn't think it was that bad, at least not compared to the other issues we had with the app. We ended up sharing what's called a PB3 Superb Sandwich. It's basically a PB&J and banana and bacon sandwich. Weird eh? It was good though and came with tater tots and a mini banana smoothie. The tots were well made too. I had a sip of the smoothie, but let my mom have the rest. That was the fun of the Ant-Man themed restaurant. Some foods were big and others small. Before we went to get a table I had a mask incident. I was getting ketchup and spilled some on the tray and it got on my finger. I instinctively brought my finger up to my mouth in an attempt to lick it off, and of course got it on my mask. Panicky, I looked at my mask when we were outside and sure enough I got ketchup on it. So I had to throw it out (We've been using those disposable blue medical masks), but luckily I brought a spare. I brought a spare just in case something did happen to my mask, and obviously something did, so good thing I thought to bring another. All good. All filled up with food then, we still had some time to kill before 1pm. My mom was on a mission to find some dalmatian socks because she wants to be Cruella for Halloween. So we went in and out of shops without success.

Getting ready to cross over to Disneyland, my mom tried opening the app again and we had issues again. Grr. Turned the phone off and on again, but now she had to sign into her account again. Luckily we had also written down what her password was. Got it to work again. They took our photos for the passes. I wanted to go to Snow White first because it had been given a face lift. The line was the longest I had ever seen for that ride, but we waited. It wasn't a super long wait I suppose, but my feet were really starting to hurt. The wait was worth it however because the new and improved Snow White is absolutely beautiful. The colors and lights and animation were really pretty. At one point I said, “Wow.” A lot of the ride is the same. The major change is they got rid of the scary trees. I always liked that part, but it's OK. The ending makes more sense with Snow White and the Prince's happily ever after. I was highly impressed, and that was probably the highlight of the day.

After that I wanted to go to Toontown because they are building the new Mickey's Runaway Railway. Not opening until 2023 I think, but at least I could see if anything was happening over there with construction. Well it isn't easy to miss. There's a big eye sore of a building behind where they used to have the mountain backdrop. There was even a funny sign that said, “What building? There's no building here.” From what I heard about the ride though, it sounds like it will be fun. While we were there we took a break on a bench before heading over to the Jolly Holiday for a sweet treat. :)

Halloween always brings some yummy treats. We each got the Mickey Mummy Macaron, which is just a cookies and cream macaron. It was good. Then I looked to see what the wait times were for rides again, and told my mom that Star Tours only had a wait time for 15 mins. More ouchy feet, but I just had to get another ride in. I was sitting on the very end near the door and unfortunately didn't have a great view because a tall guy was sitting in front of me. It didn't really matter though. It was still fun. I would have liked to go on Jungle Cruise too since they updated it, but I guess that's going to have to be for next time. Those were the only rides we did. Just those four. It was too crowded to do anything else. Despite the crowds, I never felt unsafe or anything because everyone masks up. Disneyland is very strict about that.

My mom was still on her mission of finding the dalmatian socks, so the rest of the time was spent going in and out of stores to look for them. I sneakily said we should go around Frontierland and Adventureland maybe hoping to spot a ride with a short line. :P We could have gone on Indy. It was only a half hour wait, but we probably needed to head home anyway. There were no dalmatian socks to be found. My mom will probably just buy white socks and make spots with a pen or something. Then came the looong walk back to the car. It is really killer, and I'm not looking forward to doing this every time we want to go. We were a little lost again trying to figure out how to get back into the structure, but luckily a cast member in the distance directed us with gestures. I think we'll have this down next time.

So, that was our day. It honestly wasn't that great of a start for coming back Disneyland. There was too much stress involved initially. While the weather wasn't extremely hot or anything, luckily (That's another downside to reservations. You don't know what the weather is going to be like on a particular day), but it was still rough. My legs are really sore today. And the app is well, just a joke. Never again are we going to completely rely on it. We'll bring in printed out versions for our passes next time, and pray that works. That was the worst part of the day. I don't like the anxiety of thinking you can't get into a Disney park without a piece of technology working. There's a few things I wish: I wish we could have trams again, I wish we didn't need a stupid app, and I wish we didn't have to worry about making reservations. The last one I'm sure I can't do anything about, but maybe the other two something can be done about eventually. For now, I think this is more stress than it's worth. But maybe we just had a bad day and our next trip will go more smoothly and the crowds won't be as crazy. There were a few happy moments though, like resting and watching a marching band go by, the revamped Snow White, and little mini parades. There is still a little joy to be had. I think maybe once the pandemic is done, things will get better. They have to right? None of these things will stop me going to Disneyland.

My Mom's Birthday and 9/11

We celebrated my mom's birthday on Wednesday. Big birthday too as she just turned 60! It sounded like she had a good birthday too. Maybe she might have wanted to go away for it, but we're still not doing that just yet. She went out to lunch first and her friends from tennis gave her a bunch of presents. That was nice. :) Then that night we went out to eat at a restaurant called Tutto Fresco. They're Italian based, but have a bunch of other foods too. The food was amazing. I got this seafood pasta that had sea bass, salmon and shrimp in it with a tomato broth, and let me tell you, that broth was divine. :D My mom ordered a pork chop with roasted brussell sprouts and mashed potatoes. I'm not a brussell sprout fan, but I tried one and it was not bad. My dad got the rack of lamb with roasted potatoes, my brother got some pasta I've never heard of called camera. It had chicken, sausage, sun dried tomatoes, onions, pine nuts and feta. Interesting. And Grammy got lasagna because she's always basic. :P We also ordered dessert after. My mom got her traditional creme brulee. My dad and my brother got ice cream, and Grammy had the small cake bites they gave my mom for her birthday. I got the brownie sundae. It's just a brownie with fudge, ice cream, strawberries and candied pecans. Unfortunately the brownie was very average, so I didn't take the leftovers of that home, but that was the only disappointment. Grammy's birthday is next. In five days from now actually. I'm wondering if she's going to want to celebrate at this restaurant again. It seemed like it.

After dinner, we went back home so my mom could open her gifts and cards. I got her two cards, one funny one and one sweet one. I drew a T-Rex with a birthday hat sitting at a table with cake on one of the envelopes. On the other I drew the two baby crows going "Wah!" at each other. :P I don't remember everything my dad got her, but one of the things was those Apple ear pods. Then came Grammy's gifts. Whew boy. They were so pathetic especially for a 60th birthday. She got her napkins, paper plates, a coaster supporting veterans no doubt Grammy got in the mail due to supporting charities, the Runaway Bride soundtrack on CD, which we probably gave her a while back, and lastly some cheapo can of tennis balls made in China. OMG it was so bad. I knew my mom would be angry about this, and she was. I mean, really? Sometimes no gifts are better than crappy gifts. My mom had an Amazon wishlist, but Grammy didn't look at it. She didn't have to get her anything expensive or anything, but paper plates and napkins? Come on. Granted my brother didn't give my mom anything, not even a card. I don't know what's going on there. He hasn't given anyone gifts for a while, but I think I give him more of the benefit of the doubt than I do Grammy because I know exactly where all her money has been going. It almost seems like she thinks less of us than the demon with a D. So yeah, apart from that I think my mom had a nice birthday. My dad and I did get her a small cake to have the next day. It was good, but probably shouldn't have been kept in the fridge because hard frosting.

In other news, I'm still on the last episode of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. It's a long sucker, but today is a significant day since it has been twenty years since the 9/11 attacks. I still remember that day well. My mom driving me to school and hearing it on the news on the radio. Me thinking it was an accident until the second plane struck. Then mostly just watching the news in my classes. It was very surreal. Felt like a movie. The victims will never be forgotten. And here 20 years later, the Taliban has taken over again. In a way it feels like nothing has changed.

Big Bear and Teeth

I'm still chugging away at The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. I'm on the fourth episode of five on the first game, so I still have quite a ways to go, but I thought I'd give a personal update this time. Not too long ago my parents got invited by John to come up to Big Bear to help him with moving some stuff I think it was from Darlene's mom's house. Her mom passed away last year or was it this year? I'm not sure. So did John's mother sadly. So, it was a lot to deal with. My parents asked me if I wanted to come with them. I wasn't so sure because I didn't know what I would be doing besides twiddling my thumbs. But I wanted to get away from the house and it had been a long time since I'd been up to the mountains to Big Bear. I think the last time I went there was in the winter time. I don't think I'd been up there in the summer. So, I thought maybe it could be nice at least to enjoy the scenery. Plus I don't like to be home alone for a long time because I start getting depressed about Luke again, so I agreed to go. I regretted it a little when my mom told me how early I'd have to get up. :P

Unfortunately during the night my neck stiffened up. That happened about a week ago, and now it happened again. Having issues again (a separate issue from the other neck problem that's mostly been resolved now since I got my new chair for my desk). Unfortunately there's nothing I can do for a stiff neck because nothing really works for me other than just waiting it out. So I just had to endure it. I was awake since 4:40 am because I was worried about falling asleep and making the problem worse somehow. Weird, I know. So I just didn't sleep.

So, we headed out there. We brought doughnuts and drinks for the road. It's just under two hours to get to Big Bear from our house, so it's not too bad. When we got to the windy road through the mountains though, it was kind of nerve wracking because my dad was speeding through. >_> We got there and knocked on the door. There was no answer. Turns out there are two houses on the property, and John and the others were in the other one. I felt a little overwhelmed back to the old days of my anxiety because sudden people I don't know! It was all guys too. My mom and I were the only women. Bunch of sixty year old men. :P Well, anyway almost all of them. There was Mike. I think he's Darlene's brother, but I'm not sure. He lives there, but is going to move soon himself to Oregon. Then there was Desiree's husband, Noah, whom I've never met, and his father. His father is Romanian and John didn't know how to pronounce his name, so we never got his name. xD Then Phil of course came by a little later.

So, I did pretty much what I was expecting to do. Standing around while I watched them move stuff out of the house. I tried to stay in the shady areas, and luckily there was a little bench to sit on. Yes, even in the mountains it can get hot. The area is kind of neat though. There were little storage buildings outside that resembled an old western town. And lots of other old stuff. My mom said the front building used to be an antique shop and Mike converted it into a house which he showed us around. He had a fantastic Star Trek collection, which my mom, and I quote: drooled over. There were also these blue jays that hung around expecting peanuts, so Mike gave them some. I had never seen so many in one place. And I saw a squirrel while I was sitting outside and maybe a chipmunk.

The only kind of scary part watching them move stuff was when they got the piano out and down the little steps out the back door. Fortunately no one got hurt, especially my dad. :P John and Noah and his dad literally drove about 14 or 15 hours out here from Idaho and rented a U-Haul to store all the stuff. Totally crazy. They chose to keep a lot of interesting things, including some I don't know why they would keep, but whatever I guess. Around 11ish they ordered pizza for everyone and so we went back to the front house to wait for it. Of course they ordered a pizza I wouldn't like. For some reason they got one with pepperoni and onion and another with canadian bacon and peppers. Why not just pepperoni? Anyway I just picked the stuff off. My sensory issues aren't so bad, that I can do that and eat the pizza just fine. It was pretty good. And fortunately no stupid comments were made. They did apologize about it.

After lunch there was one last task of swapping couches between the houses, and then John and co were ready to go. Then we and Phil left. We decided to check out the lake before we left. The water level was shockingly low. You can really see how bad the drought is. It's so sad. I tried to get some reading in on the way home (I have the superpower of being able to read in the car), but my neck wouldn't let me, so I was bummed about that. All in all I had an OK time despite the pain. I liked the scenery and enjoyed the blue jays. I have no idea if anyone was vaccinated. John did have COVID already so I can reasonably assume he was safe. He seemed to be well aside for an occasional cough, which I'm not sure is related or not. He certainly seemed to have no trouble with moving stuff around at high altitudes. We spent most of the time outside. The only time we were indoors for a significant period of time was when waiting for the pizza and then eating it. I think we'll be fine. We didn't go anywhere else in Big Bear other than viewing the lake outside.

Yeah, I guess I'm still worried even after being vaccinated partly because of Delta, but mainly because of hearing about waning immunity from the vaccines over time, that now they have boosters coming soon. What's unclear to me, is does waning immunity mean that my family will now be susceptible to severe disease again and I have to worry for them all over again until they can get a booster? I'm just so over this and sick of it already. I don't want to have to think about it anymore. :(

One last thing, I got my filling replaced last Thursday. Not as much drilling this time. So it wasn't too bad. I did have something alarming happen not too long afterward. The tooth suddenly became extremely sensitive to anything touching it. Whether it was food, my tongue, or just pressing my finger there, caused an intense sharp pain. I couldn't chew on that side. However, this only lasted a couple days and then it went away. I don't know what that was about. I've never had that before after a filling, but I'm glad I just waited it out rather than run back to the dentist because it's all good now. One thing I don't understand though, is I still feel a chipped part on the tooth, so apparently it was a different one that was giving me problems. I don't know what the deal with this one is, but as long as I'm not having pain, I'm not going to worry about it I guess.

Beat The Game

Yes, I already finished Beat the Game. It wasn't even two hours long. I spent about 80 minutes on it. Probably would have been less if I wasn't ambling around. This was a really weird game. You play as a guy who is speeding along on his hover bike when he crashes in the middle of the desert. And then he's looking for new tunes to compose a song, and that is basically your goal. There are only a couple of locations, but it's mainly spent in the desert, which is a very weird and surreal place with flying geometric shapes, a giant alien gliding on the sand, and other strange structures and statues. None of it made any sense lol. You have a scanner to scan for sounds to collect the beats. Once you collect them all, then you put on a show for these weird dancing creatures.

Yeah, this is really strange to write right now. You can also change the area from day to night to get even more sounds. You have an inventory, which just gets used automatically when needed, and just walking up to the different objects often leads to a brief cutscene. I ended up not using all the items in my inventory. Most of the time I was just wandering around not really knowing what I was doing, but I did manage to find all the sounds. The last one gave me the most trouble, but I got it eventually. Forgot to mention you can play around with the beats in a mixer, so you can kind of compose your own music and that sets what you hear in the background. I'm not a genius when it comes to this though, and it didn't do as much for me as it would your talented beat mixer. They might get more out of this game then I did. At the end of the game, there is a bit of a music puzzle, which took me a few tries to get it right probably because I don't have the best reaction time. It's not super difficult though. After that puzzle the game is over and I'm left wondering what I just played.

It does have fantastic animation though. Maybe that's why it was so short. All the budget was spent on that. The design of the guy makes me think somehow of Psychonauts. I haven't played that game, but that's what the character made me think of. Maybe it's because he wears a similar outfit, which you'll see in a second. Yeah, this game was really out there, and it was too short for me to be fully on board with it, but I didn't hate it either. OK, now for the screenshot. And I think that about sums it up.



Next I'm going to be starting The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. I've been wanting to play more Phoenix Wright again, it's just that I know they are really long games and so they take me a while to complete. I think I played the first two or three I think. I don't remember anymore. Maybe someday I'll go back to them again. This however is not about Phoenix Wright, it's set in the past and about his ancestor, who strongly resembles him. And I noticed some of the other characters look familiar too. But since I've only played the first couple in the Phoenix Wright series, I'm hoping this doesn't spoil future games. I wouldn't think so except maybe certain characters I might not have met yet, that may be like clones of those characters. Anyway, if it does, oh well. I'm excited about this though. I think it's two games in one that already came out a while ago, but I think this might be the first time one of these games has been ported to PC? It's an obvious port, so I'm not sure how well it's going to play, but I'm looking forward to it. This is also going to take me a long time to complete, so if I'm not seen on this blog for a while, that's probably why.

Encodya

I finished Encodya yesterday. You're playing as two characters here. A nine year old girl named Tina and her robot companion that was assigned to her at birth called Sam. Tina is orphaned and living on the streets of Neo Berlin some forty odd years from now with her robot until one day she finds out he has a secret code inside him and goes on a bit of a journey to find out how to access that code. Meanwhile, the mayor Rumpf is trying to stop the two from accomplishing their goals.

So right off I notice how nice the graphics and animation are for this game, including the cinematics. They're pretty well done for an indie title. It gave that nostalgic feeling of the adventure games of yore. And certainly the interface also reflects that. Simple point and click with an interactive wheel. Easy access to inventory items. Double clicking to run. Plenty of characters to interact with. I also really liked the settings and the music, which at times sounded like something from Bladerunner. It definitely has the cyberpunk vibe to it. I was reminded of Technobabylon somewhat mixed with Beneath and Beyond a Steel Sky. You visit quite a few locations from a rainy city to a tropical paradise in cyberspace. You can also switch between Tina and Sam. Sam is mostly used to reach places Tina can't reach, and talk to some of the other robots. All of these aspects were near perfection, however there were several flaws, a few I would consider critical that kept this game from excelling.

Let's get the big one out of the way that hurt the game the most I felt: the hotspot finder. Yes, it's always great to have a hotspot finder, but I was really let down by this one and it left me incredibly frustrated. The hotspot finder only works on objects for you to pick up and nothing else. Not only that, even with the hotspot finder it's still hard to see them. They flash just a little bit brighter when you push the button, but they're still easy to miss. Some objects are tiny and blend into the background really well. As a result I got stuck ... a lot because of the aggravating pixel hunting. Yes, 95% of the time I would get stuck because I missed seeing a tiny item. You can ask Sam for hints if you get stuck and that's a good feature to have, but a few times it wasn't enough and I had to resort to looking at the walkthrough. The game said I used 17 hints I think? Sounds bad, but again most of that was because of the unnecessary pixel hunting.

The other negative I felt was the story. It's not too bad, it's just overly simple and could have been executed better. There was nothing super special or original about it. Needed more depth too. Your main villain Rumpf is a really two dimensional caricatured character. And I think it's rather obvious who they were making fun of here. Hint: It rhymes with Dump. But I thought maybe he looked a little like a blonde Hitler too. Either way, I wasn't too impressed with the character.

And characters bring me to the voice acting. Overall it was not that great. A few characters sound really grating and a few others sound pretty decent, but most were more in between. Tina obviously sounds like an adult doing a child's voice, but I got kind of used to it. Sam might have been the best voiced character, and he's just your typical robot. The characters weren't developed much. You meet quite a few of them, but most are just a means to an end. None I could say wow that's a really great character. I probably liked the robot characters more than the humans though.

I will say that the ending was pretty nice, but again the story just wasn't that impactful for me, and it could have been if it was fleshed out more. However, I did still enjoy this game. It was a good length. The hotspot issue was the worst part of it for me, but I would definitely say these developers have potential. If they were to make another game, some more improvements and polish and they could actually make a great game I think. It almost reminded me of something Daedalic would make. They definitely did certain aspects well. Here is a screenshot. In the heart of Neo Berlin. Again, wonderful sci-fi backdrop.



I'm now playing a game called Beat the Game. It's really a play on words as the "beat" in the title refers to music. This one is centered all around music. I've heard it's short too, so it probably won't take me long to go through it.
  • Current Music
    Random Walkers - Ariadna Tread - Yildun Theory Mix
  • Tags

The Fair

So, we went to the fair yesterday. We tried to pick a day that was the least hot. Kind of difficult to do in the middle of the summer, but Saturday topped out in the mid 70s. There were still some areas that were hot in the morning, but shaded areas were nice and mid-afternoon clouds came over and made it tolerable. It was still pretty draining though. We got there just before ten and it was open by the time we got to the entrance. We walked around looking at some of the rides. At first you couldn't watch many of them because the crowds were still pretty low and not many people riding yet. But yeah, some of them were crazy. We walked through most of the fair, stopping to check out the Angora goats. We eventually made our way to the barn too to see the cows, a mama sow with her piglets nursing (I had never seen that before, and they were so cute :3), chickens, a calf, and a few rabbits. We also planned on watching the pig race later at 12:30, so we decided to get an early lunch. I wasn't sure what I wanted and my dad kind of snapped at me about that. :/ Eventually settled on a corn dog, and my parents got this rib dinner that came with fries and coleslaw, and they got a half chicken. No we didn't try any crazy fair food. I shared a little of their food. All of it was very mediocre unfortunately. The chicken was OK, the fries were meh, and the rib was chewy. The BBQ sauce was pretty good though. I don't know what they used for my corn dog, but it was pretty tasteless. Even Disneyland food is better than this. :P We did eventually have something that was good, but I'll get to that later.

We made our way over to the pig race. The stadiums were already packed with people, but we did find a good spot for viewing. Yeah, here's where the risk comes in maybe with the crowds all packed in. It's a recipe for disaster, but the thing is the show was outside, we're all fully vaccinated and we did put on our masks in this situation. So hopefully we will be fine. I'll probably not do this thing again though again. At least not for a while. The show was pretty cute. The little pigs were cute and there were a lot of corny pig puns. On the final race, each section of the crowd was given a pig to root for. We got a little pig named Bob. :P Unfortunately, he came in last. The show was pretty fun though, but those bleacher seats were uncomfortable on the butt.

After the race we decided to get dessert. This time I knew what I wanted. I saw online they had this banana cream funnel cake that looked good. I might have misread it on the website though because there was a "Bavarian" cream funnel cake. They did have banana though. It was just called "Banana Supreme." It's funnel cake with I imagine you can guess: bananas, but also drizzled with chocolate sauce. We all shared and it was yummy. There were a bunch of other desserts I would have liked to try at the fair, but no need to hurt my stomach any further. And yeah, that was so much better than lunch.

After that, we went into a building to check out art. Some of the paintings were done by teens, and they were quite amazing. There were also wood carvings. I didn't want to hang around there too long. There was just too much to look at, and I wanted to watch more rides, and probably leave soon. We did go to the adjacent building which was dedicated to food mostly. Looked at some jars of honey, and award winning cakes including one that was pandemic themed, which I thought was pretty funny. A little bald dude in a roll of toilet paper sitting on top of the virus. And there was another with carnivorous plants, but I didn't get a great look at the other cakes. There was also a display of I guess what can only be described as a gnome forest and village. So, there was some neat little things to look at. We checked out a few more of the rides we missed watching and then we left to go home around 2:30.

It was a pretty fun time, apart from some crappy food and taking a chance with crowds. Apart from the pig race, it was for the most part not too difficult to avoid getting too close to people. The capacity was limited, but not that limited. There were a lot of people that had shown up, by the time we left. I didn't get any anxiety over the visit or anything. It was a little difficult finding places though. The map was not the best, and I wished there was more of a guide to where all the food places were and what they had. Let's just say we did a ton of walking. Now crossing fingers, we didn't make a mistake going there, but I think it's unlikely.

And now I've been watching the Olympics. Yeah, marathon for me. This is about the only time I care about sports. When we're competing against other countries. Because there's so much to watch, I've had to adjust my nighttime routine a bit. There is also Comic Con too going on at the same time. So I've started to watch some of that on YouTube. I don't think there's going to be a whole lot to watch this year as far as panels go. No Marvel or DC, so it's mainly been the Walking Dead shows for me and Doctor Who. I'm not sure what else there is. So, it's been kind of a juggling act between these things, but so far I haven't had too much difficulty managing it. I did get a lot of reading done yesterday during the commercials last night for the Olympics, so that made me happy. :P

New Game and Going to the Fair

This is going to be brief. At least, I think. I finished my Hidden Object Game the other day. It was pretty fun, although the cursor interactiveness was not as responsive as I would have liked. The bad guy was named Loki, but he looked nothing like him. Maybe he was a different Loki. Now I've gotten back into adventures with a game called Encodya, and fortunately it's a more traditional adventure game, which I love. It's about a girl and her robot. I kind of like it so far.

Also, tomorrow I'm going to the OC Fair. Yeah, this is maybe the riskiest thing I'll do since the pandemic started. However, everyone is fully vaccinated: My mom, my dad, and me. And the fair is outside, so that makes it safer. I still can't help feeling a little nervous though with the Delta variant surging. I know the vaccines are still protective, but I keep hearing about breakthrough infections, but I also hear they are rare. I don't know how those are recorded in my area because some places only keep track of just hospitalized cases (which is really unlikely to begin with), so how rare the mild or asymptomatic cases are, I just don't know. LA county reinstated the mask mandate for everyone indoors. So far OC doesn't seem to plan on reinstating the mask mandate, but I almost wish they would so I could stop worrying about it. I know I could just start wearing the mask again, but I've been enjoying not wearing one. It's not that I'm worried about hospitalization or death (that was probably unlikely at my age anyway), but getting infected and experiencing symptoms and needing to get tested and isolate at home for ten days if the test is positive. That I really don't want. I guess that would be the worst case scenario and it would really suck. Am I going to have to get tested for COVID every time I get a cold for the rest of my life? I hope not. But if breakthrough cases are truly rare, then perhaps there's nothing to worry about. We'll probably be OK, even with the crowds, it's still outdoors. Don't expect me to be attending an indoor concert anytime soon though, not that I would lol.

COVID concerns aside, which I hope don't put me into a panic, we're not going to the fair to ride rides. I'm not really a carnival ride person anyway. But mostly to check out all the crazy fair foods, and maybe eat some of them, watch the crazy people on the crazy rides, and check out the farm animals. So, it will still be a fun time, and I'm looking forward to it. Hey, if I can't go to Disneyland (more like won't at those prices. Still waiting on when the new membership will be announced and I'll either accept it or hate it I guess), this is a decent alternative. Maybe we'll even make it an annual visit from now on. It's been a long time since I've been to the fair. I think the last time might have been in 2012 when I saw the Adam Lambert concert. I guess I will probably share my experience later too, and hope everything will be all good. I think we'll be fine.

Dentist and My Birthday

I had a dentist cleaning appointment on Thursday. It had been a long time. My mom and I were actually supposed to go way back in February 2020, but my mom kept putting off making an appointment. Sometimes her anxiety seems to be worse than mine. Of course you know what happened shortly after: pandemic. So, we put it off some more, but then of course had dental issues that needed to be taken care of anyway. Shortly after I got a filling replaced back in December, I noticed I was having some discomfort on that side when eating or sometimes just randomly. It was not usually a huge issue. If I had pain, it was slight, and I really didn't want to go back to the dentist a third time. So I decided to wait until I was fully vaccinated and then began begging my mom to make a cleaning appointment. I figured whatever issue I may have would be addressed when they did the x-rays. Finally my mom made an appointment for us in June, but they couldn't get me in until July 15th.

Fast forward to a few days ago. I got my cleaning done. It wasn't too bad, not too much hardcore scraping. And I brought up the tooth issue. I thought it was chipped and it appears I was right. The dentist thought it was the same one he had just filled, but no it is the tooth behind that one. What are the odds of that? Again I noticed this maybe in January? But then again, I'm sure both these fillings were done around the same time, so they probably failed around the same time. It's strange that it always seems to be the right side though. I never seem to have issues with the left side. I do have fillings over there too. Maybe I chew more on the right side? Anyway, so now this filling has to be replaced. Wonderful. I couldn't get in until August 10th due to my mom's schedule with physical therapy appointments for her hips and thumb, and well I guess the dentist office may be busy too. But at least it will finally be taken care of as much as I hate always being drilled on all the time. Maybe I finally won't have any problems for a while. I continue to say that, but it seems that every year there is a problem. I don't have any cavities though I guess, or I suppose the dentist would have mentioned it when he looked at the x-rays.

Of course it was also my birthday yesterday. I didn't remember to share a list here, but I'll get to the gifts near the end. I got the idea to first go to the bookstore in the morning. Makes sense, since it's something I love to do. I only intended on getting one or two books and left with four. :P One of the books I was looking for has eluded me a couple times. I knew it was in stock because I checked online first. I couldn't find it until I happened to stumble across it out of place in the sci-fi section rather than fantasy. That book is Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne. I actually have the first book in his other series, The Faithful and The Fallen, which is called Malice, but I haven't read it yet. I do have a good feeling about him though. I've heard his books are like Joe Abercrombie, whom I love, so there you go. I got his other book almost just because of the badass dragon on the cover, which is my weakness. :P The other books I got were Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse (Read the first two books of her Sixth World series and loved them. Sad there aren't any more out right now), The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart (Also heard great things about this one), and the sci-fi classic Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Yep, now that I can go back to the bookstore, it's back to out of control buying of books again. :P But it was my birthday too. After that, we picked up Taco Bell to bring home for lunch.

Then I wanted to go to the Fisherman's Restaurant in San Clemente on the pier for dinner. We hadn't been there in a long time, and I knew they had good food. We got there around 5:30. I would have wanted to get there earlier, but my mom called the restaurant and they said it was a good time to come because most people come later. They don't take reservations. My dad dropped my mom, grammy, my brother and I off while he went to find a parking spot. That's the only thing, finding parking is terrible unless you want to pay. He ended up having to park quite a ways up the hill. The restaurant told us the wait would be about 35 to 40 minutes. OK, so we'd walk down to the end of the pier and just hang out. They would call my mom when the table was ready. Grammy didn't walk with us I guess because the pier is too uneven. Lately she hasn't been able or willing to walk too far since her hip surgery. We took her to Dana Point a little while ago, and she couldn't do too much walking. After our trip to the end of the pier, we came back and waited and waited and waited some more. My mom checked with the restaurant again, and at first they said they were waiting for a table big enough for the five of us. I mean it's kind of a small seating area, at least by width, so it wouldn't be easy to have a large party eating dinner there. I didn't think we were a big party though. My mom checked again, and they said five more minutes. We eventually went and sat at a table in front of the restaurant. My mom checked again and this time they said they were clearing off the table. Finally shortly after they called. We were waiting for over an hour for our table! It's not like they forgot us during all this time either. Somehow they were able to keep track of all the names.

Even though we were waiting a long time, it was fine. All things considered, it wasn't THAT late. And the food was pretty good. I enjoyed most of it. We decided to order what they called feasts. It's a four course meal for two, and we ordered the swordfish feast and the salmon feast. They included clam chowder, salad, two buckets of clams (that seemed bottomless), and the two fish, which came with rice pilaf and veggies. It was a lot of food and that wasn't including our basket of sourdough bread. We took a lot of the food home. Of course we saved room for dessert. I got a hot fudge brownie with ice cream, my dad got a slice of carrot cake, and my brother got crème brulee. It was a long dinner and by the time we got home, it was late, and I hadn't even opened my presents yet.

The presents felt like Christmas time for me, for the amount I got. So on my list was a new water bottle because my old one tended to have leakage issues. I have some mixed feelings about this new one, but I suppose it's OK and it's leak proof. I also got a new cover for my Kindle because my old one is worn out, and a new belt, again it's replacing a worn belt. I also asked for this book called Dreams of the Dying by Nicolas Lietzau, which I first heard about on Booktube. It's a cool looking book and I think is based on or inspired by a mod for Skyrim, so that's interesting. It has a lot of cool things in there like illustrations. It just seems to be a well thought out world, and I just had to have it. Not on my list, my mom got me this cool dragon comforter. I remembered a while back we were trying to figure out what Grammy could get me for last Christmas, so we ended up looking at comforters. That didn't happen though, so I guess my mom just decided to get me one for my birthday. :) It also came with two pillowcases. From Grammy I got a $50 Visa gift card. That was pretty generous I thought. I've never used one of these, so I guess my mom will have to help me figure out how to activate and use it and everything. I will likely use it to buy games. I didn't get anything from my brother. Not even a card, but I'm not one to complain about that.

While I've been having sleep troubles, so I was feeling exhausted yesterday, I ultimately thought I had a good birthday and was looking forward to it.

Tokyo Dark

I finished Tokyo Dark yesterday. You play as the detective Ito, haunted by something she did in the past that was terrible, hoping she can save her former partner, and maybe find out why the ghost of a girl is following her and tormenting her. I probably didn't describe that too well, but Ito also uncovers a sinister cult and comes into the possession of this cursed mask. She has some important choices to make. The game is done in a Japanese anime style even with some animated cutscenes, which were nice. I think it was probably made in Japan and translated into English. Most of the game you are just going from place to place in Tokyo and questioning people, so there is a lot of dialog. There's only maybe one or two actual puzzles. One involved a sequence of lights and I got the basic idea of the puzzle, but couldn't follow what the pattern was, so I looked it up. I know shameful. Other than that, I didn't need any help. Although, there was one part in the game where you are trying to find the right person who drugged this cat, and I botched that one up good lol. Speaking of cats, are there really cat cafes and cat maid cafes in Japan? I can only assume so. The game lived up to its name because it definitely had a very dark atmosphere. Parts were chilling, but I wouldn't say I was outright afraid to play the game. The intensity gets dialed up a few times and there are flashes of creepy things more in the beginning of the game. And there is gore. Definitely not a game for children. :P The only time I actually jumped though is because my mom just happened to come into my room and said something during one tense moment. Yeah. >_>

I think the most interesting aspect of the game though was Ito's SPIN meter. That stands for Sanity, Professionalism, Investigation, and Neurosis. And those traits can go up or down depending on the actions you take. Early on, Ito kind of has a mental breakdown and is prescribed medication to keep her sanity in check. I didn't think it was that great of a portrayal of mental illness. :/ In this case, probably PTSD. The few times you visit her apartment you can take the pills to adjust her sanity, but too many and her investigation trait takes a hit. So, it's a balancing act. I didn't test to see if you could overdose on the pills or not. Another thing that probably wasn't too realistic. As interesting as this idea is, I don't know that it had a huge affect on the gameplay or story direction. And sometimes those traits go down (like sanity), no matter what you do. I guess I wasn't all that professional much of the time too because that one would take a hit. I guess pulling the alarm at the police station is just not very professional. :P I've heard the game has eleven different endings based on your choices. I was pretty satisfied with the ending I got. Ito seemed in doubt about the outcome, but I felt it was the right thing to do.

It was kind of on the short side, but I did really like this game. It had some good music too, although the volume control was kind of wonky. And the only other thing is, whenever I would change locations the screen would get all flickery and I don't know if that was intentional or graphical glitches. I'm guessing it's more of the latter. I would even notice sometimes before the screen came up that Ito appeared to drop from the sky lol. So, that was kind of a weird, but at least it wasn't game breaking. One more thing I forgot: there was one area where I thought the game was bugged, but it was just that I couldn't find this one particular hotspot because it blended in with the background making it hard to see. That probably wasn't designed too well. But anyway, yeah I definitely had fun with this one. Here's a screenshot. While this is actually from a cutscene, it's a cute moment with Ito having a pancake at the cat maid cafe.



Now I have decided I will in fact take a brief adventure game break and play a Hidden Object Game. It's called 1 Moment of Time: Silentville. I don't usually cover HOG's on here, so I doubt I will say much more about it except maybe if I liked it or not later.

One last thing: I finally got my replacement glasses. For some reason they tried to text the home phone. I know I specified before that number is the home phone. Obviously we can't get texts on that phone lol. But we happened to be at Target, and checked on my glasses and they were ready since the 9th. Definitely like them much better than the other ones. I did have to get them adjusted once and now they're perfect. No more glasses sliding off my face. And they are stylish tortoise shell ones too. ;)