Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Out of Commission

So . . . I'm going to be out of commission for a while.  Possibly 1-3 months.  And all because of an innocent accident.

I was sitting on the floor folding laundry on Saturday afternoon (9/29) when I decided to give my dog a hug who was laying in front of me.  I put my hands behind her front legs and started to pull her up.  Apparently she didn't want a hug at that time and flipped out and slammed her head directly on to my open left eye.  She didn't hit cheek or nose or eye brow.  Just a straight hit to my open eye.  It happened so fast I didn't have time to blink.

If you've been following my blog for some years now you know I don't have a good history with my eyes.  Especially my left one.  The one she hit.  And this time it's not any better.  It's worse.  Much worse.

She knocked my contact lens out and my artificial lens I had implanted when I had cataract surgery.  When I got to the hospital they said I had ruptured my eye.  They took me by ambulance to another hospital where they had people trained for this type of injury.  I was only at the other hospital a little less than an hour before they wheeled me in to surgery.

The doctor said that I had lost my pupil, the little pocket that holds the lens and obviously the lens itself.  I had also lost a bunch of other stuff in my eye which I don't remember what he called it.  My corneal transplant was barely hanging on by a little flap.  The surgery that I had that day was just to see if they could reconstruct it to be a eyeball again.  I'll have to have additional surgeries to see if/what help they can do to restore any vision in that eye.

After surgery the doctor said he would be happy if I saw light and shadow and movement.  I could.  It looks like very bad shadow puppets on a very dimly lit wall.  I couldn't see enough to tell how many fingers he was holding up and I couldn't see colors or shapes.  If everything heals and is okay in a month they'll refer me to a specialist to what they can do for vision.

I will have to have another transplant surgery.  Right now I think the only reason I still have an eye is that they could use the existing transplant to close up the eye.  The doctor said they didn't have any corneal tissue at the hospital so if they didn't have that to close up the now ruptured hole in my eye I don't know what they would have done. 

I don't know know what they are going to do about the lens you normally have in the eye.  Not only did I lose the lens, I lost the pocket that the lens sits in.  They're going to have to MacGyver something in order to get that to work.

Needless to say I have a long road of surgeries and recoveries ahead of me.  This all happened about a week and a half ago so I've had time to calm down, accept my fate and get past the worst of the pain for now.  It hasn't been easy.  Even typing this is hard and I'm going to have to rest for a long time afterwords to recover. 

As for playing video games that's out of the question for now.  I do have videos in the can that I could edit and post to my YouTube channel but it hurts to much to look at the screen and those will only last so long and I'm not recording any more.  So for the time being I'm taking it easy and contemplating a lot of my life.  That's about all I can do at this point.  If things change, I'll make another post.  Right now my bad eye is watering like crazy and it's making it harder for my good eye to focus. 

So, I guess I'm out of commission for while.  This is the life for the next several months for this gamer girl.  Play on!

Friday, August 31, 2018

50,000 and counting

I did it. My gamer score is finally at 50,000.  Well . . . actually it's at 50,011 but I still finally crossed that threshold. 

It's been 11 and half years in the making.  As best as I can tell I got my first achievement on January 6th, 2007.  I actually got 3 achievements on that day.  All of them in Hexic HD which came free with the Xbox 360.  I got Flower Child, Cluster Buster and Star Gazer.  And thus my journey began.

I remember the beginning of that journey.  I was not an early adopter of the Xbox 360.  All the stories of Red Rings of Death and such made we want to wait until Microsoft got their act together.  The Xbox 360 was out for more than a year before I finally got one.  I sat and watched all my friends rack up their gamer scores and I couldn't wait to start earning mine.  Unfortunately I was big in to playing on my PS2 and didn't play much on the Xbox 360 for quite awhile.  That all changed once I got Gears of War and found a great group of guys to play it with.

I was always lamenting how fast their scores seemed to increase versus how slowly mine was inching up.  But now, for some reason, getting over 50,000 seems a decent amount.  Of course I have several friends with gamer scores over 100,000.  But they don't have much of a life outside of video games (sorry guys, but you know that's true).

I had a goal of getting to 50,000 by the end of the year.  Getting it this early was a bit of a surprise.  What achievement was the one that pushed me over the edge?  It was in Minecraft (the new version).  Delicious Fish.  Catch and cook a fish.  It was just enough to put me over the edge.  And since that version is different than the Xbox One version I have the chance to double up on the achievements and get my gamer score even higher.

I wonder if it will take me another 11.5 years to get to 100,000.  I don't think so, but stay tuned.  You never know.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

2 new (mini classic) consoles

So I have 2 new consoles.  They are classics.  They are minis.  Can you guess what ones they are?

I picked up the SNES Classic Mini first and then about two weeks later I say an article online that the NES Classic Mini was back in production and available in stores that day.  So . . . at lunch I took a little trip to my local Best Buy and bought one (after I did a bunch of research online to make sure they had some in stock).

I haven't plugged them in yet as my life outside of work has been consumed with getting my swimming pool back in service after a devastating monsoon storm.  When it's over 110 degrees outside the last thing you don't want to have working/swimable is your pool.  It's the only relief that doesn't cost an arm and a leg on your electric bill.  You still have to pay to run the pump, but if your pump can't run . . . well, you now know what I was dealing with.  Now that the pools back in swimable condition (although it's so warm it feels like a taking a hot bath) I can get back to playing video games.

One thing I would like to do with the NES Classic Mini is to play Mario Bros and finish the game by playing all the levels.  I use to play this game (along with Duck Hunt and Tetris) every time I would go babysit my niece for my sister and brother-in-law.  Once he showed me the warp pipes I took advantage of them every chance I could to skip levels . . . especially worlds with water levels.  I hate water levels. 

I've "finished" the game but I haven't played all the levels.  This will be a real test of my platforming skills as there are whole worlds in that game that I haven't even seen yet.  And there's some Bullet Bill levels that I had to play because I skipped some water levels and I hated those levels.  This should really interesting. 

I'm also excited to play the original Zelda games.  I've played later ones in the series but it will be interesting to see where/how that all got started.

I haven't decided if I'll record my play through of any game or not.  I know Nintendo has a strict policy on having their video game footage on streaming platforms like YouTube.  I don't have enough followers, or likes, or views or whatever YouTube is using to measure things now a day and I don't really care about that.   My YouTube channel is for my use/pleasure/enjoyment.  Anything beyond that is just frosting.

Is there a game on the NES or SNES Classic that you would like me to play?  If so, let me know in the comments below.

Games with Gold Challenge

I didn't make any New Year Resolutions this year.  Why?  I just wasn't feeling it.  With a resolution I was feeling the pressure of "I have to do it" . . . when in reality I rarely do.  So I didn't make any and I felt okay about that for a while.  Around the middle of January a thought occurred to me.  Instead of resolutions, why not a challenge? I had a moment of epiphany and I knew exactly what "challenge" I would undertake.

Every month I download the Games with Gold free games on Xbox . . . unless I have them already (that's happening more often than not nowadays).  Why not play ones of those?  Why not make a challenge out of it?  And so I did.

I've decided to pick one of the free games each month and try playing them.  Maybe even finishing them.  If I did that it would be 12 finishes in a year.  That might be a record for me.  I probably won't record them but I'll play them.

So far I've dabbled in Back to the Future: The Game and Zombi.   I got a little frustrated with Back to the Future because I had to go through and select every response option before I could progress the story.  It was at the Professor's house and you're trying to get the book back from Biff.  Having to go up to your dad and talk to him about 4 times before you could progress things was annoying.  But I'll keep playing.

In Zombi I got out of the training missions and was feeling only so-so confident in my ability to move on.  But it was time to go to bed so when I get back to it I might start all over to refresh my skills and be more confident in my ability to survive.  I am a serial starter after all.

It's an interesting concept for a challenge and I'm curious to see how it all plays out at the end of the year.  I'm not setting it as resolution as I don't want to force myself to do it and feel guilty if I fail.  There is no failure this way . . . just more new games to start playing.

Are you up to the challenge?  Could you pick one free game each month and play it to see what it's like?

Friday, March 23, 2018

I'm so smart . . . sort of

Guys, I figured it out.  I figured out how to record form my PS4.  I can't wait to start playing some of those games now.  Apparently you have go in to your settings and turn off HDCP.  I was under the impression that an update turned that off automatically and you had to turn it on if you wanted to.  Apparently the reverse was true.  Any suggestion of what I play first?

Horizon Zero Dawn
Ratchet & Clank
Grand Kingdom
I am Setsuna
Mighty No. 9

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

What I've been playing . . .

Just to give you an idea of what I've been playing recently (some recorded, some not).  In no particular order.

Lego Batman (Xbox 360)
Lego Harry Potter years 5-7 (Xbox 360)
Voodoo Vince Remastered (Xbox One)
Final Fantasy IX (PS[on my PS3])
Gems of War (Xbox One and PS4)
Skyrim (Xbox 360)
Band of Bugs (Xbox 360)
Back to the Future (Xbox One)
Zombi (Xbox One)

Some of the games pending (which is a polite way to say I need to continue playing them again) are:

Dark Cloud (PS2)
Summoner (PS2)
Psychonauts (PS)
Halo Combat Evolved (Xbox 360 and Xbox One [part of Master Chief Collection])
Dark Souls (Xbox 360)
Rayman Origins (Xbox 360)

And the games that I can't figure out how to record them again:

Final Fantasy X-2 (PS3)
Prototype 2 (PS3)

I started playing the Lego Batman game before I thought about recording it.  I generally play a level as a warm up especially if I haven't played anything in a while.

I'm obsessed with Final Fantasy IX.  I think it's my favorite Final Fantasy game.  I follow the game on Twitch and I'm constantly watching streams of it.  I had to do that because my game disk has an error on it and won't let me get through the first 5 minutes of the game (I think I blogged about that).  So I bought a digital copy through my PS3 so I could play it.  Unfortunately I still can't figure out how to record from my PS3 so I'm just playing it for fun.  I love that game.

I started playing Band of Bugs because I missed playing a tactical RPG game.  I've loved getting back in to this genre even if the game is not that exciting (I'll have a review up once I've finished all the DLC).  There's something about having to plan your move AND your attack that intrigues me.

Back to the Future and Zombi have interesting reasons why I'm playing them.  I'm going to do another blog post about that specifically.  Can you figure out what they have in common?

Skyrim is a very interesting choice for me.  There wasn't any particular reason that I wanted to play that game specifically just that I wanted to play an intense RPG game to scratch a Dungeons & Dragons itch that I have.

Since December I've had a really strong desire/need to learn how to play Dungeons & Dragons.  I bought the Starter Kit, Player's Manual, dice (lots and lots of dice), miniatures and the paint the make them pretty (or at least colorful since I'm just learning how to paint them).  I talked with my brother dain and he said he was interested too.  We even got together and went through the first section of the starter campaign.  Since then, every time I try to get with him to play again, he blows me off.  You want to clean room instead of play D&D with me?  That's like a girl saying "I have to wash my hair" so she doesn't have to go out with you.

Since I wasn't getting my fix in real life I thought I would turn to my digital life to find the equivalent.  I was thinking Elder's Scrolls Online, Neverwinter, Oblivion or Skyrim as good choices.  With Neverwinter or Elder's Scrolls Online I felt like I had to be able to invest several hours of game time to it each time I played.  I wanted something I could pick up for a hour or just 20 minutes.  I've probably got about 10 hours in to Oblivion but I think I would be so lost if I tried to pick up where I had left off.  I wanted to start fresh and new.  So Skyrim it was.  The choice then became: on what system?

I have the original on the Xbox 360 and the remastered on the Xbox One.  I've played about an hour of it previously on the Xbox 360 and had 2 achievements (from 2013).  I could have played the remastered one but then would I be able to go back and play it again on the earlier (uglier) version?  I figured I would start over and play it again on the Xbox 360 and just take my time and enjoy it.  Once I've completed it there I might play again but on the remastered version and record that playthrough to post on YouTube.  At least I'll know what I'm doing and won't be fumbling around so much.

The other games that are pending and I need to play I'm just stuck in or frustrated with.  That's what happens when I play games.  I hit a block and stop playing.  Posting videos to YouTube is suppose to help me keep playing them when I do get blocked.  I think I need to work on that.

For those that I'm recording you can check my progress on my YouTube channel.  For those that I'm not recording you can check my achievement lists to see how I'm doing.  For those that don't have achievements I guess I could start tweeting about my progress.  I need to do more of that too.  You can find me at @PengwennGamer.  Is there any one of those games that you'd like to see me play more than the others?  Let me know in the comments.

New Purchase - PS4 Pro

Guess what?

I bought a Playstation 4 Pro

Yes, I know I probably don't need a new gaming system but I couldn't resist and I'll tell you why.

I have a list of games I'd like to own for the PS4 and two of them came up as free games this month for Playstation Plus members.  Well, lucky me I'm one of them.

Bloodborne and Ratchet & Clank were/are the free games for the month of March 2018.  If I wanted to save some money, now would be the time to get a PS4 . . . except that getting one isn't actually saving me money since I would still have to pay money for the console.  But I couldn't pass up the opportunity especially since I got a nice boost in my paycheck with our year end bonuses coming through.

I got the PS4 Pro (1TB) and immediately downloaded those 2 games.  I also picked up some free to play games as well just so I'd have something else to play.  One of those games is Gems of War.

I have Gems for the XBox One and love it.  I'm about level 167 or so and I've put a large amount of hours in to that game.  Unfortunately I realized around level 80 or so that I did some things in the beginning that have hurt me later on in the game.  At the time I didn't know better because I didn't fully grasp how things would play out.  Once I did, I felt like a fool.  With getting the game again on PS4 I now have the chance to start over and take what I've learned and maybe be better at training, or faster at leveling up.  So now I'm playing the same game on two different consoles.

Of course just having have these few games wasn't enough.  Could I call myself a real gamer if I only have a paltry list of games for the latest system?  Not in my mind anyway.  I've since been on a hunt to find bargins and great deals on other PS4 games.  And my wish list is still growing.

I've picked up I am Setsuna and Horizon Zero Dawn.  I'm so excited about both of them.  I can't wait to play them.  The question now is: Which game do I play first?  I've got so many games on the go right now it's hard to figure out what to play out of those without adding another one to the mix.  But whatever game I pick I was going to record it and post to YouTube.  Except things haven't gone has planned.

Once I got the PS4 hooked up and downloaded an update, I turned on the Elgato and that's when things started to go wrong.  Even though one of the systems the Elgato is natively set to record from is the PS4 it wasn't recognizing the signal and freaked out like it does with my PS3.  (I still haven't figured out why I can no longer record from my PS3.  I've been able to do it in the past but it won't work any longer no matter what I've tried.)

Once I gave up on that and just started to play and enjoy my new system the power started freaking out and it would turn off and back on again randomly.  The thing with Gems of War is that if you are in a battle and lose connection (either you internet goes out or your power) you get "credit" for losing the battle and a loss goes on your record.  After this happened about 3 times I just turned everything off and went to bed.

I haven't given up yet on recording from my PS4, I just have to figure out what went wrong.  Unfortunately I haven't had the chance to play from it again either.  Like I said, I've got a lot of games going at once.  More on that in a later post.

So if you've got a PS4 system and would like to recommend games to me to play/buy I'd love to see them in the comments below.  I've ignored the PS4 games for so long because I knew I wouldn't be able to afford the system for awhile so I really don't know what good games are out there; older ones or newer ones.  I could really use some suggestions.  Any games.  Any genres.  I'm open to trying new things.