On Unplugging and Hitting the Reset Button

On Unplugging and Hitting the Reset Button

Last week, I was feeling pretty stuck for something to write.

I mean, I had a few ideas based on Final Fantasy XIV, but I’ve been getting into this self-conscious funk where I feel like all I ever talk about is that game. I wanted something fresh, but we haven’t been able to afford any new games, and voilà, consternation.

So I sat and I twiddled my thumbs, telling myself I’d come up with something. I didn’t.

Then, Wednesday night, as I was home coughing up a lung or two from the flu I’d gotten the day before, my mom called. She wanted to know if Shane and I were still planning to come visit them at a cottage in northern Ontario they’d rented for a week.

I had completely forgotten about it, and was immediately excited.

Sure, I’d have to leave my newborn FC alone for a weekend, and I’d have to hope my jute plants didn’t die. But it would be worth it to spend a weekend outside, and I’d been feeling in need of a break.

I spent the rest of the week frantically trying to get over the flu (which, for the record, is really not something you can do frantically because it just makes it worse), and after a couple of sick days and a lot of being gross at work, it was Saturday.

Right before we left, I logged into FFXIV to tend my garden, and make sure everything was ready for us to leave. As I was running around, one of my FC members asked if I could go in voice chat. That’s something I do tend to avoid, because well, it just makes me anxious. The only person I’ve ever been able to talk to on the phone is Shane.

Naturally, I explained that I wasn’t going to be around long because we were going away for the weekend. Here’s how that went:

Me: being excited because I don’t get out much
Person: “I always knew you’d abandon us someday!”
Me: “Now now, there’s no need to be dramatic about it, we’re gonna be back tomorrow :)”
Person: gets annoyed with me and logs out

That got under my skin a little, and told me I was doing the right thing.

 

What I learned about unplugging myself

I tend to get too caught up in projects, and I’ll often lose sight of what really matters in life. When that happens, I need a hard reset to bring me back down to earth.

That’s exactly what happened this weekend.

Since starting our FC, life has been a little hectic for both of us. Every day, I have stories for Shane about what so-and-so said to me today; one day someone threatened to leave because all they wanted is to be promoted, and another day, someone went off the handle at me about four different things and I still don’t know what the actual problem was. It’s gotten far too easy for me to worry about what’s happening in the game, and forget to worry about what’s happening out of it.

When we got up to the woods after four hours of driving, all of that immediately left my brain.

I was just happy to be where I was.

I spent a day and a half doing real-life things—swimming, kayaking, being far too terrified of touching the fish in the lake, turning into a lobster because I didn’t remember sunscreen, and most importantly, not touching my phone.

That was good for me; by the time we headed home, I had shaken the last vestiges of my flu, I had had a lovely time making memories with Shane, and I was ready to go back and deal with people, whatever they wanted to throw at me. And that’s saying a lot for an introvert like me.

The next mission? Try to find a way to hit that hard reset button without needing to drive nine hours in two days to a cottage on the lake.

 

Now it’s your turn. How do you unplug?

Why I’m Excited for Pokémon on the Switch

Why I’m Excited for Pokémon on the Switch

A few months ago, we got one of the fastest Pokémon remakes ever in the form of Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

These two followed just a year after their original releases, which was a bit of a surprise when, you know, it took us 11 years to get a Hoenn remake, and we’ve pretty much given up on ever seeing Sinnoh again.

At the time, I was very happy to dig through everything the Internet would tell me about the new games. I spent several hours busily investigating new features, reading up on fan theories, and just generally learning new things.

One of those new things I learned was that Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were the last planned Pokémon games for the Nintendo DS family.

I couldn’t see that being the end of Pokémon, though, so I got the idea in my head that before long, we’d see our favourite fictional critters on the Switch. It hadn’t been confirmed at the time, but I got disproportionately excited about it anyway.

As it turns out, I was right.

Around the end of May, we got the exciting news that Pokémon would be coming to the Switch in the form of Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee and Let’s Go Pikachu. The games are actually supposed to be remakes of the original Pokémon Yellow, with a bit of a twist of modern tech.

Here’s what I know about it so farand what I’m excited about!

 

The games work together with Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO was one of those things for me that immediately lost any appeal when I had to give up my data connection. It was great for occasionally catching the random Pidgeys that would appear in my apartment complex, but it didn’t take long for me to run out of balls.

Perhaps in a bid to reinspire those of us who have grown apart from it, the new games will (partially) integrate with the phone app to migrate Pokémon originally found in the Kanto region to your game.

I know, I’m being a little salty. But I do think it’ll be really neat to see how it works!

 

You can take your Pokémon with you

When HeartGold and SoulSilver came out back in 2009, they included a Tamagotchi-sized “PokéWalker” that let you take a pixellated version of your party Pokémon out for a walk. It counted your steps, and translated that into experience points for your Pokémon.

It was a neat idea, but it really didn’t take teenage me long at all to lose the PokéWalker. With my level 50-something Dragonair inside.

So sad.

That approach kind of disappeared after that game release, never to be seen again. Well, sort of.

The newest games will use something very similar to the PokéWalker, in the form of a stress-ball-sized Poké Ball Plus. Unlike the PokéWalker, though, the Poké Ball Plus is not included as part of the game; it seems to be structured as an optional accessory, and goes for $65 CAD.

Which is almost the same amount as an entire Switch game. Just sayin’.

Am I excited for it? I think I’d be interested in trying it out if it weren’t for the price tag; I did like having an easy way to level up my Pokémon, other than the inevitable level grind!

 

It’s multiplayer

Although Pokémon games have had interactivity basically as long as they’ve existed, so players could connect and battle their Pokémon against one another, it looks like the new games are taking this to a new level.

Instead of relying on connections, it looks like Pokémon Let’s Go supports local multiplayerso you can run around in the same game with another player. It does sound like there are limitations to what you can do in this mode, but it’s still very much a first for the series.

The Switch is pretty much designed for multiplayer, so it makes perfect sense that this would be the approach.

I’m honestly so excited to try this feature out; it really seems like something Shane and I would get lost in!

 

It lets you walk around with your Pokémon

One of my absolute favourite parts about HeartGold (and why it’s still one of my favourite games ever) is that it let me walk around with my Pokémon outside of their balls. I loved turning around to talk to my dear Dragonite, Blake, and watching the little happy faces showing up over his head!

I’ve been hoping and dreaming that we’d get this function back in newer games; it was actually built into Sun and Moon, but for whatever reason, that bit of code never got activated.

Now, we’ll finally be getting it backand in a game with graphics of a high enough caliber to go on a TV, no less.

I can’t wait!

 

Are you excited for Pokémon Let’s Go? What are you looking forward to?

Struggles of a Gamer Couple

Struggles of a Gamer Couple

The first conversation I ever had with Shane was about superheroes.

We had just met online, and of course were looking to find things in common. He told me his favourite was Batman, and I told him my favourite was Iron Man.

He brought me Batman Lego on the first date, we started playing video games together on the third date, and we’ve been together ever since. Continue reading “Struggles of a Gamer Couple”

The Girly Geek’s Guide to Gardening in FFXIV

The Girly Geek’s Guide to Gardening in FFXIV

A fun little fact about me: I suck at keeping any kind of plant.

I’ve tried to keep all kinds of different houseplants over the years, all of which died equally sad and droopy deaths; from fickle orchids to rose bushes to gerbera daisies (which are supposed to be sturdy, but I guess not). Continue reading “The Girly Geek’s Guide to Gardening in FFXIV”

How One Disney Geek Met Kingdom Hearts

How One Disney Geek Met Kingdom Hearts

When I was a kid, there was this big campaign for one of the brands of breakfast cereal (darned if I remember which one) that involved them putting PC games in their boxes of cereal.

They were pretty heavily targeted at kids; and along with things like Wheel of Fortune and Sorry! and Monopoly Jr., there was one game I wanted more than anything.

That game was Timon and Pumbaa’s Jungle Games. Continue reading “How One Disney Geek Met Kingdom Hearts”