So, I've been watching a YouTuber known as PixiePoison90 do a Let's Play of a game I had on the PS2 called 'Pirates: the Legend of Black Kat', which I bought mainly because of the female protagonist.  It's a Western RPG, so battle is real time and you have a growing list of objectives to fulfil.  Also, the story is minimal.  Whilst I enjoyed elements of the game (the minimal story is still interesting and the graphics look pretty good even now), there were things I didn't like/were too far out of my comfort zone, the real time battles being the most obvious example.  I found some cheat codes on line and used them to upgrade to the best ship and to make myself and my ship invulnerable.  I did not indulge in the ones that dressed Kat in a bikini...  Anyway, for all these reasons, I only played the game once but it was nice to watch someone else playing it (much better than I did 10+ years ago!) and to feel a bit of nostalgia.

Then I discovered that Pixie also had a Let's Play for 'Primal' (not to be confused with 'Far Cry: Primal' or 'Primal Fear'!).  Again, a Western RPG, played before I understood the distinction or how to tackle real time battles.  This one I know I played more than once but it developed a glitch in one of the boss battles and I couldn't get past it.  I did also have a cheat code for invulnerability that I used in the final boss battle.  The story is pretty linear and the only sidequest I can remember is collecting Tarot cards but it has a lot of charm.  The relationship between the MC, Jen, and her sidekick, Scree the Gargoyle, the fact that it's a 'real' companion game where each character has their part to play, AND the fact that the MC is female.  So, imagine my delight when I found out it is available to buy on the PlayStation Store for the PS4!  If only I'd known that when I came to the end of Witcher 3.  Anyway, the plan is to buy it on pay day whilst it's still available (because I missed 'Legend of Dragoon' - ;( ) and play it when I finish FFXII:ZA.

Speaking of FFXII:ZA, I am about four hours in and rotting in Nalbina Dungeon.  So far, I've given Vaan Shikari, Penelo White Mage, Balthier Machinist, and Fran Archer.  I'm undecided about whether Ashe or Basch should get Knight, but I think it'll probably be the latter because I'll get the opportunity sooner.  I made Penelo a White Mage because she'd already learned Cure - but, of course, I hadn't bought it, so she couldn't use it. Duh!  I am just in awe of how beautiful - how even MORE beautiful - it is.  The texture on Old Dalan's rugs is ridiculous - they're the background for a (fairly) minor character but they look amazing.  It all feels a bit easier than I remember but maybe I'm just a better gamer, now!

Well, that's enough gamer-talk.  Time to check emails and then get this day underway.
 So, I woke up at the usual time, despite going to bed a little later than usual, but I have done some meditation and read through a chapter of DOAIS - so that has been a good use of my time.

I'm beginning to think about my talk for 2 July on 'my favourite Bible passage'.  One of the problems I have, and I'm going to say it, is that I get really annoyed by people taking verses out of context.  To my mind, the Bible has to be seen as a whole - you can't just take the bits you like or that 'prove' your pet theory. Of course, trying to read and understand the whole thing is more than a little daunting, which is why I hardly ever open the thing at all!  But my favourite passage is one of those that feels like a summary of the whole.  I want to try to get four people to read it - a line each.

I think I'll do a Lectio Divina with that passage sometime this week.  That would be another good use of time.

Today, my plans are to wash the bedding, cut the grass, pop into town, and play some more Blood & Wine.  I've looked at the main quest and it looks as though I'm about half way through - finishing it this week seems VERY possible.  I will definitely do some sidequesting.  Or maybe do some 'work' towards 100% on FFX-2...  It certainly isn't worth starting anything new, although my gaming colleague has offered to lend me KH3 - but the idea of fighting with Disney characters has never appealed to me...

Oh, but I do know what I want for Christmas - Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom.  I love NNK:WOTWW sooo much.  I had a conversation with J about waiting for the price to come down, and in general that's what I do.  DAI, for example, is ridiculously cheap, now, but I don't have the time, or enough inclination, to get it.  I am certainly taking that approach with Horizon: Zero Dawn - it looks like a great game but not enough to make me want it NOW.  I do want it - but not enough to pay £50 (although I did spot it for £30 the other day, so the process has started - but £30 still sounds like a LOT of money).  The new AC game is set in Ancient Egypt, which sets all sorts of reactions off for me - but I'm not even going to consider that at full price.

But there are some games - FFXV (even though it is slightly disappointing - but it was so long since I'd had a new FF game!), FFXII:ZA (*bounces around excitedly*), and NNK2:RK that I know will be worth the outlay, because I'll get my money's worth and then some!

OK, time for a bit of fb nonsense, then I need to get this day started.
 I am REALLY enjoying Witcher 3: Blood and Wine, much more than the main game. I'm actually seeking out sidequests and getting quite excited about my home improvements. And the Big Bad looks like a VERY interesting character. Of course, the home improvements require cash, so I'm back to looting everything and everyone to get stuff to sell.

Even on 'story only' (ie VERY easy) and with Geralt at level 40+ the battles are challenging. I've improved my swords but I haven't found any armour I like better than the stuff I got about 3/4 of the way through the main game. But I am using my potions and signs, and dodging. So, yeah, it's all good.

All of the sidequests in Witcher 3 have an interesting little story behind them and one of the ones in B&W (The Hunger Game) is actually heart breaking. Geralt is a true defender of the weak and I'm enjoying making those choices for him.

And another (Great Balls of Granite) was just silly. But hey, who doesn't like a bit of silly?

Enjoyed this week's Doctor Who, 'The Empress of Mars'. The actress playing the Ice Warrior Queen did a great job, considering most of her face was covered. And Ben Kingsley's son did an excellent job of playing a cad :D Partly it was an exploration of the British attitude of 'we see it, we like it, we take it', which has led to so many of the problems we face today. And partly it was about how getting to know someone very different to you can lead to co-operation. And boy do we need some of that!

OK, that'll do for now. Bye, DW.

 And it's raining. Yay... Although I was expecting rain this time last week (it ALWAYS rains on my birthday), so it's probably a good thing. Except that I have a day of moving between buildings today, so I'm going to get wet. Roll on Move to Exchange Station!

Finally got round to finishing FFXV last night. The camping scene made me cry this time. So much going on there. I picked the wedding dress picture for my certificate of completion. I am still VERY annoyed by the all male line up. There is a part of the story when Iris joins the group and you could go and do quite a lot of the sidequests with her. Her special move involves Gladio which is part sweet (awww, brother-sister team up!) and part annoying (why can't she do it on her own?!?!). And there's a convoluted way to get Aranaea on the team and she is as badass as it gets.

Doing the story-only playthrough really helped with understanding Luna's part in the whole thing, too. Previously, it was all too spread out and disjointed. But I did the whole thing in 15 hours (spread over three weeks - LOL). OK, partly that's because I was level 64-66 but I don't think it would take much more than that if you started from level 1. Battles would be a LOT harder, of course. In fact, I don't think it would be possible to do a story-only playthrough without doing some sidequests for levelling purposes.

I do expect to play again and when I do it'll be with a walkthrough and I'll do EVERYTHING, even the damned adamatoise! But the next few weeks are for W3 DLCs. I just need to make sure I get them finished before 11 July *faints with excitement*

My gamer colleague is due back today, so I'll get to geek out a bit in work - in between meetings.

Had a nice, quiet weekend. Looking forward to a busy week!
 So, the cast list for DOAICS is pretty long, even though the story only focusses on a few of them. But that's going to change now that Brad has such a pivotal role in the revised version. And Susaal seems to want in on the action - just not sure how to manage him. Hmmm... need to think about that.

Anyway, using the flash fiction prompts is really interesting. They are totally random (today's was 'write a story including the words window, whistle, pin') but the selection of the character isn't - it's just whoever is next in the list. Of course, the list was compiled rather randomly in the first place - it was just whichever character I thought of, rather than their importance to the plot! So, Susaal and his father appear before Brad, even though Brad was arguably more important to the story (certainly as far as Langley's state of mind went) even in the original version. But, Brad is now going to have a much more prominent role.

But I am finding out some interesting stuff about them. With flash fiction pieces, I don't usually have much of an idea of where the story is going. I pick a character, a location, and a bit of a scenario - and see where it goes. So far, they have all turned out pretty coherent and, as I say, interesting.

The plan is: finish the flash fiction pieces for each character; rewrite the plot sheet; insert the new words; smooth it all out; do a plot edit (does this REALLY make sense?); do an edit per character (or, at least, for each major character); possibly do a tech edit; do a final smoothing out edit. This is going to take a while!

Work-wise, I'm actually getting into this quality stuff. It is definitely 'what we do' but we aren't explicit about it. At the very least, tracking it for myself will a) give me something to do and b) boost my skill set.

It's Quantico on the telly tonight, so finishing FFXV will probably happen tomorrow. Then it's W3 DLCs, here I come!
So, if you're reading this and you haven't played FFXV, or haven't got to Chapter 13 of that game, STOP NOW.

The whole purpose of my current playthrough of FFXV was to review the changes to Chapter 13 - the chapter of DOOM. I have only got a tiny way in, playing as Noctis on Normal, rather than Gladiolus and Ignis on Easy, but I think I've spotted a change. There is a radio in the first dorm, which I don't remember being there before. It gives an update on the situation in the Imperial capital. I can also swap to playing as the boys at any dorm.

I've got a save file just before we set off to find Shiva. When I've completed the chapter as Noct, I will go back to that save (even though it means driving the damned car again *shudders in horror*) and play as the boys. Or I might keep this save file (in the first dorm) and swap to the boys from here. Yes - I'll do that and see where the alternate route starts; if it starts with them by the train, I'll go on from there - if it starts with them somewhere else, I'll go back to the other save.

One advantage of doing a replay is spotting all the foreshadowing that I missed last time. There's a sequence on the train where Noct is confronting Ardyn - but Ardyn's dialogue sounds like he's trying to imitate Prompto. It struck me that this is actually Ardyn already messing with Noct's head BEFORE he tricks him into pushing Prompto off the train. On the original playthrough, I thought he was just trying to 'be down with the kids'!

No gaming for the next two nights - meeting tonight and Quantico tomorrow. We shall pick up chapter 13 again on Friday!
Saturday could not have gone any better. The husband liked all of his prezzies, the daughter, grandson and I did some shopping together without falling out, and we got to the restaurant in plenty of time.

The food at Meet was really good. Everyone had what they wanted and came away replete. Everyone had a good time and there was no grumbling or falling out. And the bill was quite a bit smaller than I was expecting.

We finished off with a little stroll along the river, which blew away some cobwebs and livened us all up again. It wasn't warm but it wasn't really cold, either. Then daughter and grandson came back to ours for a bit before going home.

I then watched Doctor Who, which was brilliant (of course!). Slamming up against Bill's ethnicity was handled very well. I'm glad they're making something of it, because trying to ignore it in the case of Martha was, I think, a mistake.

Yesterday was supposed to be a 'chill out day', including some FFXV. I hadn't had a chance to play since Wednesday, so hadn't downloaded the update. It took HOURS! This gave me chance to watch a couple of things on the Tivo, but it wasn't what I had planned. I did eventually get to it (beating Leviathan and getting to the part where Ignis is blind), but it wasn't quite the day I had planned.

Today is the May Day Bank Holiday, so I shall be cleaning the bathroom, mowing the grass, and hoovering upstairs. And gaming.



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