Sunday, January 11, 2015

Would You Like To Play A Game?

I was approached by a representative of Man Crates (a company that ships awesome gifts for men in cool wooden crates, with a crowbar!!) to write about how my love for gaming began. At first I thought I'd go back and reminisce about midi music and ANSI graphics on the local bulletin board system, but there is really no going back to that. Instead, I will take you back to the first console that I ever played on, the Atari 2600.

The latest thing!
My dad, like many dads in this world, liked to try out new gadgets. By the time my Dad brought this home, it had been out for at least 5 years. Still, it was new to us! As the oldest, I got to try it first. I sat down on the mottled brown carpet in front of the entertainment center, opened the game storage container and looked for a game. I wanted an adventure, not a shooting game, so I chose Pitfall.

Alligators, Snakes, and Scorpions!
Pitfall doesn't start out with that many obstacles. Just like most games start you off slow, this one did, too. Still, trying to move with the stick and jump to catch a swinging vine at the same time was nerve wracking for me. My sister took a turn and was able to jump from alligator nose to nose, while I was still stumped at the disappearing and reappearing quicksand trap. I held that controller stick tightly and slammed it to the right to go forward, thinking it would help my character go faster. I broke the controllers so many times, I was eventually banned from playing. To this day I have no clue if this game has an ending, or if there are more than two levels to Missile Command, or even what happens when you kill all the segments of a Centipede. 

Dad, I'm sorry I was so hard on the controllers. Can I play now? I have proven myself to be a responsible gamer, haven't I? My keyboard and mouse have been around for more than a few years now, and my Playstation and Wii remotes all are original equipment! Wait, you say you don't have our old Atari anymore? Maybe there is still a way. Man Crates has retro gaming crates with Nintendo consoles, why not make one with the an Atari?

No Cartridge Needed!
Flashback systems are all the way to version 5 now, with 90+ games on them, but only this one had Pitfall. I'm sure there are lots of games on even the newer versions that will transport some of you back in time to that slumber party with friends, Atari, and food. 

Food! These games were always better when I was over caffeinated, sugared, and covered in chip crumbs. What kind of things would I want in my very own retro gaming crate? I loved Doritos Cool Ranch Chips, but you can get those anywhere. Crush Grape Soda, Pixie Sticks, Lemon Heads and Mike and Ikes are all still pretty mainstream. Now that I am all grown up, I still want the things I love, but with a twist!


Why drink a regular cola when you can have something like this? The colors are fun, the flavor delicious. I would love it if there was a variety 4 or 6 pack in the crate.

They don't have to be bacon flavored. They could be jalapeno, or sriracha, or pretty much any flavor you can think of. Just be sure they are thick ,crunchy, salty, and a little greasy. Oh, and make it two bags or I won't share.

Jelly Bellies!
Of all the candy I ate as a kid, Jelly Bellies are still a favorite. A pound or two of these in a crate would be awesome.

They're entering the atmosphere, it's all over!
How many of you played games on a Saturday morning in your pajamas? Why not do it again? Put some 8 bit lounge pants in that crate with Space Invaders, Pac Man or Frogger printed on them. If not that, how about this hoodie?

I think this crate would only be complete for me with a small toolkit to repair the controllers if I break them. Men like tools. I think this should be a thing. Would this be enough? 

Probably won't fix the controller.
So, Man Crates, I want to purchase an Atari Nostalgia game crate for my husband's birthday. I'm sure you'll do it better than I could (he likes Red Vines, Sweet Tarts, jalapeno chips, Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper). You have until October. I'll be looking for it! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

My November in Draenor.

It's been a busy few months here in my house. Hubby and eldest daughter were both working graveyards for most of the holiday season, and tonnes of overtime to boot. We have one car, and the logistics involved in getting the family where they needed to be with those two huge hurdles was only half of the reason I haven't been here much. Things are slowing down a little, as only hubby has been kept on. I might have time and energy to post! Here are a few pictures and reasons behind them for my first month in Draenor. The expansion is wonderful, and I find that I am getting more accomplished than ever, yet still find myself behind where I want to be. 

Choir of sopranos sing Ahhh!
 My server has got to be the least problematic of most. We aren't linked up with anyone. We aren't high or even medium population. The Horde side of things is less populated than the Alliance side. The fateful day that everyone else was stuck in a queue? Once I had 60 or more people waiting ahead of me to log in. It took me about 5 minutes to get on. Then the DDoS attacks hit and noone could get on. I think I remember cursing and fuming at a day off wasted.

You got a little something, uhh, nevermind.
I love the Goren about as much as I despise those evil little flower people. They're mean, but they roll. The quest in Gorgrond that takes you in disguise through their tunnels was too much fun. I love that there is a transformation toy hidden in a cave inside an egg out in that awful place where the Goren and Gronn fight endlessly. Did you find it, too? I'm a huge cheater and got the add-on to my Handy Notes so I can find ALL THE THINGS. Just because they are on my map doesn't mean I know how to get to them. Jumping games are a weak point of mine, and then there are the flying games in Nagrand. That map and all its notes taunt me.

Big Green Plant Guy!
 OK, so this is the rare big green plant guy, Bashiok. The green areas in Gorgrond make me happy like nothing else does. I'm still looking for that perfect screenshot to re-do my banner, until I find another place that makes me smile as big.

Out with the old, but slowly and awkwardly.
 Talador was the first place where quest rewards were good enough to start replacing my sad excuse for raiding gear. This robe makes me want to cry. Everyone else is so excited because it's slinky and sexy and it has a tattoo on the shoulder. Delgada's shoulder bones cover most of the tattoo, her boobs are saggy, and her belly. ewww. I took this more for the eerie coloring from a quest I was doing or something I had killed. Her outfit at this point still matched, a little. Something I loved about Talador (well, what I love about all of this) was the surprise I got running up to a quest giver only to see her blown up in front of me. Maybe that was why she looks so bewildered. I didn't notice the boots Deceptia (clever name) left behind until someone in Mumble exclaimed over the still smoking shoes. Good thing they stayed there until I went back.

The right person for the job.
 Missions are fun and they are a chore. Delgada has reaped many rewards from her followers missions. Another dirty secret is that I am using Master Plan to help me fill in the blanks for optimal mission success, but I haven't turned off the quest completion, because I love to see that my followers actually do something.

Some treasures make me sad.
There are stories everywhere in this expansion. Nagrand is a dangerous place for adventurers, it seems. Moments like these are why I am not sad that I have Handy Notes. What would I miss if I didn't know where to look? I asked for more stories, and I got them.

I don't speak binary.
This is in Gorgrond. I originally took this screenshot so I could find out what he was saying. As usual, there are people on WoWhead who have deciphered his several bits of dialog. I'll let you look at the comments, but I'll also say, that was a hungry, hungry hippo! Oh, and tab over to the npc abilities after. I love the pop culture references in this game!

Pepe and I adventure together.
By the time Delgada hit Nagrand, all her gear had been replaced, save for her legendary stave and cloak. I am going to have to hunt down the bind on equip versions of these as I really loved the way they looked, but in my haste to fuel work orders, I turned them into dust. I'm sure it was too long ago to recover, and it really isn't a priority. Replacing the cloak that finally retired the legendary cloak was important (I dusted it in a frenzy of cleaning out way too full bags while I had the Orgrimmar cloak equipped!), but this? Nahhh. Oh, and Pepe, I love you. I saw that Euphyley had made a charm and so badly wanted one! When she listed the second I was on my phone trying to buy it when my browser glitched, or someone was ordering at the same time as me, and I lost. She has made more, and I plan to be finally in possession of a real world Pepe soon. I'm almost thinking about backing out all that I just typed so noone will try and shop for one against me. I'll take my chances, mostly because you all need to find Euphyley on Etsy and buy all her things!

That was my November in review. I plan to follow this with December in review, and January, then back to normal things as life allows. Teenage girls and of-age-but-not-adult children are so challenging! If you don't see me in Azeroth, you can find me at Starbucks, hiding behind a large cup of chai tea. Until next time, keep looking for the stories in Draenor. I'd love to hear what you found in the comments.