I have a guilty obsession with Funko Pops!.  They are cute little figures that do nothing but sit on a shelf or desk.  I don’t know why I like them so much.  Maybe it’s the large variety of them that I can get.  Each one that I have is a little slice of my pop culture pie and some of the highlights include Sadness from Inside Out, Gilfoyle from Silicon Valley, Sophia from Golden Girls and Captain Picard.

I have run out of shelf space, however, so my collecting has slowed quite a bit.  Some of them still on my wish list include The Dude (Big Lebowski), Hei Hei from Moana and Eleven from Stranger Things.

Of all of my video game collections, my 3DS collection took the worst hit during the flooding of Hurricane Harvey.  While all games survived, not all cases and artwork did.  All told, I am down to cartridge-only for all but one of my Zelda games, several Mario games and a few other gems.  I will rebuild, but that section between K-P took heavy casualties.

I spent yesterday taking inventory and storing them in their permanent location, which is about 4 feet off the ground (we took on 3 feet of water).  I also moved all of my collector’s items up to the top shelf in the room.  See the pictures below!

I have tried and tried to like anime.  It’s not something that has come easily to me.  I like English-language shows such as Samurai Jack or Voltron, but I have never been able to get into a Japanese-language anime.  Then I saw Sword Art Online and was smitten.

It’s only natural that I would enjoy this show – the premise is based in a MMORPG world.  It starts with some folks playing a new MMO via virtual reality.  I don’t want to give away any of the plot, but it quickly escalates and the stakes become very real and very high.  The first season really feels like two, but I watched the entire series in about two weekends.  Since it’s in Japanese with English sub-titles, I found that I had to pay very close attention, so it’s an intense binge, should you choose to do the same.

I wish I could say that this was a gateway anime for me, but, alas, that was not the case.  I have found a couple that I’ve liked since then such as Aggretsko and Neo Yokio, but I still struggle with the format.  However, SAO sucked me in.  I even bought all of the related video games (Playstation-only for now), a Funko pop of the main character and a plushie of another, Klein:

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I have tried to get into the second season, but it just isn’t happening.  However, if you have never liked anime but love video games as much as I do, give Sword Art Online a shot!

4-day weekend

I am beginning a 4-day weekend and I have some ambitious gaming plans.  First, I am going to start a Necromancer in Diablo 3.  The patch came out on Tuesday, but I haven’t had time to play it yet.  I’ll probably be level 70 by Tuesday.

Next, there is an achievement in Rock Band 3 that I haven’t completed.  It is to play all 70+ core songs (not downloads) in one sitting.  I am going to complete that at some point this weekend.  I’ll keep you posted with my progress.

I’ve also been into Fallout 4 again, and I hope to push the main story line fairly far ahead as I’m curious as to how this ends.  If you haven’t played this one, I recommend it!  Both Fallout 3 and 4 are excellent games with amazing story telling.

10m play

Genre:  Match 3 with RPG elements
Platform:  PC

I just discovered 10,000,000 yesterday on Steam.  I haven’t gotten much accomplished around the house as a result.  I need to do my taxes, balance the checkbook, do a load of laundry, vacuum, start planting my garden, mow the lawns, etc etc.  But no, instead 10,000,000 has sucked me in all day yesterday and today.  In fact, it took me over an hour to write up this post because while getting screenshots, I ended up playing it more.

That should be reason enough for those of you that like match 3 games or casual games to go out and get it.  You are an adventurer stuck in a dungeon and you can earn your freedom by scoring 10,000,000 points.  This isn’t a quick task.  I played through the entire game in about 7 hours, but I started over immediately after completing it.  You start in your home dungeon area, which consists of some rooms and a bed.  You unlock the rooms and upgrade them as you go.  In these rooms, you can upgrade your weapons and armor.

Before entering the dungeon, you are given three tasks, which award you with either gold or experience, both necessary for upgrades.  The game play itself has you at the top of the screen, meeting monsters or loot chests along the way.  You only have so much time to play, and you can eventually get upgrades or food items which allow you to extend that time.  The longer you’re in the dungeon, the higher your score.  The monsters get tougher, but you rank up, which increases your score multiplier.

There’s not much more to this game than that, but it is super fun.  Check it out on Steam or on your mobile device!

hr-machine

Genre:  Puzzle, Educational
Platform:  PC

Have you ever wanted to learn how to program computers?  Human Resource Machine (available on Steam) will teach you in a fun and simple way!  You will be having so much fun, however, that you might not realize you’re learning!

In this game, you start as a fresh employee of a large corporation.  You start out where everyone seems to start in fake companies, in the mail room.  You start with a very basic set of tasks – move items from one conveyor belt to another.  You do so by issuing your character a set of commands.  The levels grow increasingly complicated and it can get hard to keep your commands and jumps straight.

This game really does a good job of teaching those without any programming skills, and even those with a low-level of knowledge, the logical thinking which is necessary in programming.  I have a mid-level of programming knowledge and I was just itching for some of the tools that I’m more familiar with (if…then statements, please!), but it is still a really fun game.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn programming but found it too daunting, try this game first.

One of the biggest problems I have with handheld consoles is hand cramps.  It seems that they are not designed for larger hands and long-term playing.  As a result, I have found a couple of comfort grips that have worked well for me.

I never required any kind of grip on the Nintendo DS or original 3DS.  Those were much smaller units and felt just fine in my hands without a grip.  However, with the 3DS XL, this changed.  The device is significantly larger, which is great for screen real estate, but it just wasn’t comfortable to play.  Fortunately, I discovered the Dreamgear comfort grip fairly quickly.  It’s a soft rubber that slips over your 3DS.  It’s actually two sleeves, one for the top and one for the bottom.  It also helps to absorb some shock if you drop it.  I also have one for my New Nintendo 3DS, which is necessary because the switches and buttons are moved around.  You have to take it out of the sleeve to change carts, however, which you didn’t need to do with the 3DS XL.

The PSP is terribly uncomfortable to play without a grip.  I recently got the Nyko PSP Charger Grip.  It’s hard plastic, so it’s not as cushy as the Dreamgear, but options for grips for the PSP are surprisingly limited.  I got this one because it’s got an extra battery pack in it, so you actually charge the grip, which charges your PSP.  It’s comfortable enough and extends play time in more than one way.

I found both of these on amazon.com.  If you’ve experienced discomfort while playing either the PSP or 3DS, those are what I recommend.