Underneath my yellow skin

The agony of anticipation

I am not someone who gets hyped for much of anything. Let me back it up a bit before diving in. Marketing doesn’t work very well on me. I am not swayed by the newest, the latest, or the shiniest. Clothes-wise, I wear sweats/shorts and sweatshirts/t-shirts most of the time. I have three shoes. One pair of tennis shoes; one pair of sandals; and, one pair of boots. I did buy a bunch of things for winter–baclava, gloves, coat, socks, etc., but that’s something that you can’t really get around in Minnesota. We are having our first snow–and it’s sticking! Snow is the best and it’s properly falling down.

Anyway, the last time I actually bought regular clothing was for a wedding–so not normal clothing. A dark red flowered tunic on top and black pants on bottom because that’s pretty much all I wear on bottom. Normally, I wear all black, but I wanted something a bit more festive for the wedding of one of my two besties. Sadly, it was a Zoom wedding because of the pandemic, but it was still beautiful.

Anyway! I got the clothes at Amazon, where get most everything. I don’t look by brand–I look by what I want. In this case, I put in ‘tunic’ and just chose half a dozen shirts I liked. I’m a big person with big boobs, which means that I have to have clothing with generous give–especially in the chest area. I’m a 2XL if I want to be comfortable.  At fifty, I finally stopped giving a fuck about the number on my labels. I’d rather be comfortable than squeezed into a smaller size. And I think I look better when I’m not worried about splitting seams. Or constantly tugging down my shirt because it won’t stop riding up.

I have very little brand loyalty. When I used to drink pop, I was a Diet Coke person. I was a Coke Zero person for a hot second, but then they changed the formula and made it sweeter. I went back to Diet Coke before giving up pop completely. I also have some affinity for Logitech products, especially their mice and earbuds. Hm. What else. Microfiber. I know that’s not a brand, but my brother tipped me off to how incredible it is and now I’m a big fan.

I’m the same with most pop culture . I know how this sounds, but I don’t care for movies and TV programs in general. Why? I’m not entirely sure, but I’ve thought about it in depth and have come up with some tentative conclusions. I have a really good imagination and I find movies and TV programs limiting. Again, I know that sound s pretentious and bullshitty, but it’s true. I’ve been a voracious reader from when I was a young child. I taught myself how to read when I was four and was reading the dictionary by the time I was seven. Whenever I read novels, I would picture the scenes in my head. It would be much like a movie with moving scenes that changed in a seamless fashion.

Side note: It wasn’t until I was in college when I realized that not everybody was able to picture scenes in their heads. I had a neuro psych class and the professor talked about those differences. She couldn’t picture anything in her mind, which was fascinating to me. So, for instance, if I said to picture an apple, she couldn’t. It turns out that my mother is the same. She can picture vague shape of things with real difficulty, but nothing specific.

If you told me to picture an apple, I could instantly call one to mind. Probably a Fuji because that’s my favorite. And I could envision it whole or with a few bites taken out of it or just the core. I can place it on a table or throw it in the garbage or put it back in the refrigerator, which I can instantly conjure up. So, yeah, movies have always seemed limited and limiting to me.

I bring this up because I don’t stan for much of anything. I didn’t get into GoT or Breaking Bad or Orange is the New Black or any of the trendy TV shows. Yes, I know these are all old by now, but that’s the last time I even tried to care about TV. As for movies, I don’t give a shit about superhero movies, which seems to be 90% of movies lately.

All of this is my longwinded way of saying that there is one company I stan for and it’s FromSoftware, the makers of Dark Souls. I have a long and complicated relationship with the games and it took many years before I became a fan. I hated the original game by the time I finished it for the first time and vowed not to have anything to do with the dratted game ever again.

Obviously, that didn’t last. I’ve written countless times about my love for the Souls series and why I’m such a big fan. Dark Souls III is my favorite game of all time and I’ve played it dozens of times. I’ve platted it and beaten every boss solo. I’ve played up to NG+5 (I think? Maybe 6?) and I know every little nook and cranny of the game. I can tell you where every enemy is and every trap. I could guide someone through the game if they so wanted. In fact, I would be more than happy to do that for someone. I could also do it in the first game, but with not quite as much assurance. Same with the second game. I know the third best, then the first, and then the second. I’ve platted all the games.

I’m throwing my credentials out there because there are some in the community who are mightily snobby about who gets to call themselves a hardcore Souls fan. I’m already disqualified because I’m a filthy caster, but whatever. My main goal as a Souls fan is to get other people to play the games and enjoy them. It’s funny because they’ve had such an impact on the industry. They have truly changed the genre of games for the better and every time a new FromSoft game is teased, the industry explodes.

The funny thing is that in the grand scheme of things, they still haven’t sold that many copies. It’s a total of 25 million for all the games. Yes, it sounds like a lot, but the latest version of Collar Duty Modern Warfare has sold over 30 million copies by itself. Er, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. And yet, I have no desire to play any Collar Duty game.  Far Cry 6 just dropped….oh a month ago! How time flies. Anyway, I have tried to give a shit about it, but I just cannot. Any of the Far Crys, I mean. I just have no interest. I’m not saying I need an interest, but most of the big franchise games just bore me. I’m sorry to say it, but it’s true. You do shit for the sake of doing shit and it’s the same shit over and over again. Such as liberate camps. Or collect feathers.

I played AssCreed Syndicate because it was free on Xbox Game Pass. I really dug Evie, but I hated Jacob. I enjoyed Victorian London and meeting up with famous people. I was enjoying myself, but then two things happened. I 100%ed one of the areas. That wasn’t bad in and of itself, but then I 100%ed another area. Hm. That was becoming a trend. By the fourth or fifth area cleared, my OCD impulses were kicking off. I had to 100% every area, which started sucking the joy out of the game. The second thing that happened was a whole new area (in another time) opened up halfway through the game. I got to play as Jacob’s granddaughter which, I’ll be honest, I didn’t care about. Why? Because having yet another huge area totally deflated me. I was more than halfway done with the game and was not having it. I quit on the spot and have not picked it up since.

For as much as I was enjoying the game (until I wasn’t), each area was so repetitive. Find the collectibles. Kill the baddies. Turn the area into mine. Rinse, lather, repeat. From what I’ve seen so far, Elden Ring does not seem to be falling into that trap. I am a little worried about the Legacy Dungeons because they’re supposed to be like the Chalice Dungeons in Bloodborne, which I hated. They were so samesy with running through a dungeon that looked like the other dungeons, looking for a lever to pull so you could open the boss door. Getting all the materials you can before fighting said boss and going one floor deeper.

In this case, they seem to be pretty short with good mats like the Chalice Dungeons, but not as pointless. They’re shorter rather than endless labyrinths and you can port out of them once you’re done, which is much appreciated. I’ll have to wait and see how I feel about them in the game, but I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt for now.

All of this is my way of saying I’m unbelievably hyped for this game. 99% of the reviews have been glowing with the more measured ones still cautiously enthused. I have yet to see one that is completely unhappy about the closed network test (CNT).

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