what I’ve been watching…

We are all caught up on Parks and Rec now. OMG THE FEELS! I can’t believe there are only 13 episodes left.

I have to say, those six seasons may have had a few rough spots. but overall it is a fantastic show. It’s smart and funny and poignant and omg I am going to cry SO HARD when that finale airs for the same reason I was a mess when the Angel finale aired. I won’t just be mourning the end of the show itself, but the end of a place a on TV where I felt I belonged, writers that got me. Are there any other shows on TV right now that are on the same wavelength???

I’ve been watching Gilmore Girls, then writing up discussion posts for and then utterly failing to comment on my own posts!!! **sigh** But I really am enjoying being back in Stars Hollow. I keep meaning to get my thoughts down but…Xbox.

We started watching the anime Noragami, which is streaming on Netflix. It’s about a “stray god” and his search to find some worshippers. It’s relatively light, though you can sense a certain darkness waiting around the corner. I’m not a huge anime watcher but I’m really enjoying this one. We also started Kill la Kill last week but our friend Mathew wants to watch that with us, so we have to wait until Thursday to continue that one. It feels like the sibling of FLCL, though slightly more linear. ONLY slightly.

2015 is going to be an epic TV year. P&R finale, Justified finale, Hannibal returns, Community returns and, of course, Game of Thrones will be back!

gaming thoughts: Assassin’s Creed Unity

I finally have a game for my Xbox One and it’s one of the buggiest releases ever, or so the Internet would have you believe. Honestly, Ubisoft did a good job of patching a lot of the gameplay issues as quickly as they could. Yes, if I was a hardcore AC fan who was up at midnight and ready to power through memory sequence after memory sequence, I probably would have been perturbed. But as a casual fan of the series, I haven’t come up with any game stopping moments (er, except when the game wouldn’t load, but that seemed to be one of the quickest issues dealt with in the weekend patch).

ANYWAY, as far as gameplay goes, AC:U doesn’t feel that different from ACII or Black Flag. Lots of running, jumping and then jumping over your actual destination. If you have played AC games before, it’s very easy to pick up and get going – maybe too easy as you can find yourself getting distracted by collecting quests immediately since all the chests and collectible items appear on your map as soon as you start the game up.

The game is VERY open. It’s easy to wander into a quest that is far beyond your ability. The game gives you a heads up that you might want to upgrade your equipment but it doesn’t stop you from attempting the side quest if you really want to try. The missions are what you would expect – assassinations, puzzle solving, and stealthy thievery. I really enjoyed the first two Nostradamus riddle sequences I solved, a nice change of pace from all the stabbing.

There are lots of ways to earn points here and there. The game is generous with handing out “creed” points, which are used for upgrading equipment. You can earn them by hiding or using a quick lift. You can also earn them by stopping fights, killing enemies, and tackling a thief. (Thieves in this game are MUCH slower than in previous games! Not sure if that was on purpose of a glitch or if they will get smarter once I’ve tackled 30 of them).

There is also the notorious Companion App, AC Initiates, and Uplay – part of Ubisoft’s online program that is meant to link you to your other games and reward you. Sadly, the Companion app seems to be the only one that works right. AC Initiates and Uplay have had issues linking all weekend and I know I’m not getting any credit for the time spent with previous AC titles. The Companion app can be loaded onto a phone or tablet and you have a “nomad” group of assassins that can be sent on missions, which when completed unlock in-game chests and missions. There is a “premium” version of the app that can be purchases for $2 but…let’s face it, I just spent $60 on the game (well, not me personally, since my copy came with the Xbox One) but it seems sort of rude to expect me to pay MORE to access features in the game. But if you’re a completist and need 100% of the achievements, you will probably cave and pay so you can unlock all the chests.

The game is fun, I’ve been enjoying myself running around London Paris (it’s hard to remember that I’m in FRANCE since everyone speaks with a cockney accent…WTF?). Arno is not as charming as Ezio; he’s less of a rogue and more of a scoundrel, if that makes any sense. The main campaign story is interesting enough to keep me playing and the side quests have been enjoyable enough to make me want to spend a couple hours completing them.

It will keep me amused until my copy of Dragon Age Inquisition arrives next week. Then…well, if you don’t hear from me after that, you’ll know I’m lost in Fereldon. But for now I will help the French peasants survive the first few days of the revolution.

book meme: Stacking the Shelves

book meme: Stacking the Shelves

I found this awesome new meme thanks to new follower Brin’s Book Blog (**waves hello**) and I just had to participate!

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Hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

It’s all about sharing the newest books you have “added” to your collection – be they new purchases, recently borrowed, or currently downloaded. As a librarian, I really like this idea because I have tons of books that show up from my request list all the time which I never get to read but I’m so excited to just flip through, this is a great way to share the titles, even if I won’t get around to reading them any time soon.

So, without further ado, here is the haul from this week:

Stacking the Shelves, November 15

For the record, I am listening to Amy Poehler read her book, which is so much fun.

I have started the first few pages of Revival and I’m really liking it so far even though I have no clue what it is going to be about.

I got a physical copy of As You Wish to look at the pictures but will probably not read it (the audio, which I’m #1 in line for, is read by Elwes…yeah, I need that).

I read the first few sentences of Not My Father’s Son and it’s already breaking my heart.

Sam and Dave Dig A Hole is a picture book and it’s adorable.

I have yet to crack open the cover of the Star Wars book though I know it’s totally my kind of geek reading.

SO – WHAT ARE YOU READING?

Books read in October

Rupert Can DanceRupert Can Dance by Jules Feiffer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve always loved Feiffer’s artwork and the story in this book is so cute. Rupert just wants to dance his own way and he doesn’t want anyone to see him dance. But one night his owner wakes up and catches him. Can Rupert ever bring himself to dance again?

The Storied Life of A.J. FikryThe Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very sweet book and a very quick read. It’s funny but I tend to not like these kinds of stories, but Zevin’s writing was very accessible and it was just the right length.

Perfect gift for the book-snob in your life with lots of references to literature and popular culture in the current book world.

Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We EatRed Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat by Gail Jarrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fascinating look at a little known medical epidemic, pellagra, which hit the United States south very hard in the early 1900s. The target audience is definitely middle school and up, but honestly this book is perfect for anyone with a passing interest in the subject. I learned a LOT about that time in US history along with why we eat the way we do today.

The Shadow HeroThe Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Extra star for being inspired by a forgotten comic from the 1940s which featured the first Chinese-American superhero. (well, if you believe the rumors).

But even without this, this is a fantastic graphic novel and original origin story.

Adventure Time Vol. 5Adventure Time Vol. 5 by Ryan North
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A strong addition to the ‘Adventure Time’ comic book series, lots of fun with POV. And the “narrator” was extra hilarious.

HorrorstörHorrorstör by Grady Hendrix
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

5/5 for style but minus lots of points for just being your cliche horror story. I think this might have worked better as a short story. I know the main idea was to make a book that physically looked like the IKEA catalog, with products advertised at the start of each chapter, but the charm wears off pretty quick. I forced myself to speed read to the end last night and was left underwhelmed.

A Perfectly Messed-Up StoryA Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very cute, reminded me a lot of Battle Bunny. (though the librarian in me was cringing at the thought of food getting stuck in my picture books and what would grow inside…)

Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you can LISTEN TO THIS BOOK. Having Wil Wheaton read this out loud may be the best thing that could have happened to this story. It is definitely written by a geek for a geek. If you grew up during the 80s or have a passion for classic video games, 80s movies, and geek culture, you will love this book. Otherwise, you might just be mildly amused by it.

The story itself is the usual hero story, the poor, uncool kid who manages to rise up against the evil empire. There’s a reason we see that story all the time though – it works. It speaks to us. And it is SO satisfying when it all ends, even if you knew it had to end the way it did. The journey is so much fun.

PSA: DragonAge Origins FREE through EA Origin

As part of their “on the house” promotion (and trying to drum up interest for Dragonage Inquisition…like they even need to) EA is giving away FREE copies of Dragonage Origin, the first game in the series, for PC download.

Only catch is you need to have their service Origin installed, set up an account yadda yadda.

But you know you’ve sold your soul to worse sites for even less so, yeah.

FREE GAME – REALLY GOOD GAME – GET IT!

Also, Bejeweled 3 is free for PC/Mac, if fantasy adventure games are not your thing.

reviewings: Gilmore Girls

There was much rejoicing last month when it was revealed that Gilmore Girls would finally be available streaming on Netflix. October 1st has come and the show is now up and ready to be watched.

I have set up a community on Livejournal for weekly discussions with folks on there and I plan to post my thoughts here as well.

I plan to start my rewatch the first week of November, doing two episodes each week so I leave time for all of my regularly scheduled programs. Anyone else going to revisit the Firefly Inn?