Monthly Wrap-Up: February 2023

 

I am happy to say that February was a pretty productive month for me, at least as far as reading and gaming went—just don’t ask me how clean my house is.

 

Wrap-up: Games

 

 

Dead Space Remake

I finally finished my latest visits to the USS Ishimura and even managed to platinum this game, which is a remake of one of my favorite horror games. Though I initially really enjoyed this trip down memory lane, the quest to the platinum was a bit of a slog, in my opinion. At the same time, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would, despite being very time consuming. I definitely hated that I couldn’t skip cutscenes that I had already watched in my first two playthroughs—something that reminded me that this game was, in fact, a remake and not a brand new and modern game.

And when I finally completed my run of the game on Impossible Mode, which I saved for last, I unlocked a new suit and a hand cannon with infinite ammo, but there was nothing left for me to do in the game after this third and final playthrough of Dead Space. Maybe there’s a better order to complete these achievements to get the most out of the game, like first playing the game with only the Plasma Cutter on Impossible Mode (this does not sound like fun to me), but it felt like a waste to me that I got this exclusive gun and suit, but had nothing to use it on unless I started a fourth playthrough. Despite this lack of a payoff, it was a blast revisiting this world and I am avidly watching for an announcement of a Dead Space 2 remake.

 

 

Blanc

I cannot say enough about how much I loved this short, but incredibly heartwarming game, which features a fawn and a wolf pup teaming up to find their missing families in a snow-covered world. I laughed, I cried, and definitely took a ton of screenshots of this dynamic duo. I also have to note what a nice touch it was that this game was released on Valentine’s Day—it made a great gift and experience for me and my partner to play together on this holiday. I also think it’s wonderful that on top of offering couch and online co-op, gamers can also play the game with AI as the member of the animal duo they didn’t choose.

 

Persona 3 Portable Remaster

Turns out I couldn’t resist the temptation to play this remaster for very long. I started what I think is my fifth playthrough of this game (if you include the FES edition), this month as the male character and I hope to immediately follow up this initial playthrough with another as the female protagonist. No matter how many times I play this game, it has a special place in my heart, as it’s the first social simulator game and first entry in the Persona series I ever played. I have already cried multiple times playing it and I’m only in the month of October in game.

 

Fire Emblem : Engage

As my Twitter feed was constantly full of screenshots of this game, the FOMO was too strong and I finally picked up Fire Emblem: Engage the very last weekend in February. I won’t lie to you, though I heard this game did not live up to its predecessor, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, I was truly not expecting Engage to be quite this mediocre. The dialogue is cheesy, the characters are flat and limited to one or two defining traits, and the over reliance on information dumping and telling is rampant. The serious and mature undertones of Three Houses is no where in sight.

That being said, I haven’t been able to put much time into Engage yet, so I am hoping there will be more character development and exciting features later on. On a more positive note, the gameplay itself is quite solid, the anime opening is catchy (who doesn’t love a good anime opening to a game?), and the character designs are interesting, as is the general premise of the game. And honestly, the game feels like it is the epitome of every anime game and trope rolled into one in a way that manages to feel endearing, despite its obvious flaws in writing. I am definitely going to keep playing and hope I enjoy Engage more as I progress throughout the game and unlock more characters and features.

And in case you were wondering, yes, I am still addicted to Dead by Daylight. At this point, I feel like it goes without saying that I am still sinking an ungodly amount of time into this game.

 

wrap-up: Shows

 

The last of Us

I know I already touched on this quite a bit in last month’s wrap-up, but I still love asking myself why I look forward to this soul-shattering show every week, but I know the answer—it’s amazingly well written and incredibly well acted. It’s so rare for me to watch a show and never once think, “oh, I think they could have portrayed this better if they had just done it this way instead,” or “I think this actor was really miscast in this part,” or some other variation of what will inevitably and unfortunately be an unforgettable flaw to me. But this is not at all the case for me with The Last of Us, which effortlessly takes events from the game, expands upon them without the constraints of having to fit in all of that pesky gameplay and somehow manages to improve upon these scenes from the game by making them more heart rending and poignant. I never thought the day would come when I would say I liked a TV show adaptation better than its source material, especially when it comes to a video game one, but it’s 2023, so here I am saying it—I like HBO’s The Last of Us better than the game version.

 

wrap-up: Books

 

February 2023 was a solid month for reading for me. I got to read works by a ton of my favorite authors this month. For instance, I am automatically smitten by anything T. Kingfisher writes, so it’s no surprise that I found Thornhedge to be delightful. I was also really impressed by David Dalglish’s follow-up to The Bladed Faith, called The Sapphire Altar. I thought this book really took the ideas of its predecessor and ran with them to exciting new places. I was less tickled with the sequel to The Last Stand of Mary Good Crow, titled The Battle of Medicine Rocks, and unfortunately did not enjoy it nearly as much as this first book in the trilogy.

 

My main goal the month of February was to get my ARCs read and reviewed in order to clear my schedule for a reread of one of my favorite books of all time, The Priory of the Orange Tree, before its prequel, A Day of Fallen Night, was released. And I managed to do it, with time to spare, thanks to how great the books I read this month were! I was really sad to say goodbye to two of my favorite trilogies in February, but thankfully, both The Bone Shard War and Emperor of Ruin had really satisfying conclusions. That won’t stop me from hoping and praying that I will get to return to the world of each of these novels any time soon though.

 

Next month

 

I know, I know, it’s technically already “next month,” aka March 2023, but let’s pretend I got this post up before the end of February.  In March, my first order of business is to read the ARC I received of Dragonfall by L.R. Lam. I am also crossing my fingers that I will get a copy of The Sword Defiant to read and review as well.

 

Gaming wise, March is all about Resident Evil 4 Remake for me. Resident Evil is one of my favorite gaming franchises, and Resident Evil 4 in particular is the first entry in the series I ever played, the entry I’ve replayed the most, and my favorite. I have already pre-ordered my copy. I also just came to the realization that Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse is coming out as well next week, but I’m not sure I’ll have the time to play it on top of everything else I’m already playing, sadly.

 

On the show front, I’ll definitely be watching the last two episodes of The Last of Us and I plan on getting back into The Mandalorian. In this house we stan Pedro Pascal, all right?

 

 

What were you up to in February and what do you have planned for March?

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Monthly Wrap-up: February 2023 - Blogging with Dragons

Posted March 3, 2023 in Geek Life, Monthly Wrap Ups

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