The Last of us…Part II – My reaction and thoughts

So PSX (Playstation Experience) was held last week and I couldn’t catch it due to the time difference and streaming schedule (boho) but I ended up reading some tweets, articles and found out some crazy new releases! One of them were The Last of us Part II! Insane hype indeed. I didn’t watch the trailer until recently due to wanting to record a reaction video. I must say, Naughty Dog…I want more.’

I don’t want to reveal too much of the reaction video so I am gonna paste it here for those who wants to watch it first. Although, I do want to go deeper into this teaster trailer. Of course we know about the ending at Part I but this teaser gave us a deeper message. (Spoiler alert) Forest, Firefly logo and then a “mini” village. At the beginning you don’t really understand the situiation but at the end when she says “I’m gonna find and I’m gonna kill, every last one of them” that’s basically her saying; killing all the fireflies. So she is for some reason gonna wipe them all. Not sure if it’s connected with the Part 1 game (perhaps a little at the end of the game) but that’s all we know for now. I also don’t know if she knows about the lie Joel said or not at the end of Part I. We won’t know until it’s out I guess. Overall with the teaser,  good job Naughty Dog for the tense and excting video. You guys did a great job.

Perhaps Naughty Dog might release a new teaser. We can always hope.

– Siara

My DreamHack Winter 2016 #DHW16 Experience

So yeah…I went to DreamHack.

It wasn’t a planned to be honest and it wasn’t really for leisure. I went there for work purposes and stayed in Jönköping for one night (it’s about 2 hours away from Gothenburg) so that was the real reason for my visit at DreamHack.

I can’t really go into details of what I did there but it went quite well. I did a vlog though so that you guys can see how it really is at DreamHack.

For those who don’t know what DreamHack is, it’s the worlds largest digital LAN event that happens twice a year (in the same city). It all started with a group of friends playing games together in a basement as a gathering. After some time, this gathering turning out to get bigger and bigger and eventually got held at a school cafeteria. At that time, the event got the name DreamHack in year 1994. Today, DreamHack is not only being held in Sweden but it’s being held all over the world and is a big event for Esports such as CS:GO and League of Legends etc.

Hope that throwback gave you some info ; ) sit back and enjoy my lame vlog!

– Siara

Nintendo Switch

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(Note: I wrote this in the airplane on my way to London two days after the announcement)

No bloody way…Seriously Nintendo? Stop toying with my heart. Nintendo Switch? You guys always surprise me, since day one.

On the 20th of October, Nintendo announced that their new upcoming console, (Nintendo NX) is called Nintendo Switch. A very interesting name indeed but if you haven’t watched the promo video yet then you wouldn’t know the whole concept behind the name.

Yes, now the name makes more sense right? Switching locations with your game, wherever, whenever! So amazed with this project. I wonder if the 3Ds will now be “forgotten” ? Now that they will release a “hybrid” console/handheld, would they still focus on their handheld consoles? As a 3Ds owner, I would probably stick around with the Switch. The only thing that differs them apart is the 3D screen and the touch pad. I’m curious to see what they’re going to do in the future regarding that. One of the other things that I noticed with the controller is that the joystick is not centered like their classic controller or PS controller. That made me super excited because I prefer that setup, it gives more comfort and proper accuracy in my opinion.

The other hype is that Nintendo is now partnered with more companies, developers and publishers (Epic Games, Unity, Ubisoft, EA, Activision…) which is a really good thing for Nintendo. I believe that Nintendo Switch will be a big change for Nintendo, perhaps the sales will go up like it did with the Nintendo 64 or the Nintendo Wii (waiting list was 6 months in Sweden. Ebay was my last resort back then)

As much as excited as I am, unfortunately, the console won’t get released until March 2017. Not too far away but Nintendo always have a “habit” of releasing their consoles during Christmas time. A delay was needed for this project I assume.

I’ve been waiting for a new Zelda game for a long time now and knowing that I can play it on a handheld like that makes me super excited. Although, I do prefer seeing Link on a big screen tv. So sexy, in HD.

What are you looking forward to with Nintendo Switch?

– Siara

 

Uncharted 4…The end?

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The other day, I finished off Uncharted 4 live on Twitch and I must say, the Uncharted series is one of the best series I’ve ever played. It was all well connected story wise and blended in like a good cake mix (bad metaphor but you get the point) The ending chapter (before the Epilogue) (SPOILER ALERT) was very hyped too with the sword fight with Rafe, was not expecting that to be the “last boss”. All that treasure that Nathan and his brother Sam had been chasing since they were kids was now in front of them. That closure they both got, amazing. You get to learn a lot from Nathan Drake’s past. It was fascinating to go back and play as kid Nathan and teenage Nathan. Of course that happened to the pervious titles too which was very exciting.

The Epilogue was a good ending into the cake mix too but also perhaps a teaser? You get to see that both Nathan and Elena had been traveling the world with their company (that they had bought from Jameson) and then you end up knowing that they got a daughter that you end up playing as while exploring their current home and location.

Creative director of Naughty Dog, Neil Druckman said in an interview with The Sun that they wouldn’t make any more Uncharted games with Nathan Drake but according to him, Sony owns Uncharted and they can literally do anything with that franchise…so I wonder, perhaps they have some plans up their sleeves to make the daughter Cassie Drake the next star of a brand “new” franchise? They could start fresh with a new character and reveal the secret life that she had been living right after she started hearing about her parents dangerous adventures? Who knows. If they actually did end up making such a thing then they wouldn’t start working on it until many years later. So perhaps a game like that would come to surface in around seven years? I bet Naughty Dog wants to work on new titles too rather than focus on the “old” ones. Because eventually, you’ll get tired.

Regardless of their planning, I still believe me and Nathan would make a better couple than him and Elena. Just saying.

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P.s..this was not photoshopped.

– Siara

Bruno Mars 24K Magic NEW SINGLE OUT!

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Okay for those who don’t know, I am a huge fan of Bruno Mars. I adore his music and I feel like his genre of music is the best in my opinion. Ever since Michael Jackson passed away (bless his soul) I felt really lost when it came to music in general and very empty. When Bruno Mars came into the picture I just felt happy that I could be excited for music again and fully enjoy it. No, he has not “replaced” Michael, because he is irreplaceable. Michael was a legend and will always remain as one and a lot of people already know that. His music was something out of this world.

Anyways, back with Bruno. He just released a new single out (7 hours ago) been listening to it none stop today. I am afraid I am gonna hate it eventually but  I rather be sick of it before it hits the radio so that I can enjoy it to the fullest before. I am very excited that he is finally gonna release a new album soon. Been waiting since the Unorthodox Jukebox album was released in 2012…four whole years! He announced it on twitter that the album is done and it has been confirmed that the release date is going to be 18th of November. I guess he just wanted us fans to have a little taste before actually releasing it and I must say, he did a very good job. That disco-funk is on point, same with those shiny glammed legs.

If you haven’t heard it yet then make sure to do.

Listen to it here on Spotify.
Music video here on YouTube.

“You can call it my first single, but I call it the invitation to the party.”

This Friday can’t get any better.

– Siara

My Top 10 favorite Super Nintendo Games

Decided to write this list because I streamed Donkey Kong Country three nights ago. I have many more favorites when it comes old games but these are my ultimate favorites and I decided to share them here on my blog. Hopefully you’ll be interested in getting one or two of the games yourself.

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10. Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventure 

Yes, this might sound crazy but I played this game like there was no tomorrow, even though I hadn’t watched the movies…(still haven’t BUT IT’S ON MY MOVIE LIST) and I was so entertained by this game. I enjoyed it a lot. I never completed it though, it was bit hard for me when I was young. Perhaps I should give it another go.

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9. Street Fighter 2 (2 player’s available) 

This was the first time I played Street Fighter and perhaps a bit young to play a game like that. You turned all bloody and beaten up in the end if you lost and I got scared as a kid when that appeared (it’s a bit funny now when I think about it) I still enjoyed the fighting game and played it a lot with my little brother, good times.

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8. The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse  (2 player’s available) 

Alright, most of you probably are thinking, wth, a Disney game? To be honest, this game was one of the best games I played as a child (obviously because it’s on my top 10). It was entertaining, funny and a bit dark. My brother actually asked me to play this game with him during summer. Childhood memories.

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7. Star Fox (Starwing)

I don’t remember any of the storyline of this game, because my English was rubbish as a kid. Didn’t know anything so it was hard to understand what was going on. The only thing I remember with their dialogue was that I would make up my own version and pretend like they’re actually saying that to each other (even if they didn’t) like “Mr Frog are you alright?!”, thought I was the coolest kid in town when I did that. Regardless of the story, the gameplay was fun and I enjoyed it even if I was a noob.

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6. Super Mario Kart (2 player’s available) 

My childhood friend and I would always play this together. We would still pick this game to play even though Mario Kart 64 was released back then. Don’t know why really, I guess we just got attached to this game somehow. Damn those pixels though, so sexy.

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5. Super Mario All Star

Okay, I know, this isn’t fair. Super Mario All Star is a bundle game with four different Mario games from the NES and the Famicom Disk System (Super Mario World: The Lost Levels). But it would be considered as a Super Nintendo game regardless because the games are a remake. Super Mario 3 was my addiction back then. I always looked forward to turn into a frog, swim in the ocean, then turn into a raccoon and fly over the sky. The thing that I didn’t like was the “cheats”. You can find a flute in two different places of the game which allowed the player to teleport to another world. A bit too easy to be honest.

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4. Mega Man X

I was never able to beat this game when I was a kid. I got to the last boss and kept losing and losing, it was horrible…but I still have good memories of that game, same with the music. Luckily I managed to beat it later (one year ago lol) This game is worth playing, it’s fun, challenging and you might rage quite along the way so beware of that lol

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3. Super Mario World (2 player’s available) 
Me and my brother would play this all the time when we were kids. I would always be Mario and he would be Luigi. It was because I was always player number one while he was number two so it kinda turned out that way. Although, I personally preferred to play Mario, don’t know why. I felt like this Mario game was a bit different compared to the other games and I liked that. Colorful Yoshi’s? Yell yeah.

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2. Donkey Kong Country (2 player’s available) 

This game is one of the many classics that Nintendo has released. Rareware games did a good job with this franchise, same with the other titles that they developed later on in the years (we will never forget those times Rareware <3) This is a must to play game, especially if you have a brother, sister or an awesome friend to play with, that’s how you’ll enjoy it the most. My favorite character to play with was Donkey Kong. He was way more stronger than Diddy Kong and badass (in my opinion)

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1. The Legend of Zelda – A Link to The Past

I guess some of you already knew this was coming. This is one of the best games of all time. No game beats over this one. It’s a classic and very nostalgic game to me. This was the game that started my love for video games and if you haven’t even tried it, then you’ve been living under a rock this whole time. But…it’s never too late to be a part of the cool kids. Make sure to try it out to be part of the gang!
Alright, I guess that’s pretty much it. Perhaps I should make a Nintendo 64 list next? We’ll see.

Which one is your favorite?

– Siara

Stereotype Gamers

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This is a subject that does pass by from time to time when I meet new people in my life. It’s something I have to deal with and accept but that doesn’t mean I can’t vent it out somewhere.

I am sick and tired of people who stereotype gamers, I hate it. It’s something I have been through since I was a kid. People would be surprised that I would play games just because I was a girl. Does it bloody matter if I am a girl or a boy? No it does not.

The kids would talk about GTA 3 in the playground at elementary school (sorry once again ma for playing it underaged) and I would join their conversation out of the blue because I would know exactly what they’re talking about. The boys would give me a weird surprising look and ask me if I had played the game. At the time I didn’t understand why, but the older I got the more I realised that girls who played games were “rare” even though we really weren’t. That’s why I ended up not liking to talk about games as often because it would be considered as different and I couldn’t be bothered with it. It’s a bit sad now when I think about it.

My interest for games were a bit different than a casual gamer because I wanted to be a designer myself which meant that the conversation would eventually come up. My studies for example, people would ask me what I was currently studying. I didn’t feel comfortable when someone would ask, especially a guy. As soon as I would tell, they would get surprised and then ask me “Wait, you play video games?” …if i study to become a designer then of course I’d have a big interest in playing as well. Some people are just blockheads. Then I suddenly notice that the guy starts acting a bit more attracted to me for some weird ass reason. Maybe they’re hoping we’d kick it and play some games or something, I don’t know. Then they would say that I don’t look like one of those and I would ask “Those? What do you mean by those?” Of course, I already knew what the guy was about to say but I wanted to be 100% sure and hope that there is still hope in humanity when it came to the gaming community. “You don’t look like a typical gamer” …okay I am done. This is one of the lamest questions I’ve ever heard in my entire life. What the fudge does that even mean? One of “those” ? It’s like they’re trying to make up their own species or something. You know what he says next? “A fat guy who plays games in the dark and eats Taco Bell” …WTF dude. WTF. I was done talking with this dude. I excused myself asap and just walked away. Bloody moron. The sad thing is that this has happened a lot of more times before too that’s why I kept avoiding talking about it.

Recently I was hanging with my friend and I was talking about a game with her (she doesn’t game) and then her boyfriend then says “Siara should’ve been born as a guy because she’s so into games” …….So let me get this straight, you say that just because that I am a woman it is wrong to game? I have to be a man to be normal? Call me a feminist bitch but that’s bloody sexist. I got so angry when he said that. Wtf dude. Not a fond of him ever since.

I don’t avoid talking about gaming as much today because I work in the field and it’s a part of my life now. I just embrace it and accept that there are some small minded assholes out there that lives under a rock under the sea somewhere and I guess they need some education but they just aren’t smart enough to store that education inside their small minded brains. That’s why they keep choking out nonsense out of their throats. If you happen to be one of those people then try store this info and next time when you approach a woman in the gaming industry, treat her equal.

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I am proud to be woman and being a part of the gaming industry.

– Siara

A Girl’s Confession

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A lot of people have asked me why I wanted to become a game designer (even before my studies) and I wanted to talk about it here on my blog.

Why did I want to become a game designer? It all started with my obsession with The Legend of Zelda – A Link to the Past. My dad got me a Super Nintendo when I was about three years old and I fell in love with the console. I was a noob at playing games (obviously, because I was three) but I kept playing and playing until I would somehow solve the puzzles in the game (it was not skilled based though, it was all luck.) Some of the games that I played didn’t even have any English subtitles, they were all in Japanese. Not that my English were on point at that age, I could barely speak any Swedish. I would play Megaman-X, Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario World and last but not least, The Legend of Zelda – A Link to The Past. I am not gonna lie, I was obsessed with that game. I wouldn’t let my little brother play that game because I was worried that he would save over my file or break the game. We would always get into fights because of that. My mum would end up taking the power supply of the Super Nintendo and we wouldn’t be able to play anything for days due to our silly fights. Good times (Sorry brother)

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This might sound ridiculous but it actually took me about seven years to beat The Legend of Zelda – a Link to the Past. Why? Well I could barely hold a controller at the age of three and how the hell would I be able to complete a game that involved puzzles and understanding English? It was too hard for me. I completed the game at the age of 10 and I was still a noob when it came to English. I had to ask my mum for help to understand some of the clues but she stopped helping me at one point. She was too busy with her exams anyways. I even asked the neighbor for help, he was a few years older than me. He also got tired of helping eventually. So I had to figure this game out without understanding the clues in the game. It was tricky but I made it in the end. After I actually completed the game, I was lost. All these years of struggling and fighting was now over. I started  to feel empty inside, it was a weird feeling indeed. The fact that I spent so much time playing that game and completed it in the end made me feel like I wanted more. I started to look up to Shigeru Miyamoto later on, he was like a hero to me then, still is today.

The older I got, the more Zelda games got released. I ended up playing Ocarina of Time. I compared the game with A Link to the Past and I was so amazed how the 3D environment looked compared to the over top down 2D. & the music was just beautiful. The composers did such a good job back then.

When they announced Twilight Princess I got super excited but at the same time a bit worried if they would make a lot of changes or not. When I finally got the game, I locked myself in my room and started playing it non stop. It took me 3-4 days to complete it. Which is a bit sad compared to the seven years of struggling with A Link to the Past. I am not gonna lie, Twilight Princess is one of my favorite Zelda games. That game was very dark and different compared to the other games but they made it work so well and I was amazed with the design. I was so emotionally attached to the characters in the game that I started crying at the end. I was so amazed how a game made me feel this way, how connected I felt in their world and emotionally attached. This made me release that I also want to create and make people smile, laugh and cry while playing a game. I wanted to make people happy and to be emotionally attached to the characters and the gameplay.

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The conclusion? I blame my dad for buying me a Super Nintendo. So I would say it’s thanks to my dad that I am a Game Designer today. Perhaps I should buy him a cake, or maybe some chocolate? Hmm.

Thanks dad, you’re awesome.

 

– Siara

 

Visiting Lido di Venezie

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Today was a wonderful day like yesterday.

We ended up waking up early and once again…eating breakfast on the bus (typical us). Today we headed to Lido di Venezia. This is an island that can be reached by boat. The boat ride costs €8 each (one way) and is about 45 minute long (really depends where you take the boat but that’s the time it took for us) we were lucky to find seats because it gets pretty packed and the boat comes every 20 minutes so you better catch your seat before anyone else!

img_051545 minutes later we ended up on the island and I must say, I fell in love. It wasn’t a lot of tourists around here, it was mostly locals and it wasn’t packed like the other places. We ended up strolling around and somehow found the beach lol. We were following people that seem to head to the beach and we ended up there luckily. It was so funny. We ended up being there for three hours. I got fried, literally. I had applied sunscreen on my whole body and redid it a couple of times and I still got burned : ( it was not fun. The sun there is way closer than California. I was actually surprised. I ended up going into the ocean a couple of times to cool off though!

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We ended up having lunch in this random restaurant that we chose. Got my Spaghetti Bolognese and Josh got a Pizza. There were so many things I wanted to order in the menu but I was scared of eating too much cheese once again so I skipped it. The Bolognese was alright. The first one we got in Venice was way better though.

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Later on we started strolling around the area and taking photos. Then we decided to head back. We had a 45 minute boat ride then a 20 minute bus ride to take and the time was close to 6 PM.

About 1 hour later we were finally back! We ended up going to the flat to quickly drop our things and then we ended up heading out once again  to grab some dinner.

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I am not sure if this was a mistake or not but…I ended up ordering a pizza with their homemade cheese from that particular town…very stupid of me. It was so good though : ( but it made me once again sick. It was one of the best pizzas I’ve ever tasted though.

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Josh ordered a burger once again. It did not come with a bun “lid” and it looked like it was on a bread toast rather than a hamburger bun lol.

It’s sad to say that tonight is our last night in Italy. I am actually not looking forward to tomorrow. This trip has been the most amazing trip ever and the fact that I got to travel here with someone special makes it even more special.

Would I visit Italy again? Definitely.

– Siara

Riding a Gondola in Venice

I don’t know where to start with this blog post. First of all, today was a magical day and also painful. Never wear uncomfortable high heels in Venice, actually, never wear heels in Venice in general, period.

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We took the bus to Venice early in the morning and ended up eating our breakfast on the bus so that we would avoid a lot of crowds in Venice. As soon as I arrived, I got amazed by the water canals and started taking photo of every single thing I found fascinating, like a real tourist lol. I was so amazed of this town and how it was “designed”. No cars, just boats. Venice is quite bigger than I thought it would be. Perhaps that’s because we were walking a lot today. We ended up heading to St Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) and went up to the St Mark’s Tower to watch the view. Of course it was a long queue when we arrived (boo) but it only lasted for 30 minutes then we were good to go. The cost of going up the tower was €8 each.

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We headed back down and that’s when my feet were killing me. The heels I was wearing were new and I hadn’t really walked with them a lot so I wasn’t sure if they were comfortable or not. I had to buy new shoes right away. We walked around a bit but no shoe places anywhere. We passed so many before we arrived to the square but now…nothing. After some while I ended up finding a few shops. Found a pair of shoes in my size (I didn’t care how they looked like, that’s how desperate I was) bought them and wore them right away. They looked alright but after like 1 hour of walking the insoles were sliding off somehow and when I took out my foot I noticed that the glue had melted off due to the heat. Cheap ass shoes indeed. Nothing I could’ve done I just had to deal with it the rest of the day (ended up throwing them when I got back).

Josh’s friend recommended a restaurant to eat in Venice and apparently they had meatballs in their menu! We got lost a few times but it took us a good hour to find it. When we finally arrived we saw a notice outside the door saying that the restaurant wont be open from mid July till end of August. I was really sad because I wanted my meatballs (sob) we ended up going into a random restaurant nearby and had some spaghetti bolognese and it was amazing.

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After that we ended up strolling around the area and enjoying the weather and the view. I always wanted to ride a Gondola ever since I was a little girl but the pricing of the 20 minute ride was ridiculous. The charge was €80 (daytime) to ride one. I am not sure if you need to pay more if there are more people than two on it though. We ended up going on one in the end and I must say it was worth it to me. Not because of my childhood dream coming through but the view and the canals were just so fascinating. All these buildings have a history and it was amazing to see all of that from the Gondola. I am happy that we went on one in the end.

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After that we decided to walk around the area once again, eat ice cream and take more photos. After some time, we decided to go back to the flat and have dinner around here instead. We had been walking since early in the morning and it was 6 PM when we decided to go back. My feet are still hurting from today and I just wanted to throw those shoes away and clean my feet from the glue of the shoes I got on me.

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I changed my outfit for the evening to feel a bit more fresh (lol) all that walking earlier made me uncomfortable in that dress. So we decided to take more photos and then find a place to eat. We went to a different place this time and they had some interesting things on their menu. I decided to get a eggplant pizza (I told  them to add dried beef on top of it to make it my own version) it was really good. I enjoyed it a lot. Josh ordered a funny looking hamburger that looked like a sandwich somehow. He enjoyed it regardless. After that we decided to head back and here I am writing this. It was a long day indeed but it was a memorable one.

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Can’t wait to head to Lido di Venezia tomorrow!

– Siara