a general life update

So much going on. And here I thought December would be my month to catch my breath!

  • The theme of the week is video games! We had Assassin’s Creed 3 yesterday, and another game review (geared towards kids & young at heart) tomorrow!
  • I also won my very own copy of Epic Mickey 2 (with Oswald’s ears!) from Babble.com for the Wii U!
  • I had a great night this past Friday with Paige over at Baume & Brix. Great drinks, interesting food, and hey, Jim Belushi was even there! (No joke!)
  • For some reason this week, I’ve been failing at cooking. Three meals in the trash in two days. All I want for Christmas is a real kitchen. Not this 5-foot kitchenette thing I’ve got.
  • I’m interviewing a few people today for an opening at work. It’s not my first time to interview people, but it’s still very nerve-racking on this side of it as it was to be on the other.
  • I finished my holiday cards last week, but haven’t had a chance to get them printed (I’ve got a couple different designs)… so I think I’ll be printing them myself and sending them out next week. (Hopefully!)
  • For the past for days, at least, my endo has been acting up. Just a lot of bloating and pain and nausea and uncomfortableness (sexy, right?). I’ll be talking with my doctor soon about finding a new specialist and hopefully getting this all sorted out once my insurance covers it in January.
  • Also, one last set of blood work to do before I can, hopefully, start my new treatment. I want to say it’s not serious, but well, it’s treatable and that’s the good thing. It’s related to the paresthesia.
  • I’ve been growing my hair out since June (unintentionally at first). I haven’t had hair past my shoulders in about 7 years, so I want to see if I can make it that long without going crazy. I will probably go get it slightly trimmed or styled or something because I’m getting annoyed with the part and my giant Scandinavian forehead.
  • Every time I unplug the Christmas tree, Tuija (my black cat) thinks I’ve killed it.

Oh, and in case you didn’t know, I’m using the Adorkable Me facebook page for game updates, random happenings around Chicago, and just smaller life stuff that doesn’t necessarily need its own post. (Sort of like all those bullet points up there.)

UbiChamps: Assassin’s Creed III for Wii U (and your chance to win a copy!)

Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this post. Please visit Amazon.com to get your own copy of Assassin’s Creed 3, today’s Gold Box Deal of the Day! I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own.

I have not played any of the titles in the Assassin’s Creed series. Primarily, that’s because most of these games weren’t released on the systems that I owned. But when I heard that ACIII was coming out on the Wii U, something really intrigued me.

I’ve played action and adventure games before, but I can’t remember the last time I played in an open world setting. (Which is basically a free roaming model where the player is able to go anywhere they want in the environment.) I also don’t normally go for these “slash & kill” games either. However, I’ve been wanting to expand my gaming horizons, so to say, and this game seemed like the perfect fit.

There’s good artwork, an interesting storyline (epic battle between assassins and the Knights Templar, with this one taking place during the American Revolution), and I’d been hearing some interesting things about the advancements in the game.

Not having played any of the previous titles does concern me, I’m curious as to whether or not this will effect how I do in this game (which is actually the 5th title in the series). And I am sort of nervous if this is going to feel like a “blood & guts”/”boys club” style game. But I’m not too concerned about that.

I’ve been told there are new features specific for the Wii U, but I’ve yet to read about them… so I’m sort of looking forward to that surprise. Especially how it might play into the multiplayer mode. I do know that the gamepad can serve to display the map as well as other tools, or you can switch to “remote play” which means you can play directly on the gamepad and someone else can watch tv.

Now, the really awesome thing? Assassin’s Creed 3 is the Gold Box deal of the day on Amazon! Which means you should probably head over to Amazon and snag yourself a copy of Assassin’s Creed III.

In case you’re like me, and want to see some gameplay before you decide on a game, check out my fellow gamer, TJ’s walkthroughs. I’d do my own, but I sort of lack all that fancy equipment. Plus TJ is more entertaining and often does accents. (Just skip to minute 9 of the first video for proof.)

OK. And the big important thing: Clevergirls/UbiChamps are giving away 5 copies of this game! TODAY! All you need to do is retweet this message below on twitter (of course):

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day: Assassin’s Creed 3! To buy: http://clvr.li/AC3Gold – RT to enter to win a copy! #AC3Gold

my quest for the Wii U

So, as previously stated, I could not wait for the Wii U to come out. The anticipation for Sunday was sort of making me a little crazy.

Saturday, I spent most of the day trying to distract myself. Which by late in the night meant cruising the #WiiU tag on instagram and following news on twitter. Watching the east coast and their midnight launch.

Sunday… well, that’s where this adventure really got started.

My alarm was set just before 6am. I had everything planned out: Target opened at 8am. I knew the crazy reroutes for transit, having 3 stations near me closed. And headed on my way just before 6:30am. In which, that whole transit thing didn’t work, so I flagged a cab and darted off.

I had checked the website last night, and this Target was supposed to have both units in stock. I get there and an employee told me they only had three—and I was the third person in line, WOOT. But they only had the standard models, no woot.

So I hopped in a cab and went downtown to the Best Buy at the John Hancock building. I got there around 7am. They didn’t open until 10am. I was first in line.

I got a few weird looks. At least one person asked if there was an event or if they were opening early. Nope. I was just waiting. At one point a manager opened the door with a confused look on her face. “Are you waiting for something?” “The Wii U. I’m just insane.” Since I had so much time to kill, I turned to podcasts. Mind you, it’s in the 30’s outside. I’ve got on jeans, boots, long sleeve shirt, fall peacoat, and a scarf. Not long after my hat and fingerless gloves.

By 8:30am, one other person joined me in line. About 15 minutes later, another. Both had been to the Target on State Street (not the one I went to); apparently there were only 5 in stock. Maybe 5 minutes later the manager came out, “oh, I thought it was just you.. hold on, which one did you want?”

By 9am the manager came back with bright orange reserve tickets. “They’ll be waiting at customer service. I don’t want you to freeze.”

So I promptly marched myself next door to Water Tower Place, and got me a large hot chocolate and a cupcake. More importantly, it was warm.

By 10:15am, I was walking into Best Buy, orange ticket in one hand, cupcake in another. I found the manager from this morning, “I hope you like chocolate,” and handed her the cupcake. From there I got straight up to the counter, picked out an extra game and Wiimote set*, paid and was on my way.

On the bus ride home, I couldn’t actually believe I had just gotten a Wii U Deluxe. After we were given our reserve tickets, apparently about 15+ people appeared and they rushed the door when it was opened. Not sure if they had sold out by the time I got in for mine, but the place wasn’t swamped when I came in.

I unboxed everything, got it all set up… and eagerly began exploring the system. Yes, you do have to spend some time setting things up and you do need to upgrade the system. But it really didn’t take that long. And the cradle and charging dock for the gamepad, very much worth getting. The Miiverse crashed a few times, but that’s just because there were so many people were trying to get on at once. As of this morning, it worked fine.

Netflix works from the get-go, with Hulu+, Amazon Videos, and YouTube coming in a few weeks—with it, Nintendo TVii.

A fair warning, as if you needed it… This is not the last of my Wii U posts.

I’ve got a friend helping me work out recording some game play. I will have reviews of various games, including the three shown above. And of course, just highlighting various features. Perviously I had a lot of my Nintendo news on my tumblr, but I’m moving some of that here. I’m reworking my plan for AdorkableMe just a little, and I want to include more Nintendo stuff because it’s something I love.

I’m super happy with my purchase, and am very proud to support a brand that I’ve loved for so long and has treated me pretty well. The only thing I’m sad about is that I won’t be home to play it this week! If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up and I’ll address them the best I can.

*I didn’t need to do this, but I decided I was going to give my niece 3 full sets of controllers instead of 2. This way they could all play together. So since I want to have friends over to play, I need at least 2 sets myself, hence picking up a new one.

my new Nintendo crush — the WiiU

So. Pretty old news that I absolutely love Nintendo. Not just the gaming systems, but the company too.

Well, the weekend before last, my friends at Nintendo and Brand About Town invited myself and a good handful of other ambassadors to the WiiU Experience that was visiting Chicago.

News about the WiiU has been out for a while, but not many have gotten a chance to try it. So Nintendo is touring their new system to various cities across the country for an invite only experience to try out the system and some of the new games.

The big thing with this new system is the Game Pad–the tablet-looking controller with a touch screen.

There have been a lot of skeptics of the WiiU. Even I wasn’t too sure what to think. I was definitely hopeful. And I’ve got to say I was delightfully surprised when I finally got my hands on it!

Each game utilizes the Game Pad differently. Some games barely use it, like Just Dance 4. Which, was tons of fun–I placed 2nd and 1st the two times I played. It’s pretty similar to the rest of the series, but just as fun. With New Super Mario Bros 2, the player with the Game Pad assists the other characters through the levels. Doesn’t sound all that exciting, but it was kind of tricky to place the blocks in the right places so my friends wouldn’t die.

Wii Fit U was a lot of fun. There’s a great balance game where you’ve got to run desserts through a banquet and not drop them. You watched your Mii run through the room on the TV, but you hold the Game Pad horizontal like a tray and you can watch your food items on that screen. (Though I recommend watching the screen so you don’t hit people and know where you’re going!) I personally liked the one where you shot water at mud-covered Miis. You utilized the Wii Fit board as a pedal for the water, and aimed with the Game Pad. Looking at the TV game you an overview of the whole game.

One of the great things? The Game Pad is surprisingly light. I found that when I was using it, it felt comfortable. Not bulky and overwhelming at all. At times I forgot I was holding this larger controller, it just felt natural with the game!

The game that surprised me, as far as my liking it–was ZombiU (by Ubisoft). I find zombies to be amusing, but most zombie video games are just a tad over the top in the gore department for me. This one’s not necessarily pretty, but it’s not too bad. I’ve got to admit I only tried the multiplayer mode. But it was fun. Humans vs. Zombies. I was trying for the humans (keyword: TRYING). It’s a first person shooter game, which I happen to secretly love… I’m just not that great at them. It uses the Pro Controller (which sort of resembles the old classic controllers). For me, it brought back all my memories of failing at Halo on the xbox. The walking is the same… use one circle pad to control where you look, and another one to walk… aka Erini looks at the sky and the floor a lot and walks in circles. The Game Pad is used to control the swarms of zombies. I gave it a good try, but after getting my face eaten off five times in a row, I passed the control on for someone else to try.

Anyway. The event was super fun. There’s still a lot of titles I didn’t get to try… and really, I’m just super excited about this system. You’ve really got to get your hands on it before you can pass any judgments. And try various games since they are all pretty different.

The event was great, just for getting to hang out with other ambassadors too! Rebekah was flown in, as was Lacey… and I finally got to meet Terence! It was good to see familiar faces from the Seattle trip too, like Melissa, Mikey and Sam. And of course my Chicago girls: Jenn, Rachel, and Jamie.

I was sad to leave early–during our amazing dinner, just before dessert. (But I was informed, my new friends Tessa and Kayla took care of that for me.) But I had a Steinomite show to go to, and though that day was busy, it was so much fun.

Now I’ve just got to wait until this holiday season when the WiiU will finally come out!

*Oh, in some more #NintendoEnthused news, I made the finals of the Mario Tennis Open 3DS tournament!

the dork abides

For the past three days I’ve been knee deep in code.

I decided on Tuesday I wanted to completely redo my portfolio site. So, within 24 hours I rebuilt it, and I even reformatted all the content to fit the new site. But, me being me, means I’ve been nit-picking small things ever since yesterday afternoon when it went live.

So, I’m taking a break from code before I smash my head into my desk. Repeatedly. jQuery is not my friend right now… (.createElement(‘STAB’))

Tomorrow morning I get to wake up bright and early as the Muccas and I are heading down to Louisville for LebowskiFest! Yes. LebowskiFest. White Russians. Bowling. And dear lord I hope I hear at least one person exclaim “Forget it, Donny! You’re out of your element!” It’s going to be a good time.*

We’re staying overnight in Louisville, then rushing back for what is going to be a very full, but amazingly awesome Saturday.

Our good friends from New Belgium’s Tour de Fat will be in Chicago, so we’ll be paying them a little visit around 1:40-ish. If you’re in town, and especially if you have a bike and/or like beer, you should check it out. The bike parade is super fun, and there’s just so many acts you don’t want to miss.

From Tour de Fat, I’ll be hauling ass to get to Rebekah’s hotel. I need to drop off my stuff before she and I join our fellow nerds for a special Nintendo Brand Ambassador event. We got an exclusive invite to the WiiU Experience. A few hours of hands on with Nintendo’s latest console system, followed by drinks and dinner. I think the only reason I’m not geeked out more about this event is from being slightly brain dead from a coding overload. I also haven’t been reading too many reviews as I really want to go into this experience with no expectations other than to have a great time.

After the WiiU Experience, I’ll be saying bye to my friends for a little bit and running off to see someone who is The Best. My friend Steinomite is having his debut CD release that night, and I’ve volunteered to do merch for him. Ssssnake is also performing, as well as other performers I don’t know personally but I know will be amazing.

All of this will be topped off with brunch Sunday morning with Rebekah before she heads home. There was talk of some beach time for Sunday afternoon–which as long as I just get to lay on my towel and relax, I’ll be up for.

It’s an incredibly nerdy weekend, and I really can’t wait.

*Though, if you get me excited, I’ll probably say BukowskiFest… which I’d like to think would be just as fun in its own way…
**Sorry for my lameness in not linking anything… if you want more info about anything mentioned, let me know and I’ll get a link or two out to you.