November 30, 2022

Back To Bravely Default II

Since I finished Octopath Traveler, a great JRPG, I resumed another one I had paused, Bravely Default II. I love it, but is it greater than Octopath? Tough question! I watched a YouTube video comparison of the two and think I agree that BDII edges out ahead. This is surprising since I had previously ranked Octopath a notch above BDII.

November 28, 2022

Turned My iPhone Up To 11

A few weeks ago, I had decided to stick with my iPhone 8 Plus and not upgrade until likely next year. Confession: I didn’t hold out that long. I’ve been wanting to upgrade my five year old iPhone and my son’s now unsupported iPhone 7. So when a nice deal appeared, I jumped on it, netting one new-ish smartphone for two phone upgrades.

November 26, 2022

Tracking JRPG Playtimes

When it comes to gaming, JRPGs are my fave. This genre of escapism is time-consuming. For example, check out HowLongToBeat for the numbers on Xenoblade Chronicles 3 — 100+ easily. Last year, I spent about 120 hours playing Dragon Quest XI S before finally finishing it. And recently, I finished Octopath Traveler at over 83 hours. With so many great JRPGs to play and little time to spare, it makes sense to use a service or a spreadsheet to keep track of it all; I do both.

November 25, 2022

What's Up With 5G?

Remember a few years back when there was hype that the next cell service upgrade would be mind-blowingly fast? 5G service promised download and upload speeds equal to or exceeding a fiber optic data line wired directly to your phone. The benefits of such a feature were things like…remote real-time tele-surgery? Streaming gameplay in high-res? The question: so how’s that working out for ya?

November 21, 2022

Octopath Traveler Review

At long last, I finished the gloriously pixelated Octopath Traveler, having first begun around February 2020. I paused a few times despite how much I like the game, so it had been on my backlog/resume list for a while. Restarting in earnest this month, I finished all the remaining chapters for all the characters and saw the credits roll after two weeks of focused fun. Previously, I’ve ranked the game near the top of my favorites list. Now finished, my final perspective is a little different, though Octopath is still one of the best JRPGs I’ve played.

November 19, 2022

Wired Audio Sounds Winning

In my recent post where I asked are AirPods worth their cost, I was only comparing them to cheaper “true wireless” alternatives. But there still exists an even more affordable option: wired earphones. Yes, physically connecting your ears to a device with dangling cords. And apparently, it’s a trend amidst Gen Z.

November 16, 2022

Game Awards 2022 Preview

Nominees are out now for this year’s Game Awards. It’s exciting to see which Nintendo games are nominated, hoping for many winners from my favorite gaming company. Likewise, it would be great to see an RPG earn Game of the Year; last December, I wrote about why at RPGamer.

November 15, 2022

YouTube Handles More Social

A few weeks ago, I noticed that YouTube would be adding Handles to existing accounts and wondered how that might change the platform, for better or worse, into a more social media-like experience. Well, looks like we’re about to find out; I’ve already got my @username!

November 12, 2022

Are AirPods Really Worth It?

Apple’s popular white plastic buds spurred the ubiquity of true wireless earphones. Competitive companies now make more ear-candy devices at wallet-friendly prices, offering other colors, styles, and feature-sets. So are AirPods really worth their price tag now?

November 10, 2022

Social Internet Versus Social Media

One of my favorite bloggers is computer scientist Cal Newport. I found this great quote on a podcast (at 50:42) from 2019 wherein he discussed his then recent book, Digital Minimalism. The context here is Cal’s apt distinction between the social-internet and social-media:

November 7, 2022

Sticking With iPhone 8 In 2022

Recently, the dynamic iPhone 14 Pro debuted. With it, iOS 16 released, rendering my teens’ iPhone SE and iPhone 7 officially unsupported. My iPhone 8 Plus — now five generations old — still works well. “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” I’m not immune to upgrade-itis and am trying to stick with what I have. After all, it’s an iPhone. What more is needed, right? That said, my wants are tough to moderate.

November 5, 2022

Piling Up The Role Playing Games

My RPG game time has been on pause for a while. I’ve been casually playing Minecraft and taking a break from gaming in general. But thanks to a recent birthday gift — Xenoblade Chronicles 3 — landing in my controller-hands, I’m motivated; unpause the role-playing! It’s going to take a focus on other fun for a while before I can get to enjoy XC3 though.

November 3, 2022

Apple's Not So Simple Product Strategy

I generally agree with the sentiment that Apple’s line up of tablets and phones has become more complex over time and could benefit from the minimalism Apple was better known for years ago. From The Verge:

November 1, 2022

Elon Bought A Pet Blue Bird

Maybe you noticed Twitter now belongs to Elon Musk. Some are worried, some cautiously optimistic, some are leaving the social site. Others will wait and see. I think it will be interesting to watch.