Random Musings 2: +10 Reflexes, That New Console Smell, and Moar Amiibo!

I think I owe video games my life…
My experiences with crows haven’t been very positive in the gaming world or real life

So a bit of real life drama happened to me last weekend. I was visiting my parents for the long weekend. They happen to live in an area as close to the middle of nowhere as possible, and I decided to take my Mom out for coffee. Unbeknownst to me, some inconsiderate individual heaved a bag full off fast food remnants out their car window, and it had landed on the rural roadway I was traversing.

I was blissfully cruising along at the speed limit (I swear), and catching up with my Mom in the passenger seat. I turned a corner to find a murder of crows spread out on the road shortly ahead. They were busy ravaging the contents of the fast food bag, and they didn’t seem to notice me quickly approaching. Suddenly, my instincts kicked in, and my brain entered some sort of real life Eagle Vision/V.A.T.S. mode. My eyes darted to the rear view mirror to find there were two cars a short distance behind me. Abruptly braking would most likely result in a terrible rear end collision. The swarm took up the entire roadway, and the narrow road gave way to a deep ditch on both sides. Swerving would most likely result in a horrifying trip down a cliff. This all took place in the span of a second, and my brain decided I had no choice but to drive through the hungering swarm.

When I was within mere meters, the swarm ascended into the clear air above. Instead of flying away to safety, most of them flew toward my car. One hovering scavenger was flying too low, and it smashed into my driver’s side mirror. The brutal force of the impact sent the mirror flying off. I dodged an object that flew inside my open door window as a light shower of broken glass rained down on me. It all happened in the blink of an eye, and my passenger started panicking. I remained in a state of unflinching calmness, and continued driving without hesitation, until I found a safe spot to pull over. I brushed off the shards of glass as my passenger composed herself. She asked me: “How did you stay so calm?” The only answer I could think of was: “I guess it’s because I’ve been playing video games since I was 5.”

There is a plethora of research out there stating the link between playing video games and improved reflexes, as well as quicker proper decision making times. I’ve been playing video games for almost 23 years now, and I definitely credit them for helping me become a better driver. In the aftermath of my minor incident, I discovered that the object I dodged was actually the entire mirror surface, and it had grazed my Mom’s head. She was okay, and lightheartedly stated that she needed some sense knocked into her. I found it in the backseat and reattached it to its damaged frame. Part of a mirror is better than no mirror until I get it fixed. I also had to clean up several tiny pieces of broken glass littering my car interior. The hapless crow seemed to have miraculously survived the ordeal as well. I went back to check, and there was no trace of him.

I’m not pleased with the damage, but this is a lot better than a rear end collision or going off the road into a steep ditch.
A proud new member of my gaming family
This handsome fella is going to have to wait until I’m done with ReCore

Yes I know, the last thing I need is another way to add more games to my backlog. Regardless, my special edition Xbox One arrived this week. Thanks to the newer model being launched, this edition was heavily discounted and I scooped it up before it sold out. It’ll be a long time before I can afford a fancy 4K TV so I’m pleased to get a cheap older model. Unfortunately, this purchase also added 2 games to my backlog: Quantum Break and Alan Wake. I’ve connected it to my TV, patched it up (apparently its controllers need updates too), and downloaded the two games it came with. I’m not starting the games yet though. ReCore is coming out next week, and I want to focus on that game first. It is also the main reason why I decided to finally get Microsoft’s latest console in the first place.

Overall, I love the feel of the controller, and this slick beast runs much quieter than its predecessor. The intro video got me hyped, and I can’t wait to start playing ReCore on it soon. I hope my PS4 doesn’t get too jealous… My cranky Wii U isn’t really happy with me anyway. It has been months since I powered on the poor little guy.

No fights have broken out yet, but I can sense the tension between these fierce rivals
More of the sweet stuff for the Amiibo addict
There are far worse things to be addicted to… right?

Despite my constant pleas for an intervention, no one has stopped me, and I have now amassed a complete collection of Nintendo’s little plastic figures. My heart skipped several beats when they announced the 30th Anniversary Legend of Zelda line. Even better, they will be released just in time for Santa’s crazy journey across the world. I’m disappointed there was no news about Cloud, Corrin, and Bayonetta, but the chance to own a figure of Link playing his epic Ocarina of Time makes me almost forget about them.

Very thrilled to see these are coming! Metroid also has an anniversary this year and I would love to see some new Amiibo for that series as well. Just saying…

In other news:

  • A special thanks to hungrygoriya for a fourth Entertaining Blogger nomination. I’m not going to do another post, but thank you so much for the shout out. I’ve only recently started following hungrygoriya, but I’m really enjoying reading about all of their rare retro game finds. Check out this awesome blog if you’re interested in learning more about the great games from the past.
  • I’ve spent a grand total of 0 hours playing video games this week. Sadly, there is also more negative backlog progress, but real life is important too. I try to limit myself to one game per console at a time. That helps me avoid dropping games and forgetting about them. I’ll just be focusing on Fallout 4 (PS4), The Legend of Zelda (NES), and soon ReCore (Xbox One) for the foreseeable future.

37 thoughts on “Random Musings 2: +10 Reflexes, That New Console Smell, and Moar Amiibo!

  1. Firstly, thanks for the shout-out! I’m glad you’re enjoying what I’m putting out there!

    Also, your amiibo collection is amazing! I don’t collect them myself because I know if I start that along with collecting retro games I’ll be broke in no time. I have to show restraint at some point I suppose! I’d be interested to hear about your favourites and your favourite way to use them!

    Secondly, I’m really glad you and your mom were okay after that! Your experience sounded pretty terrifying. I’m thankful your instincts took over because I’ve been rear-ended before and it was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had. It was in rush hour and I was stopped when someone ran into me going 40-50 km/h. Needless to say my car was destroyed, my passenger was injured, and my car was written off. I hope you’ll have an easy time getting your car repaired and moving on from here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!

      My Amiibo obsession just started with “Hey, Link looks cool and that Spinner would be fun in Hyrule Warriors.” It all went downhill from there, lol. I find they lack any useful in game functionality, but as collectible figures they are awesome! In North America it is hard to find swag for some of Nintendo’s IPs, and Amiibo have filled the void here. My two favorites are Mewtwo, and Lucina from Fire Emblem. Mewtwo looks so imposing and is nicely put together. I shamefully waited outside of a store a few hours before opening to snag Lucina. I ended up meeting some interesting people in the lineup so there is a nice story attached with that one.

      Yikes! Your incident sounds horrifying! I was going around 80 km/h, so I shudder when I think of the damage that would have done. Driving is serious business, and it scares me to think of all the inattentive drivers out there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m really happy you have managed to find all that you seek with respect to Amiibo. I think it’s really great! I secretly hope to find a Sonic Amiibo someday so that I can have the Sonic skin in Super Mario Maker. It’d make my day. Meeting random people through a fun hobby is cool too… I wish I met more people collecting retro games.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Have you seen the Poochy amiibo yet? My word, that thing… I’ll be getting one of those. Two, probably, in case one gets destroyed by me hugging it.

    I’ve actually been pretty restrained with buying them. I have a woolly Yoshi, NES-era Mario, Shovel Knight, and Midna one. Keep hold of your collection – that lot will be worth a fortune in 20 years!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “There is a plethora of research out there stating the link between playing video games and improved reflexes, as well as quicker proper decision making times. I’ve been playing video games for almost 23 years now, and I definitely credit them for helping me become a better driver.”

    I saw something the other day, and there was this neuro-boffin who’d come up with what she thought was a super-hard, cognitive ability type test, and she’d asked her students to help conduct the trials on a ‘representative cross-section of the public’. One student had come back with all of his particular participants scoring off the charts, and he immediately got hassled for just making stuff up, rather than actually conducting the trial.

    Anyways, turned out he had done it, but he’d left it until the last minute, so he gone done it with just the people in his video game club, which conveniently met right before his deadline. Intrigued, the Professor repeated the test, got the same results, and is now almost exclusively exploring the benefits on cognitive abilities that gaming can generate.

    As a Gamer and a ‘leave stuff until the deadline’ kinda guy, I’ma go right ahead and call that a win. Now I just need somebody Science-y to find that real-life, human interaction is massively overrated, and I’m pretty much golden…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That crow story was absolutely harrowing and I was hanging on every word. Sometimes I imagine myself being in situations like that where some disaster strikes or there are meteors raining down, and in my mind I’m calm and collected, but in reality I’d probably be screaming like a little girl. I can only hope my years of video gaming reflexes would kick in, too. Either way I’m glad you and your mom were okay! And the car isn’t too worse for wear and those silly crows look like they’ll live to caw another day.

    I saw that new Zelda figurine of Link! I haven’t collected any of those type. It’s not like I need any more expensive hobbies, but they are cute, and if someone decided to get me one, I’d probably love it, but curse them for starting me down the path to a new collection/hobby.

    I have played 0 hours of video games this past week, too, which I have no excuse for since I’ve been on vacation. I’m hoping to remedy that today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I think every gamer can unleash the power of superior reflexes when the situation calls for it. At least they aren’t as bad as the crows from Resident Evil… *shudders*

      My advice is to stay far, far away from Amiibo. My addiction just started with “Hey that Super Smash Bros. figure of Link looks cool…” Their cuteness is overpowering.

      I managed to sneak in a few hours of game time today. I hope you can as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Unfortunately crows are pretty smart. They are probably plotting their next move against you right now. Just kidding (probably), glad you got through that relatively unscathed with that video game training kicking in.

    I rather enjoyed both Alan Wake and Quantum Break. I really liked the characters/stories while the gameplay was just sort of good enough I guess. QB does some pretty neat stuff with how it presents the story which probably doesn’t all work, but feels pretty unique and bold. Hopefully you will enjoy them.

    I only have a few Amiibos, but they are Link, Zelda and Yarn Yoshi, so these new ones are also calling to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been keeping my ears open just in case, but I haven’t heard any vengeful caws… yet.
      I can forgive gameplay problems if the characters/story pull me in. Sounds like I’ll enjoy them.
      A warning: It always starts off as “just a few Amiibo”

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I made a similar purchase recently of an Xbox One! Super congrats! I absolutely love the controller, as well as how incredibly quiet the system is – and I’ve so far loved everything I’ve played that came with it. Ori and the Blind Forest is one of the most beautiful Metroidvanias I’ve ever played, and Tomb Raider – well you know my thoughts on that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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