Juggling Joysticks

As I am chronically incapable of playing just one game at a time there is usually a host of games I cycle through as I get tired of one and need to play something else. I try to keep the genres varied and usually have some simple casual games on stand-by.

Since my pain levels fluctuate as well I cannot always play what I want and have to make due. If my hands are cramping up too much or I just cannot sit in my chair without pain I may couch game something simple instead.

There are games that keep returning to my playlist year after year, especially when new DLC or a whole new version is released like Civilization which is a franchise which I have literally played on and off since its first release in 1991. It is probably one of my most played games.

Then there’s the open world games that I have a big love for but have to add is still sadly not always done quite right. Too much traveling back and forth or too many side quests so that I forget what I was even doing doesn’t help. I like content but games like those often lack a proper internal journal of some sort other than the most basic “this is the quests you are on”. Thanks, but if I leave the game for a few weeks, or even months, it can take hours (or days) to figure out what I was going for and what my personal goals were. Like going for a certain skill in order to be able to upgrade a weapon or combining certain quests in the same area.

I mix these games with easier games like point and click adventures, which is a passion of mine, and true casual shit like card games and picross of which I have played – and finished – many. The casual games I often play while thinking about some of my current tech projects as they don’t take a whole lot of brain power and the added input, along with some music in the background, helps me focus.

Currently my playlist looks somewhat like this:

Big Games

  • Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
    Currently on hold waiting for the major re-balancing patch. I also have trouble finished games in this one as turns start to take a very long time and it can get a little boring when you’re just going through the motions when you’ve technically already won but you still have to play 100 long turns.
  • Fallout 4
    As I have played this for well over 300 hours and have finished the game before, I am now doing a (slightly modded) survival run which keeps me busy but also made the game significantly harder. If I die before being able to sleep after doing a 1-2 hour run I may lose interest for a while so it can take a bit before I pick it up again. The “What was I doing again?” factor I mentioned above plays a big factor here as well.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Oldrim)
    Heavily modded because honestly it is needed to make it interesting. While highly praised and a game practically everyone has played at one point I find it hard to keep going. The lack of color and diversity in dialogue doesn’t help. While I have well over 100 hours in this game I have never even come close to finishing it. Maybe one day.
  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
    I keep coming back to this game. It’s just ..fun? Some people say it’s not actually a good Assassin’s Creed game but I don’t care about that. I just care about how much enjoyment I can get out of a game and this is one that hits a lot of the good spots for me. Except the Quick-Time Events. Fuck those.

Inbetweens

  • The Sims 4
    Another franchise I have played on and off since its inception. It just captivates me. Yes, the DLC can get out of hand but there literally is no other game like it. I always play it completely without cheats, starting with a dirt poor Sim trying to make ends meet and attempting to add more Sims to the (very gay) family and playing those and making them all succeed at their life goals. While highly enjoyable I do take long breaks between sessions as it’s easy to get burned out on it. Still, it’s one of my favorite franchises of all time.
  • Euro Truck Simulator 2
    Now I only got into this relatively recently but I’m enjoying the heck out of it. I snagged it during a good sale which included a bunch of DLC. It’s been hard work doing enough trips to make the money to buy my own truck but it was worth it. The game is very soothing and relaxing to play though I yell at other drivers sometimes. Just like real life! It’s not a game you can just play for a few minutes though and I have to be in the right mindset so my playtime frequency varies a lot with this one.

Casuals

  • Faerie Solitaire Harvest
    One of my many, many card games I have played over the years. I don’t always finish them but they are good time-wasters and easy to just play for a few minutes.
  • Sam & Max Save the World Remastered
    I recently played through this. There was a bit of controversy about the rewrite of a handful of lines of dialogue and the replacement of a voice actor but it was way overblown and mainly came from SJW haters. The game was fun and fine. Worked great on the couch with a gamepad too!
  • Catlateral Damage
    This was a gem that made my days better, really. I just recently finished it and it was a great experience that I wrote about here.

Now this may not seem like that big of a playlist (or maybe it does, I don’t know) but this is far from an exhaustive list. I only named the ones I have played the most in recent months. The above game are all interspersed with others like Cities: Skylines, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Plague, Inc: Evolved, Slime Rancher, and many others. They are just less frequent staples at the moment. I have also finished some shorter games in the mean time. Then there’s Rocksmith 2014 Edition which takes actual hardware to set up that I don’t always have the energy for so I don’t play it as often as I would like. Plus I have to take my neighbors into account as I don’t play it quietly.

All of this is not taking into account all of the games I have on my “want to start” list. This list is absolutely massive but I try to keep it down to a few each time so I can replace one of the above games with a new one once I finish something or get too tired of it.

This list of games include quite a few nice titles that I simply have not gotten around to yet:

To-Do List

  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
    Not everyone seems to be a fan of this Tomb Raider reboot but I enjoyed the previous two installments quite a bit and am looking forward to finishing off the trilogy.
  • BioShock Remastered
    I never got very far the first time around when I quit it but I hear so much good stuff about these games that I do want to get back into them eventually.
  • Batman: Arkham Knight
    I’ve replayed Asylum and City a few times but since this game had a rocky start with lots of bugs it had fallen way down my list. Supposedly all of those issues have been fixed and the game is perfectly playable now.
  • So many point and clicks!
    There’s the Wadjet Eye developed games I haven’t started yet like Primordia, and Technobabylon; the Grim Fandango remaster; Fran Bow; and I haven’t even touched that new King’s Quest from The Odd Gentlemen yet!

There’s more. There’s always more. But those are pretty high up on my list. Too many games, too little time!

Categories: Gaming
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Time to make a mess!

I recently picked up Catlateral Damage from Steam while it was on sale for just over two bucks. I am always on the lookout for fun games to play that feature cats in one form or another and this one had been on my wishlist for a while.

Catlateral Damage start screen showing the logo, a menu, and cute 3D rendered cat with all kinds of stuff that was knocked down around it.
Catlateral Damage Start Screen

The primary objective of the game is simple. Whack stuff so it falls on the floor, and do so repeatedly and everywhere you can. You will unlock more adorable cats as you accomplish more goals. The regular levels just have a set amount of objects you need to whack before the time runs out and there are a few specials levels you can unlock by whacking their respective unique objects. This includes a massive Supermarkat where you have to whack the items listed on your grocery list and a Mewseum (that includes a big dinosaur skeleton) where you have to do a high amount of monetary damage. There is also a litterbox mode where you can whack at your heart’s content without a time limit. And yes, the game is absolutely filled with cat puns.

I couch-gamed this on the TV with my Xbox Series X gamepad and it was super satisfying. Took me a minute to figure out the best way to about it but hint: books and plates add up fast! It took me 12 hours spent over several days to complete the game which has achievements along the lines of whack 20,000 objects, unlock all cats, and catch 10 mice. The last one, Play the game on a Caturday, I did on the main PC and one of our cats, Borko, was quite interested and started doing some whacking himself and knocked off a speaker and came very close to toppling the monitor as well. So I guess you could say it is feline approved.

For the amount I paid and the enjoyment I got out of it I would say it was money well spent and I highly recommend this if you need to release some frustration or just enjoy cat games. It has native Linux support and ran flawlessly. There’s a Remeowstered version coming out but it looks like that will not have a Linux build. All in all I give this game a solid 8 out of 10.

Categories: Gaming, Reviews
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Hordak

Digital painting portrait of Hordak from tv show She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.
Realized I had never painted Hordak yet. Quick and dirty but here he is.
Categories: Art, She-Ra
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The Welcome Post

Any blog should start with a welcome post of sorts, I guess, so here I’ll introduce myself and answer some of the expected questions.

Who are you?

I’m an old Gen X trans woman who transitioned well over a decade ago and go by she/her pronouns. I’m gay as fuck, in a long-term relationship, have cats who I also love very much, and am quite neurodivergent.

My body is broken and living with chronic pain hampers my physical ability throughout the day. I have to carefully plan my chores and appointments throughout the day/week as too much activity can leave me exhausted for days.

I am passionate about Linux and RaspberryPi and almost always have some crazy new project in my head which I may or may not be actually smart enough to accomplish. I try to adopt FOSS applications when able and am somewhat of a privacy and security advocate.

Who is this for?

Since I don’t have a very large online presence other than my Mastodon account, this is mainly for the real-life and online friends who don’t follow me there and would still like to know what I have been doing and what I’m up to. It also makes it easier for me to link them to my artworks. RSS is built in for the people that would like to follow this website automatically. Just enter https://catradora.com/ in your favorite RSS/Atom reader and let the magic happen.

What can I expect?

As you may have noticed, there are four big buttons up there which are the main categories I expect to be writing in. Namely Art, as I have finally picked up digital painting again last year after decades of neglect. Then there’s the Blog, which should be straightforward and may contain some personal stuff about my life but I also expect to write reviews for all kinds of media, from film to games. I may also go on the occasional rant. Gaming will cover what I have been playing lately which may include an abundance of screenshots at times. And last is Tech in which I’ll talk about my numerous projects ranging from setting up yet another Raspberry Pi, to learning how to use Docker.

A few other things to note is that I tend to swear quite a bit at times. It’s just the way I speak. You will also find no comment sections here as I have no desire to purge spam on a daily basis and any discourse can be had on Mastodon, in person, or via IM.

Why are there already a bunch of posts?

Because I did not want to start a website with a single welcome post and have it be a desert wasteland apart from that. So I uploaded the art I have done so far and even a gaming post. This way you can readily see what kind of content to expect.

What’s with the site name?

If you know me a bit, or have scrolled through the artwork already, you have figured out that I am a pretty big She-Ra fan. I enjoy (hand-drawn) animated cartoons, gayness, and good storytelling. The recent Netflix show, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, had it all and it ended in queer bliss. I very much relate to the Catra character (past trauma, shitty parental figures, anger issues, looking for redemption, trying to better myself, etc.) and Catradora is the name of the (canon) ship between her and Adora (She-Ra).

What’s with the different pen names?

It’s mostly just for fun, really. There is no real purpose to it. I do enjoy some compartmentalization so I decided to do the same here. tlg is the signature I use on my art which is basically just short for Tiny Lesbian Gamer which is my main “self” online handle and the one I will use for my blog posts. Catra, as listed above, is a character from She-Ra who I identify with and I view her as playful so I made her the author of anything gaming related. Entrapta is another She-Ra character who is neurodivergent and can get quite lost in her technological hobbies and projects. So I kinda relate to her as well.

Categories: Blog
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