ED | Monster Juiced – Monarch

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Have I mentioned that I like peach flavored things? Well, now you know. Anyway, there I was. Minding my own business. Trying to grocery shop with my ADHD chaos riddled brain: couldn’t remember what’s in the basket while looking at the grocery list, and couldn’t remember what’s on the grocery list while looking in the basket. Then I looked up, and there it was. Orange can, covered in colorful butterflies. Monarch. Monster Monarch. Monster Juiced – Monarch.

Amazingly peach flavored, not too sweet, not too strong tasting, definitely delicious. Generally I’m not the biggest fan of Juiced, as those tend to be too sweet, and too reminiscent of multivitamin juice, of which everyone should get bored by the time they’re in their early twenties. No. This is as close to perfect as it gets.

Verdict: Monarch is a beautiful precious butterfly.

Saints Row “Make Your Own Boss” demo

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Newest instalment into the Saints Row franchise is getting closer, and closer, and so, as a result, we keep getting more insights and goodies. A few days ago, for example, they released a free character creation demo that you can download from Epic Games platform, who currently hold exclusive rights to start selling the game (later it’ll be available on all the other platforms too, as, let’s face it, Epic Games need to pick up their own game, for those free games they keep handing won’t keep people in for long).

If you’ve ever played any Saints Row game then you know you can get very detailed in your character creation. From the shape of your dome, to how far your ears flap out. From the tip of your nose to the tip of… Ah, yeah, there’s plenty of stuff to make your boss – your own (or make them you). This here is all that. And more. And, also, less. For it seems like quite a few redundant sliders have been either taken out or aren’t in the demo itself.

Boss’s gender is made out of three sliders: body shape, chest, genitals, which are still being censored, this ain’t no Cyberpunk 2077 for you (not sure if that’s a good thing though, or do I need to shut up now). But said censoring is more fun now, as you can exchange the pixilation for an eggplant emoji or something. There’s also an option to not censor nipples on either chest or breasts. So you can basically build your boss as you please, a certain gender, a neither gender, a gender in between, a different gender. There are 8 voices, but I’m blanking out on whether there was any androgynous ones.

Among the sliders that are no longer there is the top tip of the ear, so you can’t make elf ears anymore. The rest I can’t tell you either, as I never really paid so much attention to the detail. But I can tell you what I noticed new, things that were missing before. For one, now you can choose three colors for your single haircut, either making something epic, or a generally not flat color. For two, you don’t need to keep symmetry. You can make one ear bigger. You can only get one earring. Then there’s the issues that only got fixed in the remaster before: you don’t need to paint your lips black to not end up with your teeth constantly out in the very first cutscene in the game ever. And, lastly, a rock into rockstar’s garden, and their damned GTA online, where you get 1 pair of pants in 45 different options you need to go one by one, as their coloring is different. Just make a goddamn slider!

Additionally, Saints are seemingly very determined with their mission to let everyone know: everyone can be the boss. Everyone and anyone. From gender norms and roles, to prosthetics, not to mention races, ethnicities (although with races there’s a slight lack in the eye department currently, but I’m sure this thing they’ll definitely fix). So, go ahead. Go be the Boss.

All in all, I feel horribly inspired. So much so that I might consider playing it on Epic Games after all.

LGBT Video Games to play during Pride Month

To many of us video games have become a sort of a life-line to breathe a little away from everyday things, and even reality itself. And since it’s Pride Month, figured why not drop you something LGBT related? Here’s a few of my very favorites, from the most recommended one in the first place, to the still recommended, but one that can wait.

These are only the ones that I have personally played. If you know any more and want to recommend me some, please do, feel free to drop that backlink too.

  1. Tell Me Why:narrative-adventure game where your choices will shape the story. One of the two main characters is transgender and his sexual preference can later be defined by the player.
    tellmewhy_pride month video gamesIt is one of my very favorite games, one I almost missed, as the cover really didn’t appeal with the murder-mystery vibe. Luckily I got nudged in the right direction. The game starts with Tyler getting ready to meet his long estranged twin sister Alyson, with whom he’ll return to Alaska, and together they’ll go visit their childhood home in hopes to find some answers before selling the memory-haunted place. This is where their lives changed and broke, pushing the twins apart.

    The story is entwined with supernatural, magic, dream-like visuals, and lots of other wonderful things. Told from two perspectives of twins, who have their own version of how they remember what happened, it makes the player think on whether to trust the instincts, emotions, or pure facts.

  2. Hades: – story driven dungeon crawler. Main character is seemingly pansexual, and definitely polyamorous, as you can engage in romance with a few characters at once (no going behind anyone’s back, it is discussed, and agreed upon). There’s also an example of platonic love, or possibly asexual romance.
    hades video game pride monthZag is the son of Hades and Persephone. His father is preparing him to work in the Underworld, while he just wants to go up onto the surface and say hi to his mum. And no matter what his father keeps throwing at him in all the levels of the Underworld, he’s determined to do just that. Epic slashers with all kinds of spirits, colossal boss fights, unexpected friendships, fickle family from both parents sides trying to help, as long as you serve to entertain them, adventures, fishing, and so on. Truly, not a single run got dull, and I made almost two hundreds, I think.
  3. Stardew Valley: – farming-adventure sim. You get to create your own character as you please, and then choose your gender despite what you chose. Among friendships you can form romantic bonds and marry a partner of any gender (well, male or female only, sadly), and adopt a couple of children too.
    stardew valley video games pride monthYour loving grandfather has left you a farm in Stardew Valley, a beautiful place, with a sweet little community of people. But what you don’t know yet, is that it’s full of magic, secrets, deep dungeons full of monsters, and evil scheming people. All of that to figure out between planting seasonal crops, milking cows, rebuilding farm structures, and just having great adventures all around.
  4. Dragon Age series: – action-adventure RPG. You can choose your character, and play according to your sexual orientation. The party of adventurers and heroes you’ll gather around you will always have someone who’d love to go beyond friendship with you. In farther games this gets even more diverse.
    dragon age inquisition pride month video gamesDragon Age currently has three games. In the first one you get to play a Grey Warden from one of the three races, saved from certain, gruesome death, by an ancient ritual that makes you perfect in the war that is about to come, against the hordes of Dark Spawn. But before you do, you’ll have to find allies. Second game you start as a refugee from said war, running to Kirkwall where you have family. Tragedy follows you though, it seems, as your whole family doesn’t make it, and the city you hoped to be safe in – enters cataclysms that’ll change the whole world. With you at their epicenters. And the last game you take up an even bigger role of an Inquisitor, with an impossible task to unite the realm against one true enemy, an enemy that is about to plunge the world where anyone with a semblance of magic is afraid to even dream in…

    You can play these games as stand-alones if you don’t enjoy one or the other. Franchise has official save-file creator in the Dragon Age Keep, where you can make choices that’d otherwise change the game for you if you have had played previous games a certain way.

  5. Cyberpunk 2077: – action-adventure RPG; V’s gender is determined by their chosen voice. It’s a bit strange they made it like this, and not by pronouns, but I guess it is what it is. In my humble opinion they could’ve found one voice to voice both V’s, and name them the same unisex name too, instead of having that clear separation towards male or female. Either way, you can choose whatever body you wish, and whatever love interest you wish, although the choices are extremely narrow.
    cyberpunk 2077 lgbt pride month video gamesV was a merc, building their legend up, along side their best friend Jackie, having a blast while they were at it. Up until that one damn job that just had to go sideways. One of those colossal, shit-storm ones, where once you start slipping, you know your life will never be the same again. Now V is running through the Night City streets in a frenzy, else it’ll swallow them whole, in search for answers, all while a construct, a specter of a long dead psycho haunts them, trying to erode their mind.

    The game had its issues upon release, and a year and some later too. But if you have waited this long, it’s time to play it. Definitely good, definitely breathtaking. Dizzying skyscrapers of megapolis, entangled with roads that have no start or end to them, sky barely visible, and yet, glimmer fades once you reach the necrotizing edges of Night City…

Bonus: Dream Daddy. A visual novel where you play as a single father, and you can both choose your looks, and such characteristics about yourself as: whether you’re cis or trans man, whether you’ve been married to a man or a woman, whether you child is adopted or biological.dream daddy pride month gamesWith your teenage daughter you move to suburbs where she’ll be getting ready to leave for studies. Afraid you’ll be lonely and sad, she pushes you to make friends with all the lovely people in the area, creating you a social media account called Dadbook, where you can chat up other single or single-ish fathers. Each one is very different both in looks and personality, not to mention the array of absolutely amazing adventures they’ll drag you into. If by the end of the game you don’t form or choose not to form romantic relationships, at the very least you’ll have a bunch of epic friends. The game is worth the time for the humor alone, not just dad jokes either.

The game ends after three total adventures-dates with one dad, so my suggestion is, take every dad out twice. Then double-save, and see how it ends with each of them.

Have you played any of these? Did you enjoy any? What was it that you didn’t like?

ED | Monster Energy Ultra – Watermelon

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I love me a good Monster Energy Ultra. Each one got something good going on. White one still makes me think of summers playing GTAV, dusk to dawn, while trying not to break the keyboard in half. Red one always for the holidays, where two or three sips in I’d remember why I didn’t buy it the rest of the year…

When I spotted this red one, I thought I hit a jackpot of THE red one returning, as it’s gone from the stores. Turns out, it was even better. This is a summer edition of sorts. Watermelon flavored.

Tastes of watermelon gummies, but not as sweet as candy. Very good balance between sweet and sour. I’m not even going to admit how many I have consumed since I sat down to write this. But, hey, no sugar, little calories, easy to burn off during the stretches.

Verdict: How I wish you could see what I see in my head.

P.S. Happy Pride Month~

who the f*ck are you now?

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Like many of my generation, I too grew up with such gangster video games as GTA, Saints Row, Far Cry, and others, where dark humor was part of life, and not the driving force of the game. In a way, those characters became a representation of freedom for me in life where I often couldn’t leave a situation physically, feeling trapped and isolated between four walls, nothing outside of them, nothing within. I learned the value of freedom before I understood the concept of it. Gangsters, who could go anywhere, brave whatever storms, whatever life threw at them, especially in the games that allowed for customization, soon became, and forever remained, my alter ego.

Have you ever received critique over genres that you enjoy? The books you read are subpar, the movies you watch are empty, music – worthless. Sometimes even the formats aren’t right. Ebooks aren’t real, and audiobooks aren’t even books, no matter that by the end of it – we both know the same exact story. Familiar? If so, like me, you likely learned to hide what you enjoy. I certainly did, fast and hard, to a point where I don’t think my family understands where I get the paychecks from, and friends get surprised if I like a song they didn’t realize I’d like the genre of. Truth is, I like most genres in all the media, as all could have a masterpiece in it, and all can have the stuff not worth the time it takes to consume it. And I really don’t think it’s right to pick on anyone for any of it, especially not to a point where they’d get high-school flashbacks. I learned to hide shit all while fully aware that there’s nothing more valuable, good, and gangster than being unapologetically yourself, not worrying about what others think – that’s their damn problem.

The breakthrough, cataclysm, happened last summer (2021), when one day a friend who likely peeked past my filters dropped me a Hollywood Undead song (it was the Comin’ In Hot too, no less), and it filled the empty air around me. Sent with a comment “hey, reminds me of you“, with no malice intended, it made me wonder why I allowed people to do that to me. Don’t let people do that to you! Not for anything. Not even for friendship, for such friendships aren’t worth anything, at all.

Hollywood Undead is a rock-rap, nu-metal, industrial, and other genres mix of a band, created in 2005, LA, California, USA. A varied lot of up to six strange guys, with very different vocals, looks, and the ways they perform this art. And while I have heard them before, I realize their music was always drowned out by someone exclaiming how “tacky” or “cringe” this is. Now, my ADHD part of the brain that likes to latch onto lyrics, is happy, as every playlist contains a variety of songs with strong, motivating lyrics, as they fit near anything: work, working out, chill time. Took these six to allow myself some freedom from all the barriers I built between myself and the world thanks to some immature idiots. And a few friends who then broke the whole damn dam.

And to those who still feel the need to pass their two cents on how their taste in any media genre is superior, I’d like to pass on a message:

“Lights out, 
You’re talking too loud
So just shut your mouth
Who the fuck are you now?”

World Goth Day

world goth day night mode reading nosferatuGoth as a subculture first appeared in UK, around 1980, rising from the gothic rock and post-punk. It remains among the longest surviving subcultures of said era, as it proudly darkens the view with both the classic goth style (trad), and the branching out styles, subcultures within the subculture, almost.

May 22nd is a World Goth Day, coinciding with Siouxsie and the Banshees song “Spellbound” release. So I wish you a cozy evening, as you either celebrate accordingly, or congratulate according people, maybe with a cup of tea, maybe with something more noble, red or green.

ED | Redbull Summer Edition – Apricot – Strawberry

redbull summer edition apricot strawberry taste review

Redbull Summer Edition is here, and it’s… Strange. Apricot and strawberry flavored it’s mostly all strawberry, red inside it’s orange can, not too artificial, as Redbull are very capable of doing flavors right.

Generally I don’t like strawberry flavored things, but I do enjoy me a peach or an apricot flavored ones now and again, so I grabbed one the moment I saw it, and hoped for the best. Funnily enough, I found it while doing a good deed, so it almost felt like a reward.

It’s not bad. But… It’s one of those that you buy, drink, and forget it ever existed.

Verdict: Summer is here. Almost.

Friday the 13th | Nosferatu: Stay on my Cute side

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Yesterday I got to painting some, as the waiting for Vampire the Masquerade: Swansong is absolutely killing me. Worst, I don’t wholly want to get it on Epic platform, so might just have to wait a little longer…

Here’s a little Nosferatu portrait for you, on this Friday the 13th. If you stay on his cute side, I’m sure it’ll all just be luck, and none of the bad things.

Contribee and Ko-Fi supporters see these artworks, sometimes WIP’s, and even book reviews – first. After that I post them everywhere else, including the Redbubble profile.

ED | RedBull Zero

redbull zero taste flavor review

In one of the previous posts I mentioned there was a new or at least different Redbull available in a local food store, Redbull Zero. Unlike the light blue version, Redbull Sugarfree, the dark grey Redbull Zero has neither sugar NOR calories (2 per 100 ml, totaling to 5 per the regular 250 ml can). And, to be honest, doesn’t have that hard of a bitter tang to it either. Which, I generally still prefer way more than the over-sweetened sugarless drinks from other brands.

Saying which, I wonder if Redbull will ever come out with this same combo, but flavored, the way those others do, and is there relation between flavors and sweetness?…

Verdict: Okay, I genuinely like this.

games | Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodhunt | How to do the explosives quest for Kirill

If you started playing Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodhunt, you likely already met a few NPC’s by now, among whom one of the most prominent one, at the start, is Kirill to whom you’re directed “just look for a hole in the wall“.

He’ll give you at least two quests all at once right as you speak with him. One of them is for some package in an underground parking garage, and another for explosives. Personally, I couldn’t exactly figure how to do either of the quests, so now I’ll tell you how, in case you’re a little confused like myself.

So, first of all, the map you see before you start the game has a legend on the bottom right. It says the red square is where the quest area is. You have about 9 seconds (countdown is visible on the screen) to plop your spawn point either on top of it, or as close as you manage if you want to concentrate on doing it, both of them are close to map edge, and if you delay – it will be covered in deadly red gas (you have about two minutes).

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The underground parking has a street-entry on the very edge of the map, with Entity station very close to it. Upon entering, go left, there’ll be some bikes, and you’ll see the glowing white orb that you’ll collect with the prompted “collect” button.

Explosives were harder for me. That too is on the edge of the map, so try to not dilly-dally (red gas). The nook is on top of the roofs, there’s like this little terrace between buildings, a walled out section (still on top of the roofs), with a little shed, and a computer there. Just pick it up, and you’re good to go slay some rivals.

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