Author: Angie | Backlog Crusader

Post-Pandemic Check-in: Orchids, tin whistle, and video game music! ♪

Hey, friends! It’s been ages and I hope you have all been well. While I’m still not in the writing mood very often, I wanted to show readers what hobby activities I’ve been up to this past year, which is mainly growing a LOT of houseplants, and also playing the tin whistle and making nerdy video game, anime, and film song covers!

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Adventures in Valheim

Valheim is all the rage right now and I’ve been having a fantastic time with it and our friends who are also playing. It’s the first game my boyfriend and I have found mutual interest in, in like… 5 years? (It’s tragic that we have nearly opposite tastes in games.)

In fact, I’ve never felt drawn to the survival game genre. The only one I’ve ever really enjoyed is Ark: Survival Evolved, and that’s only because I’m highly dinosaur (and dragon) motivated. Spent the whole game taming dinos and nothing else. Valheim, however. Valheim I find so enjoyable that it’s inspired me to write about games for the first time in over a year!

The courtyard of our Hall
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State of the Blog: Where have I been?

You may have noticed, but I have been on hiatus over the past several months, for which I apologize profusely. I wanted to thank those who continue to stop by and catch up on my posts. I started this blog back in spring of 2019 and I was writing so much, so frequently, that eventually I hit burnout about two months after my PAX West trip last year.

In addition, my hobby interests have turned away from gaming and writing to other things for a time, namely Tarot (the happy fault of Sayonara Wild Hearts), drawing, and online community building. I tend to go through periods of “hobby rotation” where I’m really into one thing or another for a half year or so and then move to something else, eventually circling back to an intense focus on gaming. I do plan on writing more in the future when the burnout wears off.

It would warm my heart to see some of you on Instagram in the mean time. I’ve included a few of my art posts from Instagram between paragraphs below for anyone interested. 🙂

Gaming and Tarot Discord Communities – Open invitation!

Long story short: I admin two sizable Discord communities and I wanted to make invitations available to readers and the gaming blogger community. Both of these servers are 18+ only and LGBTQ+ inclusive. Details below!

The first Discord is called the Lodge of Sorceresses and it is approaching three years old with a very solid core of regular active members who would love to welcome some new folks into the community. We used to be a Gwent (the Witcher card game) server with a focus on minority player inclusion, but have since expanded to be a general gaming server for everyone, and we have kept the Witcher theme in the user roles and channel names. You can see more details about the group and its history in this post. Regardless of the feminine name of the Lodge, anyone is welcome!

Join the Lodge of Sorceresses HERE!

If you read my post a while back about Sayonara Wild Hearts, you’ll know that I really love tarot cards both for their gorgeous art and their usefulness as a mental health maintenance tool. I’ve started a Discord community called Tarotholics, we have grown to over 500 members in less than a month and a half, and we have been getting absolutely amazing feedback about our community setup and activities. If you have any interest in learning tarot (Persona series fans perhaps?) or read tarot already, we would be more than happy to help you along your Fool’s Journey. We also have a fully prized Yuletide Tarot Card Design contest accepting entries through December 25th.

Join Tarotholics HERE!

Hope to see you guys in one of these groups soon! ❤

Nintendo Switch Accessory Review – Switchblades Rail Cover Kickstand

Regular Backlog Crusader readers might have noticed a banner ad on the last dozen posts or so for an innovative, robust product called Switchblades. This Nintendo Switch kickstand accessory is one I had been using so much that I had actually reached out the manufacturer, Gravilogic, personally to see if they wanted to support Backlog Crusader for a while, and they did. Thanks, Gravilogic! I use my Switchblade all the time when I play my Switch. Seriously. All. The Time. Here’s my review!

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Wolven Storm – Musings on Love and Feminism in Witcher 3

Yennefer. Who is she, really? In the Witcher 3 we see her relentlessly pursuing her goals across multiple continents, taking down any obstacles in her way. Yes, she cares passionately for her love, Geralt, but he won’t distract her from her ultimate goals. Despite their closeness, she keeps extremely important secrets from the Witcher during their travels, yet he trusts her implicitly. She is strong and wise, confident and skilled, and a timeless beauty. Their romance is legendary in the Witcher universe, literally.

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Games of Our Childhoods

The Autumn colors outside have had me feeling somewhat nostalgic lately and I wanted to expand a little on my older piece about how video games influenced the different phases of my life. It is less common than you’d expect for a non-sport hobby to stay with a child into their later adult life. What is it about video games that allow them to stick with us on such a deep, sentimental level for so many years?

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Fire Emblem Three Houses Concept Art

It seems I’m fighting off a bit of writer’s block this week so instead of a text article I’ve got some official Fire Emblem illustrations to share with you from the concept art book that was included with the collector’s edition of the Three Houses. Obviously don’t view the rest of this post if you haven’t finished the game because some of the images have spoilers. In case you missed it, you can find my review of Fire Emblem Three Houses here.

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Sayonara Wild Hearts Analysis – Use of Tarot in Game Design and Narrative

Sayonara Wild Hearts incorporates all 22 Major Arcana of the Tarot in its fast paced, pop-arcade, cosmic wonderland. You can check out my full review of the game here. I cannot understate how creative and ambitious studio Simogo is to have given us such a spectacularly beautiful, mesmerizing rendition of the Fool’s Journey in video game form.

I wanted to do a deep dive into the significance of Tarot cards and their meanings are used in Sayonara Wild Hearts to add a hidden layer of depth for those in know, so that’s what you’ll find in this article! I’ll be covering the entire game from start to finish (including a short explanation of Tarot at the start) so please be sure to complete the game before reading to avoid spoilers. You can also watch a play through of the game here.

Let’s pop!

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Rising Stars – Gaming Blogger Spotlight #4

I wanted to make it easier for gaming writers to connect with the gaming blogger community, so I started the “Rising Stars” series where both veteran bloggers and readers can discover and welcome new or relatively unknown gaming writers into the community. I hope this will help to encourage and support individuals as well as maintain the health of the gaming blogger ecosystem overall!

You can find the previous Rising Stars posts here, and now let’s take a look at this week’s featured bloggers…

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