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Spoilers for the near-the-end bits in Rise of the Tomb Raider. And for the Curious George Christmas movie. You’ve been warned.


Sicker than hell. Stomach, cold, fever, etc. I think Grigio sent me his germs from last week. Or it’s just a delayed reaction to Christmas Monkey.

But I did play a little! A very teeny tiny little, but some!

I seized the trebuchet! Which was a pretty damn awesome little bit of game there. The jumping, the swinging, the knocking dudes of ledges, etc. It was a pretty great combination of fighty fighty and the run run run or die type of gameplay. I really liked it….


Remember the last time we talked on a bit that really made us feel action hero? It was the tower bit, and I bitched that there was a document that broke the momentum.

Well, here the same thing happened, but…it was an accident! For real! I was running and killing and stuff, and I was looting, as one does, and I go kill kill and run and hit square and ACCIDENTALLY picked up a document. So I wasn’t even ready for the break! I was all pumped up and then all of a sudden lone survivor is drawling at me. WHAT?

Kind of a buzz kill.

But other than that, great stuff. Actually AIMING the thing was really satisfying, and nice reward for doing all that.

Then I looked around some and got ambushed, and I don’t know if it was just too hard or I have the wrong skills or I’m going about it wrong or I was tired (probably I was tired) but it became a reaper moment. I died more times than I can count, and gave up. I kept getting THIS close. Cleared three, four waves of dudes, then died. I don’t have enough leaves.

I never know how to judge a fight I can’t do when I’m tired. This was probably a very well designed fight, and the issues are mine.


I’m very sorry about Grigio’s electronically transmissible germs. It is all my fault.

Just look at your monkey’s picture, dude. He wants everything in the store window! Greedy little bastard.

You seized the trebuchet! Nice. And yeah, I like aiming it and smashing the door. I kind of wished there was more stuff to smash, because it was fun. Good thing it turns out…something something, never mind.

Ah, lone survivor. Thanks for filling me in on all the details of your last, horrible days, but pick your moment better!


I blame you. So easy to blame you.

Hey, YEAH! EVERYTHING! And he GETS it! The happy ending is he GETS it!

Which, if I remember correctly, is how the Halloween one ended, too.

Well, I don’t think I’m starting Rapture before the end of the month either, and with three games for the kids from Xmas, I have a feeling my PS4 will be dedicated to that for a spell. We’ll get back on the same page. For a day. Then you’ll be ahead of me again.

Speaking of the same page, I have this $10 coupon from Best Buy cuz I spent all that money on a TV, so I’m thinking preorder something cuz it expires. Are we pretty committed to robot dinosaurs? It wouldn’t be fun to go a few months on different pages. I defer to you. But I’m leaning towards this is one we want.

Ok, TR.

Played! And it seems I have forgotten how to play video games (or this cold is still cramping my style) because that fight took forever even AFTER I turned down the difficulty. My shame. That was HARD. But then I took the first trebuchet, and GOT to the second trebuchet, and it was one of those “I know exactly what I have to do but I can’t seem to get it right” things. I must’ve tried swinging that thing 28753208 times. My hands are not cooperating. But I finally did it, and really liked the “kill the archers with it” bit. That was cool. But then, with my crappy hands, MISSED the gate FIVE TIMES. The gate! Which wasn’t moving! It was just sitting there! And I missed it five times. Figured that was the world telling me to stop playing.

Again, hard to judge the game here, because I really do figure my frustration with this bit was my fault and not the game’s. It’s not Lara’s fault I have a cold. It’s yours.


Yes! The happy ending is not “the monkey learns some moderation and the joy of giving to others,” it’s “the monkey gets everything he ever wanted.”

Nice message there, GEORGE. Way to manage the expectations of your impressionable young viewers.

Oh, OK, so you’ve already moved on to the other trebuchets. Nice. I also missed the door, although only once, because I wasn’t as tired. But yeah, ones feels kind of silly. “Uh…stop jumping around, you stupid door!”

I think we’re agreed on the robot dinosaurs, yeah. I mean, all else aside, I do want to support games with female leads, as part of my nefarious female agenda. Want to encourage devs to believe that its possible for them to be successful and all. So yeah, order away! I’ll be with you!


George and Elmo are conspiring to make our kids assholes.

I did move on. I rewarded myself this afternoon. I deserved it. Plus, I was left with that little blob of time that is too short to do anything productive before having to get the kid.

And I HATE being at a reaper moment. I have lost sleep over reaper moments.

Huzzah robot dinosaurs! 


You did deserve it. If you don’t reward yourself, who will? Not your spoiled, George-and-Elmo-inspired children, that’s for sure.


Exactly! And I’m too stuffed up to appreciate good scotch right now. Gotta do something.

Plus there’s that whole using games to escape reality thing…..

But I think I’ll be using TR to escape for some time.  I did the hard fight, the trebuchets and all, and I went from 72% to…..72%.

That didn’t even get me one percent?

Ok, sure, no relics, but is that it?


Oh, did I forget to mention there are 15 trebuchets in total? And then Baba Yaga shows up and you have to defeat her 5 times?

Ha, just kidding. Once you get inside that door it goes pretty quickly, actually. I mean, not “20 minutes and done,” but it moves right along. Limited opportunity/temptation to toodle (unless you feel like heading back to another region to cut down rabbits or something).

You won’t be at 100% when you finish, either, so don’t necessarily worry about that. I do remember a point in this general part of the game when I played for an hour and advanced a whole 1%, though. It’ll go faster on the other side of the door. Promise.


That ain’t nice. First you give me a cold, then this.

I have no desire to cut down rabbits. I’ll take moves right along about now. Not that I’m really sick of this game, cuz I’m not, but I think I’ve had my fill of coin caches.

I’m not worried. I don’t think I’ve ever done everything a game has to offer. I always miss a bottle of wine here, a fragment there. I always figured I’d be around 85%. I think that’ll be pretty spot on. You were, what, 92? And you have a higher tolerance for toodling.

Did you ever go back and get that last document at Croft Manor? Cuz it DID say there’d be something there when you completed the main game….


I got to 92 or 94…I can’t remember exactly. Under 95, anyway.

And I did go back to Croft Manor, and found three or four new items that hadn’t been there before, but dude, I’m still missing a few. Apparently there are some run-of-the-mill, you-really-should-have-already-found-this relics scattered around that I missed.

I’m puzzled, but not enough to bother going through the whole house again. I’ve moved on.

Things to do. Gonna start Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture soon.


Ah, man! I was hoping there’d be this really easy to find letter that was all mind blowing and stuff. Bah.

So my hotmail ads seem to be alternating between cheap wine and dental flossers.

What does that say about me?


You like cheap wine and have excellent dental hygiene! Honestly, this seems like a pretty positive assessment to me. Mine is all handcrafted artisan earrings, because I was shopping for presents for my sisters.

Which, fine, but it doesn’t acknowledge all the work I put in caring for my teeth!