2. I also was in the hospital for a Crohn's flare up before Chirstmas. That's still ongoing. I'm still pretty hit and miss. Today and yesterday? Definite misses.
3. My mother, blessed be her eternal soul, got me a New Nintendo 3DS XL for Christmas, completely unsolicited. It's shiny and red and the first time I've ever had the newest version of any electronic ever.
So, to make a long story short, I've been playing enough Animal Crossing and Pokemon to make my eyeballs melt out of their sockets. And enjoying every blessed minute of it.
Both games are interesting now that I'm no longer about eight years old. Pokemon is a lot more complicated than it used to be in some ways, and a lot more simple in others. You can tell that time has passed. In the Pokemon Center in Rustboro City, there's an NPC who talks about Pokemon Centers ten years ago having a second floor where you had to go if you wanted to trade or battle your friends--ten years!! I remember having to do that with my brother and a GBA cord. I think, too, that if I'm feeling out of date it doesn't help that I'm playing Alpha Sapphire, a remastered version of the old GameBoy Sapphire game. Almost all of the plot, maps and even npc positions are the same, which is kind of awesome and kind of disorienting at the same time.
On top of that, Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby came out with several features new to the pokemon franchise as a whole, like the DexNav, a combination navigator/PokeDex which pinpoints locations of items and trainors as well as displaying all the Pokemon you have seen or captured in an area, and even helping you search for a specific one. There's also a new 'sneak' feature, which lets you spot Pokemon tails in tall grass and sneak up behind them, and if you get close enough, the DexNav displays features such as stats, level, held items and potential. I'm on the fence about it, in the end--the DexNav in general I love to death, but the sneaking feature and how closely incorporated it is I find a little tedious at best. I was also disappointed that it seemed to have replaced the character cusomization from X and Y, which my brother owns. Still, I'm completely absorbed in the game, so it's not like those last bits are dealbreakers for me!
I'm also enjoying experimenting with features that I personally, not having played a Pokemon game since my GBA days, had never before encountered. For instance, TMs are no longer single-use, which I'm excited to put into practice, and XP Share affects all the pokemon in your party now, which is a huge help when you're grinding. And there's Poke-Aime, where you can actually play with and befriend your pokemon--Hello! Best part of the game! And I'm looking forward to decking out a new Secret Base with updated items and battle capabilities. Basically, even though it's a game I'm already familiar with, I'm still having fun exploring things new and relearned alike.
Animal Crossing is a lot easier than I remember it being--and that's saying something, considering in even the older versions of the game, the worst that could happen would be the purely cosmetic effect of a bee sting. But now, thankfully, the game doesn't force you to go into debt over house upgrades you don't even want, and there's a lot more variety in gameply with the addition of the Island and all the new species and minigames entailed. There are also more villagers, shops and items available, and being Mayor and having some say over the development and design of the town is a nice touch as well. This on top of the classic Animal Crossing gamplay and graphics, and the option of 3D visuals--yes, it gets a little repetitive, but it does exactly what it says it will on the tin and it does it well, and quite frankly that's enough to earn it a solid standing in my good books.
Anyways, I've been distracting myself with virtual reality because real reality and I are maybe kind of not on speaking terms at the moment, and video games are much more fun than real life. Psh, responsibilities. What are those?