Weekly Highlights – October 3, 2022

Weekly Highlights, Written Posts

Highlights of the Week

Fire Emblem: Three Houses on the Nintendo Switch:

Recently I just had that Fire Emblem itch and decided to go ahead and scratch it. I know it is a significant time sink to actually see the game to completion so it was always daunting but I figured I would at least give it a good shake so I could sate my curiosity. I’m happy to say that I am definitely enjoying my time with it so far but as someone who started on the GameCube with Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, it’s kind of striking to think just how different this game is from classic installments in the series. Even just the ability to walk around the school and do things other than the traditional strategy RPG style we’ve come to expect from Fire Emblem is so unique to the series, and while I’m sure the day-to-day activities would be lost on some classic fans, these elements in games are right up my alley so it works out! Just different than what I’m used to in this particular series! I look forward to more time with this game, for sure!

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune on the PlayStation 3:

It’s crazy that it has actually been almost 15 years since this first Uncharted game came out and I am just now playing a game in the series for the first time ever! And honestly, as much as I have heard such incredible things (about later parts of the series especially), I probably still wouldn’t have ever gotten around to it on my own. The reason I decided to finally get around to it in reality is because I was assigned to play it as part of a little series of challenges we do on my gaming community’s Discord called the “Gents Challenge”, where usually everyone is paired up and your partner picks what game you are challenged to finish before the deadline out of the list of games you have provided. This time around the challenge was different in that everyone’s games were essentially decided by random draw. So I had a completely random assortment of games on my list and the two games I was assigned were Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and Resident Evil 6, both of which were on the lower end of games I was looking to play soon, in all honesty. But it was just the push that I needed and I have been thoroughly enjoying this game! I love the style of the game which even to this day feels so unique compared to how most games present themselves. You will definitely hear more of my thoughts on an upcoming video we will be recording for Tarqaron, so look out for that as well!

Content of the Week:

Survivor: Guatemala Review – Tarqaron

No season of Survivor on Tarqaron ever feels truly complete until the season review, where we can tie up any loose ends, give our final thoughts, and provide some closure for the experience with this nice proverbial bow to top everything off. That’s exactly what this review was for us and since Guatemala feels in many ways like the redheaded stepchild of Survivor seasons there was plenty for us to get into and have a lot of fun with!

Zach’s thoughts on Survivor 43 Ep. 2 – Tarqaron

While the premiere for Survivor 43 didn’t immediately hook me because of its “more of the same feel,” I really feel like they kind of knocked it out of the park with the second episode. I think a lot of it was also thanks to the 90-minute episode, which I so so wish was the norm for Survivor, in addition to some things that were executed well and lots of fun character and strategy moments to complement it all.

Weekly Highlights – September 26, 2022

Weekly Highlights, Written Posts

Highlights of the Week

Big Brother 24 on CBS:

Just last night I witnessed what I believe to be the best finale in Big Brother history, with the most iconic final two speech and most satisfying winner in Big Brother history as well. I truly don’t think I’ve ever rooted for someone as hard as I did towards the end of this season, and it happened to produce the most unlikely winner and the most incredible underdog story the show has ever seen! I’m thrilled with the outcome of the season and am grateful for the mold being broken in such a meaningful way.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch:

I have been making more progress with my replay of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and I have been enjoying it for sure! Still very much at the early stage of the game having just passed through Kakariko Village and having only completed a handful of shrines at this point. I don’t know whether I will see this second playthrough all the way through or not , but I am definitely going to continue to enjoy my time with it for as long as I’m feeling it!

Renaissance by Beyoncé:

Though I’ve always had this sort of unspoken respect for BeyoncĂ© and her music, I’d never really taken the time to listen to much outside of the mainstream hits and never listened to an album of hers in its entirety… until now. My girlfriend and I listened to this album together for the first time a week or two ago and we’ve been enjoying it a lot ever since! Personally I think my favorite song continues to be Cuff It, but I’m pleased with most of the songs overall and am honestly impressed at how seamlessly they transition into each other if you listen to them in the proper album order! As someone who appreciates and loves music, I’m always eager to listen to and appreciate more!

Content of the Week:

Survivor: Guatemala Ep. 14 Reaction (FINALE!) – Tarqaron

The finales of Survivor are always a fun time where you really get to see the narrative of the season either stick the landing, stumble a little bit at the end, or completely fall on its face and I always look forward to enjoying these old-school finales with Alec. Not only do we get to see the jury grill our final two but I also get to see Alec’s reaction to the ultimate winner of the season. In some ways Guatemala is like a redheaded stepchild of old-school Survivor and you will see some of those ways explored in our comprehensive season review this week.

Survivor: Guatemala Ep. 15 Reaction (Reunion) – Tarqaron

I even mention in this video that reunion episodes tend not to be my favorites, or even very memorable in general, and this one was really no different BUT like always there are little nuggets of live tv weirdness that make it worth it. As I’m writing this, Blake’s comments during this reunion stand out for me at least, and I’ll just leave it at that…

Pinocchio (2022) Review – Tarqaron ft. Rusty

Quite a while ago at this point, Alec, Rusty, and I said that we would make it a mission of ours to go through the live-action Disney remakes as well as tackle any new releases that come our way and somewhere along the way we lost sight of that. Of course, naturally, Pinocchio would be the one to bring us back together and hopefully get back on track. We spent nearly an hour talking about this movie and I’ll just say that not much of it was positive but we enjoyed talking about it at the very least!

Zach’s thoughts on the Survivor 43 PREMIERE! – Tarqaron

While the overall public discourse that I’ve seen tends to lean towards a positive reception of the premiere, I’ve got to say that while I was happy for Survivor to be back, I still am very much hesitant to enjoy some of the new norms that have been established over the last new seasons. Additionally, while I was happy with the editing I found myself underwhelmed by the episode and its more of the same vibe overall. But as always I will keep an open mind and enjoy the season as it is another season of Survivor, after all.

Weekly Highlights – September 19, 2022

Weekly Highlights, Written Posts

Highlights of the Week

Smash Ultimate Summit 5 on YouTube:

The only games I enjoy watching competitively are Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and my favorite event for both of them is always the Summits, where some of the best players in their respective games are brought together to duke it out while producing content in a unique environment. The fifth installment of Smash Ultimate Summit delivered on all fronts, with plenty of intense game-five sets and dramatic upsets that made for exciting results and entertaining gameplay all around. I always eagerly await the next Summit and that’s no different for the next Melee one on the horizon!

The Walking Dead on AMC:

So I’ve been behind on the latest season of The Walking Dead for some time now, but this past week I’ve really been making some decent progress towards catching up. For the final season (season 11), they split it up into three parts, each with eight episodes, I believe, with the final part to be released soon. But I had previously only made it into the first part and am now in the second part after watching a few episodes and I have really been enjoying it! At this point I’ve watched through the tenth episode of season 11, and that one especially saw a significant change in the feel of the show and although I’m still behind by several episodes, it has been a refreshing change of pace and I look forward to seeing how things shape up later on!

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch:

As much as I absolutely adore this game, I haven’t played it since its initial release and sank only about 30 hours into it before leaving it behind for the time being. I had been meaning to revisit it for some time now, in anticipation of the previously unnamed Breath of the Wild sequel (now officially titled Tears of the Kingdom). There was plenty left for me to do in the base game and I never even touched the DLC at all! So I’m hoping to get to as much as I can, but I did start over with a new file because it has been pretty much five years at this point and I figured it would feel like a practically brand-new experience for me at this point anyway! So while I’ve put very little time into this so far, I’m looking forward to reliving the magic of this game again.

Content of the Week:

Survivor: Guatemala Ep. 13 Reaction (The Curse of the Car) – Tarqaron

This was a fun episode to have in the mix! The episode right before the finale can tend to not be one of the most exciting episodes in the world and although the end result of the episode tracks with that, I think there’s a lot of fun character moments and personality to counteract that and make it a memorable episode.

Survivor 43 Pre-Season Spectacular – Tarqaron ft. Rusty

It’s really cool getting to jump back into that modern Survivor mindset with my pal Rusty. Given all of the factors involved in the last two seasons I am cautiously optimistic, but overall know I will have a good time because it is ultimately more Survivor at the end of the day! It was fun doing this draft and going through some weird pet peeves that the cast has.

Now ZACH ranks ALEC’s favorite things! – Tarqaron

Yes, Alec stole my idea for this video because of course he would. It was fun being on the other end of it and I anticipate us having fun with more fun and unique tier list templates in the future as well!

Weekly Highlights – September 12, 2022

Weekly Highlights, Written Posts

Highlights of the Week

Ring Fit Adventure on the Nintendo Switch:

Of all of Nintendo’s “gimmick” accessories, the one used for Ring Fit Adventure just might be the most impressive one yet. I’ve only played a few hours at this point, but I’m already impressed by all of the different ways it is being utilized and I truly believe people should be talking about this game more! Ring Fit Adventure really gets you moving, and not in a “shake the Wii Remote and Nunchuck” kind of way. The game allows you to actually exercise while also giving you a fun RPG story mode to go with it. Especially for someone who is not nearly as active as they should be (like myself), this seems like a perfect starting point for exercising while simultaneously just being a fun game with plenty of content to enjoy! Definitely worth the $70-80 cost if you any of that sounds enticing to you at all.

Big Brother 24 on CBS:

This week of Big Brother was particularly notable because of an entertaining double eviction episode which saw perhaps the hardest working person all season go home without disappointing with his exit in the slightest. It’s always great to see someone fighting until the bitter end and giving us an iconic exit, so I’m thankful for this as a memorable week of Big Brother in 2022.

IT’S MR. VIDEO on YouTube:

So this past week I’ve been addicted to Mr. Video’s Game of Thrones reactions on YouTube. I literally forgot how much I loved the large majority of that show until I decided to start watching his reactions and I have been reliving Game of Thrones in its prime along with him. It’s bittersweet because the last season of the show literally soured me so much on it that I forgot why I fell in love with it to begin with and I tend to forget that it was literally my favorite show of all time for several years. With all that being said, I still have yet to check out House of the Dragons, so maybe that will help to soften the blow taken by how Game of Thrones ended? I’m not sure, I’ve heard good things, but hopefully I can judge for myself soon and you might see that on a Weekly Highlights post here soon enough.

Survivor: Guatemala Ep. 12 Reaction (Scumbags) – Tarqaron

If absolutely nothing else, this episode is worth a watch just to see some of the most iconic parting words in Survivor history. It’s exactly the kind of exit I love to see from someone being voted out on Survivor, and all in all it’s a beautiful blindside to behold.

Alec ranks Zach’s favorite things! – Tarqaron

So every year, Alec and I each get to pick a video, any video, to do in honor of our respective birthdays. So I was tossing around some ideas, mostly centered on reviewing one of my favorite movies or an offbeat movie that we might not review otherwise, but this fun little idea popped into my head and I couldn’t shake it. I put together 50 random things that I love, which included anything from video games to movies to foods to activities, and I made Alec rank them on a tier list just for the heck of it! I thought seeing him have to compare practically incomparable things would make for a fun video and it did not disappoint! And spoiler alert: Alec may have just stolen my idea for this week’s video in honor of his birthday as well, so perhaps still more tier list shenanigans to come!

Weekly Highlights – September 5, 2022

Weekly Highlights, Written Posts

Highlights of the Week

Rob Has a Podcast on YouTube:

Rob Has a Podcast has been my main podcast of choice recently, though there’s almost never a time in the year when I’m not enjoying them regularly, since they are my main outlet for extensive Survivor and Big Brother content on YouTube. I’ve been enjoying their coverage of Big Brother 24 and their daily live feed updates so much that it’s probably actually the case that I’ve spent more time watching their coverage on YouTube than I have watching the actual show they’re talking about. I’ve been enjoying following along as Taran Armstrong in particular breaks down the season and its players in detail along with other fun podcasters.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch:

The Super Smash Bros. series of games has been a constant in my life ever since its inception and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is no exception. In fact, I’ve invested more time in this game than I have in any game I can recall, period. I’ve put over 750 hours into this game to date, and I don’t see it slowing down any time soon. More than anything this game has become my comfort food, essentially the game that I go to as a default and one that is a go-to for when I just want something to keep my hands busy or keep me occupied as I’m listening to a podcast or watching a YouTube video. I’m glad to have it for that and for that reason alone I tend to regularly enjoy it on any given week more than any other one thing that might be highlighted here.

Fable II on the Xbox 360:

I admittedly haven’t put nearly as much time into Fable II this week as I was hoping to, but I just had to highlight the developments which have been made this week. I don’t know what came over me, but I just suddenly had the urge to try out the evil side of being a “Hero” in this game. So I kill a couple of people in the friendly town of Oakvale and next thing you know I get a little carried away and I’ve slaughtered the whole town… I didn’t feel good about it, and, well, ever since there has been a never-ending stream of guards coming from the neighboring towns. So not only did it not feel good and it devoid this town of any meaningful life, but now it’s inhibiting my ability to even play the game like normal. I have yet to play since, but hopefully I can establish some sense of normalcy again and put myself on the righteous path of repentance after all. I’ve always thought about going the bad/evil/renegade routes in these sorts of games but I’ve never been able to go through with it any significant way, and maybe this is why…

Survivor: Guatemala Ep. 11 Reaction (Everything Is Personal) – Tarqaron

This episode wasn’t necessarily the most impactful of the season, but it still made for a fun episode and it was especially satisfying to see Gary calling Judd out at tribal council for “not lying” and seeing Alec’s reaction to that moment.

And now we’re playing TARQARON Mad Libs! – Tarqaron

This was a lot of fun. My brother gave us another great custom-made Tarqaron-related gift to enjoy, and this one being two whole books of Tarqaron Mad Libs will allow us to have a fun series of videos to enjoy as well! It’s always fun being able to reflect on Tarqaron’s history and our hundreds of videos we’ve put out over the years and my brother continues to give us more fun ways to do just that!

Weekly Highlights – August 29, 2022

Weekly Highlights, Written Posts

Hello everyone, welcome to a new weekly series I’ll be doing here on my website. Unlike my weekly blog series that I did for months last year, this series won’t focus on my personal life but rather will allow me to highlight the different games, movies, shows, books, and musics I enjoyed from the past week as well as elaborate on any content I posted as well. This does not mean I have included everything I enjoyed from the past week, but rather specific highlights that I thought were most worth mentioning! These will be posted every Monday and I encourage you to leave a response if you have any opinions on anything I highlight here throughout the week! Feel free to leave a comment here or reach out to me on Twitter @_Zach_Archer_ ! I love talking about these kinds of things so I’m happy to add another outlet for me to regularly do so.

Highlights of the Week

438 Days by Jonathan Franklin:

This is actually the first book in years that I actually sat down and read through in its entirety! Despite always having an interest in reading more, the flashier trinkets like video games and YouTube videos tended to distract me and keep me from really committing to a good book, but now that I’ve had some extra free time on my hands I don’t intend on stopping after this one. This was actually a real-life story I knew about before, but I was so curious to read about in more detail. 438 Days follows the grueling 438 days that a man named Alvarenga survived lost at sea with nothing but his survival abilities and seemingly endless miles of ocean around him. It’s truly unfathomable to wrap your head around just how long 438 days is to be in even just one place in general, let alone stranded at sea in a survival situation. I highly encourage you to read this if you’re interested at all in hearing about this incredible survival story.

Fable II on the Xbox 360:

My relationship with the Fable series is an interesting one. I have always been a fan of the series, but weirdly enough, I have only beaten Fable III and have yet to make significant progress on the first two despite starting them over multiple times and enjoying them both. But for some reason I was feeling that Fable itch once again and I’m going to try to stick it through to the end this time. I guess I’ve accepted my non-linear relationship with the series and so I’m going through Fable II next, it was just calling to me more. So far I’ve been enjoying it, but as tends to happen with this series, I spent a few hours the other night getting distracted winning over many of the townspeople in Bowerstone, getting married a couple of times along the way, and as such haven’t done much in terms of progress recently. But the next time I play I plan on focusing up and moving forward with more of the story proper.

Big Brother 24 on CBS:

Watching Big Brother has been an annual tradition for my family for so many years that it is just a regular part of each summer at this point. This season has been delivering in a lot of ways because it has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs and despite a really rough start to the season it has picked up and led to some interesting dynamics, even in spite of a couple of awful twists imposed by the producers. This season is also the first one I’ve been able to enjoy and discuss with my girlfriend, so that has been a plus, too. Hopefully the endgame proves to be just as interesting and gives us more to enjoy.

The Lucky Ones (Deluxe) album by Pentatonix:

Recently it kind of slipped my mind that I hadn’t given the deluxe version of Pentatonix’s latest album quite the love it deserved. I had listened to it a few times, sure, but not as much as many of their other albums for sure. I’ve since realized that the additional deluxe tracks are some of my favorite Pentatonix songs period now, with You’re Out standing out to me this past week especially. Truly a treat to enjoy, and one I’m sure I’ll continue to appreciate for quite some time.

Content of the Week:

Box Art Battles! – Episode 6 | Tarqaron ft. Ryan

This episode was a lot of fun. As always in Box Art Battles!, we got up to a lot of fun shenanigans as we navigated a variety of video game box art. Most notably I feel like Winning Post 7 really defined this episode in a lot of ways, lest we forget the moments we shared.

Survivor: Guatemala Ep. 10 Reaction (Blindsided, Nice!) – Tarqaron

Jamie’s parting words were almost too iconic not to be referenced in the title, especially after the dramatic downward spiral that we witnessed from him throughout the past few episodes. I know Alec was happy to see them finally actually go through with voting him out and I don’t blame him; it was a much needed change of pace. Had a fun time with this episode for sure!

Belle Review – Tarqaron

This was definitely an interesting anime film worth highlighting, and I knew there would be a good amount to get into, but I certainly never expected Alec to get so heated about one minor critique I made in the video (especially since we were more or less in agreement about everything else). Watch for yourself and let me know if I was really being that unreasonable with what I said, because it really took me by surprise.