Games, Platinum Review

Platinum Review: One Night Stand

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Back when I decided to do a little platinum trophy number boost, I bought One Night Stand in the PSN sale for relatively cheap, you may remember I wrote a review on it. I had chosen One Night Stand, among a few others, as it was reported to be a quick platinum, and when I say quick, I mean quick. I managed to get the platinum trophy for One Night Stand in around 45 minutes.

There are guides for One Night Stand out there, but essentially what you’re aiming to do is get all the available endings and fill out all the pictures on the phone that appears at the end of each route. The game gives you clues about how to get each picture, so you’re not flying totally blind.

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From memory, there’s one other trophy which isn’t tied into an ending and relates to a decision that you have to make in the game, but it is kind of a spoiler, so I won’t say!

I would recommend anyone playing One Night Stand to play through a normal route first, and attempting to fill in the blanks themselves, but if you don’t want to do this then there are a lot of guides out there. This is the one I used, or you can find your own with a simple Google search – just make sure you add ‘game’ at the end of ‘One Night Stand’, or you could end up with some interesting search results!

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Over at Playstationtrophies.org One Night Stand is rated with 1/10 difficulty and a 1-2 hour time estimate. I agree with the difficulty rating; nothing in this game is a challenge, and even without guides everything is quite straightforward and easily figured out. The 1-2 hours estimated platinum time is probably fair. Like I said, I got it in 45 minutes, but I used a guide for the most part, so without a guide 1-2 hours is pretty reasonable.

manga, Manga reviews

Review: Our Dreams At Dusk

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Story and art: Yuhki Kamatani
Genre: Drama, Psychological, Slice of Life
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
Synopsis: Not only is high schooler Tasuku Kaname the new kid in town, he is also terrified that he has been outed as gay. Just as he’s contemplating doing the unthinkable, Tasuku meets a mysterious woman who leads him to a group of people dealing with problems not so different from his own. In this realistic, heartfelt depiction of LGBT+ characters from different backgrounds finding their place in the world, a search for inner peace proves to be the most universal experience of all.

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This review is of the full four volumes, despite image above being for the first volume.

The opening pages of Our Dreams at Dusk are pretty hard to read. Tasuku Kaname’s classmates discover he is gay, and as a result he considers suicide, believing that his life is over now his secret is out. Whilst Tasuku contemplates his fate, he sees a woman who appears to jump over a railing to her own death. Tasuku runs to the location to assist the woman, and finds Someone-san alive and well. Someone-san tells Tasuku to talk about his problems, but she won’t listen if he does.

Following Someone-san to a drop-in centre, Tasuku meets other members of the LGBT+ community and becomes involved in a restoration project rennovating an old house. As Tasuku develops relationships with the other characters, he is brought back from the brink and often remarks that he’s glad he didn’t end his life.

At it’s heart Our Dreams at Dusk has a really endearing story which made me feel a lot of things. For the past couple of years I’ve struggled with my own identity and labels, as have many of the characters in Our Dreams at Dusk. There’s a lot of focus in Our Dreams at Dusk on accepting yourself as who you are, and not getting caught up with labels or opinions of others, and it’s really refreshing to see in a manga, and resonated a lot with me and gave me a lot of food for thought. As Tasuku himself says “I think not knowing is okay. There’s nothing weird about that.”

Tasuku develops really well throughout the manga, and it’s really fulfilling to see how he grows and changes, becoming more confident in himself and about his own feelings. With the help of the supporting cast, Tasuku explores what it is to be a member of the LGBT+ community, and gradually accepts himself.

Sometimes it does feel like Our Dreams At Dusk has a character for every LGBT+ label, almost as if the mangaka used a checklist to make sure everyone was represented, and as a result it does sometimes feel a bit performative, but nonetheless it’s still really encouraging to see minorities represented in a respectful way.

Something to be aware of when reading this manga is that there are a lot of anti-LGBT slurs used. If you’re sensitive to that kind of language, then please go in knowing that. The language isn’t used gratuitously, and ultimately does serve a purpose within the context of the story.

8 stars

Game Reviews, Games

Review: Buried Stars

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Visual novel Buried Stars is an interesting one. With many saying online that the game has come from nowhere, its sudden release has surprised, and delighted, a lot of people. From Korean Studio Largo, Buried Stars follows the events of the titular reality show, which is set in the final stages of a K-pop talent contest. Unfortunately for our characters, tragedy befalls the event, and the building that it’s filmed in collapses, trapping the five remaining contestants and members of the production staff. Playing as Do-Yoon Han, one of the contestants, it’s down to you to unravel what has happened, and survive until the rescue squad arrives.

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From the off, the concepts within the game are well explained. Each contestant has been given a smartwatch by the show’s sponsors, though some have more features than others. The smartwatch functions as normal, with access to call contacts, voice notes, photos, and the in-game social media network, Phater. All of these are mechanics which will become integral as the game progresses.

Read my full review at Push Square.

blog, purchases

August Purchases

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If you remember my last purchases post, you’ll recall that I had anticipated a heavy August Purchases post to get through my imposed 2 week lockdown prior to my Nan’s operation. Putting this post together, I’m surprised that there isn’t more, and I feel like I was reasonably restrained… ish.

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As usual, I bought a few manga. Adding to my Haikyuu!! and Full Metal Alchemist collections once again, and starting two new collections. I’ve not read Spy x Family yet, but I’ve heard really good things about it online, so I’m looking forward to starting that. I also bought My Dress Up Darling, which I have read and it was…. kind of a surprise. I bought it because it seemed like a cute story about cosplay, and it kind of is, but when I say it came wrapped in plastic, I think that probably tells manga readers all they need to know! Nevertheless, I did enjoy the first volume and I’ll continue to buy it to see where the story goes! I’m going to write up a proper review about it soon (someone please hold me to that).

 

IMG_9260Of course, I wouldn’t get through a month without buying some BL so I got a little haul this month. I bought all volumes of Escape Journey, which I promptly realised I actually have already read. I did really enjoy it though, and I have a feeling I couldn’t find the last couple of chapters anywhere at the time I read it so I’m glad to own it so I can finish it properly! I also bought the latest published volume of given, so I can continue to stay up to date with that collection!

 

IMG_0634I bought two games this month. The first was Fire Emblem Fates Birthright. For some reason I’ve been picking up old Fire Emblem games when I see them, and someone on Instagram was selling this one for pretty cheap, so I got it. Realistically, I know the chances of me playing it are pretty slim – my PS4, Vita and Switch backlogs are bad enough, without me adding the 3DS into the mix! I also bought Nexomon Extinction, which as a premise is very similar to Pokémon in that you catch and train Nexomon to win battles. I haven’t played that much of it, maybe 3 hours or so, but what I have played I have enjoyed and I hope to get back to it properly soon!

 

IMG_3348To round off the August Purchases, a modest blu-ray haul. I got Kiss Him Not Me, which I’ve never seen before, and also added to my Studio Ghibli collection by buying Laputa: Castle In The Sky. 

 

 

 

So, that was what I bought in August! Pretty pared back for me, I’m sure you’ll all agree!

2020 challenges, Challenges

2020 Challenges: August Recap

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Watch 40 anime

August end total: 24

Anime August was pretty successful, and I managed to get 8 shows watched. I will (probably) have reviews up for all of the shows I watched, but I added these to my ‘watched’ list:

  • Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
  • Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign
  • Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto
  • Parasyte -the maxim-
  • Zombie Land Saga
  • King’s Game
  • Demon Slayer
  • A3! Season Spring & Summer

Now I’ve boosted this total a bit, I feel like this is a pretty acheivable goal for my challenges!

Watch 40 movies in the cinema

August end total: 5

Hands up if you’re still not comfortable going to the cinema! It’s me, I’m not comfortable! I cannot see myself going back to a cinema before the year is out, so this one is sort of null and void really.

Platinum 20 games

August end total: 11

Not quite such a lucrative month for platinum trophies in August as July had been, but I did manage to get one under the belt; the Fairy Tail game. I will write a platinum review for it, eventually!

Read 15 books

August end total: 5

After finishing Howl’s Moving Castle I started the new Hunger Games book, and I haven’t finished it yet. It’s such a big and heavy book, it always feels like such a hassle to read it because I can barely hold it up properly, so I have not made any headway on this challenge.

Finish 100 best movies

August end total: 2

Finish Naruto

August end total: 4 episodes

Oh boy. Sometimes I get the urge to watch Naruto, but then I think about how futile it is to think I’m going to finish it and then I just sort of give up. Which is not the attitude to have, but it speaks volumes I think.

blog, Unboxing

Unboxing: July YumeTwins

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And so, as predicted, my July YumeTwins box arrived in record time. Typical! At least this means it’s safe to order new subscription boxes, something I’d been putting off doing whilst the post was so unreliable!

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The theme of July’s box was ‘Work kawaii, play kawaii’! I did feel like the items in this box didn’t really fit the theme, and it did seem like just a bunch of random items put together. One of the items, the ‘mystery plushie’, just felt like it was in there to get rid of stock.

As you can see from the photo, the ‘mystery plushie’ was very prevalant in my box – Donald Duck staring at me as soon as I opened it.

 

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I’m not the biggest Disney fan, I would have much rather had a Sanrio plushie, so immediately I was feeling a bit miffed. This is potentially one item I’ll be selling as I don’t really see a space for it in my plushie collection, but we’ll see. It might grow on me.

 

 

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My next item was a Splatoon x Sanrio cup. I’m not a fan of Splatoon, having never played, but obviously I do like Sanrio. I’m not sure where My Melody rates in my Sanrio league chart, obviously I would have preferred a Pom Pom Purin one, but this isn’t so bad really. I like pink at least!

 

 

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So far, not particularly work or play themed. Up next was an Animal Crossing sticker. It’s really cute, and I do like Animal Crossing but I don’t have anywhere to put the sticker. I’m giving the sticker to a friend who I know will appreciate it a lot more than I will!

 

 

I also got the above, which, though very cute, I have no idea how it fits with the work/play theme. It’s billed as a ‘pocket surprise towel’. I think the character is Tokage from Sumikko Gurashi (feel free to correct me in the comments!), which I don’t feel strongly about either way, but it is pretty cute so I’m not too bummed out about it (though, again, Pom Pom Purin was an option, so sucks to be me I guess).IMG_7354

 

Finally, this Gudetama mousemat. Probably the only thing in the box that fits the theme. It’s pretty practical too, as now I’m working from home I do use a plug-in mouse for my work laptop, so I’ll definitely get use out of it. Again, the options were Gudetama or My Melody, and out of the two I definitely would have preferred My Melody, which is pretty typical of my items in this box.

 

What did you think of the items in this box? Do you think they fit the theme?

Game Reviews, Games

Review: Fire Emblem Three Houses – Cindered Shadows DLC

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The main reason I got my Nintendo Switch was to play Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Sure there are other games that interested me, but I just really wanted to play Three Houses. Of course, it had been out a good 5 months when I got my Switch, so far too late for a review, but needless to say I enjoyed it.

My logic is somewhat flawed here, as evidently from the title this is a review of the Cindered Shadows DLC, which came out on February 12th, which is well over 5 months ago, but hey! Folks on Twitter said they didn’t mind reading reviews of older releases as it helps them decide whether to buy or watch something, so I’m pushing past the apprehension of writing reviews for older things and just doing it!

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Cindered Shadows is the first set of DLC for Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and brings with it a new route and four new characters in their own house; the Ashen Wolves. The premise is that the Ashen Wolves live in Abyss, an underground town below Garreg Mach.

The whole campaign takes around 8 hours to complete and spans 7 chapters. Each chapter completed in the DLC nets you a benefit when you play the main game again, from Abyss becoming explorable to one of the four new characters becoming recruitable, and bonus items. Each character also comes with its own class which will also be available during the main game.

To assist the Ashen Wolves with their quest, the main game house leaders are sent along with Byleth, and bring along with one member of each house for assistance. The choice of characters for Blue Lions and Black Eagles is a bit strange, I won’t divulge who, but I would have thought it would make more sense to have different characters, given their roles within those houses. I have only played Blue Lions to date, so playing with characters from Black Eagles and Golden Deer was cool, and a good taster for playthroughs I have ahead of me.

Gameplay is obviously the same process as in the main game, but it’s much harder. I found there were some severe difficulty spikes as well, with many of the requirements for battles feeling borderline impossible at times. In my Blue Lions playthrough I didn’t really have to redo many battles, but the same definitely cannot be said of Cindered Shadows. It’s a good kind of difficult as it makes you think much more strategically about how you’re playing and forces you to think about your choices a lot more each turn.

Cindered Shadows is well worth the money. It’s a completely fleshed out story of it’s own, and the four new characters are well developed and fit in well with existing characters. It was all I could do not to start up a new route in the main game immediately to recruit them over. For fans of Three Houses, Cindered Shadows is a must.

8 stars

 

blog, purchases

July Purchases

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True to my word in my last purchases post, I think I did pretty well in July! I see a lot of memes at the moment equating online shopping to the only bit of happiness available during lockdown, and whilst it is funny, it’s also true.

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My first category of purchases this month is games. I did go a little heavy on the games this month, I will say that. Catherine and Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest I picked up preowned for a pretty decent price each, so I couldn’t really say no. Langrisser 1 & 2 was a really spontaneous purchase as I’ve never heard of the series before, or considered it in any way, but it was on sale and I thought, why not? I also bought AI The Somnium Files after it having been on my wishlist for many months. I’ve only heard good things about it!

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Next up, blu-rays. Or should I say, blu-ray? That’s right, this month I only bought one! That’s practically unheard of! I added to my Studio Ghibli collection and bought Tales from Earthsea.  

 

 

 

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And finally, what would a month be without buying some manga? I think this month I’ve actually only bought BL (no surprise there). I finished my collection of Ten Count (finally), and bought the new given volume, but I also bought Replay and Blue Flag, which I haven’t read yet but I’m excited to get stuck into!

 

 

That wraps up July! I think I’m going to try and have another pared back month in August, but we’ll see! I have to go on full lockdown, not even leaving the house for supermarket shopping, as my nan is having an operation, so little deliveries might be the only thing that gets me through!

2020 challenges, Anime, Challenges

Anime August

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A challenge within a challenge! As I’m falling behind schedule on my #cs2020challenges, I thought I need to boost my anime watching. I’ve been playing a lot of games at the moment and neglecting my anime, and I do really miss it so I thought I’d focus on anime for a while, and who doesn’t love a bit of aliteration?

I’ve made a list of things I want to watch in August, it might be a tall order, but I’m committed! This is a combination of things that are already in my physical collection that are definitely overdue a watch. As there are 5 weekends in August, and a bank holiday, I’ve also got a small list of films, because I figured I could at least manage one or two films a weekend!

Here’s the list of series:

  • Beyond the Boundary
  • Haven’t You Heard, I’m Sakamoto
  • Kamisama Kiss
  • My Love Story
  • Norn9
  • Photo Kano
  • Rascal Does Not Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai
  • Seraph of the End (season 1 and 2)
  • Starmyu
  • Another
  • Re:ZERO
  • March Comes In Like A Lion
  • Beastars
  • A3
  • Days
  • Dive!!
  • K-On
  • Kings Game
  • Sing Yesterday for Me
  • Zombieland Saga
  • Made in Abyss
  • No Game No Life
  • Parasyte The Maxim

And films:

  • Anthem of the Heart
  • Fireworks
  • In This Corner Of The World
  • Lu Over The Wall
  • Mirai
  • Penguin Highway
  • Promare

What do you think? Can I make it through all of this anime?

 

2020 challenges, Challenges

2020 Challenges: July Recap

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Hands up if you can’t believe July is over! I’m publishing this on July 31st as I know I won’t get anything done towards the challenges today, and we’re 58% of the way through the year, which is unbelievable! This year simultaneously feels like it’s gone super slow and super quick.

Watch 40 anime

July end total: 16

I only added 1 anime to my list in July, but for August I have a special plan that I’ll be posting about tomorrow, and if all goes well, then this goal will soon be met.

Watch 40 movies in the cinema

July end total: 5

Cinemas have only opened today, so I was unable to add to this total once again! I also don’t know how I feel about going to the cinema just yet, so I’m not sure when I’ll be going.

Platinum 20 games

July end total: 10

Another good month for platinum trophies with four added; Danganronpa 1.2 Reload, Coffee Talk, My Name is Mayo, and Mr. Massagy. Some of those were great games, some…. not so much.

Read 15 books

July end total: 5

I finally finished Howl’s Moving Castle! I’m sad because I couldn’t get on with it and I felt like I struggled through it, because I love the film so much. It is very different to the movie, and I just couldn’t gel with the writing style. I’m glad I read it though, and now I can move on!

Finish 100 best movies

July end total: 2

Finish Naruto

July end total: 4 episodes

The increase here isn’t because I watched more, it’s because I couldn’t count in previous months.