Anime

Anime August: The Plan

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The third year of Anime August means I can call this a regular feature, right? Looking back over my previous years, I have a habit of being overly ambitious with how much anime I’m going to watch over the month – much like my targets for the yearly challenges, maybe I need a big dose of realism next year?

This year I’m going to pick 10 series and 10 movies to watch and work my way through the lists, I think that will be manageable. As always, I’m going to say I’m going to review the things I’ve watched, but will I? Who knows.

Here are my lists!

Series:

  • SPY x FAMILY
  • IDOLiSH7 Third Beat!
  • Kaguya-Sama Love Is War (first season)
  • Run With The Wind
  • Bartender
  • Made In Abyss
  • O Maidens  In Your Savage Season
  • My Love Story
  • DAKAICHI – I’m Being Harassed By The Sexiest Man Of The Year
  • WAVE!! – Let’s Go Surfing!!

Movies:

  • Only Yesterday
  • In This Corner Of The World
  • Penguin Highway
  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
  • Ni No Kuni
  • Bubble
  • Violet Evergarden: Eternity and The Auto Memory Doll
  • The Tatami Galaxy
  • Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
  • Lu Over The Wall

I think these lists feel quite varied, and I’m looking forward to cracking on!

2022 challenges

2022 Challenges: July Recap

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Somehow I missed the June update, so you’d think there’d be a lot of progress to report on, right? Wrong.

Platinum 15 games

July end total: 4

In the last couple of months I’ve got the platinum in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and When The Past Was Around. Both very different games but both very fun and worth playing. I feel like this total is a bit light for the challenges but I’m avoiding the ‘easy platinum’ games and trying to focus on stuff I actually want to play. I think I’ll make at least double digits this year, I have a few games I’ve started and I want to clean up on as well as stuff in the backlog.

Get the platinum in Persona 4 Golden

So, I didn’t do this in July as previously planned but now the PS4/PS5 release is scheduled for the end of the year I want to get it done before that comes out so I’m going to aim to do an in-game month every couple of days.

Watch 30 anime

July end total: 4

In June I watched Sasaki and Miyano, which I really loved. I didn’t want anything in July but August is just around the corner so I’m hoping my numbers will boost!

Watch 30 films

July end total: 14

I added Thor: Love and Thunder and Murder Mystery to my totals across the June and July. I really enjoyed Thor, though perhaps I might be the only person in the world who did. Murder Mystery was fine.

Watch 30 anime films

July end total: 2

Man, just awful here. Hoping to boost this in Anime August!

Read 18 books

July end total: 9

Finally managed to read Wranglestone, which I’ve been reading since March so hopefully now I can move onto things that don’t take me 4 months to read.

Clear physical Switch and Vita backlogs

Um… Does buying more games and adding to the backlog count? No? Oh…

2022 challenges, Challenges

2022 Challenges: May Recap

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April is a super busy month for me generally speaking – birthday month and all of that, so I didn’t get much progress on the challenges hence no update post. May felt significantly better, so let’s see if it was.

Platinum 15 games

May end total: 2

Games have taken a bit of a backseat lately, I have been playing stuff but just not trying for platinum’s and mostly on my Switch honestly. I haven’t added anything to my challenge for platinum trophies, boo!

Get the platinum in Persona 4 Golden

As previously mentioned, I’m just one trophy off on this one – unfortunately I need to pretty much do an entire playthrough to get to level 90 to get it. I don’t know why but I have in my head that I’m going to do it in July, so time will tell.

Watch 30 anime

May end total: 3

I watched two anime in May, woohoo! I finally finished Tokyo Revengers and also added My Dress Up Darling to the list. I have a few on the go at the moment so I’m hoping to add a few more this month.

Watch 30 films

May end total: 12

In May I watched JokerSenior Year, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Some were definitely better than others.

Watch 30 anime films

May end total: 2

I’ve been equally as rubbish with anime movies as I have with watching anime series, and I didn’t add any in May.

Read 18 books

May end total: 8

I think I’m still ahead of schedule on my book reading, but I haven’t actually read anything since March when I did the 24 hour readathon, shameful!

Clear physical Switch and Vita backlogs

The less said the better, honestly.

Game Reviews, Games

Review: Soundfall

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Landing itself somewhere between a twin-stick shooter and a rhythm game, Soundfall feels like it’s not really doing one or other of these particularly successfully. Saved by an incredible soundtrack, Soundfall has the potential to be a really incredible game with an exciting concept, but is let down by repetitive gameplay and a weak story.

Soundfall

Read my full review at Push Square.

Game Reviews, Games

Review: This War Of Mine: Final Cut

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Originally released on PC in 2019 for the original game’s fifth anniversary, the acclaimed survival game This War Of Mine: Final Cut has been repackaged in a for new-gen consoles. Hitting PS5s with remastered versions of the original and DLC locations, This War of Mine gives a harrowing and to the point view of war from the perspective of civilians trying to survive.

this war of mine

Set in the fictional city of Pogoren in the equally fictional Graznavia, This War of Mine has two cycles within which players must navigate a cast of characters. During the day, the characters will be at their shelter, and activities are based around daily survival: making improvements to the shelter, ensuring everyone is fed — you can even teach children basic survival skills. You can also craft items ready for trading with travelling tradesmen or people you may bump into while scavenging yourself. At night, the characters are split up – one person can go scavenging in local areas to find supplies, or you can have them stay home and guard the shelter from other scavengers or rest for the next day.

Read my full review at Push Square.

 

Game Reviews, Games

Review: Death End re;Quest

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A character becoming trapped in a VR MMORPG isn’t new ground. It’s been done plenty of times before in anime, manga, and video games. You name it. We’ve seen it. For a new title to come into this genre, it has to really give something special to stand out – can Death End re;Quest deliver on that front?

Read my full review at Nintenpedia.

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2022 challenges, Challenges

2022 Challenges: March Recap

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After being off to a pretty shaky start, I feel like March was much more positive for the challenges and I made some headway in everything, even if the numbers haven’t jumped up a whole lot.

Platinum 15 games

March end total: 2

In March I finally managed to get the platinum in Cozy Grove. I cannot believe how long this took me in the end, and I feel like I definitely didn’t do it the most straightforward or easy way. Cozy Grove was actually my second most played game last year according to the end of 2021 PlayStation stats that came out, which just shows how much time I’ve put into it.

Get the platinum in Persona 4 Golden

I was really sick for about a week in March and I couldn’t bring myself to tax my brain too much so I played Persona 4 Golden solidly for that entire time. I have all bar one trophy, which is really quite annoying as I need to do another playthrough for it to get to level 90 and fuse one persona and then the platinum is mine!

Watch 30 anime

March end total: 1

I finally finished an anime, miracles do happen! I watched Blue Period, which I really loved a lot!

Watch 30 films

March end total: 9

I watched two feature length documentaries in March; Three Identical Strangers and Tell Me Who I Am, both of which were absolutely crazy stories, I can’t believe what the people involved had to go through. Both were so interesting though, I’d definitely recommend! I also watched Turning Red, which I really liked a lot.

Watch 30 anime films

March end total: 2

I watched Jujutsu Kaisen 0 which was incredible. I really think it’s the superior anime at the moment, over Demon Slayer anyway.

Read 18 books

March end total: 8

I read quite a lot in March. I got my first Kindle, and a free three month trial of Kindle Unlimited, so I’ve been trying to make the most of that. Chelsie of The Runaway Chelsie Blog and I also had a day where we tried to read as much as we could in 24 hours (spoiler – we did not make the full 24 hours). In March I read The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson, the first and second Zodiac Academy books by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti, They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera (which I’m still not over), and finally Hector and the Search For Happiness by Francois Lelord (which I honestly could not recommend to anyone). I’m doing pretty well on the reading front!

Clear physical Switch and Vita backlogs

NO!

2022 challenges, Challenges

2022 Challenges: February Recap

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I know I said this in January, but February went so quickly. I can’t believe it’s almost a quarter of the way through the year? That’s mad! Anyway, here’s probably the worst Culture Shack Challenges update since they began…

Platinum 15 games

February end total: 1

I didn’t manage to add any games to my total in February. I definitely could have if I wanted to buy some cheap, easy games, but I’m a reformed woman. That life is behind me. Challenging and/or entertaining platinums only here!

Get the platinum in Persona 4 Golden

I did not manage to get the platinum for Persona 4 Golden, but I can feel in my bones that it is imminent.

Watch 30 anime

February end total: 0

Anime watching is real slow-going you know? I am watching some shows but I didn’t finish any in February, yet again!

Watch 30 films

February end total: 6

I added The Tinder Swindler (my mind is still blown tbh) and The Duke to my films list for February! Both pretty enjoyable in their own way!

Watch 30 anime films

February end total: 1

Okay, starting to feel like I’m slacking, you know? I didn’t add anything here either.

Read 18 books

February end total: 3

I added The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson to my completed reads list. It’s the second instalment of the Truly Devious series, and I quite enjoyed it.

Clear physical Switch and Vita backlogs

What I have done in way of progress for this was to buy another physical Switch game, so things are going terribly.

2022 challenges, Challenges

2022 Challenges: January Recap

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January went so quick, it’s mad! I actually had a really positive start to the year for the challenges, so this recap is actually going to have some things to add to it. Let’s go!

Platinum 15 games

January end total: 1

In January I managed to get the platinum for Doraemon: Story of Seasons. True to my word when I set the challenge, it definitely wasn’t a 10 minute job and did pose some sort of challenge, so that objective was cleared! It had also been sitting in my backlog for some time so I also managed to clear a game from my backlog which I’m super happy about.

Get the platinum in Persona 4 Golden

I have not yet got the platinum for Persona 4 Golden, but I am working on it!

Watch 30 anime

January end total: 0

Okay so when I said January was going well, but uhhh… not for anime it turns out.

Watch 30 film

January end total: 4

In January I watched The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorised Bash Brothers Experience, Encanto, Afterlife of the Party, and The Mitchells vs. The Machines. A strong start on the films front! At this rate I feel like I can get this one done early in the year and free myself up for the rest of the year, which would be really good.

Watch 30 anime films

January end total: 1

I watched The Garden of Words in January, so a slow start on this front. I need to get into the habit of watching a film a week, or to pull ahead on this one because it’s one of the challenges I’ve found in the past that it’s easy to fall back on.

Read 18 books

January end total: 2

Ahead of target on this one, I have to read one and a half books a month to hit this by the end of the year and I’m actually at 2 and a half so far, so that’s a relief. In January I read The House In the Cerulean Sea and A Medal For Leroy. 

Clear physical Switch and Vita backlogs

I haven’t started on either of the handheld backlogs yet, but now my joycons are fixed, there’s no holding me back! I want to get Persona 4 done, and then I feel like I’ll be well on the way with this.

 

Games, Platinum Review

Platinum Review: Angels of Death

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Available on: PS4, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android
Played on: PS5 (PS4 version)

Angels of Death is a horror game originally created on RPG Maker and released back in 2015 as freeware and later in 2016 on Steam.

As far as my own experience with Angels of Death goes, I watched and loved the 2018 anime adaptation and that was my entry point into it as a property. I knew vaguely at the time that it was a game adaptation but as a horror game it didn’t strike me as a very “me” game as I’m notoriously a huge wuss – I had to get my housemate to sit next to me for moral support whilst I played Until Dawn. 

angels of death

Watching Angels of Death really piqued my interest and spurred me into playing the game. I knew I loved the characters, and knowing the plot really helped ease any anxieties going into playing, as no matter how disturbing it got I knew what was coming.

Angels of Death focuses on the protagonist Rachel Gardner, who wakes up one day in a hospital where she is receiving counselling after having witnessed a murder. She soon realises that she’s not in a proper hospital, and tries to escape. Leaving the floor of the building she finds herself in, she ends up on another floor and soon finds herself being chased by a scythe-wielding maniac named Isaac ‘Zack’ Foster. After a series of events, Rachel learns that the building she is in is the site of a murder game, where each floor is inhabited by a murderer who determines the theme of each floor. I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say that Rachel and Zack cut a deal with each other, teaming up to escape, and the game is spent traversing the floors of the building seeking escape and avoiding the perils put on each floor by it’s inhabitant.

Littered through each floor there are puzzles which require solving. These can be a little frustrating as you have to do them exactly as the game wants you to, so does tend to require a bit of trial and error even if you’ve figured out the answer to each puzzle.

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There are a few sequences throughout Angels of Death where you find yourself having to run from peril, which really opens you up to the weakest area of the game – it controls very poorly. It’s hard to do anything with any kind of precision, so trying to turn corners when in a chase feels like a matter of luck at some points. It can be frustrating but there’s a liberal amount of auto-save sprinkled through the game so restarting sequences isn’t too much of a chore if you find yourself having to retry.

Visually Angels of Death is nothing special, but it has a certain charm. Having been originally created in RPG Maker, it’s fairly simplistic and rudimentary – something that can be said not only for the visuals, but the gameplay and (lack of) voice acting. The main dialogue throughout Angels of Death is completely text based, with the odd peppering of sound effects, like maniacal laughter, throughout.

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Angels of Death offers interesting characters and an intense storyline to it’s players, however some of the characters do feel a little underdeveloped, and the game doesn’t really offer much insight into the reasons behind the characters actions past Zack and Rachel. It’s here where the anime comes into a world of its own and offers more lore and depth to all characters. The anime and the game work really well in tandem with each other and provide a more full experience for the consumer. Of course, it’s not vital to have both and they can be enjoyed independently of each other. The whole experience feels really special, and the plot of the game is a really well realised and put together journey.

8 stars

 

 

Moving onto the platinum trophy, it’s a fairly straightforward get. The trophies throughout are linked to certain things you have to do in each chapter – a lot being to fail at certain puzzle aspects or to get caught. The guide I used from PSN Profiles is good as it tells you when to save to avoid having to replay long sections, but you will have to read the trophy description to get this information.

My PS5 tells me I played for 9 hours, so a fairly quick platinum to get. I feel the simplicity of the trophies, coupled with the guide make this a really fun and easy platinum to get. The game itself being enjoyable makes any slog for the platinum feel minimal and definitely opens the player up to enjoying the enhanced lore in the anime.

Platinum difficulty rating:

2_stars