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Unboxing: June YumeTwins

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Who could have predicted this? Apart from everyone, I mean. A mere week after my May YumeTwins box arrived, up rocks my June box. Subscription boxes are like London busses, or something. Anyway, terrible jokes aside, it’s a relief to be back up to date with my subscription boxes after the shipping nightmare. I do still have a July box to come, but I’m not expecting that for another couple of weeks or so. I may be pleasantly surprised on that estimate, but we’ll see! The theme for the June box was ‘Ghibli Night In’.

IMG_5747I mentioned in the last Unboxing post that food and drink items tend to be a recurring theme in subscription boxes, and the June box was no exception. I think the more subscription boxes and the more tupperware and bento boxes I acquire and sneak into the kitchen cupboards, the greater the risk of my mother killing me becomes. I’m hoping these Jiji tupperware boxes get a free pass for being so cute!

My next items, above, were both My Neighbour Totoro themed. The bag looks extremely out of proportion here next to the toothbrush, but I can assure you it isn’t the world’s smallest bag! It’s actually a pretty decent size, easily big enough for phone, keys, purse with room to spare. It’s definitely not an all the time bag, but I think for just nipping out, it’s fine! My lack of forward planning is clearly evident here as the Totoro toothbrush blends in with the colour of my coffee table perfectly, whoops! I’ll be using my new bamboo toothbrush to take on trips with me, so I don’t have to take my electric toothbrush and charger, a huge space saver!

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I seemed to have very good luck with my selection of items, as I got this Howl’s Moving Castle postcard print, which I am extremely happy about as it’s my favourite Ghibli movie!

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Lastly, I got this A4 clear folder with a scene from Kiki’s Delivery Service. I’m trying to make an effort to keep all of my important documents together, so this will definitely come in handy for that!

 

 

That was everything for the June box! What was your favourite from the items I got?

Game Reviews, Games

Review: Fairy Tail

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Fairy Tail follows the plot of the anime, set from around the end of the Tenrou Island arc to approximately the end of the Avatar arc. For the uninitiated, that spans around 160 episodes from about 122 onwards. You’re therefore much better off going into Fairy Tail with some knowledge of the property already, but there is an in-game encyclopaedia with plot reminders and a glossary of terms which will help familiarise the unversed. Though Fairy Tail does retread old ground, and for the most part does it very well, some points are skipped over for brevity and emotional depth is often lost as a result.

Read my full review at Push Square.

Game Reviews, Games

Review: Distraint Deluxe Edition

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Available on: PS4, PS Vita, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Android, Microsoft Windows, iOS
Played on: PS4

In Distraint you play as Price, a man who has the job of foreclosing on properties with overdue debts, and evicting tenants. Price’s dream is to become partner of the firm he works for, but as the events of Distraint show, that comes at a price (heh). Our protagonist is visited by the ghosts of his parents who beg him to change his ways before it is too late, and throughout the game Price is subjected to hauntings and various disturbing imagery to persuade him to change.

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Distraint is a 2D horror adventure game, where you progress by solving puzzles. Though relatively short at around the hour mark, Distraint tells a compelling story, and you get to witness Price change from ruthless to someone who feels remorse for their actions, and appears to genuinely change. The puzzles throughout are interesting and engaging, and though some can be hard to figure out, it’s not in a way that ever seems frustrating or like the game is trying to trip you up on purpose. There can be a lot of back and forth, however, as you need to take one item from one area to another, or trigger something in one part of a room and dash to another in a time limit. Sometimes this element gets a bit monotonous, but the game isn’t long enough to dwell on this issue for too long.

Distraint‘s sound design is pivotal to the whole game. Where its simplistic 2D art style don’t necessarily create a horror vibe on their own, paired with the game’s soundtrack you’re given something that feels eerie and creepy throughout. The music was what really got my heart racing, as at certain moments you’ll hear the screeching of violins or a high pitched noise, and it really creates tension and puts you on edge throughout.

The whole set-up of Distraint is one that makes you feel uncomfortable, from the walls dripping with blood, to the residents of a care home who are living in less than ideal conditions. Distraint makes you feel at one with Price’s moral dilemma and makes you live his pain, even if for the short time you’re playing it.

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Distraint can be played as a commentary on capitalism; Price spends his days reclaiming properties from those his higher ups send him to, but it is only his employers who benefit from this. Price himself lives in a run down apartment every bit as dreary and dilapidated as the ones he is reclaiming, another cog in the system working only to benefit the bigwigs above him. It’s definitely a game to give you something to think about, and stays with you long after you’ve finished.

There didn’t seem to be enough to Distraint to get me fully on board. The puzzles are fun, and the development of the main character is interesting, but somehow it felt it lacked depth and perhaps would have benefitted from being a longer game to flex this. The price tag makes this almost a non-issue; I paid £1.99 for the game, and with that you can’t really go wrong.

7 stars

 

 

Game Reviews, Games

Review: One Night Stand

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Browing the Playstation Store recently, I came across a lot of games that were under £5. I’ll admit, I did a lot of cross-referencing the games on PlaystationTrophies to see if they had platinum trophies, and how attainable they were, and I came across a few which I bought, one of which was One Night Stand. 

I paid £2.89 for One Night Stand on sale, but even out of the sale it’s £3.99. At that price, it’s a steal. I’ll do a Platinum Review of the game at a later time, it is why I bought the game after all, but I wanted to do a proper review first.

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One Night Stand has you playing as a male, waking up hungover in a girl’s room after, you guessed it, a one night stand. The game presents you with choices from the off, whether that’s replying to text messages, or looking around the girl’s room at certain things to piece together what happened the night before.

Depending on what you look at in the girl’s room when she’s out of the room, it unlocks dialogue options to talk about when she’s back. This then contributes to whether you get a positive, negative or neutral ending – for example, reading the notebook at the side of the bed and then bringing it up will not put you in the good books, as you would expect from invading someone’s privacy.

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The art style is really cool, like a sketched out image, and in pale, muted colours – the kind of muted colours you wish the world was in when you wake up with a hangover. I think the art style is really the defining feature of One Night Stand, and something that stayed with me thereafter.

Whilst there’s no gameplay to analyse, as such, everything does feel very intuitive. The game progresses through a series of choices made by the character as he struggles to piece together the previous night’s events, but it does feel realistic in terms of its content. Conversations can be clipped and awkward, as you would expect they would be.

I did enjoy One Night Stand. I played through it in about an hour or so, which given the price point isn’t too awful, albeit there’s not a lot of incentive for replay once you’ve finished. Though some of the endings are quite similar, there is a small mystery within to piece together which is a fun twist at the end of the game.

6 stars

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Unboxing: May YumeTwins

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Due to the good old ‘rona, shipping times worldwide have been totally ruined. Luckily, I hadn’t experienced many issues with this, except for my YumeTwins subscription box. I bought the May box back in April, and so I could get a free gift I bought a 3 month subscription. Unfortunately the box didn’t arrive in May… or June, and in fact came in July. I know this can’t be helped, and YumeTwins have amended their shipping as a result, so hopefully I won’t see this much of a delay with the remaining two boxes in my subscription!

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The theme for the May YumeTwins box was ‘Ghibli’s Delivery Service’, so as a huge Studio Ghibli fan I really couldn’t resist. Like my relationship with most things anime, there’s a sort of bittersweet feeling as I was meant to go to the Studio Ghibli Museum during my cancelled Japan trip back in March, but the sting is becoming less strong! I’m sure I’ll get over it one day…. maybe.

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Anyway, onto the goodies. The free gift that I mentioned was a set of Ghibli playing cards. This was really the reason that I signed up for the 3 month subscription, as I collect themed playing cards. I actually almost bought these exact cards when I was on holiday last year, so I’m glad I didn’t! The ones I got were My Neighbour Totoro ones!

 

 

I’ve noticed that a lot of things in subscription boxes tend to be quite food based. After just a few months of getting boxes, I have more bento boxes and chopsticks that I know what to do with. I’m not complaining though, they’re really cute! I got a bento box of Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service, and chopsticks! All of the options for the chopsticks had Jiji on, but the bento was between Totoro and Jiji, so I got a matching set!

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Carrying on the food and drink theme, I got a Totoro tumbler. The options here were all Totoro, but my one is yellow where the colours differed on the others. This fits me quite well, as I have a pastel aesthetic going on! Normally I’m a person who gets the biggest glass possible and drinks pints of water at a time, so this is a little smaller than I’m used to, but I think it will be a good glass for having an alcoholic beverage or two, or taking it on a picnic – it’s plastic so there’s no chance of it getting broken outside!

 

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Also in the box was this cute puzzle of Kiki. It’s only 150 pieces, so it won’t take me too long (although it has been a really long time since I did a puzzle, so who knows?). It’s really pretty, so I think I might even frame it when I’ve done it as it’s such a lovely picture!

 

And finally, the last item in the May YumeTwins box was this origami set of Kiki’s Delivery Service. I’m not sure I’ve ever done much origami in the past, but in theory I think it’d be quite relaxing. I guess that remains to be seen, as some of these designs look quite complicated!

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That was everything for the ‘Ghibli’s Delivery Service’ YumeTwins box. Hopefully my June box won’t be quite so delayed!

Games, Platinum Review

Platinum Review: The Nonary Games

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I’ve been spending a lot of time lately trying to clear up platinum trophies on games I’d already started, and The Nonary Games collection was first on my hit list.

The Nonary Games is a collection of the first two games in the Zero Escape series; 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors (999 hereafter!), and Virtue’s Last Reward (VLR). 999 was originally released in the West on Nintendo DS back in 2010, with VLR following up on PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS in 2012. The remastered collection was released on Windows and PlayStation 4 and Vita in 2017.

I had played both 999 and VLR prior to The Nonary Games coming out, getting the platinum in VLR at the time. Judging by my 999 playthrough and how little I remembered, I think I only played one route at the time as I felt like I had forgotten almost all of the game, and my memory can’t be that bad, right? I often joke, “I wish I could wipe my memory so I could experience x for the first time again”, and this is probably the closest I’ll ever come to that!

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For reference to anyone who might want to attempt The Nonary Games platinum, it is given as a 2/10 for difficulty with 20+ hours as a guide time on Playstationtrophies.org.

I would tend to agree on the difficulty rating, but the time estimate purely depends on how good you are at puzzles, though solutions are easily found on the internet. It’s worth noting that sometimes though you might think you have solved a puzzle or have figured out the solution, you have to solve it the way the game want you to, but this is often the case with puzzle games.

999 and VLR both have really great (if somewhat confusing) stories. 999 is slightly more tricky to get the different routes on as there’s no visual map of what you’re doing, so you might need to look for a guide for that if you’re set on getting the platinum in the quickest time possible. Over on VLR’s side, the game features a handy flow chart so you can track back to route branches and fill out the whole map. It does get a little confusing as you have to hop around each branch to unlock certain bits of story to progress further on different branches, but that’ll all make sense when you play it!

Whilst The Nonary Games is a fairly straightforward and quick platinum, it’s really rewarding. As I’ve said, the story is incredible, and the series features some really wonderfully written characters. Once you’ve tackled The Nonary Games, you can move onto the sequel, Zero Time Dilemma, which is equally as great.

2020 challenges, Challenges

2020 Challenges: June Recap

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Not to bang on, but it’s three entire months in lockdown now (plus a couple of weeks of March). Was there ever any novelty? Probably for like, a week or so, but whatever limited amount there was has definitely worn thin now.

Watch 40 anime

June end total: 15

As previously stated in my May post, I’m desperately trying to get to the Grand Magic Games arc in Fairy Tail. My one season I’ve added to my total for May was season 2 of Fairy Tail as a result.

Watch 40 movies in the cinema

June end total: 5

This is still an impossibility, so no movement here! Cinema’s are due to open July 31st here, but I’m still unsure how I feel about visiting them for the timebeing.

Platinum 20 games

June end total: 6

I had a pretty productive month platinum-wise in June, and I got the plat in three games; Life Is Strange 2, DISTRAINT: Deluxe Edition, and One Night Stand. 

Read 15 books

June end total: 4

I started reading Howl’s Moving Castle, but I have yet to finish!

Finish 100 best movies

June end total: 2

Finish Naruto

June end total: 3 episodes

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June Purchases

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Another month in isolation down, another month of me trying to buy my own happiness. Of course, it’s not as bad as that really (most of the time), but having less to spend on travelling, commuting and socialising means there’s more money to spend on goodies. I’m determined to have a decent few months saving in the upcoming months because I just bought a car (though that won’t be appearing in the July Purchases post, nice as it is), so if my future Purchases posts are as long as this, then please feel free to give me a serious telling off!

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We’ll start this month off with manga. I have a lot of collections that I’m trying to catch up on, either to the current point of publication for ongoing series, or to completion for those that have finished. This month, I had decided to get a couple of volumes of Ouran, a couple turned into a few, and a few turned into “Ah, I might as well just finish it now.”, so that’s what I did. At least it’s done now! I also bought the latest volume of Haikyuu!! so that I don’t fall behind!

IMG_7674As has become customary, I also bought some BL; Seven Days Monday – Sunday, and Secret XXX. These two are both one-shots, so that’s something. At least I don’t have the collection problem! I’ve read both, and though they’re both very different to one another, I did really like them. Manga reviews are something I want to start doing, so I’ll write something up about them soon!

 

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As with my manga collection, I also decided I wanted to complete some of my blu-ray collections. I had started buying the steelbook versions of the Hunger Games series a few years back, and never got round to buying Mockingjay Part 2. I thought I had missed the boat on buying it, but I found a brand new copy  on eBay for not too much money, so I ordered it and now that collection is complete too!

 

 

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Completing collections must have been the theme for June, as I also bought GOT7’s latest mini-album and completed my album collection (apart from Japanese albums, I haven’t gone that deep… yet…). I got photocards for Mark, Youngjae, Jinyoung and Yugyeom, so a pretty good selection! Jinyoung is my ultimate bias, and Yugyeom is up there, so the only way it could have been better would be if my bias wrecker JB was in there too, but alas, not this time!

 

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Even though it’s not really my genre of game, and I’m a huge wimp, I couldn’t resist getting The Last of Us Part 2. I actually bough two copies by accident, but that’s a whole other thing… I have finished TLOU2 now, so I will hopefully have a review up soon!

 

 

 

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I went a little bit mad with buying anime blu-rays this month (no more so than usual, I hear you yell). I had preordered Promare ages ago, and the collectors edition finally came in. I’m really excited to watch this as I missed out on seeing it in the cinema when it came out. I also added to my Studio Ghibli collection and bought Grave of the Fireflies. I’m not quite mad enough to just buy all the missing movies from that collectio, so that’ll be ongoing for a while. I also bought a few series that I’ve wanted to watch for a while; Beyond the Boundary, My Love Story, and Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto. I could easily stream these all online, but I really like adding to my anime collection, and I always worry that the shows I want to watch will disappear from streaming sites and then I won’t get to watch them. I also think it’s really important to support the industry, so it’s a win win all round.

My last purchases for the month were this cute given pin from Pinfluential. I don’t think that they have this particular pin any longer, but they do have lots of other really cute pins! I also bought these cookie cutters of Bokuto and Akaashi from Haikyuu!! (my OTP). They’re from Tableplate. I haven’t got round to making any cookies yet, but I will, and they will be delicious and adorable. Finally, I got this Howl’s Moving Castle tin from YYKawaii! It also has little post-its with the same design inside. I did also buy something else from her, but I can’t show you because I bought someone else a matching one as a gift!

That wraps up June! Remember, permission to yell at me is granted for the next few months if Purchases posts are this long!

30 Days Of, 30 Days Of: Film

30 Days Of: Film, Days 26 – 30

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I started off so well with this 30 Days Of, but then it sort of dropped off at the end. I think I’ll have a bit of a break from 30 Days Of after this post – I worry that the blog becomes just that when it’s being done, and until have a lot of content planned I’ll leave it. If you have any suggestions for topics when I pick it back up again, let me know in the comments!

Day 26: A movie that disappointed you the most

Hmm, a difficult one. Disappointed may be a strong word, but back when the movies first came out I was super into The Maze Runner, and I really loved the first two films. It was really disappointing that the last one got delayed by so long, though I totally understand why. The fault is purely mine but in the three years that had passed between The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure, I had forgotten a lot of what happened, and spent a lot of the beginning of The Death Cure trying to catch up with myself. I had read the books, but as is often the case, they all blended into one and it was hard to separate events into what had happened in film and what I knew happened because of the books.

Day 27: Your favourite quote from any movie

I think one of the best, and most memorable, quotes is either “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, or “Don’t take life so seriously, you’ll never get out alive.” from Van Wilder: Party Liaison, of all places.

Both are pretty aligned with one another, and I think of them often when I find myself getting overly stressed.

Day 28: Best movie franchise

In terms of consistency the best movie franchise is probably the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I really enjoy most of those films, and can’t really think of many I hate or dislike, whereas the same cannot be said other franchises like Star Wars, or Jurassic Park, as examples.

Day 29: A movie you used to love but now hate

I think I’ve spoken before about my absolutely dire taste in movies during my teenage years, but when I was about 16 or so, I really loved all of those parody movies that were super popular, like Epic Movie, or Not Another Teen Movie (both of which I loved, for some reason). I know cannot think of anything worse than watching movies like that.

Day 30: A movie everyone should watch

I can’t really think of anything that’s a ‘classic’ to me, I have a lot of favourite films that not many people I know have seen that I will always try to get them to watch; Popstar, A Silent Voice, Rushmore. I could go on. Ultimately, I can only suggest things, I have no power here!

 

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Unboxing: June KawaiiBox

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Until this box arrived, I had entirely forgotten that I’d bought a KawaiiBox subscription for June. This was my first KawaiiBox, and the theme was ‘Kawaii Summer Picnic’! I was a little apprehensive when it arrived, as the box was quite small – but, the best things come in small packages as they say, and I was proven wrong to be so concerned! When I opened it, I was immediately happy as it was presented really nicely (it doesn’t take much to impress me, it turns out), with tissue paper and a cute pamphlet.

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My first item was this super cute bento box! I’m getting quite the collection of bento boxes now, but they’re always handy. In normal times I use them to take breakfast, lunch and snacks to work, but at the moment they’re just in the cupboard waiting to be used!

 

 

Next up was these chopsticks in my signature colour, pink! Luckily, I’m pretty adept with chopsticks these days, so I’ll be using them to show off when I have takeout!

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Keeping on the food theme, in the box there was also these Little Twin Stars onigiri covers. I’ve not made any Japanese food at home before, but getting these has inspired me to try!

 

 

 

There was also some cute stationary in the box! Some paper sticky tabs, which I’m sure will come in handy at some point, these sorts of things always do! The stickers I’m going to save for when I make my next scrapbook, whenever that will be! I’m thinking of taking a leaf out of Chelsie’s (scrap)book and making one for my next holiday, whenever that will be! The next item was a pen, with a cute moon on the end! It’s a really cool pen, and nice to write with, so that’s a bonus!

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We got sweeties in our boxes too! These were peach flavour, which is one of my favourite flavours, but unfortunately, I couldn’t eat them as they contained gelatine, so I gave them to my parents to share. Their verdict was “weird”, I think in so far as the texture, rather than the flavour.

 

 

Finally, the loot box Gods smiled on me, and I got a plushie of my favourite Sanrio character, Pompompurin! He’s so cute and fluffy!

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I was really happy with my KawaiiBox! For a purchase I’d totally forgotten about, there were a lot of really cool items which I’m happy to own! Especially the Pompompurin plushie!