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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 collectiong 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, 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.

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

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

Games

My time with Animal Crossing

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When Animal Crossing: New Horizons launched back on March 20th 2020, the world was in the throes of a crisis. I’m sure I don’t need to relay the facts to you, but for context, here in the UK we went into government sanctioned lockdown on March 23rd – due to health implications, my own lockdown began on March 17th.

I had no intentions of buying ACNH, but a combination of getting caught up in the hype and wanting something to fill my lockdown time really appealed, so I bought it. My current play time sits at around 160 hours, and with the game having been out for 75 days (at time of writing). Whilst it sounds a lot, that actually only equates to an average of just over 2 hours per day, nothing in comparison to some players I’m sure.

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Initially, I really enjoyed playing ACNH. I loved meeting new villagers, building up my library, extending my house, all the things that are exciting and fresh once you start playing. Online there have been some people saying that ACNH doesn’t have enough to sustain it. Back over Easter, there was a lot said about the eggs that could be found throughout the game being too frequent and getting in the way of normal play. All of this is a stark reminder that the lockdown changed things. This isn’t a game that was designed to be played for 8 hours a day, we were supposed to be a lot more casual in our playing. I think now, some 75 days on, this is where I’m at with ACNH. I’m finally putting in the 1-2 hours a day playtime that the game developers probably had in mind when they made it. 

Once I’d met the goal of having KK Slider perform on my island, terraforming brought with it it’s own anxieties. Where the game had been reasonably relaxing knowing I had no control over the environment other than decoration, being given carte blanche to tear down cliffs and stick water wherever I wanted was pretty overwhelming.

There’s been a lot of discourse on Twitter about not comparing yourself to other players, but in an age where everything is easily shared, it’s hard not to. I’ll admit I got myself trapped in a cycle of seeing things online and realising I would never come up with anything that creative for my own island, and found that any joy I’d got from ACNH had left, replaced by fear. What I was scared of I couldn’t exactly say, but I think part of it was having an image in my head that I couldn’t recreate. 

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Whilst my playtime on ACNH has reduced of late, I’m still playing a bit each day. I’ve found it helps with my daily routine. The daily ACNH tasks; collect fossils and have them assessed, check for recipes on the beach and in villager houses, all of these things keep some structure in my life which as been missing since coronavirus hit. 

I have a few areas on my island I’m looking to develop, and that I have some ideas for, but after they are done I do wonder what the game will hold for me. I feel like I’ve definitely got my money out of ACNH, 160+ hours into any game is more than reasonable, but I also feel like the end of my time with ACNH is probably in sight. 

When I started writing this piece, it was centred around how playing ACNH helped me cope with depression and anxiety during lockdown, and whilst it has, I can definitely tell that the end of the cycle is in sight. I’ll still play it, but it’ll be less of a coping mechanism for me now. 

 

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2020 challenges, Challenges

2020 Challenges: May Recap

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May signifies two entire months in lockdown, two months of not leaving the house, not seeing anyone but my parents and my nan. It’s really starting to grate now, but there isn’t much to do about it (other than complain).

Watch 40 anime

May end total: 14

I didn’t get any new shows watched in May. The Fairy Tail game comes out soon, so I’ve been spending all of my anime watching time on catching up with the Fairy Tail anime so I’m at the right point for that. I’ve only got about 100 more episodes to go (…) before I’m up to the arc that the game is set in.

Watch 40 movies in the cinema

May end total: 5

This is still an impossibility, so no movement here!

Platinum 20 games

May end total: 3

By May end I had got the platinum in Persona 5 Royal and The Nonary Games! Both quite different games, but I enjoyed playing both.

Read 15 books

May end total: 4

I managed to read a couple of books by the end of May, including one I beta-read for my friend. I said on Twitter, but I hope everyone gets to read it some day because it was incredible.

Finish 100 best movies

May end total: 2

Finish Naruto

May end total: 3 episodes

 

2020 challenges, Challenges

2020 Challenges: April Recap

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I’ve spent the entirety of April in lockdown, had a birthday, and the only people I’ve seen in person are my parents and my nan (and on the occassion I’m allowed to open the door, I get a brief glimpse of a deliveryman!). Life is pretty weird at the moment.

Watch 40 anime

April end total: 14

Things really ramped up in April, as predicted, with the end of the seasonal shows I had been watching. I’ve been a little slow at watching anime since, focussing a lot of time on gaming instead, so I’m not sure how well I’ll do at adding to this total this month!

The shows I finished were: Haikyuu!! season 4, My Hero Academia season 4, ARP Backstage Pass, In/Spectre, number 24, Darwin’s Game, and Toilet-bound Hanako-kun. I’m in the process of getting some reviews written for these shows, so keep an eye out!

Watch 40 movies in the cinema

April end total: 5

Obviously I still can’t leave the house, so I’m stuck at 5 movies for this. The longer that lockdown goes on, the less likely it is that I’ll be achieving this challenge by the end of the year.

Platinum 20 games

April end total: 1

At the end of April, my total was still 1. I’ve been playing a lot of games since though, so come my May end update, things will be veeeery different.

Read 15 books

April end total: 2

It’s weird to think how reading habits change. 10 years ago, I’d have read 15 books in a month, now I’m not even reading one a month. It’s so hard to find the time to read when all my hobbies are so time consuming. Things have improved on the reading front lately, and I’m starting to find it easier to set it aside time to read, so things should be improving here!

Finish 100 best movies

April end total: 2

Finish Naruto

April end total: 3 episodes

2020 challenges, Challenges

2020 Challenges: March Recap

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You’d think that being housebound would mean I’d be powering through these challenges…. think again. Some of the challenges are completely unchanged, in fact, it’s only the anime one I’ve managed to make any headway on.

Watch 40 anime

March end total: 7

Winter seasonal shows are starting to wrap up now. Naturally I’m behind, but I’ve managed to finish a couple of shows in March; Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It and The Case Files of Jeweler Richard. My aim is to be totally up to date with all my shows by the end of this week, so April should see a hefty jump in these numbers!

Watch 40 movies in the cinema

March end total: 5

Now we’re not allowed to leave the house, and every movie ever is being delayed, I’m anticipating that I probably won’t hit this target by the end of the year. At least this one is not my fault!

Platinum 20 games

March end total: 1

Read 15 books

March end total: 0

Finish 100 best movies

March end total: 2

Finish Naruto

March end total: 3 episodes

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February purchases

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Considering in February I was doing my best to curb my spending for my upcoming Japan trip (more on that later…), I was surprised at how much stuff there was for this post!

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I was very kindly given the light novel of I Want To Eat Your Pancreas for Christmas, but after discussing with a few people, I’ve held off on reading it until I could watch the film. Happily, I haven’t had to wait too long as the film was released on DVD and blu-ray in February, though I’ve still not watched it. I have a feeling the cover is deceptive, as everyone I know who has seen it has told me I’m definitely going to cry, and to make sure I have tissues at the ready.

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Octopath Traveler was one of the reasons I wanted a Nintendo Switch in the first place. I was really drawn in by the art style of the game, and I heard so many great things about it so when I got my Switch for Christmas, I was frantically searching for a decently priced copy. What is up with Nintendo game prices never dropping?! I eventually saw that a mutual on Instagram was selling their copy for a reasonable price, so I snapped it right up! I’ve not got round to playing it yet – RIP backlog – but I’m really happy to own it!

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These Witches Don’t Burn has been on my Amazon wishlist for a while, so as a payday treat I bought it for myself. I can’t even remember what drew me to it but I’m very much a book cover person, and I liked the art style of the images on the cover, so it’s probably that. I’ve not started it yet, so I can’t tell you what it’s about!

 

 

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A month can’t go by without me buying BL, and so I bought volume 2 of Candy Color Paradox. It’s a really enjoyable story, about a journalist who has to work with a photographer he doesn’t like. It’s somewhat predictable, but enjoyable nonetheless!

 

 

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Yet more manga, this time Go For It, Nakamura! This manga is about a high school boy, Nakamura, who is in love with one of his male classmates. It’s really cute, and Nakamura is such a funny character who just can’t seem to get it together to talk to his crush. I really recommend it if you’re looking for something funny!

 

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I played and enjoyed the first Ni No Kuni game when it was out on PS3, but I got stuck at a particular bit and then never went back to it. After falling completely in love with Ni No Kuni 2, I decided to get the remastered PS4 version of the first game, so I can go back and finally finish it!

 

 

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I also bought the final volume of Our Dreams at Dusk, a really lovely LGBTQ+ manga. I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but I thoroughly recommed this manga, it’s really beautiful and well-done.

 

 

 

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Rounding off my March purchases with yet more manga, I bought the latest two volumes of Haikyu!! (though I’ve stupidly photographed them so you can barely see one, trust me, it’s there!). Haikyu! is my all-time favourite, so it’s nice to have an uptodate collection!

 

 

 

 

There’s not as much variety in items this month, and it seems like there’s a lot of books and games in comparison to January’s purchases, but I was holding off on buying anime merchandise because I was going to Japan. Unsurprisingly with the COVID-19 situation the way it is, we have very sadly had to cancel our trip. We’re both obviously devastated, but we will get to go another time. I had a little irrational spending spree to make myself feel better, which sort of worked, so March’s post will probably be quite lengthy!

2020 challenges, Challenges

2020 Challenges: February Recap

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Where January was a relatively poor month for the challenges, I feel like February was surprisingly productive for a (slightly) shorter month. House moving and new job stress had subsided, and we were in full decorating swing, but even so, I managed to get a dent in almost all of my challenge areas.

Watch 40 anime

February end total: 4

I actually only managed to get one show finished in February; Bungo Stray Dogs’ third season. I have been watching a lot of seasonal shows, so once they all finish, this figure is going to jump right up.

Watch 40 movies in the cinema

February end total: 5

I had a day where I saw three movies in the cinema; Sonic the Hedgehog, Birds of Prey, and Parasite. I then saw 1917 the next day. It’s hard for me to get to the cinema in the week, but this method of having a day just dedicated to the cinema seemed to work for me, and I’ll probably do it again.

I also saw My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising, which was awesome! I’m going to try and review some of the films I saw, even though we’re a bit past the point now.

Platinum 20 games

February end total: 1

There is a platinum review forthcoming for this, but in February I got it in to my head that I wanted to clear up some games, and I sat and forced my way to the platinum for The Sims 4. It has well and truly sucked any joy I still had for the series, and I would quite happily never play another Sims game again, but I did it!

Read 15 books

February end total: 0

I still haven’t unpacked all of my books from moving, so this total is pretty poor (but kind of justifiable!). I have read a lot of manga, but I’m not counting those!

Finish 100 best movies

February end total: 2

Technically, my total for this is 2, but that’s only because I had watched them last year. Like my books, my DVDs are still packed (as is the poster!), so I’m going to work through them once I’m fully unpacked!