2022 challenges, Challenges

2022 Challenges: March Recap

Sub_Challenges2

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: The Beginning

Sub_Challenges2

Happy New Year to all my followers and readers! I hope 2021 wasn’t a total garbage fest for you all, it was okay for me but I feel glad to see the back of it! Here’s to a much better 2022!

Thinking about 2022, I want things to change. I felt like in 2021 I had my priorities totally wrong with the challenges and my focus was on things that were totally not what I wanted to really be doing. I got the platinum in a lot of games in 2021, sure, but did I play any good games? Not especially! I’ve found over the years I’ve done a few things like that, and I feel like I’d like to reprioritise things so I feel more fulfilled at the end of the year!

So, here are some slightly more targeted ~achievable~ challenges for 2022!

Platinum 15 games

I know I said in my intro that I was going to reprioritise, but I felt like it wouldn’t be Culture Shack without some focus on platinum trophies. I am going to come up with some criteria to the games I’m going to platinum so that I only get ones that actually pose a challenge and aren’t little 10 minute jobs I’ve bought just to ping the trophy. There might even be a shortlist of games I want to try to get the platinum in, who knows? This challenges leads on nicely to my next one, the first sub-challenge in Culture Shack history!

Get the platinum in Persona 4 Golden

I’ve been threatening it for years, but this year I’m finally going to do it. I’m going to get the platinum in Persona 4 Golden. I really tried in 2021, but I got caught up in other things. I first started playing the game in March 2014, so this is seven years in the making! Out of all of my challenges this is the one I’m most determined to do!

Watch 30 anime

For a self-confessed anime obsessive, I sure haven’t watched much anime lately. I really want to change this. This also comes with a sub-challenge of sorts – I want to watch one show per season. I went a bit crazy with seasonal shows the last couple of years and it was really overwhelming to keep up with, but at the same time it’s cool to be part of the hype. By paring it back to one show per season I think this will allow me to manage things a lot easier and still be part of the ‘conversation’.

Watch 30 films

I got so close to this target in 2021, and I think my mistake was only picking up steam in the latter half of the year so it felt like more of a chore. I can definitely do this!

Watch 30 anime films

Do you know how many unwatched anime blu-rays I have? A lot. Not in 2022. In 2022 I’m going to watch them… maybe not all, but most!

Read 18 books

I nailed the books challenge in 2021, and I really loved doing it. I was always an avid reader as a kid and the literature part of my degree really smashed that out of me. Now I’ve got back in my stride I reckon I can read 18 in 2022, that’s only a book and a half a month!

Clear physical Switch and Vita backlogs

My backlog has gotten out of hand, and I need to resolve that. I’m starting with my handhelds, and purely on the physical games I have so that I have some sort of structure. There’s 6 and 7 games per console so hopefully this won’t be too much of a task.

If you’re interested the games are as follows:

  • Our World Is Ended (Switch)
  • The World Ends With You (Switch)
  • Valthirian Arc (Switch)
  • Cafe Enchante (Switch)
  • Langrisser 1 and 2 (Switch)
  • Octopath Traveller (Switch)
  • Hakuoki Edo Blossoms (Vita)
  • Exist Archive (Vita)
  • 7’scarlet (Vita)
  • Tales of Hearts R (Vita)
  • Steins;Gate (Vita)
  • Pyschadelica of the Black Butterfly (Vita)

 

What do you think of my challenges for 2022? Have I bitten off more than I can chew yet again? If you have any suggestions for last minute considerations, let me know! As well as these challenges, I also have a lot of plans for the blog so I can hopefully be more active, and a lot of life goals I’m determined to achieve! Let’s make 2022 our year!

Games, Platinum Review

Platinum Review: Distraint

Sub_VideoGames2

Cast your mind back to my little platinum run of games, when I played Distraint Deluxe EditionThe reason for my choosing Distraint to play in the first place was because it was listed on Playstation Trophies as an easy platinum.

Distraint isn’t difficult, it’s mostly a point and click sidescroller, so there’s nothing too challenging about the gameplay. There are a few puzzles which might take some more thinking than others, but if you really don’t want to do too much thinking then there are plenty of walkthroughs online that you can follow.

distraint

There’s a lot to be enjoyed with Distraint, and as said in my review, the story is an interesting one and pretty compelling, so playing it blind is probably the best option, in my opinion! It took me around 45 minutes to get the platinum with a guide, and I think I would have gotten a lot more enjoyment out of the game had I not used a guide.

Playstationtrophies.org lists Distraint as a difficulty rating of a 1 or 2, and timewise it lies in 0-5 hours on votes with most commentors stating that it took around an hour.

2020 challenges, Challenges

2020 Challenges: September Recap

Sub_Blog2

Watch 40 anime

September end total: 27

A slow month for September anime, but I added 3 titles to my total, Sing Yesterday For Me, Junjou Romatica 2, and The Millionaire Detective – Balance: UNLIMITED. I’m going to finish this challenge if it kills me, because it’s probably the only one I will do!

Watch 40 movies in the cinema

September end total: 5

So, I put my Unlimited card on hold because I still don’t feel comfortable going to the cinema, and then the following week Cineworld announced that all their cinemas are closing, so this challenge is officially cancelled!

Platinum 20 games

September end total: 12

Again, not a fruitful month for platinum trophies, but I did manage to add one to the list – Trails of Cold Steel 2. I’m working on Trails of Cold Steel 3 at the moment, and then Trails of Cold Steel 4 comes out, hooray! I’m still quietly confident about this one though, I think I can get another few platinum trophies by the end of the year.

Read 15 books

September end total: 7

In September I read two books; The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which I enjoyed somewhat. Having loved The Hunger Games a lot, I thought I’d really enjoy it but it was a bit mediocre in places and took me a long time to read it. My second book was A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, which I really enjoyed and read in a couple of sittings!

Finish 100 best movies

September end total: 2

Finish Naruto

September end total: 4 episodes

Games, Platinum Review

Platinum Review: The Nonary Games

Sub_VideoGames2

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!

capsule_616x353

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.

2017 challenges, Challenges

2017 Challenges: October Recap

Sub_Challenges2

Make 10 new cosplays (including one entirely from scratch)

MCM London at the end of October saw me hitting my 10 cosplays target as I added Knives Chau, Speed o Sound Sonic, and V to my total. What a relief to have actually met one of my targets this year!

Watch 30 anime series

After careful consideration and A LOT of research, my total number of anime series now stands at 12 series’ watched. I had actually added to this number with my completion of Convenience Store Boyfriends, but as I was pondering whether to speed through the next 3 series of Voltron, I came to the conclusion that I won’t be counting Voltron as an anime for the purpose of this challenge. There are a lot of arguments out there about whether or not it should count, and as there doesn’t really seem to be a definitive answer, the uncertainty made my decision for me. So, a step back! 

Platinum 12 games

You know what? Maybe I’m just not the trophy hunter I used to be. Maybe the thrill isn’t there for me anymore. Maybe I’m just ruminating on the fact I added no more platinum trophies to my collection. 

Watch 30 new ‘old’ films

So, this definitely isn’t happening, and I’ve made my peace with that. I’m going to shelve this challenge until next year, where I will blast my way through this list!

Watch 60 films in the cinema

Currently I’m at 33 films on this a me, so yet another challenge that’s not happening. 

Clear the gaming backlog

Sorry, did you say clear or add to constantly? Because I’m definitely doing one of those things….

30 Days Of, 30 Days Of: Gaming

30 Days Of: Gaming, Day 29 & 30

Sub_30Days2

Day 29: A game you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving and Day 30: Your favourite game of all time

So, as many of you may know, my favourite game ever is Persona 4: Golden. What you may not know is the first time I ever played Persona 4, I totally hated it.

I can’t remember how old I was, I think about 16 or so, and it was the PS2 copy I had. I played it for about an hour, and then never again. It just didn’t click with me, and I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do, or where I was supposed to go. It was a nightmare and I hated it.

At this point in my gaming career, I’d been mostly accustomed to playing platformers and Pokémon, so the concept of an RPG (let alone a JRPG) was completely baffling to me.

Over the next few years I played a lot of Western RPGs and eventually, when I was 22, I bought a PlayStation Vita. Falling into the “PS Vita’s got no games” trap, I looked at a list of the top rated games and saw Persona 4: Golden at the top. Being an idiot, I hadn’t realised I’d already attempted to play this game in its previous iteration, and I bought myself a copy. About half an hour in, I realised.

p4g

I continued with the game, and it’s the best thing I ever did. I fell completely in love with the characters, and I can’t imagine a time when I wasn’t obsessed with it. I don’t know what I’d do without Persona 4, or the rest of the Persona series.

On a wider note Persona 4: Golden also encouraged me to give JRPGs a shot, and now it’s my favourite genre, so go figure.

30 Days Of, 30 Days Of: Gaming

30 Days Of: Gaming, Day 25

Sub_30Days2

Day 25: A game you plan on playing

Danganronpa V3 comes out at the end of September, and I am almost beside myself with excitement. This series means so much to me, and I’m so excited to have a new story to unfold. I’m currently (trying) to finish a replay of the first two games by playing Danganronpa 1-2 Reload, which is just making me even more hyped for release day!

dr3.jpg

30 Days Of, 30 Days Of: Gaming

30 Days Of: Gaming, Day 23

Sub_30Days2

Day 23: Game which you think had the best graphics or art style

I really love the art style of Danganronpa. I know mostly it’s just an anime style (which I obviously like, go figure), but I especially enjoy the punishment scene animations and the garish, over-the-top death sequences.

dr

Purely from a spectacle of realistic graphics, the game that’s probably blown me away the most is The Last of Us. I remember my mum coming into my room and asking me if I was watching a movie, but up until that point I hadn’t really considered that the graphics were that realistic and just stort of took them for granted. Once I’d had it pointed out to me by an outsider I definitely appreciated just how mindblowing the graphics were, and took in every single detail.

tlou2