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.

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

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

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

 

Games, Platinum Review

Platinum Review: The Sims 4

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It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these, but rest assured, I’m still getting platinum trophies. This year my challenge is to get 20 platinum trophies, and I’ll be honest, things are not going brilliantly, but I’m trying to turn things around!

Early on, I decided I would mop up some platinums for games I’d started, and I had an urge to play The Sims, so I opted for The Sims 4 for my first platinum of the year.

Playstationtrophies.org lists The Sims 4 as a 3/10 difficulty rating, and 26-30+ hours. I have to say, whilst not difficult it did take me a lot longer than the estimated time.

The Sims 4 platinum

No trophy is especially difficult, but the fact that so many of the trophies are for getting to the top of each career path and maxing out each skill means they are fairly time-consuming. There are a lot of tips in the forums on Playstationtrophies.org, and these will direct you to some custom content you can download to make things easier; a Sim who is pregnant with triplets being the hardest to come across in the game naturally, but with the custom content, you have a pregnant Sim who you just need to move onto a lot and wait. Simple!

Towards the end of the slog for the platinum, I sort of lost any love I had for the game. I’ve always been someone who loved The Sims, but somewhere along the line grinding for this one (and it did feel like a grind), any enjoyment I had for the game just left me.

I’m glad to have done it, but I don’t think I’ll ever play The Sims in any iteration again.

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

Game Reviews, Games

Review: My Hero One’s Justice 2

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My Hero One’s Justice 2 is the second fighting game based on My Hero Academia, arguably one of the most popular anime in the world. As its title suggests, My Hero One’s Justice 2 is the follow-up to 2018’s equally awkwardly titled My Hero One’s Justice — and it’s every bit as bland as its predecessor.

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My Hero One’s Justice 2 boasts a lot of different modes, each of which is enjoyable in its own right, if not a bit repetitive at times. Story mode focuses on retelling recent events from the anime, centring on the Provisional Hero License Exam and Shie Hassaikai arcs. This does feel somewhat like a double-edged sword; on the one hand it’s really cool to be reliving those moments and taking part in some truly iconic battles, but on the other hand, it all feels so recent — it would have been nice to experience some original content. Story mode does offer this to an extent, giving the option to replay it as a villain to get another perspective on the story, but still, it all feels like you’re retreading very familiar ground.

Read the rest of my review on Push Square.