Game Reviews, Games

Review: Call Of The Sea

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Norah is ill, and her husband Harry is missing after having gone searching the world for a cure. After receiving a mysterious package, Norah decides to go to the place Harry was last known to be — an island off the coast of Tahiti. Call of the Sea bills itself as a Lovecraftian mystery game, and whilst the first person adventure puzzler is clearly influenced by the writer’s work, it falls short on the mystery front.

Read my full review at Push Square.cots

Game Reviews, Games

Review: Kaze and the Wild Masks

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Kaze and the Wild Masks is a 2D platformer described by developers PixelHive as ’90s inspired’. This is definitely accurate, as there’s a majorly nostalgic vibe, from the slightly retro feeling artwork and music to the lack of dialogue. It simultaneously feels years old and brand new.

Read my full review at Push Square.

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2021 challenges, Challenges

2021 Challenges: February Recap

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February was a significantly better month than January, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. I still have that sinking feeling that my challenges are really optimistic, but I’m still going to give it my best shot. Here’s where I’m at on my challenges as of the end of February!

Watch 45 anime

February end total: 1

My anime watching in 2021 has been abysmal. I definitely took on too many seasonal shows, and everything else has suffered as a result. I’d like to say I’m up-to-date on the seasonal stuff too, but that would be a colossal lie. Anyway, I have managed to watch Blood Lad (review pending), so at least I’ve got one under the belt!

Read 50 complete manga

February end total: 1

It felt like in 2020 all I did was read manga, but 2021 is not proving the same. I’ve read one complete manga – Haru’s Curse. I’m definitely going to up this, but I’m focusing on reading novels for now whilst I seem to be in the swing of reading.

Watch 30 films

February end total: 1

I cannot believe I haven’t watched any more films so far! I still only have Jojo Rabbit on my list!

Watch 30 anime films

February end total: 0

Unbelievable and embarrassing.

Get 35 platinum trophies

February end total: 4

I had a much better month for platinum trophies in February than I did in January. I picked up a few cheap indie games in the current PSN sale, which proved very quick to get. On the list for platinum trophies obtained in February are We Were Here, Road Bustle, Chickens on the Road, and JigSaw Abundance. 

Clear 30 games from my backlog

February end total: 0

I am very much working on this, but games take a long time, you know?

Play 12 Switch games

February end total: 0

I am also working on this, but there’s only so much time in a day!

Read 12 books

February end total: 2

I felt like in February I got back into my reading groove – I read The Last and The Poppy War. I also started reading another book, but it’s still ongoing. My aim is to smash this target early, and then free up myself to work on other challenges.

Game Reviews, Games

Review: Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy

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Just two years after her first game, Reisalin “Ryza” Stout is back with Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy. This time, she’s on an adventure from her home of Kurken Island and has travelled to Asha-Am-Baird to investigate mysteries surrounding some ruins while reuniting with some familiar faces.

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Atelier Ryza 2 hits the ground running, straight into the thick of things with its mystery heavy plot and into the dungeon exploration the series is loved for. It’s not strictly necessary to have played Ryza’s first outing to make sense of this offering, but certainly those who have will get a kick out of seeing returning characters and referenced events.

Read my full review at Push Square.

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December Purchases

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December is a month where my mother tells me, “Don’t buy anything for yourself! It’s Christmas!”, which I obviously don’t pay any attention to. Alongside the Anime Limited mystery box I bought, here’s what else I bought in December!

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Pompompurin is my favourite Sanrio character, and I really wanted to get a plushie of him because I didn’t have a full sized one. I bought the plushie on the right from YYKawaii to itch my scratch! I then wanted to get the Pom pocket straw as I’d seen it online. I’m making a conscientious effort to be more environmentally friendly, and usually I carry round metal straws with me (y’know, when I can go outside), but they’re quite bulky, so these rubber ones are a really great idea as they roll up really small to fit in the case which is much more convenient! The plushie on the left came in the set with the straw and the sewing kit, and I couldn’t resist it all! My Pompompurin collection is really coming along!

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If anyone knows me, they know I love Haikyuu!!, and know that Bokuto and Akaashi are two of my favourite characters (and favourite ship), so I have a lot of merchandise of them. This month was like a bumper crop of Bokuaka merchandise as a lot of my preorders came in. I got these adorable finger puppets of Bokuto and Akaashi in their school uniforms, and small plushies of them too! I also got this huge SNS strap which is really cool, I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, but it’s still cool!

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Next up is the first of my figures I’ve bought that have cost me a significant amount – Kyo from Fruits Basket. Kyo is my favourite character in Fruits Basket, so I couldn’t resist getting this figure. The photo doesn’t really do it justice, and it’s definitely a lot darker than this photo would suggest and not quite so bright!

 

 

 

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I also got another cool figure this month – Akechi from Persona 5, in his Crow outfit. This makes my second Akechi figure, which is kind of wild as Ryuji is definitely my character and I don’t have any figures of him. Something to rectify in the future maybe! I also got these Persona 5 playing cards – I have a small collection of playing cards, so it’s cool to add these into the mix too!

 

 

IMG_8539My final set of anime merch this month was this Ouran High School Host Club mirror and pass case. Both are such amazing quality and feature my favourite host, Mori! The mirror is a really decent size – small enough to keep in a handbag, but big enough to be a good sized mirror. When I can eventually leave the house again, I’ll use the pass case for travel tickets and stuff like that! I really love the art on both of these items, and the photo definitely doesn’t do them justice.

 

IMG_8540I can’t seem to make it through a month without buying a game, so this month’s addition to my ever growing collection was Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. I haven’t played an Assassin’s Creed game in a really long time, but I’ve heard a lot of really good things about the latest installments to the franchise, so I thought I’d delve back in. I’m looking forward to some quality time with my PS5 too! I feel like I haven’t got much mileage out of it lately!

 

IMG_8542Finally, as ever, we round off with some manga. Not a lot this month, just the latest published volumes Haikyuu!! and given. I’m getting very close to having a full Haikyuu!! collection, which is kind of exciting but also sad. At least I’ll have the anime to keep me going for a while!

 

 

So, that was December’s purchases! Thinking ahead to 2021, how do you feel about my monthly purchases post? Do you like to read them? I like to make them, so I will probably continue, but just wondered what the opinion was!

 

 

2020 challenges, Challenges

2020 Challenges: Year in Recap

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Let’s not dwell too much on what a shit show 2020 was, and just… leave it in the past. Here’s to a better 2021!

Now we’re into 2021, it’s time to have a look back on how I did with my challenges. I obviously had a lot of obstacles, and as a result some challanges went better than others.

Watch 40 anime

2020 end total: 40

With some last minute additions, which were technically after midnight on New Year’s Eve (my mum assured me that if I hadn’t slept then it still counted for my 2020 challenges, and who am I to argue with my mum?), I actually achieved this goal! Hooray! I’ve watched some really great shows in 2020 (and some garbage). For 2021 I definitely want to review more shows, which was an aim for 2020 that I really failed on.

Watch 40 movies in the cinema

2020 end total: 5

2020 really wasn’t the year to try and get back into cinema for me. I managed 5 movies in the cinema before the pandemic fully hit and I had to start staying home. My repeated failure at this challenge is really making me reconsider a lot of things. I’ll always love films, but in recent years, a lot has changed with my cinema-going habits and it’s just not so much of a priority for me anymore as it might have been a few years ago.

Platinum 20 games

2020 end total: 22

Another big tick for this one! I feel like I played a lot of great games in 2020. I did boost a lot of my platinum numbers with cheap indie games from the PlayStation Store, but some of these were actually really good. Some were My Name Is Mayo, so you can’t win them all. I feel like I really got back into platinum trophy hunting in 2020, and hope to continue it forward in 2021.

Read 15 books

2020 end total: 8

I got a little over halfway on this challenge. Towards the middle of the year I got really into the swing of reading, but on the tail ends of the year I felt really unmotivated to read. I do still really love to read, and I want to get back into a more regular reading cycle.

Finish 100 best movies

2020 end total: 2

I haven’t done so well on this challenge the last few years. I think perhaps partly because as I said earlier in this post, my film-watching habits have changed a lot, but a lot of the movies on the poster for this challenge are really heavy going, and I don’t often feel like watching a super serious film. Like, how often do you have an evening spare and think, “Hmm, I really fancy watching The Godfather.“? Not often, let me tell you.

Finish Naruto

2020 end total: 4 episodes

Oh Naruto, will I ever crack you? It’s just such a large undertaking. I could watch all of Naruto, or I could watch like, 10+ other shows in the same amount of episodes. I do still really want to watch it all, but I’m just going to take it easy, so don’t expect to see this challenge on my 2021 challenges!

That’s it for 2020! Thank God, amirite? I’ve already got my 2021 challenges pencilled in, but still down to take suggestions if you have any! Let me know in the comments!

Game Reviews, Games

Review: Astro’s Playroom

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Upon receiving a PlayStation 5, all players are treated to Astro’s Playroom, already installed on the console and designed to showcase the abilities of the new PS5 controller, the Dualsense.

Following it’s largely underwhelming pack-in predecessors, Welcome Pack for PS Vita and The Playroom for PS4, Astro’s Playroom had a lot to prove, hoping to finally answer the question; can a demo game actually be good?

In short, yes, it can.

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Astro’s Playroom is the perfect introduction to the PS5. Whilst it does act somewhat as a tech demo to show off the capabilities of the DualSense controller, Astro’s Playroom is also a really fun game in its own right.

The 16 levels of Astro’s Playroom are set across four worlds – one for each previous PlayStation console. The collectibles throughout the game are various Sony artifacts, which are viewable in the game hub. Seeing these collectibles pop up makes for really nostalgic gameplay, especially for players with a long history with PlayStation.

Traversing the different worlds, you’ll come across different scenarios which cause the DualSense to react differently. Rain, thunder and sunshine all feel different as Astro ventures through them, creating a really immersive gameplay experience.

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Astro’s Playroom is a bright platformer which showcases the capabilities of the PS5 and the DualSense controller, but it’s so much more. It’s a game which is packed with nostalgia and charm. It’s easy to blast through Astro’s Playroom in one playthrough, it has a short campaign of around 6 hours, but they’re 6 hours packed with fun gameplay, and cute aesthetics.

8 stars

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November Purchases

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You’ll recall that I didn’t actually buy anything of note in October, so there was no Purchases post. I paid off my PS5 in October, so there wasn’t a lot of money spare! My haul for November seems somewhat more modest than previous months, but I’ve done the bulk of my Christmas shopping so there hasn’t been a lot of cash to splash on myself! I did buy some cool things though, so here they are!

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First up, as I’ve mentioned previously, I was lucky enough to get a PS5! I bought Spider-Man: Miles Morales with it at launch, and then later bought a new Dualsense controller (I missed always having a fully charged controller!), and Sackboy: A Big Adventure. I really like the PS5 so far, it feels very different to the PS4 which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but is taking some getting used to! Also in the games genre, I bought Piofiore on Switch, which is an otome game. I bought it digitally so no photo as I couldn’t get a decent one of my Switch without glare! It’s set in Italy and features the mafia, so it was really hard for me to pass up as I knew all the boys would be totally my type. I’ve only played one route so far (and got the bad end), but I was totally right on that front!

My preorder of the Nendoroid of Hanako-kun from Toilet Bound Hanako-kun came in! I really loved this anime, it was so good and Hanako-kun was my favourite character from it (and went straight on the cosplans list!). I’m really happy to have him in Nendoroid form, he’s just so cute!

IMG_8426Speaking of preorders, my copy of Ride Your Wave also arrived. I first saw Ride Your Wave when it was showed at Scotland Loves Anime last year, and it was my favourite film of the whole festival. I’m so excited to watch it over and over again, it’s definitely up there in my favourite anime movies list.

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Finally, to round off my November purchases, some manga! Only a couple of volumes this month; the latest volume of Wokatoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku, and also My Broken Mariko, which I bought because a lot of people were hyping it up online! I’ve yet to read either, typically, but I’m hoping to do so soon and have a review of My Broken Mariko up!