2023 challenges

2023 Challenges: The Beginning

2022 wasn’t a great year for me and the challenges. I set my goals way too high, with too many categories and then achieved not a lot. It’s always disheartening when you don’t reach your goals, even if they’re non-consequential like these challenges are, but even so it’s meant to be fun! I don’t want to be here writing every month that I didn’t get anything done!

That being said, for 2023 I’m going to change it up and do quarterly updates. I’ve never been great at monthly updates, I don’t think a year has gone by since I started doing the challenges where I’ve managed to stick to it, so I think quarterly will be a great change and will allow me to focus on writing other content for the blog – something I threaten every year, but which hasn’t quite materialised yet.

So, with this in mind, let’s see what I’ve decided to focus on this year.

Watch 25 anime
This is the prime candidate for things I overpromise on. I’m not sure I’ve ever hit an anime watching target. 25 seems quite reasonable – 2 shows a month brings me to 24, but 24 seemed like a weird total so I rounded it up. I think this is doable, but I’ve said that before and been very wrong, so we’ll see.

Watch 25 anime movies
Same logic as before, this works out at around 2 movies per month. I can do that, that’s easy. Right?

Watch 30 films
It’s easier to watch a non-subtitled film than a subtitled one, hence the increase in total numbers for this one. Just under 3 a month. Maybe I’ll start a Friday film night.

Clear 15 games from the PlayStation backlog
I joked recently that I don’t play games, I collect them, but there’s probably more truth in that statement than I’d like. I really want to focus on clearing down my backlog. I have so many games I’ve heard are fantastic, but they’re sitting on my (digital and physical) shelf unplayed. If anything, it’s a waste of money, so it’s time to change this! I’m including PS Vita, PS4 and PS5 for this challenge, so 15 should be a doddle.

Clear 12 games from the Switch backlog
Generally, I don’t play my Switch as often as my PlayStation, but I want to change that. 12 games seems reasonable – one a month!

Get 12 platinum trophies
At my core I think I’ll always be a trophy hunter to some extent. Whilst I’ve given up on shovelware games, I don’t want to abandon it altogether. My focus on clearing my backlogs means I’ll have less time for trophy hunting but I’m certain there’ll be some crossover, so I’ve set the target at a pretty conservative 1 platinum a month.

Read 20 manga series
Another thing I always buy and never consume – manga. I have a Shonen Jump app subscription, going wasted. I want to read 20 complete series this year. I’ll probably start some ongoing series, but they won’t count for this target unless it’s a complete series!

Read 12 books
I think I said in my 2022 wrap-up that I want to set myself some better reading habits by reading a little before bed each night. With my wanting to also read manga more frequently, I’m not stupid enough to think I’ll do a tonne of ‘normal’ reading on top of that, so I think 1 book a month sounds decent.

I think this seems like a reasonable goal for all of these challenges. I have a lot of personal goals I want to work on as well, so I think these relatively low numbers will leave me time to ficus on them, and there’s enough variety in the topics that I won’t get bored in trying to achieve them as a collective. What do you think about my 2023 challenges? As always, follow me on Twitter and see my progress on the hashtag #cs2023challenges.

2022 challenges, Challenges

2022 Challenges: March Recap


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


2022 challenges, Challenges

2022 Challenges: The Beginning


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!

2021 challenges, Challenges

2021 Challenges: June Recap


Can you believe we’re halfway through the year? My challenges progress certainly can’t. So, how am I doing you ask? Terribly, I answer!

Watch 45 anime

June end total: 9

Anime progress is super slow, but I’m hoping now I’ve decided not to watch (or attempt to watch) so many seasonal shows, I can pick up the pace on this. I’m also looking ahead to Anime August, which is next month – crazy how time flies, I feel like I’ve been stuck in a time loop.

Read 50 complete manga

June end total: 2

Man, if I thought my progress on other challenges was slow, at least I’m actually getting somewhere with those unlike my manga reading goals. I just never seem to have time to sit down and read manga, but I know I’ve got to make time! I don’t think I’ll manage to hit this target by the end of the year but I still want to give it a good go.

Watch 30 films

June end total: 9

Watching both films of The Quiet Place means I’m up to 9 films now, which is probably 3 times the amount I watched through the entirety of 2020, so I’ll take this as a win. I need to get more into the habit of watching a film at the weekend, and then I’ll definitely hit this target!

Watch 30 anime films

June end total: 4

I didn’t watch any anime films in June, boo! I need to really get a move on with these!

Get 35 platinum trophies

June end total: 14

I have slowed up on the platinum trophies in the last few months, but I still added Angels of Death to my pile in June. I loved the anime so much so when I saw the game had come to PlayStation, I had to play it. I loved it all over again, and the anime was such a good adaptation. I’m still confident I’ll hit the 35 total for platinum trophies.

Clear 30 games from my backlog

June end total: 1

Look… I just… don’t have the time. At least I’ve started a game from my backlog – Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age, so at least I’m trying!

Play 12 Switch games

June end total: 1

It’s a miracle, I played a Switch game! I finished To The Moon for a review for Nintenpedia, a site I’m about to start reviewing for. I’m super excited for the opportunity to write more reviews, and get lots more out of my Switch so I’m hoping this number will go up dramatically by the end of the year!

Read 12 books

June end total: 6

I’ve finally got back on track with my reading! I finished the third book in the Percy Jackson series to bring my total this year up to 6 so far. I’ve moved onto the fourth book, and then there’s another to go! I’m really enjoying the series, and as I’ve said before, I really wish I had read it when I was younger as I would have totally loved it. As much as I am enjoying it, I am looking forward to moving onto reading something a bit less aimed at children.

2020 challenges, Challenges

2020 Challenges: May Recap


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