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

2022 Challenges: End of Year Recap

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I sure fell off the challenge update wagon for a bit there. I haven’t done a progress update since July, so that must definitely mean that all of my numbers are going to jump up for the end of year recap, right?! Well… not exactly.

Platinum 15 games

2022 end total: 10

Focusing less on shovelware games in 2022 and more on games I actually wanted to play meant that I didn’t quite hit my goal for platinum games. I’m not even mad about it. I played some really fun games this year, and went back and cleared up some games I’d started but not 100% completed, as well as some games I’d bought a long time ago but hadn’t even started.

Here’s my list of platinum trophies for 2022:

  1. Doraemon Story of Seasons
  2. Cozy Grove
  3. When The Past Was Around
  4. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
  5. Potion Permit
  6. Persona 4 Golden
  7. Goosebumps: The Game
  8. Wytchwood
  9. Buried Stars
  10. The Artful Escape

Get the platinum in Persona 4 Golden

As you can see above, I finally did it! I got the Persona 4 Golden platinum! It took me a really long time, and I didn’t do it in the most straightforward way possible, but I got there in the end which is the most important thing. It’s definitely still one of my most favourite games, if not coming out at the top of that list. I’m ready for the console version to come out at the end of January, and I’ve definitely got a roadmap in mind to getting the platinum more quickly than I did the Vita version!

Watch 30 anime

2022 end total: 10

A really poor effort for me and anime this year. I promise I am an anime fan, don’t take my figures away! I seem to have a problem where I’ll sit down and promise myself I’m going to watch something and then before I know it, it’s three hours later and I’ve done nothing (see also: physical Switch backlog). It’s something I really want to work on for 2023, because I just want to be productive, you know? I didn’t finish my first anime series until March and the next one wasn’t until May, what’s that about? Things have to, and will, change! Mark my words!

That being said, here’s what I watch this year:

  1. Blue Period
  2. Tokyo Revengers
  3. My Dress Up Darling
  4. Sasaki and Miyano
  5. IDOLiSH7 Third Beat!
  6. SPY x FAMILY, part 1
  7. Dakaichi! -I’m Being Harrassed By The Sexiest Man Of The Year-
  8. Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War s01
  9. Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc
  10. SPY x FAMILY, part 2 (cheating perhaps to include both parts of a split cour as separate shows, but desperate times and all that)

Watch 30 films

2022 end total: 17

I used to watch so many films that it wasn’t unheard of for me to go to the cinema and watch 4 films in a day. Those were the days I had an Unlimited pass, of course, which I don’t any more. I do miss going to the cinema, but my nearest decent one is 30 minutes away which seems like a real effort. I know in the days of streaming I have an unlimited catalogue at my fingertips, but even so, I struggle to watch a film. There’s perhaps too much choice? I’m not sure what the reason is. This is all a really long way of saying I didn’t watch 30 films, I only just hit a little over the halfway mark.

Here’s what I did manage to watch:

  1. The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorised Bash Brothers Experience
  2. Afterlife of the Party
  3. The Mitchells vs The Machines
  4. The Tinder Swindler
  5. The Duke
  6. Three Identical Strangers
  7. Turning Red
  8. Tell Me Who I Am
  9. Joker
  10. Senior Year
  11. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  12. Murder Mystery
  13. Thor: Love and Thunder
  14. Do Revenge
  15. Ticket To Paradise
  16. Disenchanted
  17. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Watch 30 anime films

2022 end total: 2

This is honestly abysmal, and not even deserving of a proper list. I watched The Garden of Words and Jujutsu Kaisen 0. I don’t even know what happened here, apart from a whole lot of nothing.

Read 18 books

2022 end total: 9

I got halfway there, which isn’t awful but it’s certainly not great. I was so confident in my reading challenges that I bought myself a Kindle towards the beginning of the year, and I’m pretty sure I still have an Unlimited account for Amazon Books which is honestly a huge waste at this point. I want to start getting into better reading habits and reading a few chapters of something every night before bed, so we’ll see how that goes.

Here’s what I read in 2022:

  1. The House in the Cerulean Sea
  2. A Medal for Leroy
  3. The Vanishing Stair
  4. The Hand on the Wall
  5. The Awakening
  6. Ruthless Fae
  7. They Both Die At The End
  8. Hector And The Search For Happiness
  9. Wranglestone

Clear physical Switch and Vita backlogs

I absolutely did not even get anywhere close to this.

Game Reviews, Games

Review: I Was A Teenage Exocolonist

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Your teenage years are undoubtedly some of the hardest years of your life. Raging hormones, school, navigating romance for the first time, aliens threatening to destroy your home and family… Now, imagine all of that in a timeloop that you’re destined to repeat over and over, and you have I Was A Teenage Exocolonist.

Exo

Read my full review at Push Square.

2022 challenges

2022 Challenges: July Recap

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Somehow I missed the June update, so you’d think there’d be a lot of progress to report on, right? Wrong.

Platinum 15 games

July end total: 4

In the last couple of months I’ve got the platinum in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and When The Past Was Around. Both very different games but both very fun and worth playing. I feel like this total is a bit light for the challenges but I’m avoiding the ‘easy platinum’ games and trying to focus on stuff I actually want to play. I think I’ll make at least double digits this year, I have a few games I’ve started and I want to clean up on as well as stuff in the backlog.

Get the platinum in Persona 4 Golden

So, I didn’t do this in July as previously planned but now the PS4/PS5 release is scheduled for the end of the year I want to get it done before that comes out so I’m going to aim to do an in-game month every couple of days.

Watch 30 anime

July end total: 4

In June I watched Sasaki and Miyano, which I really loved. I didn’t want anything in July but August is just around the corner so I’m hoping my numbers will boost!

Watch 30 films

July end total: 14

I added Thor: Love and Thunder and Murder Mystery to my totals across the June and July. I really enjoyed Thor, though perhaps I might be the only person in the world who did. Murder Mystery was fine.

Watch 30 anime films

July end total: 2

Man, just awful here. Hoping to boost this in Anime August!

Read 18 books

July end total: 9

Finally managed to read Wranglestone, which I’ve been reading since March so hopefully now I can move onto things that don’t take me 4 months to read.

Clear physical Switch and Vita backlogs

Um… Does buying more games and adding to the backlog count? No? Oh…

2022 challenges, Challenges

2022 Challenges: May Recap

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April is a super busy month for me generally speaking – birthday month and all of that, so I didn’t get much progress on the challenges hence no update post. May felt significantly better, so let’s see if it was.

Platinum 15 games

May end total: 2

Games have taken a bit of a backseat lately, I have been playing stuff but just not trying for platinum’s and mostly on my Switch honestly. I haven’t added anything to my challenge for platinum trophies, boo!

Get the platinum in Persona 4 Golden

As previously mentioned, I’m just one trophy off on this one – unfortunately I need to pretty much do an entire playthrough to get to level 90 to get it. I don’t know why but I have in my head that I’m going to do it in July, so time will tell.

Watch 30 anime

May end total: 3

I watched two anime in May, woohoo! I finally finished Tokyo Revengers and also added My Dress Up Darling to the list. I have a few on the go at the moment so I’m hoping to add a few more this month.

Watch 30 films

May end total: 12

In May I watched JokerSenior Year, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Some were definitely better than others.

Watch 30 anime films

May end total: 2

I’ve been equally as rubbish with anime movies as I have with watching anime series, and I didn’t add any in May.

Read 18 books

May end total: 8

I think I’m still ahead of schedule on my book reading, but I haven’t actually read anything since March when I did the 24 hour readathon, shameful!

Clear physical Switch and Vita backlogs

The less said the better, honestly.

2022 challenges, Challenges

2022 Challenges: March Recap

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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!

2021 challenges, Challenges

2021 Challenges: May Recap

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I am once again delayed in writing my end of month wrap up because I have no concept of time passing. I think generally I’m doing really badly at my challenges, especially since I’ve starting learning to draw which seems to be the only thing I do with my time these days as I’ve got really into it. It’s a lot of fun but it’s not getting any challenges done.

Watch 45 anime

May end total: 7

Progress is so slow on my anime watching, I only watched one show, Love & Lies, through the whole of May. I’m going to do Anime August again this year, and I had a brief thought that August was ages away, but in actual fact it’s really not.

Read 50 complete manga

May end total: 2

I actually haven’t completed any more manga for a really long time. I desperately need to rectify this but I find reading manga such a huge time sink and as I said in the intro I’ve been putting a lot of time into drawing and I just don’t have that much time (or inclination if I’m honest), to do much else.

Watch 30 films

May end total: 7

I did manage to watch a couple of films in May, it’s something I’ve been consciously trying to do more of. I watched Moxie and Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire, both of which I enjoyed (Eurovision more if I’m honest).

Watch 30 anime films

May end total: 4

Like with ‘normal’ movies I’ve been making an effort to try and up the numbers on this one. I managed to watch a couple more – Demon Slayer: Mugen Train (in a cinema and everything!) and Anthem of the Heart. 

Get 35 platinum trophies

May end total: 13

I had a pretty slow month for platinum trophies also, because drawing, so I only added one to my total – Call of The Sea, which I also reviewed if you check out my previous post.

Clear 30 games from my backlog

May end total: 1

*sigh*

Play 12 Switch games

May end total: 0

Oh dear, oh no. I just, don’t have time to do everything. I need to clone myself or something, I swear.

Read 12 books

May end total: 4

After a slow start to reading the Percy Jackson series, I managed to finish the first book in May (and actually the second in June, so I’ve now started the third). They’re a pretty easy read, and I’m enjoying them. I wish I’d read them when I was a teenager as I would have loved them then.

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.

kaze

blog, purchases

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!

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!