Stardew Valley | Game Review

Stardew Valley is a nice little farming simulator game. Clearly inspired by harvest moon, it still has its own charm. It was one of the first games I downloaded for my Nintendo Switch, and one of the titles that I play the most.

In the game you farm, fish, mine, fight some monsters in the mine, etc. You also discover romance and friendship among the games setting, Pelican Town.

There will be plenty of quests and such to do but the player is free to focus on what they want in the game. Most of the game activities are fun, although I did not care for the fishing mechanic.

If you want a nice laidback and relaxing game Stardew Valley is for you. It might not excite fans of more action packed games though (except for maybe fighting the creatures in the mines).

Making friends with the citizens of the town is also pretty fun. Although some characters are jerks when you first start talking to them. You get to marry someone as well (I chose Alex, one of several pixalated dreamboats).

All in all, Stardew Valley is a great game and a new fav of mine.

4.5/5

Advertisements

Splaton Vol. 1: Manga Review

I love playing Splatoon. I had the first game on the Wii U and now I’ve gotten quite a few hours towards Splatoon 2 on the Switch. So, naturally I was excited to read the manga…but I ended up a little disappointed. 

First of all, I wasn’t expecting a spectular plot or anything. Still, I was looking for something a bit better than what I got. 

One of my first problems is that the focus is on the male squids. The female squids are pratically background characters. This isnt a feminist complaint…it’s just that everyone knows the girl squids are cooler looking. 

Now as for the story: it follows a group of squids who arent very good at battles and have low ranks. But then they have a win streak and start beating top tier players. Basically, it’s turf war after turf war. 

The main character is a squid named Goggles and a running gag is that he’ll appear randomly naked. I’ll admit theres a few funny moments but I just wanted something more. I feel if theres going to be a manga I think it would have been better to focus on character development and such. Basically, offer something the game doesn’t. 

The first volume is essentially just illustrated battles and the characters arent good enough to make it interesting.

But maybe I’m being too harsh and the series may get better with future volumes. I’ll just have to wait and see.

2.5/5

 

Best Books of 2017

2017 certainly wasn’t the best reading year for me. Life was busy as heck but I still managed to read a few gems. Also, these are in no particular order and just because I read them in 2017 doesn’t mean they were released during the year. 😊

tomieTomie by Junji Ito

A bizarrely beautiful manga. The lead antagonist, Tomie is both hate-able and fascinating.  I can see why this is considered one of the best horror mangas. However, the ending was a bit of a let down – but everything else is great especially all the weird and haunting pictures.

princessgoblinThe Princess and the Goblin by George Macdonald

This book is a hallmark of fantasy fiction. I gotta say while I thought it was a bit goofy, it’s still really charming and fun. This is a great book for kids and adults who like children’s fantasy.

panic Panic by Lauren Oliver

I did a pretty long review of this book. I enjoyed it quite a bit even though it does have flaws. The main characters are decent and it was nice to follow them. The book does a great job of showing how small towns can be mundane yet sinister underneath. And how bored teenagers can cause a lot of trouble. Another win for Lauren Oliver.

oceanThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman 

A big part of me is like, “what?” when it comes to this book. But it’s still very good in what it has to say about how great the childhood imagination can be. Gaiman proves himself to be a great  and creative author once again.

So those are my choices for the best books of 2017. Hopefully I’ll read many more great books in 2018. 😊

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg is a Sociopath? 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cIFmnn47OoM

This is very interesting video that makes a good arguement about the character Greg Heffley from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. 

I have only read the first three books in the series, but I found Greg extremely unlikable. Even before watching this video I thought I was reading about someone with sociopathic tendencies. 

You could argue that in the real world a lot of kids are jerks. I agree and I’ve seen how mean kids can be. But I feel the way Greg seems to have no feelings of regret and empathy goes beyond that. 

I also thought the movies made Greg slightly more likeable because they at least showed him feeling some regret for his actions. 

So this is a great video that sums up how I feel about the character so I thought I would share. The only thing I don’t agree with is him taking a shot at Jeff Kinney (who seems to acknowledge Greg can be a complete jerk and represents the worst of himself). 

-Sadie 

Blog Update: Struggles with Depression

Well it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything and there’s many reasons for that. My life has been a bit all over the place and I’m doing my best to get it straight.

I have always struggled with bouts of depression. Recently, it had gotten much worse. I’ve been on and off medication for years. I’m very irresponsible with keeping up on my health, which includes dealing with diabetes. 

I say “trying” because it’s a constant battle to keep myself on the right track. I’m not doing the best I can at the moment and it’s killing me. I want to improve but I often feel so down, tired and unmotivated. I can barely sit down and focus on any task because my minds so all over the place.

Now as for the blog. My posting has been inconsistent for a long time because of all this. I started this blog because I wanted to write about the things I loved. I ended up focusing on literature but I wanted to do more. I really wanted to make something out of this blog — I feel I had a good start but then fell off and I need to fix that.

I’m going to be posting again, I’ll aim for a weekly schedule at least. I’ll still talk about books a lot but there will probably be more topics (tv, movies, anime, games, culture, etc) 

I know my following is small but I feel I should still explain. Posting will resume and I apologize for lack of consistency. 

I also want to thank all my viewers – it means a lot that you’re interested in what I have to say. 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman | Book Review

ocean

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman follows an unnamed narrator as he recalls strange/terrifying events from his childhood involving a young girl named Lettie Hempstock and her family.

Gaiman’s book is definitely different. It’s one of those books where things just kind of happen. The fantastical elements all come with little explanation. However, the book hints at some lore behind what’s going on (but there’s never really any detailed explanation, everything is vague. It is a short book after all).

I don’t think this is a problem for the novel since it ends up working. The story is still very captivating with all its strangeness. I thought the dynamic between the narrator and Lettie was very well done.

There’s a villain named Ursula Monkton that has some prominence in the story but she isn’t the only obstacle the narrator face. I thought she had the potential to be a great villain but the book doesn’t really do much with her by the end. So, that’s a slight flaw but I will say other elements make up for it. I thought the imagery was good, for example.

I can’t say this book is for everyone. Like I said, things just kind of happen. There’s many references to other worlds, creatures, etc. but nothing that goes into detail. I found that a bit frustrating but I think the book was meant to have a fairy tale type feel.

Even though I thought Gaiman’s book was a nice little read…it still feels like there’s something missing by the end. Almost like it doesn’t reach its full potential. That’s why I can’t see myself putting it on a favorite list or anything. Still, it’s a nice read. 3.5/5

 

 

Panic by Lauren Oliver | Book Review

0panic

So, the most recent book I’ve read is Panic by Lauren Oliver. Oliver is one of my favorite authors and hasn’t disappointed me yet (except for, maybe, the third Delirium book.) Here I’ll breakdown what works in the book and what doesn’t.  (slightly spoiler-ish)

Idea/Creativity: When I first read the synopsis for this book I wasn’t so impressed – it sounded like it would be another Hunger Games rip off. Luckily, it turned out not to be. Panic is about girl in a crummy town that gets in on a local tradition among high schoolers. That tradition is a game called Panic which basically involves doing a series of dangerous stunts. The prize is a large sum of money. The main character, Heather, plays the game as her personal life is in turmoil. There’s also romantic tension between her and her friend Bishop along the way. A selected group of judges oversee the competition and their identities are kept fiercely secret.  This is the jist of the novel.

The idea isn’t bad. It may not be a Hunger Games rip-off but it’s not particularly original.  If I had to rate on creativity alone I can’t say I would rate all that highly. However, this doesn’t mean the book is bad – plenty of unoriginal books are still fun to read. I feel that the author does well with the premise although the basic idea feels like it’s been done before.

Story Flow: This is a pretty fast read. Much of the story revolves around the game, of course. But the characters still have a lot of personal conflict the story focuses (However, the threat of the game and when the next event will be always looms over their head) on. So I would say there’s never really a dull moment in the story since there’s always something significant going on. It also constantly switches between characters Dodge and Heather’s point of view and this helps the story move fast.

Characters: The main characters are Heather and Dodge, whose POVs the book is told from (mainly third-person limited). Dodge has revenge on his mind since his sister was paralyzed in the game during the final challenge. Heather wants to escape the town of Carp and give a better life to her sister, Lily. Both of them are good main characters. They’re flawed with good intentions, and I thought they would have made a better relationship dynamic than Heather and Bishop did.

The other important characters are Natalie and Bishop, Heather’s two best friends. Out of the main cast, Natalie is the worst. She was extremely annoying. Heather deserved a better best friend and Dodge deserved a better love interest. As for Bishop, he’s not as bad but he is boring. The relationship between him and Heather fell completely flat, in my opinion.

Main characters aside, the side characters are one of the biggest flaws of the book. There’s supposed to be other people in the game but we learn almost nothing about them – they’re essentially like nameless entities. There’s a character named Ray (that Dodge has bone to pick with) who lasts to the very end but we never get to know much about him – he’s completely one-dimensional like all the others outside of the main ones. Even Dodge and Heather’s sisters lack any true depth.

There is a kind woman named Anne who befriends Heather but she didn’t have much development either. Her main characteristic is that she has a farm. And there’s a couple tigers on that farm.

Setting: The story takes place in a town called Carp. It’s a boring, soul crushing place. In fact, one of the claims in the book is that Panic got started because the teens simply had nothing to do. There’s also a lot going behind closed doors with drugs and such (as seen through Heather’s home life). I thought the setting was well done. It really captured the dread that crappy small towns can carry.

Ending: Heather gets a pretty good ending but Dodge’s was a bit disappointing and there wasn’t much closure when it came to him. However, the narrative clearly favors Heather more so she’s the one that ended up finishing the final challenge. Which the story shows with some cool imagery involving a tiger. Even though Dodge deserved a better ending, I think the book had a decent end regardless.

Final Thoughts: Panic is a good book. It may not do anything new and has its flaws but it’s a good book. Following Heather and Dodge is fun and intense to read about. Some of the challenges are cool but I mostly like how the game is incorporated into the sadness of the main characters.

Due to how much I enjoyed the book overall, I will give it a solid 4.5/5.