Sleepover Friday #8: Changes are Coming

Merry meet everyone and welcome to another Sleepover Friday. I’m sure you all missed me! I’m finally back from my trip to Ireland, Wales, and England, and I will be doing a blog about my adventures as well as a few photos soon in the week. I’m also going to be going to A-Kon during the next weekend so stay tuned for that as well!

So what am I up to if I haven’t gotten the travel blogs done yet? I’ve been recovering from strep throat. Yep, I got it once again right before I’m supposed to leave to go to A-kon. At least, I’ll be better by the time it’s time for me to go. But enough of that, what changes are coming to the blog?

Books!

That’s right, books are now going to be coming onto my blog. Once a month I will do one of three things: A book ramble, a book review, or a book tag. Sounds weird, I know. Let me break it down:

A book ramble is going to be either someone’s asked me my opinion on a specific something, or I just suddenly had a thought. For an example: I’m going to talk about my favorite fictional couple that I’m totally in love with today. Or maybe, I’m going to ramble about the problems that I see in today’s writers versus writers from a previous generation. It’s mostly opinion, opinion, opinion.

A book tag is something that I found on the book section in youtube. Depending on the tag, will depend on the questions and those questions will have my answers. You should all know how a tag works. Yes you’re supposed to tag people in order to do them, but…eh. I like doing things my own way.

A book review is exactly that. I’ll pick a book that I finished reading a month prior or so and just give you what I rated it on good reads, the pros and cons of the book, and my general over opinion of said book.

Now that won’t hurt my game reviews or my anime reviews because there are times where I do fall into a reading slump and I need to do something else in order to get myself back on my feet again.

So this month you have this to look forward to:

My traveling blogs from England, Wales, and Ireland.

My thoughts and opinions on A-Kon as well as some cosplayers I may see.

My first book tag of the month

Sleepover Fridays as usual.

And last but not least one Anime Review should be up as well. What anime am I reviewing? You will just have to wait and find out.

I hope you guys enjoyed your stay and are looking forward to the fresh summer of June. I wish you all the best and that I’ll see you again next week!

Sleepover Friday #7: Blog Hiatus

Merry meet everyone and welcome to another sleepover Friday. For those of you new, this is where I talk about my week and I leave a comment question at the bottom for you guys to answer to if you so want. This week and next week are going to have some pretty big things so I hope you stick around till the end.

This week I managed to finally after forever and a day complete my Hakuoki game review that I have been working on for months. School finally was let out, I finally had time to sit down and go through the rest of the routes and now is published, I’m super happy about that.

Don’t forget that mother’s day is coming up. Since I know my mom doesn’t read my blog (at all) and probably doesn’t even know that I have one, I’ll let you know now that her gift was a game of Exploding Kittens the NSFW version of it. I’ll have to try to figure out a way to leave a game review of that so that you guys can figure if you want to play it yourselves or not. I don’t know anything about it, so I can’t give as much information as I want to here.

Next week, there will be NO SLEEPOVER FRIDAYS for about two weeks or so. Reason? I’m traveling to Ireland, Wales, and England during that time. The blog will be on HIATUS until I return sometime during the last week of May. When I return, I’ll post up my travel blogs along with pictures that I have taken during my journey. I’m going to also attempt to video tape my adventure so that you guys can get the full experience on my youtube. When I get that up, I’ll make sure to leave you guys a link so that you can watch it.

I’m super excited for the trip. I have been to England before and my god it’s beautiful. I really am happy that I get to go back a second time even though it’s only for two days out of the eleven that I’m traveling.

What was the most memorable experience you had when you traveled? I believe that the most memorable experience for me for England was going to Bath and seeing the Roman Baths considering my pagan background. I think another memorable moment that I can recall is that my professor bought me a drink and we started talking about Shakespeare along with the other literature professors who were traveling with us and somehow, someway we decided that there should be a Shakespeare club in our college and that I should be president because he likes the way I pronounce the names. (I can’t pronounce names. Every time I came across a new name, I’d say it and he would just die laughing along with a few other students who /knew/ how to say it.) I hope to see your guys memorable moments in the comment section below!

I’ll see you guys when I return!

Game Review: Hakuoki Stories of the Shinsengumi.

Merry meet everyone! My best friend lent me her game of Hakuoki months ago and I felt bad for not being able to sit down and play it. Since I have no choice but to return it to her soon, I decided that the best way to completely finish the game is to give it a review. This game took me two weeks to complete. I started it at the same time I started playing Men of Yoshiwara, but Men of Yoshiwara went by fairly quickly as it was short 10 chapters per a route plus a super-happy ending finale. Also Hakuoki goes more in depth since it’s made for the PS3 rather than a mobile app that turned into a PC game.

Hakuoki Stories of the Shinsengumi has an interesting plot to begin with. You are a daughter of a doctor from Edo who practices western medicine. You have exchanged letters everyday and lately you haven’t been getting a response back from him. You go to Kyoto in hopes that you could track him down, only to be perused by a couple of ronin who found your sword to be admirable. You are saved by those men in blue jackets, but they have something wrong with them. They have red eyes, white hair, and a thirst for blood. You’re not saved, you just got into more trouble. Until Saito Hajime and Okita Souji appear and find you. Continue through the story and you discover that you are from demon royalty lineage from the East.

To give the best review I possibly can I split this into two sections: a general review and a route review. The general review will consist of:

  • Overall game score
  • What could be changed
  • What was done right
  • Recommended?

Highest score you can get is 5 stock-vector-cherry-blossom-flower-69074518 and  the lowest you can get is a 1 meaning I quit before I could even finish the game.  I will do my best to keep spoilers out of the general review as much as I possibly can.

As for the route review, I placed it underneath the “read more” so that if you didn’t want to be spoiled you didn’t have to be. Grading will look like this. Highest you can get is by getting five stock-vector-cherry-blossom-flower-69074518 .

  • Character likability?
  • Love Authenticity?
  • Does this route make sense in regards to the story?
  • Is the route replayable?

Now that you know how the grading system works, let’s begin with the generalized review.

Overall Game Score: stock-vector-cherry-blossom-flower-69074518stock-vector-cherry-blossom-flower-69074518stock-vector-cherry-blossom-flower-69074518stock-vector-cherry-blossom-flower-69074518stock-vector-cherry-blossom-flower-69074518

What could be changed: As much as I thought the fact that they animated the visual novel was interesting, it didn’t translate well. The mouth movements were a bit creepy, the way they breathed was a little unsettling, and I didn’t like that they blinked either. Turning off the animation did little to help the artwork. As one of my friends pointed out when I showed her a screen shot “something is creepy in the way they’re drawn”. I also wish that they did more variety with the evil father, evil twin tropes. Having an evil twin with just a sole reason to go after you is because you had a happy childhood and you don’t remember what happened to your family is…well…your revenge would be best suited else where. As for the father, one route it worked, the other route felt like it was just tossed in there with no real reason. I liked that Chikage was a villain in one route, though that was a little…extreme to storm a castle. I’d prefer a fight in a streets, but that’s just me.

What was done right: I didn’t see many translation mistakes or grammar inconsistencies while I was playing the game, which is a huge relief considering I had to see that constantly when I was playing Men of Yoshiwara. Another thing that I enjoyed was how each character had their own set of values, and how certain events shook their values. Saito didn’t know what he was doing. Heisuke wavered about if he should follow the Shinsengumi or be apart of the Guard. After that, he wondered if he was a human still. Souji struggled with the realization that nothing could beat death. Not even the Water of Life. Harada didn’t….really have a struggle…I didn’t think so he’s hard to say, though I would say the MC struggled to come to terms with her demon heritage. Hijikata had to struggle through loosing faith, loosing his men and the war that was never meant to be won. It made them lifelike. It made every route (including Harada’s) enjoyable to go down on.

Recommendation: Yes.
Here’s where it gets tricky. What system do you play the game on? There’s one for the 3DS and there’s one for the PS3. Now, I haven’t touched the 3DS version, but I did my own little digging and it turns out that the PS3 has more extra features than the 3DS version. I don’t know what features are on the 3DS as again I didn’t play my game on that system. So I’ll explain what the features are for the PS3.

The extra features that I know are on the PS3 are: Memories of Love, SSL, and Adventures with the Shinsengumi to give you more insight of the routes you went down on. Memories of Love are about the routes you went down on and what little moments really defined the MC loving the person that they chose.

Adventures with the Shinsengumi are small stories that are told that aren’t apart of the main game. It’s not exactly route heavy, but you get some more insight on the guys and their interaction with each other.

SSL is an alternate universe that has students and teachers.

If you like bonus material the PS3 would be your best bet. However, if you’re on the go a lot and you don’t really care for extra content or too much of it, the 3DS version is your go-to. There’s other Hakuoki games that are out there as well. I wish I could tell you the order of how to play the games, but I’m not a Hakuoki expert as I just recently started getting into it as you can tell from my review. I believe I’d suggest playing Stories of the Shinsengumi first before playing the others.

I hope you enjoy the review. As always, I encourage you to play the game before reading any of my reviews as they contain spoilers. If you’re okay with spoilers and not knowing what I’m talking about, please continue.

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Sleepover Friday #6

Merry meet everyone and welcome! I hope your finals went smoothly if you were in school. Don’t forget there’s pizza on the counter and drinks are in the fridge. For those of you who are new to the blog, this is just a summery of what’s been going on during the week. At the bottom will be a comment question of the week so stay tuned for that.

This week has been…really weird. People are driving crazy on the highways and in the city. A few times I had to be a little more defensive than normal because of it. Not only that, people’s attitudes have been going off the roof, including my own. There’s been a lot of shootings that have been happening lately, so I’m hoping everyone’s safe.

Of course because of the weirdness the final went as smooth as a jagged rock. See my professor didn’t write the questions, another company did. Despite giving us a review sheet, a lot of questions she had us review weren’t on the test, and things she told us to skip over were. Hopefully she’ll figure that out and she’ll give a sliding scale though I doubt it. Which brings me to the following point.

Never put your eggs all in one basket. Never put your faith that someone who wrote a book knows more than you do. Question everything and double check everything. I could not believe the problems I had with that class because the professor put all of her faith in the book, she didn’t ask questions and when the students got frustrated and asked questions for her, she grew frustrated because what answer could she give? It was quite surprising no one dropped her class. I’m surprised I didn’t drop her class. Creative Writing was a monster, but this was hell too. It’s like professors given new technology all of the sudden forget how to teach.

Canvas is hell because it’s a disorganized mess. The Cengage site was  mess because no one knew how to do the math correctly and forget about the QuickBooks issues that we were having when we were trying to download files and write out answers and what not. You’d think that if you were going to promote a new program you would make sure that everything ran smoothly, and would provide all of the programs that Quickbooks would have to offer for students so that if they decide to run their own company they would continue to use their programs with a higher price and more access.

Instead the companies turned off a lot of students away from the programs. Why would I use Canvas when it’s not made for discussion or for any online classes? Why would I use Quickbooks when I don’t get to learn how to do payroll on it or any advanced techniques because I have to shell out six hundred dollars? I can do something much cheaper and that’s called using an Excel spreadsheet. Will it be harder? Fuck yeah. Will I make mistakes? Yep. That’s why you hire someone to double-check and hire someone to triple check until it’s so solid you can fight the IRS on it.

I don’t like making ranting blogs. I like to make blogs that tell you guys a little about my day and give you guys a little positivity because I know the world sucks. However, when you’re in college you’re paying for Professor’s to teach you, for them to know what they’re doing. When your technology center gives you a program, you should be taking a crash course on how to use that program. You don’t give roll it out on classes and call it and experiment. It causes failed grades, frustrated students and professors and you just cause a world of hurt.

Just the same as books should not force a professor to use a program that it comes with. One, that program was made by a business who has no idea of what college is about. I spent my time doing more scrolling than I did do math. I spent my time frustrated with how the site was run more than I spent my time asking my professor questions because my questions had nothing to do with the problem as it did with the site and…

You get the gist of it. Regardless, I’m hoping that sooner or later the Professors start realizing that they’re being used much like how high school teachers are and start standing up for themselves. I understand that Canvas is good for some classes and if it’s good for those classes and those professors then I’m certainly not telling them to rock the boat. But if it doesn’t help or enhance a class and a professor is confused on how to use it or uses it wrongly then there’s really no point in forcing that professor to use it. Just because it’s online doesn’t make it convenient. Just the same as just because you wrote a website and wrote a book doesn’t make you all knowledgeable about the subject.  It was the worst site I ever been on. It was like watching someone computer illiterate write code for the first time it was that bad.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say about that matter. Again, I don’t like writing ranting blogs much. I feel like there’s already too much negativity in the world and this week has been weird as heck. But I needed to vent.

Was your week as frustrating as mine? Go ahead and vent down in the comment section below.

Sometimes we all need to let off a little steam and writing’s the best method. I’ll see you guys next week.

 

 

Sleepover Friday #5

Merry meet everyone and welcome back to sleepover Friday. I hope you all had a wonderful week this week. It’s almost the end of April and the beginning of May so for those of you who are in school and working really hard on finals, I wish you the best of luck and good vibes to you as you study.

Normally I would talk to you about what’s going on in my week, but since it is finals week for many of us, I decided to go ahead and see what I can’t do to help you guys study and to offer you encouragement along the way. I’m sure a lot of you have a thousand of books on your desk, papers strewn across your floors and you’re listening to good music as you do your best to buckle down and work with what you got.

A few things that helped me when I study for my courses is to know what’s going to be on the final. Plenty of professors offer review sheets to help study. However, there are some professors who see this as a waste of time and don’t think that student utilize the review sheets as they should. If your professor is one of them, then don’t panic. It just means that we might be memorizing a few things that aren’t really needed.

First thing I like to do is go over the review sheet and pick out concepts or definitions that I know and what I have problems understanding. Those that I do know, I just merely scan over. Those that I don’t know, I take a notebook out and I pretend that I’m writing out a lesson plan based on those concepts. If I was teaching this subject on this particular topic, how would I want to be taught? If I don’t have a review sheet, then what do I think were the most important topics that were covered during the semester? What key points do I think would be most likely on the test?  I’d look them up in the book, skim, mark, and make my own “review” sheet.

Of course what if you don’t understand the concept well enough to teach it? Go back into your textbook and skim the chapter. That’s right, you’re not reading the chapter, you’re skimming out. What am I talking about? Let’s say you’re reading a history textbook and you have a paragraph that’s talking about Bacon’s Rebellion. Pick out the main events that happened in that event and take note of it. You don’t need to know every single detail, just the main ones. The main ones would most likely be how did this event occur, when did it occur, who were the main players, and what was the consequences of that event after it was over.

Now what if you were someone that thought that the textbook wasn’t useful and decided not to get it? Well, this is where a study group is comes in handy. Not only will someone have a book, but you can share your notes as well. You’ll also get an opportunity to teach it to someone should they need help and you’ll get an opportunity to be taught by someone if there’s something you don’t understand.

If your finals are your papers and you’re trying to do research, utilize two sources: your school library and google scholar. Depending on your college one is actually better than the other. In my college, google scholar is a fucking life saver and my school library is a nightmare, but I don’t know what your college resources may look like. But use it to your advantage and if your college as something called a Writing Center or has English tutors, use them. Use them so hard that they start begging to be paid for their jobs. They are the best sounding board, the best editors and I can tell you that every time I asked them for help I have always gotten an A on my papers. They’re that good.

Last piece of advice for you is to chill. You’re probably thinking to yourself “Chill? I lost my chill. My chill is hotter than hell right now, I don’t have time to chill” and you do. You do have time to chill. After every hour of study, spend thirty minutes doing something else. Read a book, listen to music, step away from your textbook and do something else. Your brain can only take so much information all at once. If you try to cram information last minute, you’re going to freeze on something that you should have known the answer to, to begin with. Breathe for thirty minutes, and then go back to studying.

I wish you guys the best of luck on your exams. I know that this week is going to be stressful for many of you and I know that you guys are going to do your absolute best. I’m proud of you for getting so far and you should be proud of yourselves as well. Before you go, what tips or tricks for studying have you come up with during finals? What worked and didn’t work for you? Answer me down in the comments!

As always, I hope you have a wonderful night.

 

 

 

Sleepover Friday #4

Merry meet everyone and welcome back to Sleepover Friday! This week was pretty uneventful. I only have one more week of school and then I have finals, so my course load is just piling up by the moment since teachers tend to leave things last minute even when they don’t plan to.

Games are still on hiatus till at least at the beginning of May. I’ll probably finish off Hakuoki during Beltane after the celebration is complete and over with. I still don’t know what to do about the long period games yet since I’ll be traveling, but we’ll see what happens.

Wednesday was so eventful. I went to Forth Worth so that I could sell my books. I bought a book which seems be counterproductive. I bought some make up as well. I bought Wet n Wild H2O eyeliner with a felt tip type of point since I’m most comfortable using that kind of brush. I also bought myself a Nyx Matte lip cream in the color Monte Carlo. I thought it was going to be this deep gorgeous red, but it’s actually quite pinkish red on my lips. Apparently it’s a good look, so I’ll keep the color. It’s not too outrageous on me and it goes well with my skin tone so I think all in all I managed to stumble upon a decent color.

Besides buying and selling, I attended an award ceremony for my mother as she received the Outstanding Student award for Physical Geology. It was quite an event. The dean was hysterical and he made sure that the the ceremony lasted just underneath an hour so that everyone could get to where they needed to be (church, evening classes, tending to small children, you get the idea).

Of course the day afterwards I get sick with strep throat. I had to call into work twenty four hours early, which is nice since I don’t have to worry about it on the day of. Not only am I sick with strep, but I also have sinuses. Which is lovely. Luckily I already have a self-care routine all ready made for me. A bunch of tea, medicine, and sleep. Don’t forget water too! I know that rest is very important when you’re sick and not feeling well, so get as much of it as you can. (I’m also reminding myself since my idea of rest and what actual rest is, aren’t the same thing.)

That reminds me: Was there anything eventful that happened to you this week? Let me know down in the comment below. And as always, I hope to see you again next Friday!

 

Sleepover Friday #3

Merry meet everyone and Welcome to Sleepover Friday. For those of you just joining in, get comfortable in pjs, dish out some pizza, and let’s talk about our week. This week I didn’t have too much going on, but there was an event that happened at school today that I’d like to talk about.

I went to my mother’s college art show. I would love to show you her drawings, but she asked me not to post them online. She doesn’t like any of the work that she did for the show, as she felt like it wasn’t her best and that she was still rusty at her art. Unfortunately, after the art show was completed, my mom announced to me that she will be withdrawing from the art class to try again next semester as she just didn’t realize how far behind she was in the class, and she worried about not keeping up with the workload.

I understand completely. My mother decided to take two art type of classes. A Creative Writing with me and drawing. She told me that she didn’t realize that the creativity came from two separate mindsets and that she can only focus on one while the other suffers. I explained that’s probably why I cannot draw to save my life, but I can write decently. So, she’ll drop that class to try again.

Speaking of dropping classes and how I can write, I decided to withdraw from my own creative writing class too. The Canvas program that was installed into our classroom isn’t a program made for English classes or discussion classes at all. I can’t even call what we’re doing a “discussion” and more of “pass around the weakest sounding compliment you can”. My writing is suffering terribly from this class too. I feel like I’m writing more like a high schooler than I am a college student. It’s cringing and I can’t stand it. I know that every artist feels that way, but when you know your quality dropped and you know you could do better and you know what the cause of it is, just drop it and try something else. Not everyone works with the same medium and it turns out, online creative writing is just not something I can do. I can get better feedback on Tumblr and that’s….almost insulting.

Since Creative Writing will be out of the way, I should finally be able to get through Hijikata’s route on Saturday, possibly get through Chikage’s as well during that time too since it’s a short 5 chapter route and you’re pretty much trying to get the “normal” route without going “normal”.

I don’t know what game I will be playing after that. May is final’s week and then in the middle of it I travel to Ireland, Wales and England again. Then in the beginning of June I go to Akon as well. I think I’ll have time in the middle of June to play something hard core.

Oh speaking of Akon, one of my friends, let’s call her R is going to do her first cosplay contest. I’m super excited about that. What I’m not excited about is the location. I haven’t been there since my best friend’s high school graduation, but I can’t imagine it being a good venue for the con. But we can’t exactly use the hotel that we were at either. The best place for photo shoots got torn apart so that a waterpark could be built there instead, and the hotel staff didn’t really want us to return was the rumor as well.

I’m a little concerned about returning to Anime Matsuri though. I heard from the grapevine that the person that had been hosting it wasn’t a very good person. The year that I last went was awful too. The panels weren’t doing so great, the atmosphere was all off, and the dealer’s room hadn’t been the most exciting I been too either. I was quite glad that the last year wasn’t my first year, otherwise I would’ve been a lot more disappointed in it.

I think that’s all you’ll find of interest. Here’s a question for you: was there a time in your life where you had to quit something you thought was good for you, and discovered that you were better off without it?

I’ll talk to you soon.