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Professor Layton & The Last Specter

And so I finished my first game of the year. Since I have no clue what to post today I might as well write a short opinion about it!

Out of the 4 games I can honestly say that this one gets 2nd place. I love all them all, but story wise this was one of the more acceptable and believable games. Honestly, The Unwound Future was a good game, but a replica of future London in the build under actual London was stretching it for me. The story in this one is a lot more realistic and feels more like The Curious Village. With this information you should now be able to work out which one is my favorite, it’s like a puzzle! (worth like only 5 picarats, but still). I could work out several mystery’s before the game actually revealed them, but there was still a good amount of answers I had as well. I really liked seeing the professor and Luke meeting up for the first time, and personally I really like Emmy as a character. As with every game the animation and art are inspiring to me and the town of Misthallery is beautifully designed. It’s stuff like this why I’m into drawing.

Music fits the scenery too and especially the puzzle theme is still firmly stuck in my head. I know it’s just going to pop in my head every time I have to think about something for the next few weeks, because I’m nerdy like that. The puzzles themselves were balanced, but a few with a high picarat amount I found ridiculously easy. Then again, a few that were only 20 picarats had me stuck. Puzzle 145 specifically drove me insane and the one with the UFO I still can’t solve. Lastly there’s the minigames, which I still need to complete and will be doing so in the next few days. They’re nothing too special, but fun, so no complaints there. I think that kinda covers most of it, so all in all, really good game, as I’ve come to expect from Layton.  I’m looking forward to the next game as always.

And in other unrelated and totally unimportant news, my toes are cold. See you this weekend!

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Figure Close Up – Day 5 & 6

My apologies, but I just didn’t have the time to update yesterday, so I’ll post 2  in one go again today.

So, who doesn’t love Donkey Kong? I even added Dixie to make up for not posting yesterday! I sadly don’t have Diddy though, and I’m not even sure a figure of him exists because I’ve never been able to find back one. But then again there has to be one right? It would just be odd if they only did a Dixie and left Diddy out. Perhaps one day I’ll get lucky and I’ll be able to make the Country Trio complete. As for Shy Guy, I think he’s a severe underused enemy in Mario games and we should see a lot more of him! I mean look at him, his design is so simple yet awesome, so I was quite happy to have him as a playable character in Mario Kart 7.

See you back tomorrow for the last close up!

Challenge List – Week 1

Hello there! The first week has passed and so far things are going good. There are however 2 things that will be changed in the list. These changes and the things I did this week are marked in green, and I’ll try to add a short explanation bellow it everytime to be a bit more specific.

Reading & Writing

1 Read at least 24 books (0/24)
2 Update my blog at least 3 times a week
– This includes today, so that makes 3
3 Work on my Eternal Nightfall Story at least once a week(1/52)
– I brainstormed for about an hour, but I am changing this to “Work on any of my stories”
4 Make a list of all my belongings
5 Keep a dream journal
– Managed to remember 6 out of 7 nights so far, so that’s good
6 Write about a subject of interest once a month using at least 1500 words (0/12)

Photography

7 Every month, pick one week where pick a theme and take a photograph every day (0/12)
8 Take a 4 pictures for 4 places, one for each season (0/16)

Gaming

9 Complete 24 Videogames (0/24)
10 Play through Donkey Kong Country Returns or Super Mario Bros Wii with Dorothy
11 Do 1 Let’s Play

Movies

12 Watch the main animated Disney/Pixar movies I haven’t seen or can barely remember again.
13 Watch 1 movie I’ve never seen before every week (0/52)
– I watched My Neighbour Totoro with Dorothy yesterday
14 Watch 3 unseen seasons of any serie from my collection (0/3)
15 Watch 6 unseen anime series (0/6)

Music

16 Do a 30 day song Challenge
17 Discover a new band for each month (0/12)
18 Learn to play one song on any instrument

Art

19 Draw one full body picture every week (1/52)
– I’m changing this to 2 weeks, I’m just not good enough yet and need extra time/practice
20 Every 2 weeks, do a challenge from List (0/26)
21 Improve or redesign 12 of my characters (0/12)
– I’ve spend most of my day on improving my character Iluna, only a few simple sketches but still going
22 Make a short looping animation (5-10sec)
23 Do the 100 Theme Challenge List
24 Do a monthly skechtdump (0/12)
25 Draw a short comic
26 Design a Christmas Card
27 Do something Graphic Design related outside of school every month (0/12)
28 Draw 1 piece of fanart every month (0/12)

Entertainment

29 Attend at least 3 conventions  (0/3)
30 Have a real date night every month with Dorothy (0/12)
31 Go see the Zelda 25 year Anniversary Concert
32 Go to the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios in London
33 Make a short video (1-3 minutes) every month (0/12)
34 Have a meetup with online friends
– As mentioned in my previous post, I met up with Micha & Jenna, twice even
35 Make a top 5-10 list about things I love every month (0/12)

Health & Selfimprovement

36 Get my weight to 82kg (currently 87kg)
37 Excercise at least every 2 days for 20 minutes or more
– I’ve surprisingly exercised 5 out of 7 days this week
38 Go running at least twice a month (0/24)
39 Drink only water (excluding coffee) for 4 random weeks (0/4)
40 Eat one piece of fruit every day
– Apples, pears & banana’s
41 Get some jobs to earn extra money
42 Clean out things I don’t need or care about from my room
– I put away some things and decided to sell some of my dvds that are collecting dust
43 Clean up my room once a week (1/52)
– And boy was it necessary
44 Keep a list of all my spendings
– And I can already tell I should spend less, but I blame it on the meetups
45 Visit my both Aunts/Uncles at least every 3 months (0/8

Culinary

46 Learn to cook something every month (0/12)
47 Try 12 different kinds of coffee (0/12)
48 Try 12 types of food I haven’t tasted before (0/12)
– I tried Chicken Catsu & Duck Dumplings at Wagamama’s, and liked it.

Random

49 Learn how to play chess
50 Say yes to everything for a day
51 Do one challenge a friend suggests (Not shave for a month – Sharpy)
52 Do something for Nerdfighters
53 Keep a mood calender
      – Oh happy days!

So as you can see, I’m off to a fairly good start. It’s only the first week so it’s not that hard of course, but it shows I’m motivated enough I think. Looking at some of the things I did, I should perhaps blog when I complete specific challenges, like giving my thoughts about a new movie I’ve seen. It will make the blog that more active, so I’ll start doing that from now on and it’s possibly I will continue to make little changes to improve as I go. That’s the update for this week, now I’m going to go back to improving this character of mine! Perhaps I’ll post a sneak peak when I’m done, but I’m keeping the majority for the sketchdump at the end of the month. See you in a few days!

2012 Challenge List

First of all, a Happy (late) New Year to all of you! This means it’s time to officially start my Challenge list for 2012, here it is!

Reading & Writing

1 Read at least 24 books (0/24)
2 Update my blog at least 3 times a week
3 Work on my Eternal Nightfall Story at least once a week(0/52)
4 Make a list of all my belongings
5 Keep a dream journal
6 Write about a subject of interest once a month using at least 1500 words (0/12)

Photography

7 Every month, pick one week where pick a theme and take a photograph every day (0/12)
8 Take a 4 pictures for 4 places, one for each season (0/16)

Gaming

9 Complete 24 Videogames (0/24)
10 Play through Donkey Kong Country Returns or Super Mario Bros Wii with Dorothy
11 Do 1 Let’s Play

Movies

12 Watch the main animated Disney/Pixar movies I haven’t seen or can barely remember again.
13 Watch 1 movie I’ve never seen before every week (0/52)
14 Watch 3 unseen seasons of any serie from my collection (0/3)
15 Watch 6 unseen anime series (0/6)

Music

16 Do a 30 day song Challenge
17 Discover a new band for each month (0/12)
18 Learn to play one song on any instrument

Art

19 Draw one full body picture every week (0/52)
20 Every 2 weeks, do a challenge from List (0/26)
21 Improve or redesign 12 of my characters (0/12)
22 Make a short looping animation (5-10sec)
23 Do the 100 Theme Challenge List
24 Do a monthly skechtdump (0/12)
25 Draw a short comic
26 Design a Christmas Card
27 Do something Graphic Design related outside of school every month (0/12)
28 Draw 1 piece of fanart every month (0/12)

Entertainment

29 Attend at least 3 conventions  (0/3)
30 Have a real date night every month with Dorothy (0/12)
31 Go see the Zelda 25 year Anniversary Concert
32 Go to the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios in London
33 Make a short video (1-3 minutes) every month (0/12)
34 Have a meetup with online friends
35 Make a top 5-10 list about things I love every month (0/12)

Health & Selfimprovement

36 Get my weight to 82kg (currently 87kg)
37 Excercise at least every 2 days for 20 minutes or more
38 Go running at least twice a month (0/24)
39 Drink only water (excluding coffee) for 4 random weeks (0/4)
40 Eat one piece of fruit every day
41 Get some jobs to earn extra money
42 Clean out things I don’t need or care about from my room
43 Clean up my room once a week (0/52)
44 Keep a list of all my spendings
45 Visit my both Aunts/Uncles at least every 3 months (0/8

Culinary

46 Learn to cook something every month (0/12)
47 Try 12 different kinds of coffee (0/12)
48 Try 12 types of food I haven’t tasted before (0/12)

Random

49 Learn how to play chess
50 Say yes to everything for a day
51 Do one challenge a friend suggests (Not shave for a month – Sharpy)
52 Do something for Nerdfighters
53 Keep a mood calender

A total of 53 may seem a bit random, but that just shows I didn’t make any of these up for the sake off. I just wrote everything that came to mind that I wanted to do and this is what I ended with. I might even do some extra things a long the way if anything comes up. Why am I doing this? Well, the whole point of this list is to become more creative and procrastinate a lot less, but without putting too much pressure on myself. Granted, it looks like a lot, but I don’t have to do all of these, or completely finish them, but it does give me goals to work towards to. Even if I only manage half of what’s on this list, that means I’ll have been a lot more active than any other year. Of course the more I do finish the better and I will do my best, but if something just doesn’t work or ends up being unrealistic, so be it.  Everytime I do something I will update the list, and at the end of each month I’ll be writing a post with an overview of how far I’ve come so far. Wish me luck and I hope you follow me & my challenges, and perhaps make a list for yourself, let me know!

PS: you can find the list and the progress at the top menu bar =)

Skyward Sword Opinion: Skyloft

So I completed Skyward Sword, and I’ve been neglecting this blog due to it. To make up for it I’ve decided to write down a full game opinion.  Hopefully it will also help with my writing skills. I’ll  start by doing a breakdown of each area and the people or races that live there. After that I’ll finish with my thoughts about the gameplay mechanics, story and general afterthoughts. Obviously this will contain some major spoilers, so you have been warned! Note that this is in no way a review of any sorts, just my personal opinion on the game. Also, do not think that because I’m a big Zelda fan that this will be all praise, there’s definitely flaws I will be pointing out, but in general I enjoyed the game a lot and it’s now in my top 5 of the series. First some basic things to note however.

Final playtime: 35 hours & 12 minutes.
Sidequests: completed about 50%
Item upgrades: Just the slingshot & Purple Shield
Bug: caught about 3/5 of all the kinds
Mini games played: each one found at least once

As some of you may know Nintendo mentioned you can get 50-100 hours out of this game. This may seem false when you see my playtime, but you have to keep in mind that I’m a hardened (professional even perhaps?) Zelda gamer. Despite me finishing it in 35 hours+ (I did not rush btw) there is certainly another good 10 to 15 hours I can spend on sidequests, minigames, upgrading, finding every heartpiece, bugs, goddess cubes, treasure chests, etc. Even after all that, there’s a Hero mode to play the game again with a higher difficulty level and the boss rush mode as well. So yes, if I do all that, then that 100 hour mark will definitely come very close.

With that said, let’s begin!

SKYLOFT

Skyloft

home sweet home

I have mostly nothing but praise when it comes to Skyloft. It’s a very beautiful place, feels very homey and is well designed. Dividing it into sections makes it easy to get around and it gives each part of the island its own feeling. The music fits perfectly and how it changes depending on where you are is also a very nice touch. I absolutely love the Knight Academy, it just feels right & I feel like the place has a lot of opportunity. I can easily see people making comics, fanfics or animations based on that place alone. The bazaar is an excellent place packed with everything you could ever need and has wonderful characters and atmosphere. The living area gives of somewhat of a hobbit vibe and its just charming. I really can’t note anything wrong about the Island, it’s just a joy to explore. The sky itself, I really shouldn’t complain too much I suppose. It has a handful of other small islands a la Wind Waker, but a few more or bigger ones really wouldn’t have hurt. There’s also that big mysterious cloud in the sky, so you expect it to hold something huge since they don’t allow you in there until halfway the game, but in the end there’s barely anything at all, so that really was disappointing. The music again is fantastic and gives a very epic feeling when you’re soaring through the sky.

What they did very right was add a bunch of characters (I’ve counted over 40 of them). Designs are great, good, interesting and sometimes awkward, but hey this is Zelda, you can’t go without characters like that and I love it. Nintendo also did a great job giving them a personality (Groose, the main shopkeeper, the item check girl, Pippit & Batreaux in particular come to mind). Sadly a few who initially seem to be important, end up being much less. One of the tutors of the Knight Academy for example. For most of the game he just stands there in his room, admiring his wall, repeating the same thing over and over. Same goes for Zelda’s father, Gaepora. While he is quite awesome, he really doesn’t seem to care that much that his daughter went missing, he’s just kinda goes “oh well, Link, I’m sure it’s all ok and you can deal with this, good luck!” and continues to stare at his bookshelves. Having him worry a bit wouldn’t have hurt.  There’s also not a single reference or hint that he becomes the Owl from Ocarina of Time so that feels like a missed opportunity. You’d figure these people could and should have been of more importance and had a bigger part to play, but that’s just not the case. The kitchen lady also never seems to leave the same spot, but I do love the Ghibli feeling her design has.

Groose

His pompadour is the best pompadour.

These are of course small nitpicks, but there is one big thing about the characters which honestly bothers me near the end of the game. When the piece of land with the Goddess statue falls down to earth you’d think, well this is kind of a big deal, but apparently, it isn’t. Half of the people don’t ever seem to notice and the other half goes”Ah well, weird I suppose but I’m sure it’s all ok!” GUYS, A WHOLE PIECE OF YOUR ISLAND PLUMMETED DOWN TO THE GROUND AND NOBODY IS WORRIED? It’s just not a realistic reaction. I expected at least some to go “Has the goddess abandoned us?” or “What if more pieces fall down! What will happen to our home!” But there’s none of that. Twilight Princess also did this wrong (nobody mentioned a single thing on the Castle being attacked there or seemed to notice the giant diamond barrier). Yet Majora’s Mask, a much older game, did it so right where almost the whole town ended up actually fleeing. It would have added much more to the characters, but they didn’t grab that chance. That said though, the place has some of the most entertaining and lively characters in the series. It’s still no Clocktown, but a big step up from Twilight Princess and it definitely comes in 2nd place in the series.

Lastly I’d like to talk about the relationship Link & Zelda have going on. It’s freaking great! OK?! They haven’t had this much personality since, well, ever. I hope Nintendo will continue to go into this direction. Doesn’t have to be them having a love interest for each other or anything though. As long as they just improve on this more. It’s the first time that they really seem to care a lot about each other and this made me very happy. Zelda is more than just the girl you have to safe and she plays a much bigger part than usual. I’m glad to see she wasn’t just a damsel in distress and did what she needed to do (I also love how the credits show her end of the story). As for Link, the fact that at certain moments you actually see him explaining things, and that you have the option to choose several replies to people is a big plus. I know Link is supposed to be an avatar and represent yourself, but I actually liked him a lot more in this game than any other. This time he isn’t just a mute empty shell and I hope this means Nintendo realized it was time to change this and will not fall back to the old him.

I think I rambled on long enough so I will leave it at this. Overall the good outweighs the bad by far when it comes to Skyloft & the clouds, but is this the same case for every area, or for the gameplay or story? Find out  in a few days when I discuss Faron Woods and its surrounding areas!

Ps: Do leave some comments with your opinions about the game and my writing. I really am trying to improve & don’t want it to be boring to go through, so it’s appreciated.

Until next time when I discuss Faron Woods and its surrounding areas!