My 2015 Highlights

IMG_6569

It’s really amazing how time flies. It took me a while to get used to the fact that we were in 2015, and now, as quick as that, 2016 is only a day away.

 

To commemorate New Year’s Eve, I will share with you my personal highlights of this year. There were plenty of them but for now I’m listing only the few that came to mind.

 

My Website – Going viral

For many years I thought about owning my own website but I was always insecure about putting my face and artistic works out there. I was concerned of being made fun of and getting harsh criticism.

Cutting a long story short, one day I broke down that barrier. Now, as well as blogging about various things I own my very own website, my own photo gallery, my own Instagram page, and even opening up a Deviant Art account.

Since going past that barrier I’ve been gaining nothing but confidence and I feel like I keep on improving on my art due to my confidence and motivation.

I’m especially proud of my Ayane fan art from the manga, Dragons Rioting. Tsuyoshi Watanabe, the author of Dragons Rioting, actually liked one of my Ayane fanarts on Twitter! That was a very proud and significant moment in my life. It’s like a couple of years ago when I received a personal message from Britt Allcroft. =)

 

A New Yoga Venue

I used to go to a regular yoga class with my sister but this year I went to a completely new venue/class. Not only did I go to a new yoga venue but I went on my own with no support. Now, I’m a regular at lotusflower. Sometimes I even stay behind at times for a lovely peppermint tea or accidentally drinking someone else’s. Haha!

 

I feel that I’ve improved on my breathing and poses but more importantly, I’ve opened myself up more to the regulars who also go to the same class as me, especially to my teacher. It probably doesn’t seem much but it’s definitely a big deal, especially when I find social situations challenging. =)

 

Passport

This was quite a big issue for me. On the pamphlet it says that I could take someone with me to the interview for support. However, when I got there, the passport people said that having someone with me during the interview was not allowed.

This did distress me as I felt misled. However, I coped very well under stress and pressure and answered all the lady’s questions rationally and truthfully. I think she knew I was genuine as I received my passport within three days! =D

 

Kitacon 2015

This was probably my personal highlight this year. In 2014 I stayed in a hotel in London and that was daunting. But this year I stayed at the Hilton Hotel in Birmingham to participate in Kitacon for two nights and three days.

I would say that this was my first official holiday and probably only the second occasion where I slept in an unfamiliar place. Kitacon was challenging for many, many reasons. There were highs and lows. The highs was talking with random people as well as friends, and, taking photos of people in their cosplay outfits. The lowest part was the hentai panel.

I would say that that was one of my most difficult experiences as I came away feeling sick, nauseous, dizzy and light headed. It was very loud and I was stuck right in the middle of the rowdy crowd. It’s something that I will definitely not want to experience again.

However, even during these low points in my life, I still coped. If I were to go to Kitacon again I would have to think about it very carefully.

 

Summer House

For many, many years I yearned to have a little summer house in my garden. I wanted to be like Roald Dahl and write and draw and generally be creative in my own little house. That very thing happened this year and I was very, very happy. I still have to pinch myself now that I have my very own house to call my own. I haven’t been out in it recently due to the weather but it will be resolved once I get a heater in there. Haha.

Due to affection and for the sake of making an Alan Partridge reference, my summer house is now known as the ‘Business Centre.’ Haha! Now, I just need to wait when spring and summer comes and then I will be able to have my own flower baskets. =)

 

My Niece – Lucy

Family wise, this is definitely among my highlights. I did wonder if becoming an uncle would be life changing and a daunting task, but in all honesty, it’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be.

I’m seeing her a lot more than I thought I would and it’s worth giving up some of my free time to watch over her. I took her for a walk at Pennington Flash (Country Park) and went with her to Bents Garden Centre.

At three months old she’s now smiling and giving out cute little giggles. It’s a massive bonus that she enjoys watching football and Only Fools and Horses!

 

Halloween Gathering

I went to a Halloween gathering for board games and I dressed up as the wrestler, Sting. This was definitely a cool moment as I tried everything I could to make myself a carbon copy of Sting. I like to think I did a good job, especially the face paint.

Playing the board games was a nice change of pace, even if I don’t always understand the rules!

 

2016

 

There are a lot of things for me to look forward to next year, but most of them are just little things.

Stuff like watching my niece grow up, looking forward to the magical season of Christmas (I’m still celebrating the festive season now!). Other things include watching football on TV, yoga, decorating my summer house, spending time with my family, but most of all, my creative works.

My children’s story is very close to being finished and was only delayed as I couldn’t get it done before Christmas. However, once it’s finished I will review it once more and hopefully publish it on Kindle.

I have plenty more of art to share as well as my stories but when they are finished, you will be the first to know. =)

 

Happy New Year, everyone.^^/

Ryan.

Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea

Atelier Shallie Game

  1. REVIEW

It’s finally happened, after getting this game two months ago for my birthday I have completed the full run through of Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea on my first attempt.

 

I really enjoyed the storyline that went with it and I liked it especially how all the playable characters in battle were mostly female. I would like to see this as a TV series as I reckon I would enjoy it.

 

It was really quirky that two of the leading characters shared a nickname, Shallie. I got the impression that the idea of a dusk world followed on from the previous game, Atelier Escha and Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky. Well, it did, seeing as its part of the Dusk Trilogy. Haha. I think in all honesty I do like this game better than Atelier Escha as I personally found it more interesting and it was easier to understand. In the Escha game I got the bad end three times because I didn’t really understand what to do. However, in this game, I found it much more straightforward and found that I hardly needed prompts or help guides from the internet.

 

I really liked the story and particular that it didn’t all revolve around the dusk plot. Stera wanted to be a chief of her village and Lotte wanted to learn to fly a broom. I must admit when I say that I really, really enjoyed practising “flying” with Lotte when Wilbell gave her the task to fly. I also really enjoyed when Lotte made her Flying Board and flew it around the harbour. Haha. I really do like Lotte, she’s a really funny and bright girl. I knew I was going to like her as soon as a I was given the option.

You can find my art of her on DeviantArt here…

Shallie

 

All the characters were good too and I liked how Wilbell had a bigger role in this story. She was good in the Escha game and felt that she was underappreciated so I’m especially pleased that she was an important character in this game. I downloaded Escha as an additional character to battle with and I find her very handy. It was fun to fight with Homura, Miruca and Kortes but my favourite people to battle with (besides Wilbell) were Jurie and Keithgriff. They were elegant and cool in their attacks.

 

I thought the battles and the synthesising alchemy was good. I found them simple and straightforward for the most part. I think finding items through fishing and mining was quite refreshing and fun. It’s those little quips that made me enjoy this more than Escha.

 

I did get somewhat frustrated at times during chapter 9 and 10 as I got rather confused as to what I should do. I found some of the bosses really hard to beat so I had to fight some of them on the easiest level. Even then, it was no walkover. I barely beat the King of the Beasts and the Prototype 0 on the easiest level. I did manage to beat 5 major bosses on the normal level so I wasn’t too disheartened.

 

I take into account that I’m not a passionate gamer, I’m a casual gamer so it’s to be expected that I don’t do well in these sort of games. Having said all that on this first run through I did manage to complete 73% of trophies in the game. This lifted my pride and spirit. I chose the end of where Lotte stays in Stellard and synthesised alchemy stuff with Stera and Miruca.

 

It was definitely worth all the hours that it took to complete Lotte’s route. On the second run through I will try and enjoy the story more and try and not complete every single life task. I could try and go for that but I found that trying to complete every single step and task to be somewhat tedious and detracted from what was actually important- having fun.

 

Roll on round two!

 

Ps, it was cool to see Ayesha make a small cameo.

 

  1. RATING

Two Thumb’s-Up.^^/ (My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up

Thanks for Reading. =)

Ryan.

Final Fantasy VII Game Review

Final Fantasy VII Logo

I found out this morning that SquareEnix are going to remake Final Fantasy 7 and decided to write a little blog about my thoughts at the prospect of this big news.

  1. FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE THOUGHTS

I must admit that I have mixed feelings about this.

The more passionate roleplay gamers will know that SquareSoft are the original makers of Final Fantasy 7 but they’ve now merged with Enix to form SquareEnix. In one way, I feel that it could be one of those ‘best left to the imagination’ situations. In my opinion it’s one of the best games ever made and it’s most certainly among my favourite games of all time. It was of its time too and I know I can play it again and enjoy it now as much as I did back then.

How will SquareEnix go about this? Their battle system style is much different than SquareSoft. Will they apply the battle system like they did with Final Fantasy 14? Or, will it be exactly like it was in FF7? The staff said that it will be a complete remake but in the modern version so I think they will try and capture the original story as much as possible, but, in this era.

I will give SquareEnix a chance though as we have only seen glimpses of the trailer. It’s certainly given me another reason to look forward to winter and find out more about it. The other reason to look forward in winter is Christmas. =D The graphics look pretty cool and I can hear the music that sounds identical to the original game.

Part of me is thinking that FF7 should have been left alone, but part of me is very excited at the prospect of playing it on the PlayStation 4. =D

  1. FINAL FANTASY VII GAME REVIEW

Final Fantasy 7, as I said before, is one of the best games that I’ve ever played.

I first saw it in 1997 when I was watching my brother playing it. I really enjoyed watching it, almost as much as watching Thomas the Tank Engine. =D It took me a while to start playing the game myself, without Bro’s assistant. I started sometime in 2003 and I think I completed it in the same year.

The gameplay is really fun and the story is really good. It had everything from drama to comedy moments. The stories behind the fights were great too and I liked how I could travel to different destinations on the big map. You don’t have to just walk on the map as well. You can travel by submarine, the big airship and the chocobo. Hehe. I think one of the best things about it were the side games based at the arcade, especially the snowboarding game. My Dad even played that snowboarding game and was really good at it. =D

The music is pretty darn good as well. I could just listen to that soundtrack all day and never get tired of it. Sometimes I would just stop playing the game for a minute just for the sake of listening to the music. It’s like when I play the Super Mario and Atelier Escha game. Sometimes I just stop the gameplay and enjoy listening to the music.

I like how it’s not just one plot. The main villains are the Shinra Corporation but the main antagonist is Sepirioth. I must say that I think he’s quite possibly one of the best villains that ever existed. He’s got a good look and he was a good guy turned bad due to certain circumstances. I think he’s one of those not evil but misunderstood type characters, like Magneto. Still, I didn’t approve of him killing Aerith.

All the characters are likable. Tifa was one of my first crushes back then and I’m sure it will rekindle once the game comes out. Haha. I couldn’t contain my excitement when I heard about the FF7 remake and drew a quick sketch of Tifa. I think my favourite character though has to be Red XIII. I thought he was cool as he was like a Lion. In the battles and storyline I tend to favour Cloud, Barrett and Red XIII. I did like Tifa and her kickass combat skills but I just preferred using Barret and Red XIII.

In some ways playing this game was like watching a show but I could control the plot and flow of the story. I didn’t really know what happened at the end but I somehow managed to complete the game and I was left with a black screen. The music was playing the main theme of FF7 and it was just like stars zooming in towards the viewer. I’m not really sure what happened then, and I’m not really sure now. Haha. Did the world end and explode? Or, was it just an ending credit?

I especially enjoyed re-naming the characters. I’ve always been a creative person and I especially enjoyed coming up with my own names in my own way. I can’t really remember the names I gave all the characters but I know I named Cloud after myself. =D I would welcome the prospect of choosing the names for the characters but I can’t really see SquareEnix making this an option. I wouldn’t have any complaints if choosing names wasn’t an option but it would be nice if this was.

To sum it all up… this is definitely one of my favourite games of all time. It will definitely go in my Top Ten, or possibly my Top Five.

  1. CONCLUSION

Two Thumb’s-Up.^^/ (My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up

THANKS FOR READING

Sephiroth-FFVIIArt

I intended to write this blog to talk about my thoughts on the thought of FF7 being remade but I sort of turned this game into a little review. Haha. Roll on winter. =)

Thanks for reading. =)

Ryan

Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit Game Review

Senran Kagura Bon Appetit

Bonjour.^^/

I decided to use some French Phrases here and there just for the sake of it. The title of this review did not influence my decision at all… honest!

  1. REVIEW

WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY

This is my kind of game- light-hearted and fun.

This game is in the style of StepMania. I’m not too bad at StepMania but I can only do easy levels and perhaps the medium levels at a push. I can listen to the beat and react but it appears that my fingers don’t have that kind of rhythm. Haha. I’m not too bad at waltz or ballroom and I am in time with the beat but I’m not so good when it comes to getting into the rhythm on the keyboards or console.

I laughed quite a lot at Hanzou’s [the character] introduction. He implied that the task was something serious but it turned out that he was just having a laugh.

I like how all the girls have their individual routes. My personal favourite is Ikaruga. I’ve completed her easy stage quite a few times and I just managed to complete her medium stage. I do like Yomi’s music though, I think out of all the personal music themes Yomi’s is probably my favourite. In character customisations you can change their appearance if you want. I didn’t change anything but I did add cat eats and tails as bonus accessories on both Yomi and Ikaruga. =) There is a lot of skin exposure as well, especially when they’re decorated with fruit and cream. Haha. They’re all really cute. =)

It came as a surprise to see Homura and co in the Crimson Squad. Last I checked they were part of the Hebi School Academy, but yet, it seems like Hebi School Academy have completely new students. I feel like I’ve missed something or something has happened and I haven’t seen yet. Perhaps it’s going to be revealed at the end of the 3DS game? Or perhaps it’s going to be revealed in Volume 3 of the manga?

I’m not the best gamer but I’m doing ok so far. I completed the routes of the girls from Hanzou academy and the Crimson Squad. I completed Yumi’s route and I think she’s very cute. All anime girls are cute really so the charm for me is about the personality and demeanour. So far I see I think Yumi is a lovely character. =)  I’m not sure if I’ll earn any more trophies but I do know that I’m enjoying the game so it doesn’t matter. =)

  1. CONCLUSION

Two Thumb’s-Up (My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up

THANKS FOR READING

Ikaruga

I’m just starting to play Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus. So far I’m probably enjoying it more than the 3DS version. I think it’s because I feel that there’s more to this version then the 3DS. Perhaps it’s because it’s more like a 3D platform like Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm and Alchemists of the Dusk Sky. Speaking of Alchemists of the Dusk Sky, I slightly lost motivation to play that for a while. I’m more or less playing the game now just to earn more trophies. That and I need to keep on reading long manuals on how to upgrade my armour and beat the Child of Disaster etc. Haha. I still like the music and watching Escha twirl. =)

I’m looking forward to the Alchemists of the Dusk Sea. I think that’s going to be a lot of fun to play. =)

Merci Beaucoup. ^^/

Ryan.

Atelier Escha and Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky Game Review

Atelier Escha and Logy Alchemists of the Dusk Sky cover

Ho, ho, ho.^^/

I got the Escha game for my birthday back in June but I didn’t play it straightaway. Within these past few months I decided to chill out and one day have a proper go at this game, and I got very addicted, I must say. I always wanted to have a game where it is proper anime related. Escha and Logy is part of the Atelier game series, and the anime also aired at the same time as this game release.

This is the first time that I’m going to give a full account of a game. Instead of trying to tick the rights boxes for a “review” I’m just going to go on one of those typical banters that I enjoy so much. =D

  1. REVIEW

WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY

I played Escha’s route for the first time which resulted in a bad ending. I played Escha’s route again with more experience under my bet…got another bad ending! I tried Escha’s route for the third time and got a good ending! Wohoo! I chose the ending, “So hungry…”.

I like the story and gameplay of this. I enjoyed synthesizing items whilst playing as Escha. She synthesized items like bombs, accessories, potions, food, healing items and windmill parts. She is the traditional alchemist, whereas Logy is the modern type alchemist. He synthesizes weapons and armour. I found synthesizing to be fairly easy. It took time to get used to but I found it fairly simple once I got used to it. To me, it’s all about applying the correct ingredients and using the correct elements for creating an item. It may not make any sense, but I know what I’m talking about. Haha!

The fighting is very good as well. You can’t exactly pause during the battles but during each fighter’s turn, I find, you can take your time to decide your next move. It’s fast paced and you can gauge up support attacks depending on your success of moves. There is also an addition special attack called “Double Draw” which can only be achieved once Escha and Logy become closer in their friendship.

The characters are all good too and all have their own unique story routes. They all have funky style of clothes. I especially like Escha’s style. She is impeccably cute. I love her puppy eyes, pink hair and her fluffy tail. Plus, she is voiced by Rie Murakawa, who voices Hotarun from Non Non Biyori! That alone makes her my favourite character of the Atelier franchise, haha. But even without that fact, she is still probably my favourite character. Her voice matches her appearance and personality, full of enthusiasm and somewhat childish innocence. Ironically, Hotarun is voiced more mature then Escha and she [Hotarun] is in the fifth grade.

All the girls are cute, Wilbell, Linca and Marion especially, but I have to say that Threia is drop dead, hubba, hubba, gorgeous. I’m happy to be her assistant anytime. 😉

It’s cool that they showed the animated scenes, especially the clips when they showed Escha and co travelling to the Unexplored Ruins. They would also show picture clips every now and then. My favourite ones tend to involve Escha and Linca. Linca is mightily powerful but is very shy when it comes to socialising with others, and I feel that the illustrations really show that.

Ahem, back to the gameplay…

I’m just genuinely enjoying this game. What I figured out is that buffing up your equipment and weapons is more important than the fighter’s level. I was able to beat that Altegewalt but I couldn’t knock off Dreadnaught or the Child of Disaster. I figured out that my equipment were more immune to the dragon’s attacks but not immune to the other two. I got up to level 67 but didn’t have the best armour and weapon etc. I did manage to strengthen my attacking and healing weapons though. =)

I’m doing this for the fourth time so I can get another ending with Escha since she has several endings routes. I should probably start with Logy…but I decided not to. I like Escha much, much more. Haha. In all seriousness, I made plenty of mistakes but I’m much wiser for it. It’s all about buffing up your battle items, your weapons, and your battle wear. It also helps if you chose the strongest foe when you go out to fight. And, if you’re short on items just get those cute creatures, the Homonculi, to create exact replicas…it has saved me bundles of trouble. =)

  1. CONCLUSION

For me, I enjoy the little things about this game. I enjoy listening to the music, looking at the scenes and listening to the characters. Sometimes, I would just sit down and watch Escha. When she’s not active she would twirl and sway from side to side. I find that cute to watch. I especially like it how she exclaims “BARREL!” in Japanese. The music is tranquil to listen to, almost as tranquil as the soundtrack from Non Non Biyori. =)

It sort of came to the point of where I could just play this game all the time, hence why I’m starting again. If you complete one route you can start again but the information from completing one game will carry over. Will this be a game over? Or will I be able to clear this route successfully? Only one way to find out, start playing! =D

I give this game, Two Thumbs-Up.^^/ (My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up

THANKS FOR READING

Escha Synthesizing

When it comes to reviewing games I got it in my head that I was going to review Senran Kagura Burst and Super Mario first. However, since I’m playing Escha I figured that it only made sense to review it whilst I’m in the zone of playing it. =)

Thanks for reading. =)

Happy Christmas.^^/

Ryan.