Scifi

Fantasy, History, Opinion, Scifi, Self Improvement

More Past Life Readings Part 2

Yesterday, I shared with you some of my recent past life readings in an article titled “Are Past Lives Real?” That article was already quite long, but I received two more of my readings today and they are a bit more of a fun read. One of them is an audio file and the other one has images of who I was in a past life – and those images honestly look a lot like my current self in this life.

First let’s take a look at the reading with the images. In this life I was a virgin priestess in Ancient Rome. Here are the 3 photos the psychic sent me. I don’t know if they’re random photos from google, or if she drew these – there are some people who are psychic artists. Either way, random photo, photo generating app, or skilled artist, I was surprised by how similar this woman looks to me. The shape of the nose, the shape of the face, chin, cheeks, the eyes, the lips, and the black curly hair. read more

Fantasy, Opinion, Scifi, Self Improvement

Are Past Lives Real?

I have always had a mild interest and belief in past lives although I am Christian (and actually recently turned Catholic). There is some evidence of reincarnation even in the bible and until a few hundred years ago both Christianity and Judaism referenced reincarnation. I have heard it was removed to make people more mindful of their actions and consequences in this life.

Sprinkled in this blog post are screen shots of some of the actual past life readings I have received. They are not in order and just thrown in randomly to illustrate the story – although they don’t make great pictures since they’re text as well so I added a few random images to break up walls of text to make this easier to read. I imagine no one’s really interested in reading this, except for me, so what I say goes :). One of the readings I ordered is an audio recording, but I have not received it yet. I prefer the text so I can go back and reread it and reference it easily. Absorbing different things each time I read them. read more

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I Want To Take an Anime and Manga Tour in Japan

Animate - The World's Largest Anime Store
Animate – The World’s Largest Anime Store

OMG… I want to do this. (Maybe Next Year – I don’t have Vacation Time left this year since I will be going to Peru this summer) Their next tour is in just a few weeks, and seems to only happen once a year, in March coinciding with the International Anime Festival AnimeJapan.

https://japandeluxetours.com/japan/group/anime-japan-tours#anime3

Visiting Japan is my life long dream. (sadly, mostly just so I can go shopping for anime, game, and doll stuff lol. Although I do want to do the museums and cherry blossoms and hot springs and other cultural things too – though mostly, I’m just a big geeky nerd who loves anime and wants to go shopping – which is what this whole tour is designed for <3)

It’s not that much money (well OK it is, but it’s cheaper than I expected honestly). Guided 6 Day Anime Tour in Japan which includes hotels and Guides through all the “anime” spots in Japan (since I can’t speak Japanese a Guide would be helpful…)

Only $1,500 a person, includes hotels for each day. I’d just have to have airfare, and LOTTTTTTTTSSSSS of money for food and shopping. Like seriously I’d probably want to have another $1,000 with me just for shopping lol. If I buy a dollfie dream or custom volks doll or something that’d eat half that budget right there. Then there’s all kinds of cheap (but cute) dolls / toys / figurines, etc.

I wouldn’t want to go by myself either – I would hope my boyfriend would go with me but if not then I’m pretty sure that I could find a friend or family member to take… If I had to pay for both of us that’s $3,000… The tour includes several meals but I’d need money for more meals (Let’s say $100 a day food budget X 5 days $500) Airfaire is probably close to $1,000 a person too So not counting shopping expenses I’d need $5,500… I want to mainly go shopping so I’d want at least $1,000 for shopping for myself that’s $6,500…. which still… isn’t that bad because of all the things this tour includes.

This tour includes all of the Ghibli and other museums, the largest anime stores, and even admission to an anime convention for one day. OMG and an anime theme park another day… OMG it includes real life mario kart racing too…. omg…

The number 1 place I want to visit actually isn’t on this tour – that place is Doll Point Akihabara – Volks store where you can buy Dollfie Dreams and Asian Balljointed Dolls and Accessories – including some items available only in the store and not sold online.  But that’s OK because the tour gives you free time in the evening and one free day where you’re on your own without a guide.

My dream / life goal / bucket list… lol…

Now that I have my passport I can actually do stuff like this O_O!!! Now I just need money (lots of money) (and to wait for my vacation time again lol).

https://japandeluxetours.com/group/tour/anime-japan-tour-6-days-a

Tour Includes

  • 6 DAYS
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • 7 MEALS
  • 5 breakfasts
    2 lunches
  • TRANSPORT
  • All transport shown

Details:

  • 4 nights Western hotel
  • Daily Breakfast-Buffets and 2 Lunches included
  • All ground transportation in Japan during the tour
  • Complimentary Airport Transfers (see details)
  • Admission Fees, Tax & Gratuities at all included Destinations
  • Full time service of licensed English speaking tour guide & separate bus driver
  • Japan Deluxe Tours Handbook and Tour Goods Package
  • Free Wi-Fi in Bus & Most hotels
  • read more

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    The Best Upcoming & New Release 2018 PC Games for Girls

    Back in the 90s I barely played PC Games, because so few existed that appealed to my tastes. There were exceptions of course, Torment, Fallout 1 and 2, Baulder’s Gate, Icewind Dale, King’s Quest (and other Sierra titles), Ever 17 (and anything else by Hirameki International), Petz, Black and White, Creatures, Graduation 95, and a handful of other gems that weren’t available on my consoles.

    But largely, console gaming was the highlight of my childhood. That’s where all the anime games or JRPGs or story rich games were, especially in the 16 and 32 bit eras, which still remain my favorite gaming period of all time. Genesis, Sega CD, SNES, Saturn, PS1, PS2, and Dreamcast, the majority of my favorite games, still to this day, lived on one of those great consoles.

    But nowadays, I barely play console games anymore. Occasionally there may be an exclusive that catches my eye, such as Persona 5 on PS4, or Tokyo Mirage Sessions on the Wii U. I even bought a Wii U just for that game in fact.

    But now, so many games are cross platform, and so many people like me, who grew up in the 16 and 32 bit eras are making their own indie games now such as To the Moon, Always Sometimes Monsters, Rakuten, Undertale, etc. This completely changes the gaming landscape. Now PC is by and far my preferred gaming “platform” of choice.

    And where once, JRPGs reigned on Consoles, they now thrive on the PC or even on mobile devices, and in the past 5 years we’ve seen a huge explosion of visual novels and Otome games as well on both PC and mobile – and barely any of those have been released (at least in English) on consoles.

    Where once the PC had almost no games that appealed to my tastes, now suddenly, more and more each year, I find the PC to offer so many games I want to play that I don’t have the time, nor money, to possibly play them all! I have over 700 steam games already (and a handful on Origin, and about 50 more on GOG, and then of course my old CDs from the 90s which have yet to get released digitally.) And that’s not taking into account the PC’s ability to emulate the console games I own (probably around 300+ games there too). And emulation is perfectly legal as long as you own the original games, which I still do.

    This puts the number of games I can play on my PC right now today, without buying a single thing, at well over 1,000 games! — How many of those games I’ve actually played, is probably around 25%, and how many I’ve beaten to completion / all endings etc, is probably like 5%. lol. But the point is, there has never been a better time to play girl games on your PC. If you’re a girl, there’s plenty of games that you should check out on PC. This wasn’t the case 20 years ago; my how the landscape has changed!

    Here is a list of games due out in 2018 that are on my radar! I’ve selected these games for one of the following reasons: Decisions Matter, Branching Plot, Multiple Endings, Cute/Kawaii Graphics, Excellent Story, Innovating (or at least really fun) Gameplay, and Customization. If you look for the same qualities in your games, check out the list below. Warning, it’s long.

    This list is not in any order – largely it’s sorted by release date, because that’s how I was browsing the games while researching this post.

    Sea Dogs

    Our first recommendation reminds me of Horizons New Dawn, one of my all time favorite super nintendo games.

    Sorcery Jokers

    This visual Novel Has Some Beautiful Graphics

    Til the Dawn, Waiting

    This looks sad, and also features animals, a powerful combination to tug at any heart strings

    Franky the Bumwalker

    Super cute and colorful adventure game that probably doesn’t take itself too seriously.

    Dragon Cliff

    This indie RPG features an extesnive crafting system and city building aspects as well as cute retro graphics.

    Stunt Corgi VR

    If you’re lucky enough to have a VR headset you might like this title that lets you create obstacle courses and watch a cute corgi try to navigate the courses you create.

    Project Bits

    If you like rhythm games, you might like this one with cute anime artwork. Plus it’s free to play.

    The Mind Hero

    An anime visual novel where you help 8 different characters overcome their trauma. It aims to teach psychology inside a video game. It’s also free and features a comic book style.

    Katyusha

    This looks to be a very emotionally engaging and beautiful pixel retro style RPG. The developers have said that the game uses real-life world war 2 letters that were written by soldiers to their families.

    Battletech

    The ability to customize everything about your mechs and the appeal of mecha genres from decades of anime such as macross, robotech, go lion, voltron, evangelion, gundamn, etc, make this appeal to me, despite the more dark realistic graphics. The gameplay looks fantastic. And who doesn’t love giant robots?

    In The Valley of Gods

    Explore pyramids in this narrative adventure.

    Villages

    This game aims to balance the skills and economy of its players so that they are forced to work together. Sounds promising. Let’s see how that works once the game releases.

    Grow Bot

    This just looks so utterly adorable!

    Boyfriend Dungeon

    With a name like Boyfriend Dungeon, how could this not make our list? It’s an otome dating sim and hack n slash RPG adventure, where the boys are weapons.

    The Iron Oath

    I am beyond excited for this game! True, it doesn’t have the visual aesthetic that I like, but nearly everything about the gameplay appeals to me greatly! Decisions matter, the guild management sounds fun, every character has a back story. Characters die / perma death, you recruit new characters, I’m ready to play this awesome looking tactical RPG.

    Living the Deal

    Business Management and Life Simulation Game. This one is high on my wishlist (despite how hideously ugly the characters look lol).

    Wolf Gang

    Play as cute wolves chasing cute sheep in a game which promises unlockable content and character customization.

    Freedom Planet 2

    Furrie fans and fans of old school Sonic games still love the original Freedom Planet, and soon the wait is over for the much anticipated sequel.

    The Forgettable Dungeon

    Co-op Action RPG that you can play with up to 15 friends.

    Next Up Hero read more

    Anime, Anime Review, Fantasy, Manga, Manga Review, Review, Scifi, Shoujo

    Please Save My Earth Anime and Manga Review

    Today I’m reviewing a very old manga / anime which is often credited as being (one of) the first (widely successful) Shoujo manga. Its art and story influenced other mangaka like Naoko Takeuchi – In fact there are many similarities between Please Save My Earth and Sailor Moon.

    For example, both Please Save My Earth and Sailor Moon deal with lovers who were reincarnated on another planet having lost memories of their past lives and fated to meet again and remember sometimes happy, sometimes painful and sad memories. Both manga also focus heavily especially on the Earth and the Moon. There’s super powers in each one, and tales of friendship, betrayal, trust, love, jealousy, greed, and bullying.

    Please Save My Earth is quite a bit darker than Sailor Moon. It’s more violent, it deals with more adult themes, and pushes some boundaries in what is common for a young girl to be reading.

    Both manga also have same sex relationships and other issues that most other comics – or any form of entertainment media – typically shy away from.

    Please Save My Earth features a love triangle and a lot more drama and suspense around this relationship dynamic, in fact, the relationship becomes catalyst for some of the series’ action and fighting scenes later.

    But at the heart of both manga, you find a love story that has survived even after the main characters’ deaths. The timeless love story with its themes of reincarnation and the endearing characters as well as action and drama make it easy to see why Please Save My Earth is one of the best selling and most influential comics for girls of all time. It sold over 15 million units in Japan alone. Not counting reprints and other editions in other languages.

    The English manga is hard to find now as it is out of print. Copies pop up from time to time, but typically sell for over $50 per issue. With 21 issues, things can get expensive quickly. Luckily, thanks to the wonders of technology, there is a cheaper solution. You can get the kindle editions of each volume for around $6 a piece. Click here to see all of the kindle editions of Please Save My Earth Manga.

    If you do want the physical editions of the paper back manga, Barnes and Nobles as of this writing currently has most of the volumes in stock for $9.99 each. Much cheaper than amazon. There are a few volumes which are out of stock; and there’s the fact that this manga has been out of print for 10+ years now. So if you’re interested in those out of stock issues you will have to turn to sites like Amazon or Ebay. Here is a link to purchase the paperback Please Save My Earth manga on Barnes and Nobles Website.

    The only version of the anime I have ever seen has been horribly butchered and edited – at least I’m assuming it has been significantly altered – I haven’t seen the original source material. If you look closely at the credits of both the dub and the sub English anime versions, you will see it says “Based on the screenplay by so-and-so” Based on? That’s odd. Why wouldn’t it just say “Screenplay written by so and so” – This tells me a lot of liberties were taken with this release.

    Even though I’m sure the original screenplay far exceeds any of the English versions, I have never seen it available anywhere online (such as fansubbed, or etc with a more faithful translation.) So all I can do is merely speculate at the existence of some far superior anime than that which I grew up watching as a kid. Despite all of that — It’s still one of my favorite anime of all time.

    Sadly, the anime is only about half of the story. It covers the first few volumes of the manga, but there’s still much much more left to be discovered. The anime is good, but really, if you want to understand the whole story, and see it as it was meant to be told without all the editing, then just go read the manga.

    This anime is SCREAMING to be remade – from the facts that:

  • It was horribly edited for an English Release (not that anime studios in Japan probably care about this)
  • It is old and no longer licensed nor easily available
  • It never told the whole story of the manga
  • It is one of the best selling shoujo manga of all time and a critical influence to many other famous shoujo series including Sailor Moon
  • It’s a tale as old as time – Star Crossed Reincarnated Lovers and the tragedy and highs and lows that this all entails
  • It has mass market appeal – there’s a ton of fighting and action – there’s also a ton of romance and drama
  • The original one had ugly artwork and I would like to see it with a cleaner animation style and more attractive character designs.
  • But those screams seem to fall onto deaf ears! Will we ever see a proper 26 episode full season anime adaption of one of the best shoujo manga of all time? (based on sales figures) – It seems that since it SOLD VERY WELL – there would be an AUDIENCE (of at LEAST 15 million fans) wanting to see a GOOD FAITHFUL anime adaptation – and something longer than 6 episodes and a pasted together OVA or 2.
  • read more

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    Sekai Project Visual Novels Featured in New Humble Bundle

    Sekai Project is one of many companies localizing Visual Novels into English. And for the next 2 weeks you can get 17 Sekai Project Visual Novels for $12. That’s less than $1 a game. (or pay less and receive less games) And it supports charity too! Feel good and score some awesome Visual Novels with the new humble bundle.

    https://www.humblebundle.com/sekai-project-bundle

    Pay just $1 to receive:

    Fault Milestone 2
    KaraKara
    NekoPara Vol 0
    Ame no Marginal – Rain Marginal

    Beat the average (currently $10.16) to receive:

    All of the Above PLUS…
    NekoPara Vol 1
    Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru Part 1
    Marcissu 10th Anniversary Anthology Project, Plus Season PASS DLC
    Fault Milestone two side:above
    Sound of Drop -fall into poison
    Highway Blossoms (a Yuri game (girl x girl game))
    Japanese School Life

    Pay $12 to receive it all:

    All of the Above PLUS…
    NekoPara Vol 2
    Wold End Economica – Complete Edition
    Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru Michiru Part 2
    Memory’s Dogma Code:01
    Robot Double – Before Crime After Days Xtend Edition
    Sunrider: Liberation Day – Captain’s Edition

    That’s a whole lot of visual novels for not a big price! I only had 3 of these currently in my collection (and almost all of them wishlisted). I am super excited about this bundle and can’t wait to start playing.

    Robot Double sounds incredibly interesting to me from the brief description. It states that unlike traditional Visual Novels, there are no clear cut choices, but instead you control the story purely through your emotions.

    If you’re interested in grabbing this bundle for yourself, check out https://www.humblebundle.com/sekai-project-bundle.

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    Humble Bundle Birthday Sale = Free or Heavily Discounted Games for You!

    Humble Bundle just kicked off their annual birthday celebration which will run for the next 11 days featuring hundreds of discounted digital PC games from both AAA studios and indie developers. Some of the savings are up to 75 or even 90% off. In fact, they’re even giving you a free game just for visiting the website and registering or logging into your account.

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    Countdown to Black Friday with New Deals Every Day on Amazon

    Amazon just launched their Black Friday Pre-sale event. You can check back every day for new items at http://amazon.com/Black-Friday/…

    Already they are offering up some pretty sweet deals for geeks and gamers. I recommend bookmarking and checking back as often as possible. I’m hoping for a PS4 Bundle or Console to go on sale. I have enough already to purchase, but since it is that time of year, saving some money never hurts, and I’ve waited this long already to get myself the newest consoles, so might as well hang in there a few more weeks and see what happens!

    Last year, amazon had amazing black friday and cyber monday exclusive gaming bundles for all three major game systems including Xbone, PS4, and WiiU. This year the savings should be even greater since the technology continues to age and the market gets even more competitive with new consoles such as the Xbox Scorpio, PS4 Pro, and (soon to be released) Nintendo Switch, which means the standard Xbox One, PS4 Slim, and possibly Wii U will need to discount their inventory to see a strong finish this year.

    PC Gamers are not to be forgotten, RIGHT NOW amazon has awesome Black Friday deals on headsets, lightup keyboards, game controllers, gaming mice, and more. There are some great deals such as headsets for 65% off, hot new release games for both console and pc at up to 75% off and many more.

    Amazon even has a page set up specifically for gaming deals here: http://amzn.to/2evLcYi

    or a general one for Electronics here: http://amzn.to/2evMYZH

    I’m also needing a new gaming laptop, and Amazon has a page for PC and Laptop deals here: http://amzn.to/2elLmON

    Video Games not your thing? Maybe you want some boardgames, legos, cute plushies, dolls, or figures? If so amazon also has a page for you here: http://amzn.to/2fp9ssJ

    And the sales will continue into cyber monday as well and Cyber Monday has it’s own page for deals which will be located at http://amzn.to/2fk9JB3 once it goes live later this month.

     

    Powered by Dealspotr | Additional voucher codes for Amazon

    Per Amazon’s site:

    “Black Friday Deals–The Party Is Just Getting Started!

    Black Friday 2016 will be here soon, but we didn’t want you to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to save on Black Friday deals, so we are counting down to Black Friday 2016 with exciting deals today, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and…you get the picture. Stop by each day through November 24 for early Black Friday deals, including sales on electronics, low prices on DVDs, magazine subscription specials, toy bargains, and fashionable deals for women, men, kids & baby, and more. You’ll find our best Black Friday deals, and Deal of the Day bargains you won’t want to resist for holiday gifts.

    Something else to be excited about–at Amazon, Black Friday 2016 isn’t just a day to us–it’s a whole week! We’ll kick off Black Friday Deals Week early with Black Friday deals and sales all day every day that week, including Black Friday, with those big after-Thanksgiving sales you’ve been waiting for. Trust us, if you love a good deal, you won’t want to miss it!

    To continue the excitement, we have made Cyber Monday 2016 a whole week too! We’ll be kicking off Cyber Monday with a week’s worth of cyber deals, just in time for you to get back to work after Thanksgiving … and shop online. Shhh … we won’t tell your boss! You’ll find more great deals every day during Cyber Monday Deals Week.
    So stop by any day, or better yet, every day. We’ll be here with great deals!”

     

    Anime, Anime Review, Drama, Featured, Film and Television, Mystery, Review, Scifi, Shoujo, Shoujo, Slice of Life, TV and Film

    Kimi No Na Wa – Your Name – Makoto Shinkai – 2016 Anime Full Length Featured Film Movie Review

    I just got done watching Kimi No Na Wa, this year’s record breaking summer box office smash that is still topping the charts for almost 3 months now in Japan.

    The film is directed by Makoto Shinkai who also made anime such as 5cm per second and voices of a distant star.

    All of his works follow a common theme of fated lovers who are separated by either distance or time. And Kimi No Na Wa is no exception to this overarching theme throughout his works.

    What is a slight departure from his previous works is the use of several vocal tracks throughout this film – Maybe this is the new hot trend in feature length anime films in Japan right now? Because “I’ve Always Liked You – Confess Your Love Committee” (which I reviewed here) also has about a half dozen vocal tracks. – Kimi no na wa has about 3 or 4 – and they are used to help convey key scenes and emotions throughout the film. — In fact all of the music, even the instrumental tracks are very “emotional”. I loved the music in both of these films and it really sets them apart from a lot of other anime movies out there.

    Title: Kimi No Na Wa – Your Name

    Release Date: 2016 in Japan – No release yet in North America

    Genre: Slice of Life, Scifi, Romance

    Length: 1 Film – Runtime: aproximately 1 hour and 46 minutes

    Director: Makoto Shinkai

    Studio: CoMix Wave Films / Toho read more

    Adventure Game, AI Artificial Intelligence, Android Phone, Game Review, Multiple Endings, Review, Scifi

    Talos Principle Game Review

    Title: Talos Principle

    Release Date: 2014

    Genre: Puzzle Solving

    Developer: Croteam

    Publisher: Devolver Digital

    Platform: PC, Mac, or Linux, also available on PS4 and Android

    Where to Buy:  
    Geeky: 5/5 

    Sweetie: 4/5 

    Concept: 8/10 Many people have compared this game to Myst, but not me. In my opinion, this game is much closer to Portal than it will ever be to Myst. The nature of the puzzles, at least in the first many, many hours of the game bears a striking resemblance to the gameplay in Portal. It’s also these early hours in which I feel the game begins to fall apart, because the puzzles become so much the “same” throughout the first several “worlds” that you explore. However, looking past the often tedious gameplay, this game has a truly amazing story, especially if like myself, you’re fascinated by the philosophical and ethical questions surrounding artificial intelligence.

    Gameplay: 6/10 The gameplay in Talos Principle consists of solving more than 100 puzzles. The problem is that probably more than half of those puzzles are so similar that once you’ve solved one, you can easily solve the others. It doesn’t really challenge or require much thinking, which sort of defeats the appeal of a “puzzle solving game”. For example, the first 3 or 4 worlds you will enter consist of puzzles which require you to pick up “jammers” and activate these devices in order to shut down orbs (which travel a predictable patch), or turrets which are firing at you, or use the jammers to open and close gates. Sometimes you’ll only have one or two jammers and 5 or 6 obstacles that need cleared, but it’s still not too challenging once you figure out the patterns and what to expect. Later levels tend to add a few more elements into the puzzles such as letting you climb ontop of boxes, or fling yourself across different areas. However, overall, for there being 120 puzzles, these puzzles lack variety. It wouldn’t matter if there were 50 puzzles or 500 puzzles, if they’re all similar, where’s the fun in that?

    However, the game is not without merit, it does feature an extensive open world and for the most part allows you to travel freely (aside from some areas which require key items from other areas first) and solve or return to different puzzles at your own pace. This game does not hold your hand. In fact, that’s part of the charm and it works for creating immersion in this case. You awake into the world with the same knowledge as the main character (which is knowing nothing at all). You begin to piece together what is happening in the world at the same rate as the character himself. In this aspect, it almost becomes a psychological experience, and that I feel, is really the point in playing this game, and not the rather dull puzzles themselves.

    Exploration is also another highlight of the gameplay as you travel through multiple worlds you will find clues left behind by other people before you and also clues about your own existence. But it’s up to you to read and explore and interact with every object, every nook and cranny, and complete every world and puzzle.

    Story: 10/10 – Story is where the game shines, but it’s up to you to seek this story out. Often times, it’s not what the narrator says, but instead told through files in a corrupt computer system or found by scanning “QR codes” on walls or hidden locations throughout the world. The story itself is about the difference (or sometimes lack there-of) of man vs machine. At what point (if any) does artificial intelligence become “human” – what does it mean to be “human”? The story is told in cryptic bits and pieces and leaves you wanting to explore more and play more to figure things out. Often these are clues left behind by the creators of the AI system, and at other times, they are legends and mythos from ancient times about gods who were made of stone or metal but none the less had characteristics of man. The story also focuses on creation and how man can become a god, by creating AI and AI worlds. And then, what would happen if that AI also went on to create its own worlds and own creations. It’s a very deep and thought provoking story. I’ve always been fascinated by artificial intelligence and these questions that it brings. I would recommend playing this game, despite the slow and tedious gameplay, simply because of this story, but only if you are the type who likes exploration and uncovering these clues yourself. This game handfeeds you nothing. But for those willing to put in the effort, the game is full of rich history, lore, and an emotionally deep story.

    Characters: 7/10 – Largely, you are the only character present, though other characters are hinted at from an early point and on throughout the game, including your creators, and even a “god” like figure. You can find emails and recorded messages from these characters and look up project information which details their role in the creation of the AI system. Despite there being a lot of details about these people – largely, this is a solo experience, and therefore character interaction or development is not a highlight here.

    Graphics: 5/10 – I don’t see anything that special here. And as with a lot of the puzzles being similar, a lot of assets get re-used multiple times. It’s not very visually appealing or interesting in my opinion. Though there are many worlds, they all largely look the same. This game tries to be large and exciting, but just kinda falls flat in a lot of areas due to repetition.

    Music: 6/10 – The soundtrack has a lot of ambient sounds and some key music pieces, but none of them are that impressive or memorable.

    Voice Acting: 10/10 – The voice acting is actually really solid in this game which is a big plus. There are not many scenes which are voiced, but it is a nice touch.

    Replay Value: 9/10 – There are actually three different endings in Talos Principle, but once you’ve solved most of the psychological questions and encountered most of the story elements, it makes it less enjoyable to replay this game on multiple attempts.

    Overall: 70/100 70% C- “Good Game for Girls”

     

    Anime, Anime News, Comedy, Drama, Featured, Kawaii Cute, Manga Review, Mystery, News, Preview, Review, Scifi, Seinen, Shoujo, Slice of Life, Trailer, TV and Film

    Orange Manga Review + Crunchyroll Begins Airing Orange Anime Based on the Manga by Ichigo Takano

    I’m not as big of a reader as I used to be when I was younger, however, the last few seasons of anime have not held much to capture my interests, and being single again I find myself with too much spare time. So this past year I’ve been reading a lot of manga! One of my favorites, which is available to read for free on Crunchyroll, is “Orange” — and a few days ago Crunchyroll announced they will be simul-casting the new anime based on the manga as well! I thought that makes it a good time to share my love of this series. I’m so excited about the anime adaptation! This review is for the manga version 🙂

    There may be some slight spoiler for the first volume – I have tried to avoid them and keep this as brief and condensed as possible but if you’re worried, I’d recommend reading or watching the series first before going any further. read more

    Anime, Decisions Matter, Drama, Featured, Game Review, Multiple Endings, Mystery, PC, Review, Scifi, Videogame

    Ever17 The Out of Infinity Visual Novel PC Game Review

    Ever17 is probably my all time favorite visual novel. It was one of the first that I had played, and the story is so good. It’s not your typical “dating” or “romance” novel. It’s a very thrilling and suspenseful tale about a group of young people trapped in an underwater theme park. They are running out of oxygen, and worse yet, the computer systems are failing which is causing the pressure inside the ship to build, causing leaks. They’re also running out of fresh food and water. Strange things also begin happening aboard the ship. Some characters resign themselves to their doomed fates, while others will do whatever it takes to survive.

    I’ve referenced this game in many of my other reviews, most notably, my review of Stein’s Gate (which you can check out here.) The reason for that is because after Kid, the developers of Ever17 and the rest of the series which includes Never7 and Remember 11 (both have been fan-translated) and 12Riven and Code_18,  which to my knowledge have not been translated closed down, many of the staff members joined 5PB (developers of Stein’s Gate).

    There are numerous similarities between the two games – both games deal with time travel, both games have the same interface (more or less, Stein’s Gate has the cellphone thing, but other than that, the menu design and especially the Tips section is really similar). But the biggest impression both games leave is a strong scifi mystery regarding time travel which uses true life events, people, theories, and science to create a great sense of immersion. Schrodinger’s Cat, John Titor, Black Holes, etc. I doubt I’m the only person who googled some of these things while playing and became interested in them because of these games.

    The same author of Ever17 (and etc.) also wrote the script for 999 9 Persons, 9 Hours, 9 Doors, and Zero Escape, Virtue’s Last Reward (and the sequels).

    So if you like any of those “newer” games – please play Ever17 – in my opinion it’s STILL the best out of all of those – in terms especially of story, mystery, and suspense.

    If You’re wondering what order to play these games in. This is the proper order: Never7 –> Ever17 –> Remember11 –> 12Riven –> Code18 // Stein’s Gate –> Stein’s Gate 2 (still in development) // 999 9 Persons, 9 Hours, 9 Doors –> Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward –> Zero Time Dilemma (still in development).

    Stein’s Gate and 999 are not directly related to Ever17, but they do have spoilers that might deter your enjoyment of Ever17 – especially 999 and Virtue’s Last Reward which are very similar to Ever17. They’re great games, but Ever17 is still better :).

    Title: Ever17 The Out of Infinity

    Developer: Kid

    Publisher: Hirameki International (who are now sadly out of business)

    Genre: Visual Novel

    Release Date: 2005

    Platform: PC (There are numerous other versions, including a 3D version on the Xbox360 – however, none of these ports or remakes have ever made it to North America, despite the surprising success of 999 and Virtue’s Last Reward which you think would cause them to consider bringing this title over. It could perhaps have to do with licensing issues now that Kid and Hirameki are both dissolved. )

    Where to Buy: MY GOD!! It’s going for almost $1,000 on Amazon LOL. Or for about $400-600 from other resellers. Now I’m really tempted to sell my copy. But I worry I will want to play it again some day. — Anyways, needless to say, with both KID and Hirameki being out of business, this game is EXTREMELY rare and highly sought after (because it’s awesome). You can keep an eye on this amazon page and see if there are any new listings. http://www.amazon.com/EVER-17 Ebay might also be a good option, it looks like a few recent auctions have gone for around $100-200 (Example from last month: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ever-17)

    Geeky: 5/5 

    Sweetie: 5/5 

    Overall: 81 / 90 90% A- “Excellent Game For Girls”

    Concept: 10/10 Like most visual novels, you progress through the game by reading an interactive story, choosing how to respond at different points which in turn determine what parts of the story you see or which endings you receive. After completing each character ending, a new option will open up when you next start a new game at the title screen which will let you see the true ending – which is a huge mind fuck in this case – in a good way, but it’s very well worth the effort in doing all the endings and being rewarded by finally being told wtf is going on here – and it’s definitely NOT what you think it is. Really surprising / twist ending – I enjoyed it very much. It ties up every single question you have and is just so satisfying. Unlike the next game in the series, Remember11, which up until the true ending, I was liking it even more than Ever17, and then it just kinda ends with an open ending and you feel ripped off lol. Ever17’s routes are all really well fleshed out and tinged with sadness and mystery. But they resolve all of that mystery with the true ending. It’s awesome.

    Gameplay: 6/10 The nature of visual novel games makes gameplay always a bit dull. The gameplay here is spiced up a little bit as you will switch between two different characters (which is a concept they also use in Remember11). And like any good visual novel (but sadly not all visual novels) there is a skip function to bypass previously read text to make multiple playthroughs much easier. There’s no minigames or anything of that nature to break up the “monotonous” gameplay of clicking and reading large blocks of text. However, compared to most novels, Ever17 has a ton of choices, and those choices carry a lot of meaning. As mentioned above, the true ending is also really satisfying, making all of that reading well worth it in the end.

    Story: 9/10 I deducted one point because of the notoriously bad translation. It’s not really THAT bad where it detracts from the story or my enjoyment of the game – but it really needed another set of eyes to proofread this thing before it went commercial. There’s fan translations that are higher quality than this (I dunno, there might even be a fan patch for this game, I never looked, because like I said, the translation didn’t bother me that much.)

    More importantly, this game’s story is amazing. I’ve mentioned a few times, but it uses real world theories and scientific principles which really helps build immersion and buy-in from the audience. The main theme is time travel – although that’s not readily apparent at first. And I won’t comment on how that comes into play, because that’d be a huge spoiler. All I can say is, if you like time travel games like Stein’s Gate – check this game out.

    But at the heart of the story, is humanity struggling against their fate, people’s will to survive, and people’s determination to save their friends, family, and loved ones.

    It also has an interesting juxtaposition of a childlike setting (a huge themepark), and the impending doom and oppressive feeling and urgency throughout the game.

    Of course, the true ending is really satisfying, you’re left without any burning questions or confusion. It ties everything up into a neat little package with a bow on top for you to unwrap.

    Characters: 10/10 The characters begin their “vacation” with such innocence and enthusiasm until they realize their sad fates. The characters slowly begin to change (which is a key sign of character development). Some who were anti-social before and independent, become weak and fearful, others who were innocent and bright become reclusive, almost all of the characters become neurotic, and a few become desperate enough to do anything to survive. It’s interesting to watch their struggle, their cooperation, how they begin to organize and band together to ration their food, lift eachother’s spirits, and search for a way to contact the outside to send help.

    There’s also numerous mysteries within the main mystery, ghosts, artificial intelligence, children searching for their parents, amnesia, and more.

    Graphics: 8/10 For the time, the graphics are quite beautiful. Keep in mind, this game is now 14 years old (the original Japanese version debuted in 2002). For that, the character style, the backgrounds, and even the 3d animation  (in the opening video) are all very well done. Of course, by today’s standards, with technology like Live 2D and fully fluid moving character sprites (such as those in Ensemble Stars or NekoPara), the artwork, especially of the sprites, is stiff and dated. It’s still quite lovely though. — Interestingly enough, the Xbox360 remake features 3D character art – however, fans have often criticized the new art and prefer the original art of the PC version.

    Music: 8/10 I loved the soundtrack in this game – it really helped add to the mystery and suspense, and even desperation that the characters were experiencing.

    Voice Acting: 10/10 The voice acting is also another highlight of the game. I hear that they re-recorded all of the voice acting for the 360 version – rather this was to improve it, or due to licensing fees I’m not sure. – But in my opinion, the voice acting within the original PC version was excellent.

    Replay Value: 10/10 The true ending is worth all of the work – and each of the routes are really well done. Many times a visual novel will have some routes that are not fleshed out well. But that’s not the case here. I tremendously enjoyed each route, making it almost impossible to pick a favorite. Also even though I’ve beaten it to completion and completed the true ending – I’d still play this game again – because it’s so good. Seriously, just go play this game if you’ve never experienced it.

    Overall: 81 / 90 90% A- “Excellent Game For Girls”

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    Anime, Anime Review, Review, Scifi, Seinen, TV and Film

    Erased – Anime Review

    Erased is pretty much THE anime of 2016. I’m sure you have probably at least heard of it, if not watched it yourself even. I really enjoyed this anime despite it being so predictable that I knew who the killer was by the 2nd or 3rd episode. — Don’t worry I won’t spoil it for those of you who haven’t seen it yet (or haven’t figured it out themselves).

    Erased has awesome music and a neat time-travel theme. Are you sad that Erased is over? I highly recommend that you check out Re:Zero – a currently running anime with a very similar time travel concept.

    Title: Erased (aka Boku Dake ga Inai Machi – The Town Without Only Me)

    Genre: Seinen, Murder, Mystery, Scifi

    Studio: A-1 Pictures

    Length: 12 Episodes

    Release Date: 2016

    Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

    Geeky: 5/5

    Sweetie: 3/5

    Overall: 36 / 40 90% A- “Excellent Anime For Girls”

    Story: 9/10 (Possible spoilers from first episode) The story begins with our main character, Satoru, delivering a pizza, suddenly as he’s driving down the street, he realizes he’s been there before. He explains that he has special powers which rewind time a few minutes before an accident occurs and that even though it’s against his better judgement he somehow always gets involved in other people’s problems to save them. This time he saves a little kid about to step into traffic. After he gets off work he goes home to find his mom is in town visiting him. He goes with his mom to the store, and he feels that something is not right. He tells his mom to look around for anything suspicious. She sees a man trying to abduct a child, but the man’s eyes meet her gaze and he gives up on his plan. Later, the man decides to kill the main character’s mom. The main character is blamed and framed for the murder of his mother – as he flees from the cops, he triggers another time jump – this time all the way back to when he was 8 years old – more than 20 years into the past.

    There is something that happened when he was 8 years old that will set the course in motion for his mother’s death. Now he must figure out what exactly that is. The problem is, he’s just a kid, and while he has his memories of being an adult, he’s not as strong, and not able to do things he used to do (stay out late, go places unsupervised, etc). His friends help him “play detective” though only one of them actually believes that it’s more than just make believe. It turns out that when he was 8 years old, several of his class mates were abducted and murdered. The man thought of committing these murders was sentenced to life in prison. Could it be they have the wrong man? Can Satoru solve the mystery and save his classmates – and his mom?

    The only reason I give this a 9 instead of 10 is because they made it so obvious who the killer was and did so too soon! I had it figured out by the 2nd or 3rd episode (Then again, this is a short series). It kinda killed the mystery which is sorta the whole point of this series. It’s still an awesome anime though and the story is really good! Good mix of comedy, suspense, horror, scifi, and even romance. There’s some changes from the manga – because the manga was still running when the anime aired.

    The manga develops Kayo and Airi a lot more (Kayo never does move away and becomes part of their group instead of just disappearing. And with Airi we learn more about her dream (to be a photographer which makes the ending of the anime make more sense lol.) However, I think overall, the anime really captured the heart of the story and although the endings are drastically different, they really still follow the same formula with Satoru being framed for another attempted murder.

    Characters: 9/10 I really loved the characters in this anime. They are so unique – from our main character, a struggling manga artist, to his mom with her sharp instincts, to his friends who range from chubby comedy support, to handsome young intelligent and level headed, to various love interests throughout the characters’ pasts and future. There are some really touching moments. More than anything, Satoru wants to protect the people he loves. This really shows through the character dialog and interaction. Once again, some of the characters are not as well developed in the anime adaptation as opposed to the manga. The anime is a bit rushed which causes certain chapters of the manga to be omitted completely, including an entire chapter devoted to Airi. Even still, I think the characters and their interaction is one of the highlights of this series.

    Artwork: 5/5 Since it is a recent release, the artwork is clean, the animation is fluid, and the character designs are very attractive. – I also read the manga after watching this – and dang, that’s one ugly manga lol. (still well worth the read). I do like how they took certain things from the manga, like how the characters’ lips are very full, etc. It gives them a unique appearance. But I’m glad that it polishes these designs and changes them to look much cleaner and fresher. It has the spirit of the manga, but a very different style overall.

    Music: 5/5 – If I could rate this on a higher scale, I would, but to keep in form with my other reviews we’ll stick to this formula. The music is one of the best anime soundtracks of 2016 so far. I really loved the opening song – which apparently is an old Jrock song from the 90s which used to be really popular. Kinda fits with the time travel theme to use a “throwback” opening song – and it’s just so catchy! The music throughout the rest of the series was also just really good.

    Overall: 36 / 40 90% A- “Excellent Anime For Girls”

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    Adventure Game, Animals, Game Review, Mystery, Review, Scifi, Sega Genesis, Videogame

    Ecco The Dolphin – Retro Game Review

    Something a lil bit different today. RPGs and Mobile games are all well and good – but sometimes you just want something different right?

    Sometimes you just want to be a dolphin and fly through the air doing barrel rolls and back flips while solving puzzles and eating fish. For that, I recommend Ecco the Dolphin.

    Ecco made his first appearance on Sega Genesis. The title was a huge success and spawned many sequels and spin offs including Ecco JR, Ecco 2 – The Tides of Time, and Echo Defender of the Future. There was also another Dreamcast version in the works which never saw the light of day before Dreamcast’s untimely demise. There are also handheld versions, Sega CD versions, Playstation 2 versions, and a PC and Xbox port of the original game.

    Title: Ecco The Dolphin

    Genre: Platformer / Adventure / Mascot game

    Platform: Originally Published On Sega Genesis but now available on PC

    Publisher: Sega

    Release Date: 1992

    Where to Buy: $2.99 for the PC Version from Amazon They also have the original Genesis version with prices ranging from $1.99 to $69.99 for condition of the cartridge, box, manuals, etc which raise the collector’s value.

    Geeky: 3/5 

    Sweetie: 3/5 

    Overall: 57 / 80 71% C- “Good Game for Girls”

    Concept: 8/10 Ecco is a young dolphin who lives a carefree life with his family and friends in a small bay until one day a friend challenges him to a dare to see how high he can jump in the sky. Ecco jumps so high that he causes a sea storm which causes all of his friends and family to be sucked up into the sky. Now Ecco must search for clues to help save his home. To do so, he will solve puzzles, swim at high speeds, and perform aerial stunts and tricks to get across obstacles blocking his path. There will be enemies he must face, as well as new friends along the way.

    Gameplay: 10/10 As mentioned above, you must solve puzzles and / or clear obstacles by jumping, flipping, skipping, flopping, or flying across them. There are glyphs in certain areas which hold clues for you to get to the next area and also provide some story and context. You need to eat fish, watch your oxygen level, and defeat enemies while exploring the underwater environment. You can also use sonar to communicate with friendly creatures or obtain a map of the area. In the end, the appeal in the gameplay comes in the form of numerous puzzles and the fun of performing aerial maneuvers or darting through the sea.

    Story: 6/10 The story is presented through solving puzzles and tied closely in with the game mechanics. Some terms and game mechanics are actually true to life of the behavior of real dolphins which shows that ample research went into developing these title, as well as a good deal of imagination and fantasy elements as well. Overall, while the story is good, and does entertain, it’s mostly a solitary journey through sea and space with an emphasis on puzzle solving and immersion. Story takes a back seat to the fast, and more action oriented gameplay mechanics.

    Characters: 6/10 As mentioned above, for most of this journey you are alone. Remember that cyclone that sucked up all your friends? You do occasionally come across NPCs to interact with, but it’s clearly not the focus of this series. Since most of the “characters” are Glyphs – this makes them highly impersonal and not very memorable.  But Ecco himself is a very interesting character – I don’t know of any other games in which you play as a dolphin.

    Graphics: 8/10 Although dated by today’s standards, Ecco had some truly beautiful graphics for its time. The graphics really made it feel as if you were exploring a lonely, tranquil, and somewhat oppressive feeling ocean. Throughout the evolution of this series, Ecco has always pushed the limits of whatever console hardware he had available at the time. This is most evident in the dreamcast version which features extremely realistic looking character models.

    Music: 8/10 The music and sound effects in Ecco also fit well with the atmosphere and mystery of the game and help build immersion.

    Replay Value: 5/10 – While its a linear game, its novelty and unique gameplay, characters, and setting, make it a memorable and enjoyable experience that will be worth revisiting to play multiple times. There’s really no other similar games out there which means if you want to play a similar game you’ll have to replay the few available Ecco games over and over. However, once knowing how to solve the puzzles and ins and outs of the story, it does take a little bit of the mystery and fun away for the next play through.

    Overall: 57 / 80 71% C- “Good Game for Girls”

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