GAMESIR-G3s Review

Hi, hi!

I was recently contacted by GameSir and asked to review the GAMESIR-G3s Game pad. This controller is designed to be compatible with PC, Android, iOS, Smart TVs/TV Boxes, and the Playstation 3. It can be used using a cable or wirelessly.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in return for an unbiased review. This post may also contain affiliate links. You can find my full disclosure policy here.

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The box includes the controller itself, a charging cable, a two sided micro USB cable for connecting to mobile, a wireless connector, warranty information and instructions for how to connect it to each device.

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I tested this controller on PC, the Samsung Galaxy S6, and the Playstation 3.

I immediately tested the GameSir-G3s on my PC, after charging it, using Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn with the Heavensward expansion.

My PC runs:
OS: Windows 10 Beta
Processor: Intel Core i7 870
Memory (RAM): 16 GB DDR3
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
Storage: 2TB
Sound Card: Integrated Motherboard-Asus

At first, this controller worked really well and the only issue that I had with it was that it’s a little too long for my hands which made it hard for me to reach the center buttons such as ‘home’, ‘start’, ‘select’, ‘clear’ and ‘turbo’.

However, it was so much lighter than the Xbox One controller that I typically use.

Note: I did make sure the game pad was fully charged each time before use.

After using it with Final Fantasy XIV: ARR for about 15 minutes wirelessly, it stopped working and I had to manually exit the game. I wasn’t too discouraged at first.

I thought ‘Maybe there is just some interference between the controller and the wireless connector.’ 

I grabbed the USB cable for it and plugged it in. Again, I had about the same results, but this time with a bit of stopping for a second or two every now and again.

This time I decided to record my results to show exactly what was happening and you can view it below:

You can catch the sudden stop for a second here.
You can catch just when it turns off and I have to use my mouse to finish the FATE here.

‘Okay,’ I thought. ‘Maybe it’s just not very compatible with FFXIV: ARR or any MMO’s. I’ll try another game.’ I then searched my Steam library for a game I thought would be a good game to test it out on. First, I tried Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1. No go. Then, I tired Left 4 Dead 2. Nope.

3rd time’s a charm, right?

I gave Bastion a go, again with the wireless device. It worked extremely well, even if my game play wasn’t so great. That is until I hit about 11-12 minutes in. There it was again. It just stopped working. There weren’t any pauses causing my character to stop like my FFXIV: ARR game plays though.

It just brought up the pause menu on it’s own and wouldn’t let me move any further using the controller. It also would not let me reconnect the controller.

When it stops each time like this, the controller’s lights start flashing like it’s trying to connect to something, even though it had already been connected and had seemed to have been working perfectly fine.

Luckily, I had planned ahead and recorded this one as well in case there was another game play issue so I could again catch what exactly happened in game when the game pad disconnected. You can view it below:


The issue, though, starts right about here.

‘Alright…maybe my PC doesn’t like it!’ I thought to myself, trying to give it the benefit of the doubt and remain positive. Next up was the PS3 with the wireless connector. I had the perfect game in mind for this one: Katamari Forever!

I sat down for about a good 45 minutes trying to get past the campfire stage (I’ve beaten the game before but on an older PS3 and now I’m rusty X_X ).

I had no lag, no sudden stopping for mere seconds at a time, no issues whatsoever. I thought it was going great until I was about to beat the stage and then it went off on it’s own again and wouldn’t respond to any movements or buttons being pressed.

I tried connecting it via USB and re-configuring it again according to the proper commands but I got nothing. Sadly, I couldn’t record my PS3 game play as I don’t have the proper recording device at this time, but the same issue occurred in this game as with the others that have videos above.

Now I was getting a little bummed because I was really, really enjoying how lightweight it was. The only other option I had was to try connecting it to my Samsung Galaxy S6. That was a quick and easy no. It would not connect via blue tooth at all, nor would it recognize the controller being plugged in via the dual sided micro USB.

I think this controller has great potential for sure. The games that it did actually work with, it worked very well for the most part and as I previously mentioned, it is very lightweight. It also has a bit more texture to it than the XBox One controller so it doesn’t slip as easily when I’m holding it.

I think this controller could use some improvement in the way of connectivity and compatibility.

This controller would probably be something I would use very often if the connectivity issues could be addressed in some way. One of the worst things that can happen in the gaming world is a controller disconnecting or dying in the middle of a fight.

I would use it for sure with mobile gaming if it were compatible with my device. There are many mobile RPGs out there that I would enjoy playing but I have a difficult time holding my phone up and tapping over and over again. Also, it would be great if it worked with more games. I would love to have used it for Hyperdimension Neptunia;Rebirth 1.

Thanks again to GameSir for allowing me to review this controller!

Persona 4 Golden

I originally wasn’t interested in touching the Persona series because I had heard things about it that just didn’t seem to appeal to me but one of my friends told me I should give Persona 4 Golden shot.

I figured I was already paying for Gamefly so what could it hurt? I added it to my Q, put it at the top of the list and had it sent to me.

**This post may contain affiliate links. You can find the disclosure policy here.**

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Persona 4 Golden, also known as Persona 4: The Golden, is the remake of the PS2 game Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 which was released in Japan and North America in 2008 and in Europe in 2009. Persona 4 Golden was released for the PS Vita in Japan and North America in 2012 and in Europe in 2013.

The protagonist is traveling to the fictional town of Inaba to live with his Uncle Dojima and younger cousin Nanako while his parents are working out of the country for a year.

 

As soon as the protagonist arrives, there is a string of murders.

The protagonist quickly learns that he has the ability to confront monsters, known as ‘Shadows‘, within the TV world where the murders seem to be happening and that he also has the ability to use an ability called ‘Persona‘.

The protagonist along with his two new schoolmates and friends, Chie and Yosuke, meet Teddie who lives in the TV world. They vow to help Teddie fix his world by solving the mystery and confronting the culprit.

Due to the fog that covers the TV world, the protagonist and his friends cannot see well within the TV world so Teddie makes them special glasses that can be used to see through the fog.

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Throughout the game, you will help many people face their own Personas, or their hidden selves. Most of these characters will become part of your ‘investigation team‘.

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This game is an RPG style game but what I really enjoyed about it was that it also has ‘sim‘ elements.

For instance, you can increase certain traits such as: knowledge, courage, diligence. On top of that you can also increase something called ‘social links‘ with people you encounter.

These social links will be beneficial in creating new personas as well as teaching personas new abilities. Each character has a unique story that you can learn about by interacting with them and building their social links.

There are also many options for girls to date within the game.

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Within the ‘Velvet Room‘ you can hand in cards which will allow you buy those abilities later to give to any persona. You can also fuse your personas and buy personas that you have previously registered to the compendium.

These cards are gained through a card shuffle you get at the end of some battles and there are many other cards to choose from as well such as: extra exp, new personas, slight health and SP recovery, more money, etc.

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Aside from the compelling story line, there are many other things I enjoyed about this game. The story is dark but there is enough lightheartedness between you and the people you can interact with to help keep the game from being so dark that it’s constantly depressing.

I also LOVE the music of Persona 4 Golden and I am so, so, so happy that they made Persona 4: Dancing All Night with remixes of the music from the game.

Not only is the regular day to day music fantastic but the battle music and dungeon music is worth listening to as well. It does a wonderful job of getting the player pumped and in the mood to play.

Another thing I enjoyed about this game was the option to take on part time jobs to raise your status (academics, diligence, courage, etc.) as well as earning extra income. Some of the jobs you will have to take on in order to obtain certain social links as well.

An additional perk to this game is that you can change your outfits in the dungeons to anything from school uniforms, to bathing suits to maid and butler outfits! (MAID OUTFITS!)

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This game had me going from the very beginning. I was constantly thinking to myself ‘oh this guy seems like the culprit’ ‘well…no….maybe it’s this one’. I was on my toes the entire game and the end result was a shocker! It was nice to play a game that wasn’t predictable.

There are a variety of different endings and a new game plus feature as well. I am currently on my second play through on new game plus.

I was very satisfied with this game. It stands as one of my favorite games now. It’s re-play value is high, the music is fantastic, the story is suspenseful and the character interactions are memorable and well thought out.

In all honesty, I’m playing through Persona 3 Portable for my first time and I’m having a rough time with it because the character stories aren’t as compelling and the game just has an extremely dark aura to it with no breaks for humor.

If you haven’t played a Persona game and are thinking about it, I would highly recommend P4G and P4:DAN as well.

The Deleted E-mails of Hillary Clinton (A Parody)

**This will be a political post. I am not confirming my support for any candidate. This is not a debate post. I will be simply reviewing the book**


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Title: The Deleted E-Mails of Hillary Clinton

Author: John Moe
Where to Buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Penguin Random House

ABOUT THE DELETED E-MAILS OF HILLARY CLINTON

The explosive secret e-mails Hillary Clinton doesn’t want you to read
(Or maybe she does…She’s crafty like that.)
 
Remember that time Hillary Clinton admitted that she deleted thousands of e-mails from her ultra-secret personal e-mail address while Secretary of State? Thousands of e-mails, she claimed, about her daughter’s wedding? Well, people aren’t buying it: “Hiding the truth” says The New York Post. “Conspiracy or incompetence?” asks Al-Jazeera. “Hillary Clinton Don’t Give a Sh*t” claims Wonkette. Clearly, these e-mails need to be released immediately.

Now, thanks to John Moe and WikiLoox, the lost messages have been retrieved and placed in this dossier. For the first time, we’ll get a look inside HRC’s well-coiffed head, reading intimate conversations with family (Bill, Chelsea), friends (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Oprah, Beyonce), and frenemies (Obama, Palin, Putin) alike. We’ll also learn essential details about her private life, from her pop-culture obsessions to her thoughts on yoga, baking cookies, “Scandal,” and much more.

Make no mistake—this is a book of critical national importance. Following her journey from mother-of-the-bride to commandress-in-chief, we’ll see how HRC handles the most challenging situations she might face in the White House, including how to respond to people who “reply all” to e-mails and how to wrangle pantsuit retailers as they compete, with increasing desperation, for her attention. Along the way, we will finally get the portrait we need—the one our country deserves—of the woman we may soon call “Madam President.”

About Section from Penguin Random House

I have been following the 2016 Presidential primaries and elections very closely and I’ve taken to finding humor in every candidate’s flaws, slip-ups and scandals.

There was Ben Carson who always looked like he was on the verge of falling asleep, Jeb! and his super excited campaign slogan (please clap), Ted Cruz who people are convinced is the Zodiac Killer, Carly Fiorina, who crashed HP in 5 years and Ted Cruz’s campaign in a matter of days, Lincoln Chafee is just…weird, Bernie Sanders who wants a political revolution and Hillary Clinton who has been in scandal after scandal since she’s been in the political eye. (There are plenty more to speak of but for time’s sake I’ll leave them out)

Secretary Clinton’s most recent scandal is her e-mail scandal in which she kept a private server in her home while acting as secretary of state. There is a lot of controversy as to if it was actually legal, if she had classified e-mails on that server and if it had ever been hacked. You can read more about it here.

Despite the scandals, Hillary has a personality that really stands out. The way she speaks, her choice of words and her attitude.

In this book, John Moe takes Hillary Clinton’s personality and her e-mail scandal and mashes the two together to make for a hilarious read.

The author cracks jokes at many different things such as Hillary’s possible plans to run for office in 2016, knack for brushing things off, pant suits, her seemingly semi-obvious hunger for power, Joe Biden, and of course Bill.

The Deleted E-Mails of Hillary Clinton had me laughing from page one. As soon as I opened it and read this I was hooked,

January 20, 2009

TO: Barack Obama
FROM: HRC
Subject: It being fine

Barack,

Tomorrow we begin a new journey together. You, as President of the United States, and me, as Secretary of State, which is a different job entirely. I just want you to know that I am honored to serve under you and have you as my boss.

It’s fine.

Certainly, we fought hard against each other through a protracted primary process, one that became rather bitter and testy at times, but that is all in the past. now I’m ready to serve in this other job while you serve as President and live in the White House.

I will live somewhere else. And that is fine with me. I can live a lot of other places. That’s no big deal.

It’s fine.

I am eager to get started in my new role and excited to do my part to help establish peace and harmony between the United States and other nations, just has I’ve been eager to establish peace and harmony between you, the President, and me, just the Secretary of State.

I’m totally okay.

HRC

P.S. I may use this e-mail account from time to time. That’s fine, right?

In this book you will follow Hillary’s (parody) e-mail exchanges with President Obama, two different pant suit companies, the fun four (Hillary herself, Gwyneth Paltrow, Oprah, and Beyonce), her aide, and many others.

Weather you are a Hillary supporter or not this book is incredibly hilarious and I recommend anyone who enjoys politics should give it a read. It’s short and extremely easy to follow. There’s no bashing or insulting of political candidates within this book which makes it that much more fun to read.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Moe is a McSweeney’s contributor and host of American Public Media’s nationally syndicated public radio show Wits. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

WikiLoox is a group of ingenious cyber freedom fighters who comb the remote recesses of the deep web to gain access to secret, secret, ultra-secret governmental documents. You can find them at www.deletedemails.tumblr.com.

Taken from Penguin Random House

FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

doodletopia CARTOONS

Title: doodletopia CARTOONS
Author: Christopher Hart
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Penguin Random House

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About:

 About section from Penguin Random House
doodletopia CARTOONS is a collection of step-by-step tutorials, fill in the silhouettes, draw the other half pictures, as well as sections dedicated to facial expressions, using a base drawing to create multiple animals or characters, clothing tutorials, and font tutorials.
I decided to pick up doodletopia because I have been thinking of starting my own comic series chronicling my progress and struggles of learning another language.
I’ve always enjoyed art but more so in the style of Japanese animation with huge detailed eyes and non-realistic hair and that just doesn’t fit into the style of cartooning that I wish to do.
The problem with this is that because I’ve always preferred that style of drawing, I couldn’t figure out how to simplify my drawings. When I found doodletopia I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to see what I could do!
The book starts off with basic step-by-step instructions to draw things such as people in different poses and animals. I started with the very first one in the book which is a penguin who has caught a fish.
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The instructions from the book
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My drawing

As you can see, it is very simplistic as are most of the tutorials in this book which is fantastic for simple and cute cartoon drawing. The best thing about this book, though, is that the author highly encourages you to make these your own and alter them in whichever way suits you.

I had so much fun following the instructions in this book and have learned a few techniques that I will be using when I start my own comic series.

Here is another example of a drawing I did following the instructions in the book.

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Book example
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My drawing

As you can see there is a lot of space to make things bigger or smaller and alter them in anyway you choose but there are also enough instructions so you can also draw the image just as it’s picture on the page.

As I was doing some research on Christopher Hart, I was surprised to find that he has also authored many ‘How to draw’ anime and manga art books that I have seen in stores several times and have contemplated buying on several occasions. He is also the author of another doodletopia book that is coming out this summer that is based upon manga characters and I’m so excited to buy it!

Overall, I greatly enjoyed this book. I learned a lot from it that I will be putting to use in the near future. I enjoyed more than just the instructions, though. I also enjoyed the playful font that was used throughout the book, giving it a more playful feeling, as well as the encouragement to make them my own if I wished and the variety of things that were taught within one book.

I am extremely pleased that I picked up this book. I have had a lot of fun with it so far and I will be doing the rest of the drawings in this book soon because they are so simple and fun.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

CHRISTOPHER HART is the world’s bestselling author of drawing and cartooning books. His books have sold more than 6 million copies and have been translated into 20 languages. Renowned for up-to-the-minute content and easy-to-follow steps, all of Hart’s books have become staples for a new generation of aspiring artists and professionals, and they have been selected by the American Library Association for special notice.Taken from Penguin Random House
FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

The Tsar of Love and Techno

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Title:
The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories
Author: Anthony Marra
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble

About:

 About taken from Penguin Random House

———————–Review contains spoilers————————

Continue reading “The Tsar of Love and Techno”

Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?/Is The Order a Rabbit? S1

ItoarIf you like super adorable, moe-blob, slice of life anime then Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu Ka (also known as GochiUsa and Is the Order a Rabbit?) is for you!

**This post may contain affiliate links. You can find the disclosure policy here.**

——————————CONTAINS SPOILERS (Very small spoilers since there isn’t a thick plot, but you’ve been warned!)————————-

Continue reading “Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?/Is The Order a Rabbit? S1”

Dear Esther

I have played many video games and many different genres, but one I had never experienced until just a few days ago was a game type often referred to as minimalist.

It’s something I had sort of avoided for the silliest of reasons, it didn’t make sense to me. I had some sort of weird idea that a minimalist game had to be super scary like Silent Hill.

After speaking to a friend and talking about their play through of a newer minimalist game, I informed them that I’d never played one and they then were kind enough to gift me a game called Dear Esther.

**This post may contain affiliate links. You can find the disclosure policy here.**

Dear Esther was developed by a game development studio called The Chinese RoomThough, it was originally developed as a mod for Half-Life 2, it did well enough that it was later released separate game.

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I say this is a minimalist game but it is also known as a first-person exploration game. I would actually even venture to call it sort of a Visual Novel.

In Dear Esther you start off as an unnamed male character, right out of the ocean, in front of a lighthouse.

The point of this game is to venture around toward specific areas which will then trigger dialogue from the main character, unfolding the reasons as to why he is on this island.

It is an extremely short game. It took me only about 90 minutes to complete from start to finish. There are 4 specific chapters, or areas, which will delve deeper into this man’s story.

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You can only walk around and when in certain bodies of water, swim upward to get out of the water. When dark areas are entered, a flash light will automatically turn on, allowing you to further examine and explore these areas. Other than that, there is no other sort of interaction that occurs within the game.

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While it is a short lived game and there is no real interactive gameplay to be had, the graphics, the music and the story itself make it incredible.

The music flows so smoothly with the exploration of the island as well as the heartbreaking story that comes with the character. To me, the music within Dear Esther is sort of…majestic.

 

As for graphics, I’m not one to throw a fit over whether graphics are great or poor. I like to enjoy games for what they are and for their stories, but for a game such as Dear Esther in which the scenery, the music and the story being told are the only things there, I paid a little more attention to the detail provided in the graphics of this game and felt that they were incredible.
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As for the story, I don’t want to give away too much, but you follow a man on a heartfelt journey of self-realization and acceptance. It’s a very spiritual game in that sense.

Overall, though, I am very glad that I took the time to play through this game and I’m very sorry that this post isn’t longer, but because the game is so short, speaking about the story would give away many potential spoilers. I hope you enjoy the sample of music as well as the visuals and I hope that you will give this game a chance if you ever want to delve into this sort of genre.

Thanks for reading!

***All pictures were screenshots taken by me, in game***

Chrono Trigger

What do you get when you join together an average boy, a princess who doesn’t want to be a princess, a girl following in her father’s footsteps as an inventor, a frog, a robot, a girl from 65,000,000 BC and time travel?  You get an amazing RPG from the SNES era known as Chrono Trigger.

**This post may contain affiliate links. You can find the disclosure policy here.**

Chrono_Trigger_characters

Chrono Trigger characters”. Via Wikipedia – Artwork by: Akira Toriyama Characters from Chrono Trigger published by Square (now Square Enix)

Now before you steer away after seeing that this is a game for an older console, hear me out. The newer versions do have animated cut scenes in some areas and the game is still pixelated and in sprite form but the storyline is brilliant. Okay, I know it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like JRPGs and time travel, it’s worth a go.

Chrono Trigger was developed by Square (which has since become Square Enix) for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and released in 1995. It was later ported to the PlayStation in 1999 in Japan and packaged with Final Fantasy IV for the PlayStation in a compilation called, Final Fantasy Chronicles in 2001 in North America. It was again ported to the Nintendo DS in 2008 for North America and Japan and in 2009 for Europe and Australia. It has since been ported again to mobile devices, Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo’s virtual console as well.

Chrono Trigger starts with our protagonist, Crono, in the year 1000 AD during the millennial festival of his kingdom in Truce. There he goes to see his friend Lucca at the festival where she and her father will be unveiling their latest experiment, a transporter of sorts. He runs into a girl named Marle (Crono at this time doesn’t know she’s really the princess) who asks if he will spend time with her at the festival.

After agreeing to let her join you (no, you don’t have a choice) you can then venture around the fair some more as Crono and Marle. You can check out one of Lucca’s experiments, a battling robot named Gato. He will recite you a cute song about beating him up to earn 15 silver points (which can be redeemed later for the games currency). Other things you can do include, betting on a race of characters that runs in a square when you enter Leene Square, strength test (ring the bell), dancing to prehistoric music, a button mashing soda guzzling contest, and if you have enough silver points you can venture into Norstein Bekkler’s Tent of Horrors, which you will need to visit later anyway.

Eventually, you will hear that Lucca’s experiment is ready to be viewed and you can then head to the top of Leene Square with Marle. Crono is volunteered to try out the new invention and is teleported from the pod on the left side of the screen to the one on the right. Impressed by this, Marle decides she wants to try but something goes awry with the teleportation devices and the pendant she is wearing and a portal is opened sending Marle to another time period.

Crono journeys after Marle while Lucca tries to figure out what went wrong and this is the start of Crono and his friends’ adventures through time.

Throughout the game, your party will change certain parts of the fictional history set in place by venturing all the way back to 65,000,000 BC and all the way up to The End of Time after accidentally traveling to the year 2300 AD and witnessing, on a computer, the destruction of the world by Lavos and realizing that they can then prevent this from ever happening.

Throughout the game you will battle dinosaur like creatures from the prehistoric era, you will battle robot and robot like enemies, and magical beasts.

Each character will have a special type of weapon they will use, as in most RPGs, but most of them will also acquire magical skills later on in the game.

Chrono Trigger uses offers both an active and wait mode to choose from in the beginning of the game. The difference, from what I have seen is that in wait mode, while you are choosing which special skills, or ‘techs’ as they are called in this game, enemies won’t attack you, whereas in active mode, they are capable of attacking you.

As for running into enemies, this game is a little different than a lot of RPGs. You do not run into enemies on the world map while you are traveling. You only run into them within the dungeon, forest, or wherever you have specifically chosen to travel. Also, enemies are almost always completely visible, allowing them to be avoided at times. However, every once in awhile, the monsters will jump out from a bush or fall from a tree.

CronoToriyamadesign“CronoToriyamadesign” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – designed by Akira Toriyama

Moving on to character weapons and techs. The protagonist, Crono, uses a katana and will later wield the magical power of lightning. Marle battles with a crossbow and learns to use ice as well as healing magic. Lucca uses a gun and hammer and will learn to cast fire magic. Frog will use a broadsword and learns water (perfect for a frog, huh?) and, like Marle, healing magic. Robo, because of his technological composition cannot actually acquire magic but his laser attacks mimic shadow magic and he is able to mimic fire, lightning and healing magic as well. Ayla uses strength alone as she does not wield a weapon of any sort and she cannot use magic either because she was born well before humans were able to use magic. There is one more optional character that you can recruit to your party, but  for the sake of not spoiling anything I will leave that character out.

You might notice that the character styles resemble familiar characters from popular shows such as  Dragon Ball or also that they resemble characters from a game called Dragon Quest and that is because they have a few of the same team members, Yuji Horii and Akira Toriyama. Other familiar aspects from games like Final Fantasy may be noticed as well and this is because of a few different reasons. Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy both were developed and published by Square as well as having some of the same team members including: Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of Final Fantasy and Nobou Uematsu‘s (who has composed music for many Final Fantasy games) compositions can be heard in some of the game’s tracks.

Chrono Trigger has a beautiful soundtrack. Each character has their own unique theme. The entire soundtrack is immensely powerful weather you are listening to the main theme, the battle music or the world map’s music. It does an excellent job of getting you pumped up for whatever may be coming your way and making you feel the emotion that is conveyed inside of the game.

Example: Crono’s Theme

 

I have an extremely hard time picking lists for anything, top 5 or 10 anime or books, things like that, but this game is not only nostalgic for me, it never gets old and this game is my #1 game while all of my other favorites are tied. So if you like powerful RPGs that have some feels involved and you want a game where you can feel like you can change the world, I highly recommend this game. You can go original nostalgic and try play it on the SNES (which, by the way, is extremely expensive), you could go for wanting the nice animated cut scenes and a cheaper version by buying it on the PS1, you can go mobile by finding it on the iOS store or GooglePlay (that’s up to you, but I personally do not like playing good RPGs on mobile, or you can check out the DS version which has the animated cut scenes as well as a bit of extra side story line and extra dungeons.

Gamer Girl

2850535Life was going great for Maddy Starr. She had her group of friends to gush to about crushes and other girly things, she went to a nice school, and she had her manga club. That is, until her parents called it quits, resulting in a move from the city to a small town where this manga loving, Gothic styled girl just knew she would not fit in.

**This post may contain affiliate links. You can find the disclosure policy here.**

After a torture filled first day of school caused by her grandmother forcing her to wear a unicorn sweater to school after not approving of Maddy’s outfit choice, being targeted by the schools clique of bullies, being designated “Freak Girl” of the school and realizing that her friends from Boston Academy had already moved on and left her behind, Maddy just knew that this school was going to be hell on Earth.

However, things started to look up a bit after Maddy’s father decided to buy her the MMORPG game, Fields of Fantasy for her birthday.

When she started the game, she created her elven character, Allora. She then ventured with Allora to an area that was a bit past her skill level at the time. Just as she was about to give up hope on the game after being killed several times in a row by wolves, she was saved by a character named SirLeo.

Maddy’s online life as Allora seemed to be going so smoothly, venturing alongside SirLeo and secretly falling for him, but her real life suffered as she was mocked and bullied by Billy Henderson and his clique every single day, all while crushing on Chad Murray, who was part of the clique but Maddy wasn’t convinced that he was like the rest of them.

After chatting with Maddy one day, Chad told her about a manga competition that he thought she should enter. She decided that it would be a good opportunity to win enough money to pay for tuition to her old school, Boston Academy.

Maddy had already been working very hard on a manga about a girl who was sucked into a fantasy world and had to venture to make her way home, so it was a perfect opportunity.

Maddy had also decided to start up a manga club at school with the help of Ms. Reilly, who had previously informed Maddy that she was also interested in manga.

The manga club seemed to be a hit for such a small school. Maddy was able to finally make some friends!

Meanwhile, in her online world, she was still falling so hard for SirLeo who was falling for her…Allora, as well. SirLeo one day mentions that he wished that she attended his school in Farmingdale because he would ask her out. Maddy fought hard with herself not to tell him she was from Farmingdale as well, brushing it off as maybe there were many other towns called Farmingdale. However, she did know that they were in the same time zone. Maybe they did go to the same school.

Who exactly was SirLeo? Would the real life SirLeo like Maddy as herself even though she wasn’t her beautiful elven character, Allora?  She was so torn knowing the dangers of revealing her true identity online as well as crushing on a virtual guy and a guy in real life. Would the bullying ever stop? Would anyone stand up to these bullies?

Gamer Girl is a fantastic book for gamers, manga enthusiasts, and anime lovers, especially those who may have dealt with bullying regarding these matters.

I know I was bullied for some of the same things, and when I picked up this book for the first time in high school it was an inspiration. I remembered it just recently and decided it was a good book to write about and introduce others to. I can relate to Maddy in so many ways and I know many others can as well.

While I wasn’t any good at anime or manga related art, I still enjoyed drawing it. It was very much as an expressive outlet.

I was no where near the kind of talent that Maddy in the story is, but I did play video games as well as watching anime and reading manga, and I had a small group of friends that I could enjoy that with as well.

I can relate to her hesitance to start a manga club at such a small school, fearing that no one would join. But, this book is a great inspiration. I did start a manga/anime club at my school. It didn’t last terribly long, but we did enjoy ourselves. Maddy Starr is an inspiration to otaku and gamers alike.

Mari Mancusi opened my eyes with this book and gave me so much inspiration in high school to just be who I was and to let the haters hate and not let them get to me. And I want others who have the same interests and have been in the same situations to have the chance to read this book as well.

Alex + Ada

******This review/summary will contain spoilers!******

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Alex + Ada   
By: Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn

In a world completely dominated by technology, people are looking to customize able androids to fulfill their loneliness and needs. Alex, however, does not feel that he needs an android to fill the void that his fiancee left when she decided to leave him without giving any reason. His grandmother feels differently.

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