Beasts Of Maravilla Island is a Pokemon Snap inspired Forest Exploration Game Coming To Nintendo Switch and PC

Beasts of Maravilla Island-a magic wildlife photography game

Michelle Olson is raising funds for Beasts of Maravilla Island-a magic wildlife photography game on Kickstarter! An adventure game where you meet and photograph extraordinary creatures on a magical jungle island!

Back the project within the next 7 days to get a digital copy of Maravilla Island for your platform of choice for just $5.

There’s also a free demo of the game available here: https://duplighosts.itch.io/beasts-of-maravilla-island-demo

Of course, as you can see in the comments section, the game has a lot of bugs and issues with bad controls right now so it is not a good indicator of how the final game may play out.

Beasts of Maravilla Island is an adventure game through nature where you research and photograph wildlife as you explore the island. Very similar to Pokemon Snap which is also coming soon to Nintendo Switch. It looks like Pokemon Snap won’t be the only animal photography game on the Nintendo Switch. And for fans who don’t have a Nintendo Switch, but do have a PC, they can get a similar gaming experience with Beasts of Maravilla. read more

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.

 

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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!”

 

Sonicomi Communication English Preorders Begin. Game Release Date Scheduled for Summer 2016

Sonicomi English Preorder is now live on JLIST. Up til now, the game has only been available in Asian regions. This new English release is the original Sonicomi Game from 2011 for the PC; however, JLIST has licensed the visuals from the much improved 2014 PS3 version.

Preorder Sonicomi Communication – and use Coupon Code: MOE-22Y-E8BNV5 to get 5% off!

Gameplay puts you in the role of a professional cameraman as you photograph a “Gravure Idol” (which loosely translates to Magazine Model), the busty, pink haired, Sonico. You get scores and combos for taking better photos. Outside of the photography element, you interact with the model in visual novel fashion.

The game features a ton of customization with well over 100 items to dressup in.

The replay value is also very high, because depending on your advice, Sonico’s career is at stake and she will evolve to reach one of 18 different endings, including a special ending where she falls in love with you.

Unlike most visual novels, this one is fully animated and in 3D.

In all, from the descriptions, Gameplay reminds me of a very perverse, echi style “Pokemon Snap” X Princess Maker 2 Crossover lol.

Super Sonico is Nitro+ special mascot and makes cameo appearances in many other games, and even has her own anime series.

There are 2 editions available for preorder. The standard edition includes preorder bonuses of an action figure, steam key (for when the game is later released on steam), and art cards. The special “collector’s edition” includes a “full body” mouse pad which is “2 times larger than other moe mouse pads” and they said the mousepad has never been sold before anywhere, not even in Japan, and features brand new artwork by the designer of the game, just for the US English release and once preorders end this Mousepad will no longer be available. $100 bucks seems Crazy to me for a Mousepad – but if you’re really into this character, I guess some people may be interested in it. Meanwhile, the standard edition will run $55 – which yes, is a lot for a visual novel. Clannad recently released with a $50 price tag too. Now that visual novels are gaining popularity in the west it seems we can expect typical “new release” prices on par with other genres of gaming. I plan to preorder the standard edition when I get paid this week.

Preorder Sonicomi Communication

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Steam Controller Appraisal: This One’s For The Steam Controllers read more

Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera Phone Review

One of my most popular blog posts is my Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera Phone Preview. Which you can read here. However this was written well before I actually purchased the phone. And my opinion, enthusiasm, and love for the phone are much different now, after having owned the Nokia Lumia for over a year already. The bottom line is, I would NOT recommend this phone. And I’m going to tell you why.

First of all it crashes, or freezes, multiple times a week. It’s done this pretty much from day 1. ATT just advises me to press and hold all 3 buttons, and soft reset the phone. Which usually works, except sometimes it doesn’t, in which case you have to perform a hard reset.

My entire family got one of these phones. My mother’s phone INEXPLICABLY died within 3 months of owning it. It’d never been dropped, never gotten wet, etc. ATT agreed there was no logical reason for the phone to die and not turn back on and so gave her a replacement one, and so far hers has been fine.

Out of the four phones, MINE is the only one that freezes all the time. I have more apps than anyone else in my family on this phone. BUT that can’t be the reason, because as I mentioned, it’s done this from DAY ONE.

So there’s the first point, freezing, crashing. read more

Why Iphone 6 Plus is the best Smartphone for Female Gamers

I’m currently lusting after an Iphone 6 Plus, but by time I fulfill my contract, to get the upgrade discount, I’m pretty sure the Iphone 7 will be out. I’ve never owned an Iphone. I had androids for years, ever since the first motorola droid, with the slide out keyboard. About a year ago now I bought a windows phone. I’m always an early adopter of technology, but windows is very disappointing in two areas. First, the app store, no good games, despite, Microsoft’s recent announcement that windows 10 will allow developers to easily port their games to the platform at just the switch of a button. Secondly, no accessories available for the phone in store, some may be available online, but really, I feel jealous of all the cool accessories and cute beautification elements that go into the Iphone.

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I own an Ipad 2 (the old one, before “Air”) and the app store on Ipad is amaze-balls. There are so many free Otome games and Visual Novels. I’ve realized that I’m more of a casual gamer these days. Maybe I’ll write a blog post about that sometime too. Don’t get me wrong, I love my PC and Console games too, but we’re seeing so many great mobile titles lately, especially asian developed titles (anime games, rpgs, visual novels, otome games, dating sims, etc). The App store has hundreds if not thousands of these styles of games which get often neglected in the next gen consoles and PC lineups.

I love my Ipad and play it daily… and yet… since it’s the Wifi only model… and also due to size/weight, It just is not practical to always have on my person, the way an Iphone would be… For breaks at work, lunch, commutes, waiting rooms at appointments, or while waiting for food in a restaurant, etc.

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The Ipad also can’t be customized as cutely, and femininely as the Iphone.

They also make cute wallets and clutches to carry your Iphone, and your ID, and maybe 2 or 3 credit/debit cards and some money. — I had similar wallets like this for my Galaxy Note. But I have not found any for my Windows phone.

The larger screen of the Iphone Plus, makes it better for gamers who spend a large amount of time looking at their screens.

My next phone for sure will be an Iphone. I keep entering contests (not the scammer ones lol just legit ones), and hoping and praying to win one, or enough moola to buy one, before my contract expires next year.

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However, the Iphone 7 is looking to be even better for us girls, who, if you’re like me, LOVE taking photos. That’s because rumor has it that Iphone 7 will feature a much improved camera, using multiple sensors, to aid in low-light photography and image stabalization technology (already present in the Iphone 6 Plus).

If you’re a female gamer, who likes any of the above mentioned styles of games, or regards your phone as a fashion accesory, the Iphone is the ONLY way to go, in my opinion. And if you’re worried you might miss some of your existing android apps, check out BlueStacks which allows you to play android games on your PC. I use it to play Soccer Spirits, because that game doesn’t run well on my Ipad. But you can access any game on the google play store (you still have to pay if you want to play a paid game). Unlike other Android emulators, the playstore is built directly into Bluestacks and its very easy to use without having to patch or create other work arounds which may be difficult for non techsavy gamers.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera Phone Preview

nokialumia

UPDATE 6/22/15 SO I’ve Now Owned This Phone for about a year! Check out my full review HERE

One of the products that I plan to buy sometime in 2014, is the Nokia Lumia 1020. I plan to buy this device for full price out of contract. It’s $500, in this way, but it’s still the most affordable DSLR Camera on the market today. For those who are willing to sign a new contract with AT&T, the camera phone becomes just $99 with a new service agreement.

The images throughout this article are from Flickr’s creative commons. Rights belong to original photographers. Photos link to original photographer’s flickr page. All photos taken with Nokia Lumia 1020.

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Even at the $500 price tag though it’s still the best buy for casual photographers who want a cheap DSLR camera. Most similarly priced cameras are only what they call “point and click” cameras. They have lower Megapixels and often are less feature-rich than most DSLR cameras on the market today.The Sony Cybershot Hx300 digital camera is only 20.4 MP and retails for $499. The Canon EOS Rebel T3i digital camera features a meager 18 MP and costs nearly $700. Nikon’s D3300 features 24.2 MP and will retail for $649.95 when it is released later this year.

Well then what would a 40mp camera from another company other than Nokia cost? Far more than any regular non professional photographer would pay. We’re talking upwards of $10,000 just for the camera, then you add on all the lenses and attachments…. they just aren’t intended for the average everyday consumer. The furthest that our consumer technology has come is around 25mp in the “affordable range”. So as Nokia says in their branding and slogan, “nothing else even comes close”. However, this price can vary widely. To illustrate, the two most well known 40 mp cameras on the market today are the ultra compact (but still larger than the nokia lumia 1020), Sigma DP2 Merril, retailing at $1,400 and the big beefy, Pentax 645D retailing around $7,000.

I understand that there are many other considerations aside from just megapixels too when deciding on a DSLR camera.

ISO is a big factor for low light or moving images.

Shutterspeed can also be a decisive factor for many people.

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And zoom or macro capabilities are also another consideration to take into account.

The Nokia Lumia 1020 boasts about it’s enhanced low-light image capabilities and large sensor size which gathers more light.

It however is left behind when it comes to shutterspeeds and macro shots.

However, it gains points with it’s stylish slim and light weight design which attracts people who are put off by the heavy weight of traveling with a more traditional DSLR.

There are also a number of lenses and attachments available (for any camera phone, not just the nokia lumia) that are compatible as well to help improve your shots.

All and all, for the power and price, as well as it’s compact travel-friendly design, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is revolutionizing casual “consumer” photography. It’s now easier than ever to become a hobby photographer.

It also comes in 3 colors, neon yellow, black, or white. I wish it came in the red color like the newer nokia 1520

For those wanting it as a cellphone, which was it’s original intention afterall, it’s on sale for just 99 dollars with a new contract under AT&T. You can buy it without a contract as well and use it on your own carrier which is what I intend to do. I use walmart’s Straight Talk cell service which is just 45 a month for unlimited talk, text, and data, so I can share all the photos I take easily and quickly to my instagram, facebook, twitter, or email, without having to be near a wifi hotspot. I’ve never used a windows phone so I can’t comment on the interface or phone features itself, stay tuned for a full review in the coming months once I have purchased the Nokia Lumia 1020.

Geeky Factor: 

Sweetie Factor: 

Dollmore Model F Melissa Baul Review

My Melissa Baul with Custom Faceup By Dollmore
My Melissa Baul with Custom Faceup By Dollmore

 

Edit to add: (cleaned up images by moving them to a floating div, making this easier to read. also nixed the old banner ads as we use a different platform now.) I also want to add that Kitty Blue in the Ohio ABJD meetup group helped me restring and hot-glue “suede” this doll a year or two ago which helped a lot of the problems I mention in this review. She also told me buying shoes, especially boots that go up the legs, would help add more stability.

I own a dollmore model F Melissa Baul. She is from 2011, so there may be some small changes to new versions. My version has a custom face up that I ordered through Dollmore themselves. The default faceup is quite different. She came free with the same dark short wig and grey colored acrylic eyes as her stock photo. Her red lace lingerie was also included. They also sent some free gifts, a purple plaid trench coat, and a pin or button featuring the face of one of their dolls.

They did an amazing job on her faceup. I took her to a dollmeet one time and got a lot of very positive feedback on her face. I had sent them random pics off the internet, one for the eyes, one for the lips, etc demonstrating the color and style that I wanted her to have. I wanted something very dramatic, sexy, glamorous, kinda a film noir feeling to it or vintage pinup girl style. I really love how it turned out. I also requested light freckles, I wish I would have requested a bit darker freckles now, I chose a color from photoshop and screenshot that color swatch, but it just barely barely barely shows up, especially with my subpar camera lol.

She came strung very loosely and I have never restrung her (too afraid to!). If I had one complaint it would be that she is strung too loose and can’t pose – heck she can barely stand up at all. As you can see in this photo she CAN stand… it takes forever to get her to do that though. And standing isn’t exactly something that’s hard for these dolls lol. I’m not even trying to do weird crazy poses – just standing there is a challenge for her! From research I have done (sadly after the fact) this seems to be common for Dollmore. They ship all of their dolls like this, so I would not order from them unless you are prepared to restring your doll.

There are a lot more dollmore dolls that I would like, but until I get brave enough to try restringing for my first time, I would not order from them again.

Other than that one small snaffu, I am extremely pleased with dollmore as a whole. They are probably in my top 5 companies in terms of sculpts and style and faceup quality. Their bodies on their model dolls are so beautiful. If we’re talking aesthetically, they are probably my favorite bodies. Pose-ability wise is another question entirely, and out of the dolls I own, they’d be near the lower end. They are double jointed, can touch their own face, etc, but it’s their ability (or lack thereof) to hold a pose due to the loose stringing that kills it every time.

The one complaint that I have aesthetically is her feet are huge. I don’t know if this is necessary to balance out the weight of her long body (they are among the tallest female dolls on the market at 68cm for the females) but her feet are nearly double the length of my other SD girl. Their busts come in 2 cup sizes. mine has the default bust, they also offer a glamour bust option which is at least double, if not tripple the size of the regular. The glamour bust looks very sexy, but I was afraid that it would make it harder for her to fit into clothes from other manufacturers.

Another odd aesthetic choice is the unusually small head. Some people in the hobby think the dolls have “pinheads” I wouldn’t go that far, I’ve gotten used to my girl’s porportions now and she wears the same size wig as my other SD girl. I think though, given that her body is larger, they could have made the head larger as well. I feel they made the choice so that it could share wigs more easily with their other lines of dolls or wigs from other manufacturers. (which is a good thing!)

Here are her measurements for those curious.

<< body size >>

  • Eye size : 16mm (Diameter)
  • Tall : 68cm
  • Circumference of Head : 22.1cm
  • Circumference of neck : 8.4cm
  • Circumference of chest : 26.5cm
  • Width of shoulders : 11.5cm
  • Circumference of waist: 18cm
  • Circumference of hips : 28.5cm
  • Lenth of “from hips to ankle” : 42.cm
  • * Lenth of “from knee to ankle” : 18cm
  • Foot size : 8cm

You may be asking yourself what is a balljoint doll. The best place to learn more is over at http://denofangels.com but the quick and dirty lowdown is as follows. They are artist dolls, typically from asian countries, primarily Japan and South Korea. They come unfinished and are intended to be customized by the buyer. It’s sort of like a model kit in a way, which the buyer paints and displays to their liking. The difference is, that the balljoints within the doll allow her to move and take on a number of poses. They are free standing and range in size anywhere from the size of your thumb to the size of a small human child. They come bald and without eyes and you can easily change their looks by changing their wig and eye colors. It is an expensive hobby. The dolls themselves range from 200 to 1200 dollars, and come usually with no wig or eyes included – though as you can see by this post, some companies do include free wig and eyes.

Some companies will sand seams for free, others charge for it. I am not bothered by the seams, to me they don’t show nor detract from the doll, so I never bother with it. Many people sand their own seams but you have to be careful because breathing in the resin dust can be a health hazard as it is very toxic. To be clear, touching and playing with resin dolls will not jeopardize your health, but if you are grinding it down to a powder form, and you inhale it, that can be deadly, so always wear gloves and facemasks when sanding your dolls.

These precautions are not needed when merely playing with or touching your dolls. Some people like to sand down different parts of their dolls, like reshaping the chin or nose etc to further customize them. It is simple to do, just with fine grit sandpaper. Many people paint their own dolls, but you can have the manufacturer paint them too for an added fee. Some companies, such as dollmore, will paint the face however you like, other companies have 3 or 4 options to pick from, and other companies only have a default option. To illustrate, my doll in this post is marked at $555 dollars on the company’s site. To add in a faceup costs another $65, body blushing is $110 (they will add a light peach color to define muscles and highlights over the body), sanding seams is another $110 dollars. So if you want a blank unfinished doll you’re paying $550, if you want to add all the other features you’re paying over $830 bucks. Then when you start buying clothes, wigs, eyes, props, accessories, etc — it gets crazy expensive. It is not for the faint of heart (or wallet lol). But the tradeoff is that you have a piece of art, if you are an artistic person who wants to sew, make jewelry, or make wigs, or props, I’ve even seen complete dioramas with furniture and fireplaces, well this hobby allows you to do all of that. If you’re a photographer and nature lover, this hobby lets you always have a model to take with you to photograph. Its really a rewarding and fulfilling hobby to anyone with a creative itch. It also used to be a good investment as dolls would either hold their market value, or go up in the case of limited dolls, but that is no longer true, most resellers will take at least a 25% loss and sometimes much more depending on the condition of their dolls. Resin yellows with age, no matter how well it is preserved. These dolls are not meant to last forever. That kind of makes them even more beautiful though to me. Beauty fades for all living creatures, why should our dolls be any different. I still have the very first doll that I bought back in 2006, and she is very very yellow now but I would never sell her because there is that emotional attachment. Dolls have a strong personal and emotional sentiment to their owners, moreso, when they are customized by their owners as these are, and unless you are extremely wealthy, these dolls are something that you work very hard to afford and enjoy which in and of itself also brings happiness and fulfillment. And maybe I’m weird, but I actually like the waiting for the doll, both the saving up aspect, and the fact that they take anywhere from 2 weeks to 10 months to manufacture and ship after you pay. Most my dolls have taken about 20 weeks or so to arrive (which is about 5 months!!) But it’s kinda like a kid with the buildup and anticipation of christmas… you know it’s coming, and to me that’s part of the fun. And then that package comes and you open it, and it’s even more beautiful than you had imagined it could be. Another weird quirk in the hobby is that you photograph (or youtube) yourself opening the box when it comes. It’s called unboxing day and many people use this date as their doll’s birthday. Which leads to another way to enjoy the hobby, which is many people have elaborate stories and roleplay or blog about their dolls. I haven’t yet. But I think that’s an amazing idea :). Some people even have doll penpals lol.  Perhaps the most universal thing to do with the dolls is to photograph them and share photos and comment on other peoples’ dolls and photos around the net. To that end, I seriously need to get a better camera lol. No matter how you choose to enjoy your doll the unique ability to make something your own and know that no one else has a doll exactly like yours make this a thrilling and exciting hobby.

Geeky Factor: 

Sweetie Factor: 

Final Verdict:

Range of Motion: 10/10

Ability to Hold a Pose: 2/10

Aesthetics of Sculpt: 8/10

Faceup Quality: 9/10

Delivery & Service: 10/10

Final Verdict: 39/50  78% C+

Note: If it could hold a pose it’d be 47/50 94% or an A.

All she needs is restrung, but that is not my expectation when I buy directly from the manufacturer and pay all that money to have a doll that can’t pose. I’m too afraid to take her all apart given how expensive she was. – If you are not afraid of restringing, by all means, don’t let my “low score” scare you. She is almost flawless aside from that small fact and I truly recommend dollmore whole heartedly in terms of service such as offering custom faceup, delivery time, and including extra gifts and pleasing their customer.