When I first heard about *Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical*, my excitement was palpable. Being an ardent admirer of David Gaider’s work with Dragon Age, and given my penchant for musicals, the concept of a roleplaying game that integrates musical elements sounded like a dream come true.
The narrative of *Stray Gods* drew me in immediately. Playing as Grace, tasked with proving her innocence against the accusation of murdering the last muse, while navigating the world of Greek gods, is nothing short of exhilarating. The stakes are high, the drama is palpable, and the narrative choices make for a deeply immersive experience. Each choice influencing the story’s progression, especially in the musical lyrics, adds a whole new layer of depth, resonating with the musical lover in me.read more
Oh, where to begin with “Oshi no Ko”? The anime adaptation of this popular manga (personally I haven’t read it yet and since this series is not yet over I don’t want to spoil it for myself) but so far in just 11 episodes this anime took me on a breathtaking ride filled with emotions, artistry, and star-studded dreams. The story starts off with a feature-length premiere (almost two hours long!), setting the stage for a tale of two siblings reborn with past life memories and a mission to help their mother become an idol singer.read more
Welcome to the world of otome games, where love, romance, and personal growth intertwine to create immersive, interactive experiences. In this today’s post, we’ll explore 12 of the best stat-raising otome games that will captivate your heart and challenge your strategic skills.
As you embark on these virtual journeys, you’ll develop your protagonist’s skills and attributes, unlocking new paths and romantic possibilities with every choice you make.
From the pioneering classics to the innovative gems of today, this article delves into the intricacies of each game, comparing and contrasting their storylines, anime graphics, stat-raising gameplay, and other elements. read more
I am only level 3 and just returned from my first trip into Hogsmeade and there’s still plenty I have yet to unlock or discover. I’m barely even through the game’s tutorial, but I thought, why not give my honest early impressions.
Love it, or hate it, Harry Potter is one of the most iconic books and movies of all time. Hated by various groups for various reasons, including religious groups who find the book demonic, or LGBT who hate JK Rowling for some unsavory political comments she made. Despite all the drama and backlash, Harry Potter endures for many a beloved classic.read more
The Harry Potter Inspired Lineplay Looking Simulation and Crafting Free To Play Gacha Mobile Game Hit is finally getting an English translation. I am not sure if it will be in the USA app stores, but an English version is definitely coming. Here are some key indicators of this fact.
An Official Announcement here:
English Youtube Videos On Their Official Youtube Channel Here:
I just started playing the korean version and on the same day, I discovered the global version and I did in fact pre-register… but now I am a bit concerned because it says on the official site it is not available in this country (when accessing it on my PC) – so I may have been logged into one of my many other Apple IDs, such as my korean Id or Singapore ID or Japan ID. But none the less, soon an English version will be available somewhere in the next 24 hours. read more
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
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
I just started playing Wildermyth on the PC yesterday. This game is very fun and very challenging. I warn you, don’t get too attached to any of your characters, because it won’t be long before they die. Permadeath is real in this game. You get two chances. First time, your character will be maimed, second time, dead. I’m thinking I have to start all over because my characters just aren’t strong enough for the battle that they’re facing. I’ve tried twice now. Some had already died before that too.read more
I recently shared news of the launch of Alice Closet, a new free mobile game with anime artwork by famed manga artist Arina Tanemura. Arina’s works include Full Moon Wo Sagashite, Phantom Thief Jeanne, and Time Stranger Kyoko, just to name a few popular shoujo manga by this artist.
I have been playing the game since launch and I am loving it so far. I did purchase some of the cash items admittedly, but the game is free to play and the cash items are totally optional.read more
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World is a brand new game by Koei Tecmo Games to celebrate 20 years of the series. Wow has it been that long already? I still remember the first 2 games way back when. And you know what else I remember, a little-known Nintnedo DS offshoot game in the Atelier Series called Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island which came out about 10 years ago.
So why Am I mentioning Atelier Annie? Because, if you’ve ever played it, then you know what to expect from Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists. Both games are unlike any of the rest of the Atelier Games, and instead put you in a role of managing a city and completing missions to advance.
Nelke has some really negative reviews – at least on Steam, but I purchased Nelke anyways, on a hunch it’d be like Atelier Annie, and you know what, I’m not disappointed. If you liked Annie, you’ll like Nelke. Conversely, if you hated Annie, you’ll hate Nelke, and if you’ve never played either game, well there’s only one way to find out then, and that’s by giving it a go for yourself.
The reviews on steam are complaining how different Nelke is — and to some — how boring it is… But honestly Atelier Annie was one of my favorites in the series. I loved the humorous story / humorous main character, and yes, I enjoyed the more “Sim Like” gameplay of building a city.
Nelke is not without flaws however; Unlike Annie, it lacks the humor and charm, and feels a bit dry and dull so far in the story. I’m 4 hours in at this point… which brings to another flaw, in that 4 hours in, I’m still in the tutorial… This game is very very very linear in the tutorial… Like almost everything will be on lockdown… for a long while… expect your first 8+ hours to be linear AF….
After that though there really is a TON of stuff to do in this game. It is NOT boring at all. You can craft items, gather materials, build new buildings, talk to your villagers, discover new recipes, sell items in your shops, and invest in new routes and tools to use in your adventures. There are simplistic turn based combats and different characters to recruit to your village.
You have to complete some required, and other optional tasks within a set number of days within the game. This can make it difficult and frustrating, so save often and in multiple save slots to try to minimize time lost if you miss a goal.
The game either runs slow on my laptop, or just is really slow by design, to the point where its a little frustrating. It may just be my laptop though and can probably be improved if I adjust some settings.
The main complaint a lot of people have is that while exploring you do nothing but watch your characters walk by on the screen. They will converse, gather items, and occasionally run into random enemy encounters. The battles are also slow and tedious. I do agree with these basic gameplay flaws. However, they don’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the other aspects of city building and mission completing and watching my city grow and evolve based on my decisions and choices made in where to invest and what to build next, etc.
The graphics are insanely adorable as always with the Atelier series.
Unlike a lot of the other games in the Atelier Universe, this one does not have English voice acting. I do like to have the original voice actors, but I also sometimes like to have an English cast too. I was disappointed they didn’t offer both.
I assume replay value is high because each city you build will be pretty unique and you will attract different stores, different npcs, and different quests based on how your city is developing.
All and all I’d rate the score card like this:
Title: Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists – Ateliers Of The New World –
Platform – (for this review The PC version was used.) It’s also available on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
Where to Purchase: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FMZZYK1?tag=amz-mkt-chr-us-20&ascsubtag=1ba00-01000-org00-win10-other-nomod-us000-pcomp-feature-scomp-wm-5&ref=aa_scomp
Geeky: 3/5 – Points for bringing back some of the popular characters from this series over the past 20 years.
Sweetie: 5/5 – For the casual gameplay and kawaii art
Overall: 53/70 78% C+ “Good Game For Girls”
Gameplay: 7/10 – I do love the sim aspects, having been a huge fan of Atelier Annie (easily one of my top 3 games in the Atelier universe). But I do agree that the game is slow and the wait for the payoff/reward is pretty steep. The game also doesn’t run great, can’t tell if it’s just my PC though maybe.
Story: 3/10 – I’m not loving the story, or lack there of. I’m 4 hours in and there’s not much of any story to be found; it does keep hinting at solving a mystery about a fruit from a legendary tree. But compared to other Atelier games the story feels less engaging so far.
Characters: 10/10 – I love seeing popular characters from the Atelier games return all in a brand new game. I also love the new characters that were created just for this game.
Voice Acting: 7/10 – The original Japanese voice cast does a great job and sounds super cute, but where’s the dual English voice acting? A bit disappointing especially for a 20th anniversary edition, you’d think they would have put a little more time and effort into the localization on this one. It feels cheap and rushed to not have both to choose from.
Music: 10/10 – Always love the music in the Atelier games, and Nelke doesn’t disappoint here either.
Replay Value: 8/10 – I think replay value will be very high, but I’m not looking forward to dredging through 5+ hours of linear handheld tutorials each time.
Overall: 53/70 78% C+ “Good Game For Girls”
Overall I would recommend this game to anyone who does not mind slower paced casual simulation games, or to anyone who remembers playing Atelier Annie on the DS. I like Atelier Annie a lil bit more because of the humorous story; but Nelke’s story may pick up and become more interesting. I may come in eventually and update my review scores if I find the story to improve as I get further into the game. Gameplay wise though it is almost identical to Atelier Annie, so if that’s your thing, be sure to check Nelke out.
Overview: 10/10 Helix Waltz is very similar to Love Nikki Dressup Queen or Romance Diary with a few differences. It has a slightly more detailed / less “cutesy” artstyle, and more focus on story. In fact, before getting the meat of the game, you must go through a very lengthy tutorial, that for a mobile/casual gamer will probably take more than a few days to complete. In this tutorial you learn a lot about the story and setting of Helix Waltz. This is where we see the majority of the differences that set Helix Waltz apart from other similar Dressup Games.
Story: 10/10 Helix Waltz puts you in role of a young orphan adopted by a (former) noble lady, and being groomed for a life of royalty. A strange visitor also enlists your help as a spy amongst the noble court. Your job is to chat with other nobles, gather intel as a spy, and impress them with your fashion to work your way back as a noble family. There is definitely more backstory than found in most dressup games, and that story is tied to the gameplay too.
Gameplay: 9/10 Like Love Nikki Dressup Queen and Romance Diary, you compete in Fashion Battles with NPCs to advance through various story stages. You collect various items which you layer and equip together to create unique looks. Each level requires certain styles or colors of clothing to get the best score possible. Such as equipping a dress, or tops and bottoms, along with shoes, stockings, jewelry, necklaces, rings, bracelets, hairstyles, makeup, and so on.
Unlike Love Nikki Dressup Queen or Romance Diary, the majority of the game is focused on navigating through the story and playing against NPCs. Until you reach at least level 19 when you finally complete the lengthy tutorial. Playing 2-3 hours a day, it will still take a few days to complete all of the tutorial missions to get to the free play mode. I have yet to complete the tutorial so I’m not sure if Helix Waltz allows you to compete against other human players as well.
Also unlike Love Nikki Dressup Queen, but similar to Romance Diary, Helix Waltz focuses more on Otome aspects, but not so much on romance. Instead it has a very interesting story of intrigue and deceit. At the waltzes, you can search for specific NPCs or you can wander about and bump into random NPCs, you can select various things to chat about and choose your responses which will affect the NPC’s moods and overall opinion of you. You can also challenge the NPCs to a fashion battle, or you can eavesdrop on NPCs to gain valuable intel.
I enjoyed the unique approach in both story and gameplay to focus more on infiltrating the noble court and gathering intel. I didn’t enjoy the linear nature of the game in the early levels and lengthy tutorial.
Artwork: 4/5 – The artwork is very detailed, but to me it isn’t as cute as similar games like Love Nikki Dressup Queen or Romance Diary. This may just be down to personal tastes. I’m sure some of my readers prefer the art style of Helix Waltz over the other games as well.
Music: 4/5 – The classical music fits the game’s theme very well. You also have the option to change the music later in the game.
Geeky: 2/5 – Although the aspects of infiltration and espionage add a new exciting twist to the traditional gameplay and story mechanics of most dressup games, this game is still for casual female gamers and not likely to appeal to a wider audience.
Sweetie: 4/5 – Helix Waltz loses a point for slightly less appealing artwork (compared to similar dressup games). Otherwise, those who enjoy dressup games, and a good story, with strong female lead, are sure to enjoy Helix Waltz.
Overall Score: 43/50 86% B “Very Good Game For Girls”
My favorite part of FFXV was Prompto’s photography skills. While other skills are in pocket edition, like Ignis’ cooking, Prompto doesn’t get to take photos. Actually thinking about Prompto’s photo skills is making me want to replay the PS4 version right now lol. There is also a lot of new DLC and events I’ve missed since I haven’t touched the game in over a year now.
How does Pocket Edition compare to FFXV on PS4? Obviously the biggest difference is a different art style, using chibi characters instead of photo realistic designs. The original game has some of the best graphics I’ve ever seen in an RPG. That said, the IOS version is no slouch. It too has some of the best graphics of any IOS RPG. Ignis’s food still looks delicious. And the chibi characters are kinda cute!
Music and voice acting and story are still the same, at least in chapter one which is as far as I’ve gotten. I do not think I will purchase the full game which costs just a meager $14.99. I rather play the original on my PS4 to have Prompto’s photo skills and the gorgeous graphics and more comfortable controls.
My recommendation is that if Pocket Edition is the only way you can experience Final Fantasy XV, it’s definitely worth $14.99 but if you have access to the console version (or PC if it’s available on PC) then shell out the extra cash and play the original.
Pocket edition is good but not without flaws. My iPad is a 2017 version with the latest updated IOS, and with graphics turned high in the settings it crashes… often… in chapter one it crashed 3 times already freezing completely and forcing me to reset and lose progress between saves.
But let’s look at some of the highlights of the game. In pocket edition you still get the full story identical to the original version at about a fifth of the price. You still get some really handy features to cut down on the monotonous parts of traditional RPGs. Final Fantasy XV offers many handy ways to travel such as by car or chocobo or by visiting previous locations on your map. There’s still the skill tree to customize your characters’s combat abilities. Healing, switching weapons, using items, etc is all done in real time. Combat is fast and fun and at times even challenging. Gameplay wise, the original Final Fantasy XV is one of the most fun RPGs I’ve played in the 2000s.
And pocket edition in many ways comes close to this gameplay. Like I said, if you have no other way to enjoy Final Fantasy 15, then you should give Pocket Edition a try. Even if you typically don’t play RPG games, you may enjoy this one because it’s much more fluid and less tedious than most other JRPGs.
Here is how I’d rank Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition
Title: Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition
Release Date: February 2018
Price: chapter 1 is free, after that it is $14.99 to unlock all chapters.
Geeky: 3/5 Not as graphically intense as it’s original counterpart, and has some performance issues at times, also offers fewer skills, where’s Prompto’s Photography? However, it does a good job of mimicking the combat and fluid travel and gameplay features of the original.
Sweetie: 2/5 The story has highs and lows… and not just the emotional ups and downs, but in some cases a lack of emotion in parts and tendency to abandon side characters and create plot holes or weaknesses in character development. The lack of Prompto’s photography is also huge to me.
Gameplay: 6/10 without the photography skills I have to rate this much lower as that was the best part of FFXV. That said, it still offers many side quests, great combat, and quick and fluid gameplay. The skill tree has a lot to offer to help grow your characters’ combat skills and it is overall still a fun RPG
Story: 6/10 Story is pretty identical to the PS4 version, The story is about 4 male best friends, one of which who is a prince. The prince is not like your typical prince, he’s very kinda rough around the edges, smart mouthed, sarcastic, and at times apathetic. But as the story unfolds, he begins to mature into someone fitting of the throne, The best part of the story is the friendship of the four male main characters. But there are weaknesses in any of the other characters, Some are killed too soon to get any emotion from the audience when they die, others are even killed or left out if the second half of the game never to be shown again, especially all of the female characters and as a female gamer who reviews games for other girls, that’s a big ouch there for me and my readers.
Characters: 6/10 The four “bros” deserve a 10/10. They are really great and their character development superb. Their interactions with each other and message of the importance of “bromance” are really the highlight of the game, but all of the side characters are severely under developed.
Music: 10/10. It’s the same as the console version
Voice acting: 10/10 once again also the same as the console version
Graphics: 7/10 Given that it’s a mobile game… these graphics are pretty good but of course can’t compare at all to the original.
Every Don Bluth Animated Film Ranked Best to Worst
Don Bluth started out as a Disney Animator, but left to form his own studio. He also worked for awhile with Steven Spielberg. It seems that Don Bluth had a few hits, and then faded from the animation scene. But the hits he did have under his belt remain some of my favorite animated movies of all time. In fact, the first four movies on my list are all so fantastic I had a hard time deciding what order to rank them under.
What are your favorite Don Bluth films? Leave a comment to let us know!
Here are my faves:
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Easily one of the top 5 movies from my childhood. Anyone that has ever loved and lost a pet will relate deeply to this story. It’s very emotional and sweet. It also teaches us morals and lessons, to be kind to others, to be less selfish, and to help and take care of each other. It shows us how to be a good friend and a good person. Dogs in real life have a lot to teach to humans about how to live a more simple, loving, and honest life. But the dogs in this film don’t start out as the typical “man’s best friend” – They’ve been bad dogs. Very bad dogs. Charlie, he’s the main german shepherd looking guy right there, loves to gamble and lives a fast paced life with little regard for others. Even his best friend Itchy is sometimes betrayed by Charlie’s greed and selfishness. Charlie’s antics have gotten him into some trouble with other dogs. This results in a conspiracy to murder Charlie, but Charlie isn’t ready to die just yet. Charlie loves life and all that it has to offer. Charlie sneaks out of heaven with a warning that he can never come back. “Ghost” Charlie rejoins his friend Itchy and the two set out on a new adventure to make lots of money and win back their place among the other dogs. Charlie thinks he has a fool proof plan when he meets a young orphan girl with an uncanny ability to correctly predict the right horses at the races. But as Charlie begins to spend time with the girl, his heart changes and softens. Sadly reluctantly in the end they must part ways, but Charlie is welcomed back into heaven because of his selfless actions near the end. And like the title states ALL dogs go to heaven, even (previously) bad dogs like Charlie. The love between Charlie and the little girl is so heart warming and then so heart breaking at the end. I love stories that are full of emotion. The film also has great music “You can’t keep a good dog down” is super catchy and cute.
A Bit of Trivia – although the screenplay is uniquely original, the title of this film was inspired by Bluth’s love for a book of the same name, which he remembered having read in 4th grade. I believe that book to be All Dogs Go to Heaven by Beth Brown, published in 1944. Although out of print, you can find it on Amazon. – The stories are not related in any way – but it still sounds like an amazing book for anyone who has ever lost a pet. There’s also one by the same author called All Cats Go to Heaven
All Dogs Go to Heaven by Beth Brown https://www.amazon.com/All-dogs-heaven-Beth-Brown/dp/B0007HRA72
All Cats Go to Heaven by Beth Brown https://www.amazon.com/all-cats-heaven-beth-brown/dp/B000SZVLW8
The Land Before Time
Next in line for Best Don Bluth Animated Film of All Time, we have The Land Before Time. I loved this movie as a kid. I even had a stuffed plush Little Foot. I love Little Foot so much!! Very cute film, also, very heart breaking – Are you seeing a trend here? Darn you Bluth, lol. Your films are so sad – and so touching – I just can’t stop crying when I watch these.
Anyways as I’m sure you know by now, the Land Before Time is about the Dinosaurs migrating to find food and water. There are rumors of a great valley with lots of water and lush vegetation. And you know if the grass eaters starve to death, the meat eaters will starve to death too, circle of life and all… so they agree as a herd to set out and seek a new home.
It is a difficult journey, and not everyone makes it. As the journey goes on, their faith in each other is tested. We also witness the innocence of the baby dinosaurs as they grow up at first seemingly oblivious to the threats and dangerous and then maturing through their journey and experiences.
After writing this I was suddenly inspired to want to rewatch the original Land Before Time. I also wondered just how many sequels were there… I can’t believe there’s 13 sequels… Though if I recall none of the sequels I saw are that great. But I found all 14 films in a DVD collection on Amazon for $34. That’s less than $2.50 per each film. It will make a great addition to my collection. I want to start to rebuild my DVD / Movie collection, and Board Game collection but that’s a topic for another day lol. Having all 14 films in one DVD set at such a low price is a great place to start. I’m somewhat concerned by the reviews which state that the cases arrive broken/damaged, DVDs are missing, the audio and video quality is poor, etc. But these negative reviews are few and far in between and most of the reviews have been positive. So here’s hoping! lol.
The Secret of NIMH
The Secret of NIMH is one of the most memorable standout films from my childhood. I still love this film. It is based on the book MRS Frisby and the Rats of NIMH – I vaguely recall reading the book once when I was younger, and I found it dull. I don’t know if it’s because it lacked the elements of fantasy and magic which were written only for the movie version, or because it lacked the drama and suspense and darkness and almost horror like qualities of the cartoon. I love the Secret of NIMH because of the highly emotional and suspenseful story. A mother who has a sick child, plus other children, and must keep them all safe. NIMH is also portrayed much more gravely in the movie than the book. The cruelty of animal testing and the horrors the rats suffered were much more apparent and helped make the film darker too. This movie was dark AF – maybe it’s because it was Bluth’s first project after leaving Disney and he wanted to do something so different that it would stand out as being non-disney-ish in any way. The darkness of this film may scare small kids – but it will also help endear the film to older kids, teens, and adults.
Fieval An American Tail
Fieval kinda reminds me of the movie “Home Alone” in some ways. Fieval gets separated from his family and finds himself all alone in a strange city. The thing that stands out most to me in the film is the song “Somewhere Out There” – It’s a duet by Fieval and I think it was his sister? Although it sounds more like a love song lol for someone looking for love / unrequited love / loneliness – but Fieval was looking for his family. “Somewhere out there, if love can see us through, then we’ll be together, somewhere out there, out where dreams come true.” I remember liking the film a lot as a kid, and I had a large stuffed Fieval doll too. But my memories of Fieval are a lot less clear than my memories of Land Before Time or All Dogs Go to Heaven.
From the movie “An American Tale”, directed by Don Bluth in 1986. [ITA] Dal film “Fievel sbarca in America”, girato da Don Bluth nel 1986. IG: Dendyst.Nock
There are many people who consider this film to be a failure (despite that it performed quite well in the box office). I rather liked it though. It felt like a very mature story with a very strong female lead and since it is based on history (although only loosely) it offers the opportunity to become interested in the events surrounding the real anastasia and do your own research and learn new things. The animation style was beautiful and the music in the film was also amazing. Some people feel the film is too Disney-ish, but ultimately, that direction helped this become a blockbuster hit.
The Pebble and the Penguin
I remember this film being cute – but I don’t really remember much else about it. I know it’s based on real penguin behaviors, and that the basic plot involves a shy and awkward penguin in puberty who has a crazy crush on another penguin who also likes him, but they’re too shy to express their feelings. I remember the main character gets bullied a lot, but ultimately prevails in the end. It ranks lower on my list just for not being as memorable as Bluth’s other films.
This cartoon and the fairy tale that it is based on is very cute. This is another film with that Disney princess feel that feels a little cliche. I think it’s because it’s not terribly unique (from other animated films / fairy tales) that it ranks lower. I do like the idea of a miniature civilization of tiny human/fairy things – I also like Arietty, the Borrowers, the Littles, and The Indian in the Cupboard which all share a similar theme to Thumbelina.
I remember this film quite well but I don’t really love it. I watched it probably 20 times or more in my childhood, when it’d come on TV or etc… but I dunno it’s “OK” I don’t really hate it. Parts of it are humorous, but it feels WAY more “kiddie” than ANY of Bluth’s other films which are all decidedly dark and dramatic. This is just a humorous fun tale about a Rooster who thinks he’s Elvis.