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Book review

I finished reading Flawless by Cecelia Ahern.
It sucked, by the way. It became an utter trainwreck and by the end, I had the opinion that it was so bad it's good.
My book review on Booklikes can be found here.
My (identical) book review on Goodreads can be found here.

I don't know what my next book will be, I'm doing them alphabetically as the pop up in my local library. But it surely can't be worse than this.
...except i know from experience that it can, and it probably will be worse, because there's just so many shitty YA novels out there.
So many.
I put myself through this daunting task because I know that if I stop for just a day, I will probably stop for good.
Much like many of my hobbies.

Like, I was up playing Faerie Bubbles on Neopets all night last night.
Yeah, I returned to Neopets, and before you judge me - the userbase on that site is a lot older than you may think. (Mostly women in their 20s-30s, I believe...)
I was going to join one of the guilds there but I'd started a new account and so far I'm just doing my dailies and getting all the usual freebies. At some point I'll be able to start up my stocks on there again and open up shop.
The avatars will take a while, of course, but I should be able to get a few of the trophies and build up my stamp collection again. 
There's just so much to do on that site.

I didn't shower last night, or play guitar. Again, I missed a day.
Gonna have to force myself to do both tonight, but especially the shower. 
I don't want to be in that old situation where I literally don't wash at all for two months, because then I feel no instinctive urge to stop.


Nanoha: Reflection

 I read a bit more of Flawless and realised that the author had decided, for reasons unknown, to write in a love triangle.
I swear to god.
You've written a well-thought out dystopian future, you've got all the elements needed for a good story (or...you're getting there), you've got some interesting characters (or at least, not boring), you've already tortured the protagonist half to death, and now...
...now, of course, of course we have to have the boyfriend get jealous of another guy because the girl is invited to a party with another boy and for god's sake this is not how it works. Please can we go back to the dystopian future already? This is just embarrassing to read.

I really wish romance was not part of YA books at all. More often than not, it ruins the whole damn set-up that the author was trying to create.
I know your target audience likes romance and all that, but this is ridiculous.
I was immersed in your dystopian future setting and now you've broken my immersion with your love triangle bullshit.

I watched Lyrical Nanoha: Reflection yesterday.
I thought it was going to be disappointing, after Vivid.

Boy was I wrong.

This film was nothing short of amazing. It had everything that I wanted StrikerS to be, and more.
The Wolkenritter weren't shafted anymore. They were relevant.
We got background on Nanoha's friends and family for once. We had more depth on the mother-daughter relationship between Lindy and Fate. We had damn good fight scenes. In fact, it was really action-heavy - more so than ANY season of Nanoha.
We had new villains with interesting backstories and kickass designs.

^her face just seconds before she slaughters every member of the cast at lightning speed with her bladed swords or whatever the hell you call them.

I was just blown away and loved every minute of it.
This was what StrikerS should have been. This was what I was missing from the Nanoha fandom.

You know what the only shitty thing was?
It ended in a cliffhanger.
Right at the end of the movie when everyone has the main villain surrounded and is about to let all hell break loose...a fucking cliffhanger.

Well I guess I didn't read the small print. It's a two-parter.
I will just have to wait for Nanoha: Detonation in about a year so I can watch the rest of this awesomeness.
It was so weird watching Nanoha again for the first time in like...nearly 10 years? But this was so, so worth it.


For love of Bach

I'm glad to have gotten back into playing my guitar again. It's just been collecting dust for, uh, 10+ years, and then one day I just decided to pick it up again and start playing. Oh, it was out of tune. Really out of tune. But that didn't stop me.

You know, I blame Piano no Mori for this.
It had me thinking of playing my piano again, but my piano is all the way at my old house. So my guitar is the next best thing.

Talking of Piano no Mori, I ended up dropping the show.
It just wasn't what I wanted to see. I wanted to see the little kid rise to greatness through being a musical prodigy, playing in all these concerts, overcoming obstacles and developing as a really good character despite coming from humble beginnings.

Instead, what did I get?
The ghosts of Mozart. And that's "ghosts" in the plural sense, there being multiple ghosts of Mozart which taunt this kid because he's apparently been fucking chosen by Mozart to...to...I don't know, to play the goddamn piano.

Yeah, that's him playing with this fricking GHOST OF MOZART right next to him. Please give me strength.

Oh, and by the way, he can play one of Chopin's pieces perfectly from memory.
I recognise the piece, too. I spent 2 years trying to play it. I still struggle with it.
But this 8-year old blond kid just hears it once, he doesn't even know how to play sheet music, and hallelujah he can play the whole fricking piece in one setting and nobody blinks an eyelid.

But yeah, I guess it's a good show but it's just a little bit far-fetched in that department.
Apparently it misses out a lot of stuff from the manga, so maybe I should pick that up instead since the anime just doesn't sit right with me.

Fucking ghosts of Mozart. I swear to god. If you start seeing a dozen Mozart ghosts sitting on a piano just moments before your big moment at a concert, you're not a child prodigy, you're just bloody delusional.

Anyway, I didn't come here to rant about Piano no Mori and the ghosts of Mozart.

I'm severely lacking in some music pieces, so I printed off some guitar pieces at work.
Mainly Bach - and I'm surprised how much I enjoy it.
I don't remember really enjoying Bach as much as I do now...

Like, I don't even listen to music anymore. I don't give a shit.
I used to listen to rock and metal all the time at school and at uni, and now everything just sounds the same.
Sometimes I hear something I used to love, and then I switch it off after 60 seconds because I know the rest of the song just repeats itself and I won't get any further enjoyment from it.

Which is fine, really. But it's a bit weird when you love playing music and not actually listening to it.

Anyway, I adored the Bach pieces I took home and intend to practice on them further. Any Bach piece is a musician's paradise.
I also found the notation for Romanza, quite a famous piece of classical guitar. It's not too hard either.

And I also discovered I need to cut the nails on my fretting hand because I can't actually do some of the positions properly.
Even though my nails are already pretty short.
Not short enough for Bach, apparently.

Bach didn't even write for classical guitar. Or for piano. I think he wrote it for lute, or as a chorale?...since the piano wasn't even invented at the time, being the Baroque period.
But it's still wonderful to play it out like that.


Army Men

I've been playing Army Men - Air Combat recently.
It's a bit of a strange series of games when you first get into it.

So I also feel like I'm in Toy Story because the Army Men are toys.

It's a pretty cool concept, especially in a later mission where you get attacked by fucking ants.

Seriously. Ants. There's millions of them coming out of an anthill.
I literally just finished fighting off a real-life ant infestation in my real-life house, and thanks to that, I'm a little bit spooked by the bastards.
This game threw more ants at me.
Much more.

Interestingly, I discovered that the way to repel the ants is to move all of the food into the enemy's base.
That way, the ants will go for the food and attack the enemies in their path.
I actually completed the mission by having the ants literally destroy all the enemy soldiers. It was incredible.

And it made me appreciate ants a bit more. And I wasn't so fearful of them anymore.
Not to mention, the previous mission had me freeing bugs and stuff (the bugs were being held captive in enemy research facilities, and once they were free, they started destroying all my enemies).
It's strange for a game to make me feel this way.

Though the next mission had me dropping bombs on anthills and literally exterminating ants everywhere I went, so I guess it goes both ways.

I never played any of the Army Men games when I was a kid. I was busy playing Command & Conquer instead.
But playing this stuff now is quite an experience, especially on the N64.

There is some negative stuff about the game, of course, but not too much.
Such as the fact that the levels seem a bit too long and the maps are a bit too big. I spent like 45 minutes finding that last anthill. The bombs you carry can explode prematurely if you take too long. Some of the weapons are downright useless, and I've found no easy way to switch between different types of ammo.

In the second mission, you have to escort a train through enemy territory.
(It's a toy train which runs on a battery.)
The train runs really fucking slow. Really, really slow. It took 15 minutes of real time to travel from one end of the map to the next.
Plus, all the enemies seem to respawn depending on the train's progress, which is a real bastard considering I deliberately tried to clear them out beforehand.

But for as long as it keeps my concentration, the game itself is still pretty decent.
So far, anyway. I've reached Mission 7 and still going strong.
It still feels like I'm play-fighting in some kid's gang war or something, blowing up all these toy bases which are smaller than a chocolate chip cookies. And everytime a soldier dies, they let out this realistic death-cry and disappear from the map. But either way, it's enormous fun.



 Haven't posted for a while.
I went off video games for a bit, literally haven't touched TES since I started, but I started playing Undertale.

On a whim, mind you. 
It's quite an interesting game. The game tries to persuade you not  to fight enemies or kill anyone (although you still can, but apparently you pay for it later). It's more about interaction and...stuff like that. Kinda weird, but good.

I'm enjoying it so far. There are a LOT of influences from Earthbound - it's painfully obvious to me, and I love that.
I don't know what keeps me playing it, tbh. It's not usually my kind of game.
I'd much rather be fighting monsters or something, but the game...kinda penalises you for that? If you kill a particular mini-boss, you actually lose experience for it.

I got back into reading again. Can't remember if I said this before.

Also getting on with my writing contest and doing alright so far. There's been a deadline extension of about 2 weeks, so I've got that to be going on with.

Man, now I want to replay Earthbound.

Elder Scrolls diary

 I've decided to start a TES diary. See, I'm sick of starting up a Daggerfall/Skyrim game, getting hooked into it, then getting bored and dropping the game for several months. Then I come back to this character I put about 200 hours into, and I can't remember what the hell they were doing again. So I end up restarting from scratch. Every time.

What I'm doing here is making a brand new character for every Elder Scrolls game, every game in the series (all the way from the DOS age of Arena), and I'm going to set it out like they're an RP character.
Class, personality, backstory.
And then I'm going to write a diary of their actions and achievements, day by day.

Initially, I have actually done this before.
It didn't go according to plan because I decided I would only do 7 days *in-game* before repeating the cycle.

Unfortunately, 7 days of Arena is very different from 7 days of Skyrim. Hell, it takes something like 20 days just to fast travel to one town in Arena. You just end up playing less of the game than others in the series.

Anyway, I've started my diary for almost all 5 games so far. Just finished the first part of my Oblivion playthrough today.

Arena: female Breton Knight
Daggerfall: female Dark Elf Thief
Morrowind: male Argonian Scout
Oblivion: female Imperial Barbarian

I'll get round to doing my Skyrim one tomorrow. Probably a female Nord. I always end up doing that. Either that or a Khajit (I've never cared much for doing Wood Elves or Orcs, despite the racial bonuses).

And yeah, almost every Elder Scroll character I do is female. I don't know why, especially considering that you rarely see their face throughout the game. Feels better somehow.

I had a hard time thinking up a backstory for my Breton Knight and explaining how she became a knight in the first place. For the time period, women generally didn't become knights (and Arena has the feel of a medieval-age RPG) but I managed to think of a backstory for that.

She also spent 5 in-game days in the tutorial dungeon. Five. Days. Like jesus christ. 
I don't know if it's because she's a knight or something, but she heals REALLY SLOW. She took something like 37 hours to rest up to full health. Yep, in the older games it's easier to rest in dungeons to heal - and you can't restore your magicka! Unless you sleep at an inn or something I guess.

As for Daggerfall, I've already received a summons from the Thieves' Guild. Lockpicking and pickpocketing is pretty much...useless in that game. And if you play it, you will know why. It's nothing like in Skyrim, for example. You can pickpocket anyone. You can pickpocket your enemies. You can pickpocket a fucking RAT.

My Scout in Morrowind is doing very well for himself. It's easily my favourite of all the Elder Scrolls games, though Daggerfall and Skyrim aren't too far behind it.

Oblivion is arguably my least favourite of all the games, possibly because I played it right after Morrowind, but it's still a very good game. I look forward to the later levels of the game when all the broken mechanics come against me and the level scaling goes out of hand. Oh boy, that'll be the day. For now, though, I'll stick with Fighters Guild quests.


 I've been keeping myself busy with my writing, got to about 23.5k out of a current quota of about 35k (which increases by every day) so at least I'm getting something done. I have the problem that I don't write anything on weekends. I mean I've got video games and anime in front of me, whereas I would usually write it at work instead. But if Miss days at the weekend, I fall behind by another 3k.

Started getting back into reading Berserk.
Got to, uh, the "turning point" in the manga, and anyone who's read Berserk will know exactly what that means.
I wasn't so into it when I first started reading it, but now I'm really enjoying it. Reading a volume a day.

It's probably not something I would recommend to many people though, despite it being very good - it's very violent, *very* gory, and...uh, it has some pretty explicit scenes, and not necessarily in a nice way. It does fit the dark setting though.
Tbh, I enjoy action manga and all the fight scenes in Berserk are starting to bore me. Lol. I mean it's this mad swordsman wielding a sword that's three times as big as his body, he goes around cleaving demons in two and...?

Well, anyway.
I'm gonna start watching Hellsing today!
It's next on my anime schedule and I've heard some good things about it - but I'm perplexed that it's only 13 episodes? I thought it was really popular so how come it's got barely any episodes.

Gaming: I've started using a random retro game generator which helps me play all these retro games I haven't played yet.
Found some nice gems out there, especially on N64 and NeoGeo. 

Hope everyone is doing okay.


 Work gets reaaaally busy when your workload unexpectedly doubles, and all the people who help you are suddenly on annual leave. But hey, I'm managing. Whilst doing an RP with someone on another site. And doing my own storywriting. Yippee!

I accomplished a lot in Skyrim yesterday. I did a load of quests in Whiterun, joined the Companions, did a few quests for them, did some more dungeons, fought a FUCKING BEAR jesus it almost killed me. Became the Dragonborn, got Lydia to tag along with me...

I found some bugs.

Bug Number 1: I had a companion before Lydia. She was carrying half my equipment. I turn around after 5 minutes and she's fucking gone.

Seriously. I can't find her. This heavily armoured NPC has disappeared.
I spent hours looking for her again. I looked in every house. I went outside the city. I checked the stables. I checked the shops. I checked another shop. I checked the inn where she usually is. I checked the OTHER inn.

I eventually found her in Jorrvaskr. I don't know why she didn't follow me through the damn door. Jesus christ. 

Bug Number 2: You know that quest about rescuing Thorald from the Thalmor? You have to steal a note from the Battle-Born house and give it to the NPC in the Grey-Mane's house.

Here's the thing: I got to the Grey-Mane's house, and the door was locked. 
That's cool, I can pick locks.
I pick the lock, break into the house, and prepare to deliver the message to the NPC.

The NPC accuses me of trespassing and refuses to speak to me.


He won't talk to me no matter what I do. Holy shit. He threatened to call the guards and told me to get out. 
After about 5 minutes of this, I thought to myself: it's night time. He's probably just trying to sleep. I'll wait until daylight and then try again.

Daytime comes. His door is still fucking locked.
He still won't talk to me. Or come out of his house, because he's a goddamn hermit. 
His mum comes out of the house and asks me if I've found the message yet. I can't tell her I've found the message, because she isn't the right NPC to talk to. No, I'm supposed to talk to her SON.

You know, the guy who's locked himself in his own home and won't come out.

So I wait. I wait for time to pass. Maybe he's sleeping in.
I wait until midday.
The door is STILL LOCKED.

Eventually I gave up and used a console command to force this dumbass bastard of a Nord to actually exit the house, whereupon he FINALLY takes the message from me and I can progress the damn quest.

I've heard of Skyrim bugs, but this was ridiculous.


Jun. 24th, 2017

I completed a lot of anime today. And last night.

Completed Clockwork Planet.
This anime was shit. It was trash. It looked so good in the beginning, but then it got worse, and continued to do so and became an absolute trainwreck throughout. I don't even want to talk about it. It was so bad. Characters were introduced here and there. The main characters were annoying. There were some robot fights. The protag would perv over the other girls, which was weird considering they weren't human. Then there was the sex droid and...
....ugh, I don't want to talk about it. Worst show of the season.

Completed my rewatch of Yes! Precure 5 Gogo! with my gf.
Certainly one of the better seasons, and I definitely enjoyed watching it. Even if that final villain looks like shit. Seriously. His design is just lazy and bad and just looks stupid.

Completed Quan Zi Gao Shou.
I really loved this show. It's nice to see a good Chinese anime, once in a while. I loved the characters, loved the fights, loved how they bonded together. Unfortunately, quite a bit of it was rushed and sometimes I hadn't a clue who some of the supporting characters were. Some of them looked the same. I had trouble following it sometimes, to be quite honest. Definitely recommended if you're interested about eSports.

Completed Renai Boukun.
Fucking hated this show. It was hilarious and funny when I first started it, but this soon turned into complete shite. They should have stuck to the parody route and they didn't. Instead, we're introduced to this psychotic character who stabs people for fun and tries to get with the protag. Wait what? What the hell's so entertaining about that? Why is this character going around torturing random people? Why is she IN this show?! Why are we ignoring any attempts at humour, and going for the love triangle instead? Why are these four people married to each other? Like holy shit, this show was almost as bad as Clockwork Planet. I'm glad it's over.

Anyway, I'll be completing a few more shows during the week. I'll be sad to see some of them go, but my Summer Anime list is already looming on the horizon! Woo hoo!

Anime that will be finishing soon:
- Alice to Zouroku (as of Sunday)
- Kenka Banchou Otome: Girl Beats Boys (as of Wednesday)
- Little Witch Academia (as of Monday)
- Seikaisuru Kado (as of Friday)
- Shuumatsu [very very long anime name here] (as of Tuesday)
- Tsuki ga Kirei (as of Friday)
- Grimoire of Zero (as of Monday)

Whew. Looking forward to all that.



 Today is what I call Anime Finishing Week, in which all or most of my airing anime will now finish this week. Most anime will have at most 12-13 episodes, and, well, we've reached that week. I've already finished Attack on Titan Season 2, and intend to finish 6 animes in total this week.

Last night, I finished: Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi to Akashic Records.

It's a reasonably good show, and I really loved it when it first started. It had a great magic system, some awesome characters, a good plot, and even some great fight scenes! Really good stuff. The soundtrack was one of my favourite of the anime airing for that season.

Unfortunately, this did not last, because this show rushed things like hell.

I mean, those who had read the manga could tell that major backstories were completely cut out. Entire chains of events that should have been spread out to a few episodes, were covered in 12 minutes. It was mad. It got worse towards the end. Even so, I still found it enjoyable. It was a bit stupid when they introduced the final villain literally halfway through the last episode!!

Today, I was also hoping to finish another anime, one that I was pleasantly surprised with. Except it's not been subbed.
Well, it better be, because otherwise I'll have to resort to watching Naruto fillers.


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