The Underrated Ladies Tag!

In July, the always awesome Lightning Ellen tagged me in a rather unique tag, something I’ve never done before… a female empowerment tag! In this tag, I have to answer questions about awesome ladies in video games, tv, movies, etc. etc. This is probably going to be somewhat difficult for me, as I tend to draw blanks when I’m asked very specific questions… good thing this is a blog post and not a face-to-face conversation with someone, haha! Anywho, let’s check out the rules for this tag:

  • PingBack to Kate at Melting Pots and Other Calamities and pingback to a post of hers
  • Answer the questions
  • Choose female characters from books, movies, TV, anime, webtoons, etc.
  • Tag as many people
  • Have fun!

Sounds easy enough, right? Let’s see how it goes!!

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1. Name a heroine you like but whom you feel is always overshadowed by the male characters in the story.

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As I am in the midst of re-reading the Harry Potter books (I do it once every couple years or so), the first character that pops in my mind is Professor McGonagall. She is super strict and a total stickler for rules and I feel like had I attended Hogwarts, she and I would not have always seen eye to eye! Nevertheless, she is a bad ass witch who knows her shit, yet is often overshadowed by Professor Dumbledore, Professor Snape, etc. She doesn’t go totally unrecognized, of course, but I feel like she deserved a little more of the limelight!

2. For that matter, name a heroine whom you feel is always overshadowed by the other female characters in the story.

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I’m going to go with Elizabeth the vampire in the Fanged Fae series by Ashley McCleo. For those unfamiliar, I have reviewed the books on my blog because Ashley is kind enough to send me ARCs of her books! Anyway, Elizabeth is a supporting character who helps the main character, Mauri, learn how to control and utilize her vampire side. We get glimpses of Elizabeth fighting, and she sounds completely bad ass and unstoppable. I just wish there was more of her in the books!!

3. Name a character who had potential but was greatly underutilized in her story.

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This might seem like a completely off-the-wall answer, but I chose Vesta from Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life. She runs another farm in town, and she seems like she knows what she’s doing. Instead of developing her character more and maybe providing a bit of friendly competition, she happily sells you seeds so your farm can be more successful than hers. She literally sits back and does nothing while you slowly build up your farm and cause hers to fade into obscurity because no one wants to buy her shit anymore. Come on, Vesta, get it together!

4. Name a female character who you either find better in her book than her movie, find better in her movie than her book, or whose portrayals you find equal.

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Maybe it’s because Harry Potter is on my mind… but I love both the book and the film version of Hermione! I’ll admit, she annoyed me a little at first, but despite her occasional know-it-all attitude, she really is a badass. I had a clear picture in my head of what she was like in the books, and she was brought to life so well on the big screen.

5. Name a character who you want more backstory on.

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How about Cooking Mama? She’s starred in several games, but we don’t know shit about her except for the fact that she gets angry as fuck when you mess up her recipes. I want to know more about her, but I also want to punch her in her angry little face.

6. Name a character with traits you feel are sadly overlooked by everyone.

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Let’s all hear it for Erin from Super Tennis!! Anyone remember Erin? What about Debbie? Amy? Shit y’all… these are all super awesome female tennis players that kick ass, and no one knows anything about them. They can beat the boys any ol’ time, but I bet not many people used them when they played this game. I can’t even really find any pictures online.

P.S. I know next to nothing about sports, but I played the shit out of this game when I was a kid!

7. Name a morally grey character. (Villain or anti hero!)

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I’m going to have to go with my girl Nitara from Mortal Kombat on this one. I’ve mentioned her quite a long time ago in one of my posts, but she is a badass vampire who just wants to do her own thing. She’s not a villain, but she’s not interested in being a hero either. What’s so wrong with that?

8. A character you’re stunned isn’t more famous.

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I’m probably the wrong person to look to as far as what’s famous and what’s not. I tend to stay in my own little world and pay little mind to things like that! Uh… I’m drawing a complete blank here. I guess I’ll choose Clare from the Claymore manga series. There is way too much shit to explain the Claymore storyline here, but let’s just say that she’s a badass and she deserves credit.

There you have it! If anyone wants to answer these questions themselves, go for it! 🙂

 

Game Review: Doodle God: Crime City!

Note: I wrote this review article back in July for LadiesGamers. Check out the original article here! 

Game: Doodle God: Crime City
System: Nintendo Switch
Publisher/Developer: Joybits
Price: $6.99 | £6.29
Age Rating:  USA T| EU 12+
Release Date: July 11, 2019

Review code kindly provided by Joybits.

Have you ever wished you could build your own city of crime? Have you ever wanted to mix random elements together just to see what happens? In Doodle God: Crime City, you can do just that! Nintendo.com describes the game like this:

WATCH YOUR CRIME CITY COME ALIVE AS YOU PLAY!

Over 500 puzzles to solve and items to create as you play the role of Crime Boss or Cop. You decide how you want to play as you play through multiple hard-nosed storylines & play modes.

As you build your Gang and make your fortune you must evade the Cops as well as fight off rival games in order to become the “Big Boss” of the City. In the “City” mode watch your Crime City come alive as you successfully pull off heists, escape the Cops or beat-off rival gangs. But you gotta watch your back because behind every corner there is a good Cop trying to make a name for himself or a rival Gangster trying to take your turf!

In the “Campaign” mode, nab the bad guys or pull off heists to build your fortune. Can you successfully rob the bank and escape the Cops? Are you tough enough to defeat the rival boss and be the Crime Big Boss of the City? We shall see how good you are…

Remember Crime Does Pay!

Sounds interesting, right? And apparently there are other Doodle God games, including Doodle God and Doodle Devil. I’m unfamiliar with these games, so I went into the game not knowing what to expect. But enough of my babbling, let’s get to the review!

Story

There are two main modes in Crime City: City and Campaign. In City Mode, you combine random elements together to make… well, stuff. Your city starts off pretty bare, but as you keep combining elements, your city will slowly fill up with all sorts of crime related goodies, such as the Mafia, bank robbers, and a drunk guy crawling out of a bar! Some elements are downright bizarre, such as a tiger in a cage and a random man lifting weights.

In Campaign Mode, you are once again combining elements, but there is more of a “story” to what you are doing. There are a few different scenarios to play through, though unfortunately none of them are very interesting.

Graphics and Sound

I’ll admit, when I was downloaded the game onto my Switch, I was not a huge fan of the icon on my screen. Unfortunately, that feeling stayed with me the entire time I was playing the game. The graphics are colorful, but I did not care for the way the characters looked. Also (and maybe this is just because I have a background in graphic design and I’m picky) the proportions of some elements were way off. I unlocked a limo, then a man lifting weights, and when they were placed side by side, the man was way bigger than the limo! I mean, the limo looked like a toy car.  Maybe they were trying to just fit as much as they possibly could on the screen, but it just looked strange.

The sounds in this game are pretty sparse. There is an annoying police siren that wails every few seconds, which got on my nerves and caused me to turn the volume down for the rest of the game.

Gameplay

As I mentioned before, the whole point of Crime City is to combine different elements together to make more elements! The problem is, this just isn’t much fun. I was vaguely interested in what some combinations would produce, but the formula gets stale very quickly, especially when the game itself is not dynamic at all. In City Mode, elements are plopped down on the screen and do not move. In Campaign Mode, you never see the action- you just read a little blurb on the screen telling you what happened. Crime City is not exactly a text adventure either, so combining elements does little to keep you entertained. I can barely tell you what any of the Campaigns were about, and I just finished the game recently!

Fun Factor and Replay Value

As I said, combining elements just isn’t that fun! Just clicking and clicking gets old when your reward is so small. Also, I should mention that some of the combinations really make no sense. Sure, Citizen + Justice = Policeman makes sense, but how does Policeman + Thief = Water? It’s really hit or miss.

As for the replay value, there really is none. Once you have all the elements created and the City is full, there’s nothing left to do. Same goes for Campaign Mode- once you beat each story, there really isn’t any reason to go back to it. There are some achievements to unlock, but I didn’t bother with them after I beat the game.

Closing Remarks

Doodle God: Crime City has an interesting premise, but doesn’t do much to keep you entertained. During my 3 hour play time, I often found myself getting bored after combining a few elements. It was kind of neat to see some of the elements created, but when the end result is simply a “city” with a bunch of static elements, it left me with little sense of accomplishment. At $6.99, the price seems a little high for a game better suited to mobile devices at a lower (or free) price tag. Maybe people who have enjoyed other Doodle God games will want to give this one a try, but unfortunately for me, I’m going to give this a ranking of I Didn’t Like It.

I don't like it

I just want to say that even though I was not a fan of this game, I played it through all the way to the end, because I appreciate the developer letting me try it!

Featured Article on GrimTalin!

Just a short little post today! Back in January, I wrote a review article for a game called Cake Laboratory on LadiesGamers.com. In May, I finally got around to posting my article on my own blog. Well, turns out my article was actually featured on publisher GrimTalin’s website!

Pretty neat, huh? My article is under the heading LadiesGamers. You can read my review, and many other reviews, by clicking here. It’s pretty neat to get a little recognition 😉

Lovin’ My Backlog!

Back in February, the always awesome Lightning Ellen did a little post showing some love to her backlog, and encouraged others to do the same. Now, I’m no stranger to the backlog… I have an account on Backloggery keeping track of all my games and the progress (or lack thereof) that I’ve made with them! The number of games I have backlogged might be artificially inflated to some of you, because I also have listed all games in mini consoles I own as well as a bunch of mobile games. But hey, I figured it was important to list everything I have, not just games for the main console! In addition, I have all of my husband’s games listed… so yeah, there’s quite a few games I haven’t managed to play yet!

Anyway! For the sake of this post, I’m going to write about games that I have in my backlog that I have never played- not games I’ve played but haven’t beaten.

The State of My Backlog

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Haha… Backloggery tells me I have 703 games I’ve never played! Oops! Remember, that number is greatly inflated due to games I haven’t played on mini consoles. I have a little tiny arcade console that has like 200 games on it, the Sega Genesis Flashback has 85 games on it, the Atari Flashback has 101 games on it, etc.! It’s easy to see why I haven’t tried all those games out yet. If you don’t count all those games, my number is probably somewhere closer to 300. Still a lot!

Most of the time I get games because I know for a fact it is something I like and will enjoy… but I also buy shit just because it’s cheap sometimes. GameStop had a period of time where they had a ton of Nintendo DS games for sale, and I probably bought like 20 of them for 99 cents- $2 each. Yep. I love games, what can I say?

Game most likely never to be played

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Browsing through my list, I’m going to go with a game called Chaotic: Shadow Warriors for the Wii. I don’t even know what the hell this is or why I bought it. It must have been super cheap! I won’t say that I’ll NEVER play it, because I really do want to play all my games at some point, but it’ll be a long while before I get to it.

Shortest game

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I’m going to choose Wheel of Fortune for the NES. I bought this a few years ago and still haven’t tested it. Too late to return it if it doesn’t work, I guess! Anyway, it probably won’t take too terribly long to get through a round of Wheel of Fortune, so there you go!

Longest game

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I have a few lengthy RPGs in my backlog, but I think I’m going to go with Persona 4 Golden for the PS Vita. People easily sink 100 hours or more into Persona games, and I’ve been itching to play this one for awhile!

Game which has spent the most time on the backlog

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Ha… probably Ranch Rush, I game I bought for the PC many years ago. So many years ago, it probably won’t even work at this point.

The person responsible for adding the most entries to your backlog

Though I have received many great suggestions, in the end, I have no one to blame but myself! 😉

There you have it- a little peak inside my robust backlog! Far from ashamed of it, I’m actually pretty proud of the game collection my husband and I have!! Now if only we could become millionaires and have a bunch of free time to just sit around and play games…

My E3 Wishes… And What Came True!

As everyone who loves gaming knows, E3 was held in June like it is every year. I always look forward to it on a more passive level… I have ideas about what I WANT to see, but I keep my expectations low so I’m not disappointed! Over at ladiesgamers.com, we all chimed in on what we wanted to see at the show. It was fun to read what everyone was most excited about!

Since E3 has come and gone- but I still wanted to share my article with y’all- I figured what I would do is post my original article and add a paragraph after each section explaining if my wish came through or not! Here is the link to my original article, in case you want to see it! Without further ado, let’s begin…

                                                                    *****

With the next E3 around the corner, I got to thinking about what my E3 wishes were.

More information about Pokémon and Luigi

First off, I’m interested in learning more about Pokémon Sword and Shield! I love Pokémon, and this new generation looks really neat. I know there was already a Nintendo Direct for these games, but maybe we’ll still get more news. I’ve been playing Pokémon Blue lately, so I’m just in the mood for Pokémon I guess!

Pokémon sword and Shield LadiesGamers

Note: This wish did indeed come true! While a dedicated Pokémon Direct aired a few days prior to E3, Nintendo still showed more gameplay from the newest games. It looks so amazing! I definitely want Pokémon Sword because, um, I just like swords!

I also cannot wait for more information on Luigi’s Mansion 3. Luigi’s Mansion is one of my absolute favorite games of all time, and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon was pretty fun too. Can’t wait to see what spooky surprises are in store!

Note: This wish came true as well! Luigi’s Mansion 3 looks awesome! It’s set in a hotel, so I don’t know if the “mansion” part of the title can really hold true, but anyway… it has the same familiar look and feel of the other games in the series, with new abilities and different ways to explore. Also, Gooigi really just cracks me the hell up. I don’t know why!

Dreaming about Donkey Kong

This is probably a bit of a pipe dream, but I’m secretly hoping another Donkey Kong Country game will be announced. The original trilogy of Donkey Kong Country games on the Super Nintendo were the best, but I’ll take another game in the same vein as Donkey Kong Country Returns/Tropical Freeze too. I’m still holding out hope that maybe the original trilogy will get a remaster- not likely, but a girl can dream!

Note: For about 15 seconds, I actually thought this was coming true! A video clip showed Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong and K. Rool in DK’s treehouse crammed up against a window staring at something… I about died because I thought they were revealing a new DK game! But no… it was just a trailer showing the inclusion of Banjo-Kazooie in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Fuck me. 

Animal Crossing in every region

Lastly (and probably most importantly for me) I’m waiting to hear some news on Animal Crossing!! As you all probably know, I’m a huge Animal Crossing fan and love every game in the series. I’m anxiously awaiting the day I can play Animal Crossing on the Switch. And since the Switch is region-free, I’ll probably want a copy from every region so I can enjoy all the different holidays and events 😃

Note: This wish came true as well! Yay! We finally got to see some awesome footage for the latest game in the Animal Crossing series: Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It’s not coming out for the Switch until March 2020, but I’m okay with waiting a little while longer if it means they are perfecting the game! Everything about it looks amazing. I cannot wait! I don’t know if I’ll be able to do the one game from every region thing, though, because I read something about how only 1 island can be saved to your Switch at a time or something. Uggh.

So there you have it, just a few things I hope I get to see at E3. I’m never one to have high expectations though, because I don’t want to be disappointed. We’ll just have to see what happens!

Note: I’m actually pretty surprised that most of the stuff I wanted was shown in one form or another. Just… come on, Nintendo… get back together with Rare and give me a new Donkey Kong Country game with the Kremlings in it!! A re-master of the original trilogy with new features and maybe a few new levels would please me too… I’m waiting… 

Book Review: Hawk Witch by Ashley McLeo!

Ashley McCleo is such a busy lady! She has been releasing a bunch of awesome books this year, and I’m amazed at what she is getting done! She recently began a new series called The Bonegate Series, which is kind of a companion to The Fanged Fae Series (some characters and stories overlap, which is quite interesting!). In May, I reviewed the book on Goodreads. Here is the blurb:

Blood calls. Soar, surrender, or die.

Lana Shea is a mediocre witch, a lackluster student, and a loner with no clear path in life.

But when a shifter delivers a scroll bearing strange clues to her father’s whereabouts, one thing becomes clear.

She must search for the father she’s never known.

Lana races across Dublin solving the obscure clues until finally, she is transported into a bleak kingdom in Faerie.

A kingdom her father rules.

When asked to participate in the Successional, a violent royal tournament, Lana accepts. As do twelve of her new siblings. To earn her father’s attention, she must win.

Under the tutelage of her handsome guard, Lana learns Faerie is darker than she ever imagined and as a competitor, there is more than just her father’s love at stake. In fact, the fate of fae she’s come to know and cherish may be on her shoulders.

Can she master her magic in time to win? Is Lana willing to spill the blood of her newfound siblings to better her life and help those who need it most?

For fans of Throne of Glass and the Cruel Prince comes Hawk Witch, an epic Faerie tale with a dark twist and slow-burn romance. Warning, Hawk Witch is dangerously addictive and may keep you up late into the night!

And the cover:

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This is my review that I posted on Goodreads:

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review! 🙂

The first book in The Bonegate Series, Hawk Witch, begins with the main character, Lana, graduating from college. She’s a bit of an outcast, as she doesn’t have many friends besides her lifelong best friend, Finn, and her trusty hawk, Naela. Lana isn’t really sure what she’s going to do with her life yet. She does possess some magical powers, however- she is an Illuminator, a light witch. The only problem is, she isn’t very good at magic, and she doesn’t practice like she should either!

Her life is practically turned upside down when she is visited by a shifter elf who proposes something peculiar- solve a few riddles and potentially meet her long-lost father! Of course, Lana can’t resist this offer, and enlists the help of Finn to solve the riddles. After they solve the last riddle, they both touch a stone at the same time (a “bonegate”) and are transported into the land of Faerie.

Once in Faerie, Lana learns that she has many half-siblings because her father (the King of Lyonesse) is at war with Queen Pari of Buyan… and he needs strong magical creatures at his side. Um, yeah dude… way to be an absentee father for like 20 years and then go “Oh yeah, help me fight someone.” Pssh, I would’ve been out of there so fast!

Anyway, the King allows Lana and her siblings to train for a couple weeks before they compete in what is known as the Successional. As the name suggests, the Successional will determine who will become general of the king’s army and second in line to the throne. Some of Lana’s siblings are more competitive than others, and they all display a wide variety of magical talents. While in Faerie, Finn discovers that he is actually one of Lana’s siblings as well… and he never knew he had magical abilities!

I felt like the king was exploiting his children by parading them around and by even holding a Successional in the first place. Despite this, Lana and all of her siblings want to stay and fight, which I thought was a little strange. I mean, no one wanted to go back to their old lives?? Not even Lana, who had a close relationship with her mother? Doesn’t make sense to me.

Anyway! No spoilers, but the Successional’s winner was pretty much who I assumed it would be all along. Also, Lana discovers that her hawk is more than just a pet- she is a familiar, so she is really in tune to Lana’s thoughts and emotions. All in all, I enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see what happens next!

I gave Hawk Witch 5/5 stars on Goodreads!

End Game Thoughts: Bookworm!

Game Title: Bookworm
Platform: Kindle Touch
Hours Played: about 1 1/2

About The Game

bookworm1

Bookworm is another one of those games that has been released multiple times throughout the years on multiple platforms. It was first released in 2003 I think on the computer? I’m too lazy to do much research. Anywho, the version I played was released in 2012 for the Kindle Touch. (yes, I still have a really old Kindle that has books and games on it!)

So what is Bookworm about? Well, it’s a puzzle game where there are a bunch of Scrabble tiles with letters on them, and you connect the letters together to form words. Shocking, right? Once you make a word, more tiles fall down and you just keep on forming words til your little heart is content… or until the level is over, anyway.

As you progress through the levels, more shit goes down… like, sometimes the tiles will catch on fire and move down the board with each turn! Oh, the horror! If the fire reaches the bottom of the board, you are screwed.

What I Liked

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This game is pretty relaxing, for the most part. I really do enjoy word games, so it was fun for me to see how high I could get my score! Even though my Kindle Touch displays everything in black and white, the graphics translated well and I had no problem seeing what I was supposed to be doing!

What I Didn’t Like

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Though it is fun, the game does start to drag on the longer you play. It’s definitely designed to play in short bursts- just play a level or two here and there, and it’s fun for everyone!

Closing Thoughts

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Bookworm is a fun little game that when played in short bursts, provides a decent distraction from life. I played it for about an hour and a half total, got up to Level 14, and had a final score of 114,790. Not too shabby!