Memory Museum: Yoshi’s Safari!

Note: I originally wrote this post on LadiesGamers.com back in February 2019. Click here for the link to the original post! 🙂

A featured series on LadiesGamers.com: Memory Museum. Our earliest gaming memories to the backdrop of what was happening in our personal life. Plus, what was happening in the gaming world back then! 

It’s the year 1993. Nintendo releases a smaller redesigned NES, which allows cartridges to be inserted at the top of the console, instead of the front. They also bring us The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening on the GameBoy. Square releases Secret of Mana, and hasn’t yet joined forces with Enix. 

Over in America, Brandi  gets a Super Scope peripheral to play a very special game.  

Going on Safari with the Super Scope

There are many significant gaming memories I have throughout my life. After all, I started gaming at a very young age! When originally approached with the idea for this article, my first instinct was to write about Donkey Kong Country for the Super Nintendo. I have a great love for that game (and the series as a whole), and I have so many childhood memories tied to it! However, I’ve previously written blog posts about the game, and I wanted to write about something a little different for this article. I looked through my Super Nintendo games and came across one that holds special significance for me: Yoshi’s Safari.

Yoshi’s Safari was a game that came out in 1993 for the Super Nintendo. This game was pretty unique in the fact that it required the Super Scope peripheral to play. I could go into the details of the Super Scope, but maybe we’ll save that for a different post! If you are unfamiliar, the Super Scope was basically a light gun peripheral that you rested on your shoulder. You aimed at the tv and looked through the scope of the gun, and that was how you played! Naturally, most of the games that were played using the Super Scope were shooters. Hence, Yoshi’s Safari was classified as a rail shooter.

When the Super Scope came out, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I got a few games for it, but the one that stood out to me the most was Yoshi’s Safari. According to Wikipedia, the plot of the game is as follows: “In this game, Mario and Yoshi have to save King Fret and his son Prince Pine of Jewellery Land from Bowser and his Koopalings.” Haha… I definitely don’t remember anything about that! Anyway, you ride on Yoshi’s back for the duration of the game, and you shoot at enemies with the Scope. It’s not horribly complex due to the fact that the levels automatically scroll, so almost anyone can pick up and play a few levels!

Yoshi’s Safari even appealed to non-gamers

So why is this game so special to me? Well, growing up, no one in my household really wanted to play video games with me. I would always beg my mom to play, but she just wasn’t into it. Same goes for my aunt, uncle, and grandparents. But something about Yoshi’s Safari drew interest from my mom and my uncle, and to my surprise, they actually wanted to play the game! I was thrilled to sit there and watch them play as they tried to make it to the end of the game! Of course, this meant that sometimes when I really wanted to play my Super Nintendo, it was occupied… but I digress!

One memory in particular stands out to me. I was staying at a friend’s house for a sleepover, but around 11p.m. I got sick and wanted to come home. She lived right across the street, so my mom walked over and brought me back home. I couldn’t believe it when I went to my room and found my uncle sitting there, playing Yoshi’s Safari! My mom told me they had snuck into my room to play while I was gone. Apparently it took them a few minutes to figure out how to hook everything up, but since they really wanted to play, they figured it out! I think they were pretty bummed that I came home…

Haven’t played Yoshi’s Safari in many years, though I still own it (and the Super Scope too!). I remember it fondly for its unique gameplay and the fact that this game was one of the few games I was able to convince members of my family to play. Because of this, Yoshi’s Safari will always hold a special place in my heart!

The Sunshine Blogger Award!

Somehow, I missed a post from Art of Redress (who, sadly, does not have a blog anymore… though he does post for The Well-Red Mage now and then!) back in September 2018 awarding me The Sunshine Blogger Award! Oops! I’m not sure how that even happened. So here I am, accepting my little award 9 months later! I really do appreciate it, even though it took me this long to respond. Anyway, here’s the rules for this lovely award:

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The Rules:

Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.

Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.

Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

So let’s get to the questions.

1. What is your favorite Sega game? 

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I’m going to have to go with Crazy Taxi. I’ll admit, I didn’t even play Crazy Taxi until it came out on the GameCube (I never had any Sega consoles until I reached adulthood!) but I loved that game and played it for so many hours.

2. What’s the furthest you’ve ever ran?

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Haha… that’s funny! I hate running. Hate, hate, hate. If you see me running, it means shit is going down, so you’d better run too!

3. Winter or summer?

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I love summer! Yeah, it gets hot as balls, but I love swimming and going to the beach. I enjoy winter too, even though we don’t really get much of one here.

4. If you could go back in time to stop All Saints covering Under The Bridge, would you?

I’m not familiar with All Saints, so I can’t really say.

5. Favourite comedy film?

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Hmm, this is a tough one. I like comedies, but for some reason I’m really drawing a blank here. *checks Pinterest for inspiration* Ya know what, I’m going with Bad Santa. Billy Bob Thornton is disgusting in this movie and I love it!

6. What mobile phone do you own?

I have an iPhone 8. It’s decent, but I find myself wishing for a bigger screen. My eyeballs ain’t what they used to be!

7. Favourite ice cream brand?

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I don’t really eat ice cream all that often, but good old Publix brand is what I usually buy if I get any!

8. Cinema snack of choice?

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If I get food at the theater, popcorn is a good choice obviously… but I also like getting either a hot dog or some nachos!

9. What is your worst gaming experience ever?

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Playing the shit stain known as Napoleon Dynamite for the PSP.

10. Last time you did a press up?

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It’s been awhile, haha! Probably since before my shoulder got all messed up like 2 years ago.

11. If you were a cat, what name would you hope your owners chose for you?

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Beelzebub. I’ll also accept Evil the Cat, like the little guy in the pic above (from Earthworm Jim!).

And there you have it! Since I was nominated for this award quite awhile ago, I’m not going to think up questions and stuff. I’m lazy, which y’all know by now! 🙂

Game Review: Cake Laboratory!

Note: This review was originally published on LadiesGamers.com. on 1/30/2019. Check out the original post here!

Title: Cake Laboratory
Developer: Square Heads Games
Publisher: GrimTalin
Price: $2.99|€2.69 |£2.42
Release Date: December 2018

*Review code kindly provided by GrimTalin!*

Hey everyone! For my first review on LadiesGamers, I was asked to play and review a little game called Cake Laboratory! I hadn’t heard of this game prior to playing it, so I was excited to check it out! I played through the entire game before writing my review- here are my thoughts and impressions. I figured I would break my review down into small sections and discuss each one!

Story

Haha… well, there isn’t much story to tell! Apparently your goal is to build the highest cake tower ever. To do this, you play through 50 levels of cake-dropping madness. If you beat all 50 levels, that sweet Golden Chapeu is yours!

Graphics and Sound

The graphics are cute and vibrant. The cakes look delicious enough to eat! There isn’t much variety to the backgrounds, though.

The soundtrack I could’ve done without, honestly. The same tune loops endlessly as you play- there is no variety at all. It starts to get annoying after awhile, but that’s what the mute button is for! You can easily toggle the music on and off in the main menu.

The sound effects are a bit of a different story, as I actually enjoyed them. The sounds the cakes make as they get squished on top of each other is entertaining, and the sound of stacking together cakes perfectly is quite satisfying.

Gameplay

It isn’t hard to just jump right in and start playing this game. To complete a level, you simply have to stack a certain number of cakes on top of each other. Arms move back and forth on the top of the screen, and you press A to drop your cake. That’s it!

As the levels continue, the arms move a little faster, and you have to stack cakes of varying sizes on top of each other. It never gets to the point where it becomes overly frustrating, even in the later levels.

Every so often, you will be prompted to make your own cake. You can choose from various bases, icing, and toppings. It’s fun the first couple of times you do it, but loses its charm after awhile.

Fun Factor and Replay Value

This game is fun, and I did enjoy playing it. However, gameplay remains the same throughout the entire game. There are no twists, no surprises, nothing like that- it’s pretty much the same for all 50 levels. The cakes vary in size, but that doesn’t affect the gameplay much. In fact, I thought it was a bit odd that the way you stack the cakes doesn’t even seem to matter. While playing similar games, the tower you are creating will lean and sway depending on how accurately you stack the blocks (or whatever it is you are using). In Cake Laboratory, even if I stacked one cake lopsided, as long as I centered the next cake, the tower wouldn’t fall. There was really no need to focus on balancing.

With all that being said, there unfortunately isn’t a whole lot of replay value once you complete all 50 levels. There are 3 stars to achieve on each level, which is not difficult to achieve. I think I had to replay only 4 or 5 levels to bump up my score from 2 to 3 stars.

Closing Remarks

This game is a fun little diversion and is perfectly suited for the on-the-go portability that the Switch provides. I played through the entire game in handheld mode, and full completion of the game took me about one hour. I don’t think I’ll play this game again anytime soon, because there just isn’t much else to do once you complete the game. Nevertheless, I’m going to give this game the rating of I Like It, because it was fun while it lasted!

Book Review: The Hansel and Gretel Curse by Margo Ryerkerk!

The Hansel and Gretel Curse is the third and final book in the Cursed Fairy Tale series by Margo Ryerkerk. It wrapped up loose ends from the first two books, and I thought it was a great book to tie everything together!

Here’s the blurb:

A vicious witch.

A dark curse.

A lost kingdom.

After a mysterious woman comes to Gretel’s village, her brother Hansel disappears without a trace. Gretel soon discovers that the traveling beauty wasn’t just any woman, but a wicked witch who steals willpowers, transforming humans into slaves.

Determined to rescue Hansel, Gretel ventures into the lair of the witch, the Black Forest, swearing she’ll either leave with her brother or die trying.

An evil force has befallen General Stefan’s kingdom. The evil witch of the Black Forest is poisoning the royal family and the whole country. She must be brought to justice.

Cloaked in spells, the witch’s forest has consumed countless soldiers and only permits one solider to enter at a time. Unable to bring his army, Stefan must fight this battle alone. Or so he thinks until he meets Gretel. The willful redhead is an unlikely partner and his only ally.

Together, Stefan and Gretel must overcome countless obstacles and trials as well as untangle their terrifying romantic feelings for each other.

Will Stefan and Gretel find a way to outsmart the witch or will they lose their lives and everything they care about?

Buy it now and find out!

Filled with adventure, love, magic, and a strong heroine, this clean YA Fairy Tale is a must-read!

If you liked Kiera Cass, Serena Valentino, and Liz Braswell, you’ll love this!

The Hansel and Gretel Curse is the third book in the Cursed Fairy Tale series. Each book can be read as a standalone. However, for greatest enjoyment, the novels should be read in order.

And the cover:

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Here’s the review I wrote on Goodreads back in January:

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review 🙂

The final installment of the Cursed Fairy Tale series is based off of the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel. I was slightly more familiar with this story than with the previous two tales, and I was pleasantly surprised by the way this story was re-imagined!

Hansel and Gretel are twins who are turning 17. While Hansel is excited to be an adult, Gretel is not excited because for a woman, that means she has more responsibilities. Gretel is a bit of a wallflower and prefers to be left alone working in the library, and I don’t blame her! Hansel is the more outgoing of the twins, and the ladies love him.

The twins have a birthday celebration, and Gretel decides not to attend her own party, because she would rather stay in the library and read! Apparently, Hansel took off with a beautiful blonde and never came home. At first, Gretel and the twins’ adoptive mother, Sabina, think he just partied too hard, but soon they suspect something more sinister is afoot.

Sure enough, Hansel was taken by Roswita, a witch that lives in the Black Forest. Poor Hansel was promised to the witch by his mother, so she claimed him the moment he turned 17. That sucks for him! Anyway, Roswita loves to manipulate and bend people to do her will, so she bakes irresistible sweets for people to eat. Once they do, she takes control.

Gretel decides to go to the queen, who also wants Roswita stopped for her own private reasons. The queen sends Gretel to the Black Forest, and she is soon accompanied by Stefan (of COURSE there is a love interest, haha!). Stefan is kind of shady but Gretel begins to trust him anyway. I won’t spoil the rest of the story, but we find out who the queen and Stefan really are, and that just adds a fun twist to the story that I didn’t see coming at first!

Gretel and Stefan put themselves in a lot of danger, but somehow they manage to blend in and not draw attention to themselves for awhile. Along the way, Gretel makes a couple dumb decisions… again, no spoilers but… the library scene made me roll my eyes!

One last thing… dragons! ❤ ❤ ❤

I really enjoyed this book! This was my favorite entry to the series. Now I’m kind of sad that the series is over, but I’m so excited for whatever Margo writes next!! 🙂

I gave The Hansel and Gretel Curse 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads!

Book Review: The Bluebeard Curse by Margo Ryerkerk!

The Bluebeard Curse is the second book in the Cursed Fairy Tale Series by Margo Ryerkerk. Here’s the blurb for it:

A devastating curse. 

A broken soul. 

A fearless girl. 

After finding his sister crouched over their dead parents’ bodies, Nolan turns her in. To cope with his crippling loss, he seeks to forget his sorrows in revelries. But trying to escape his life only creates more problems when two girls, last seen with him, drown.

Unable to bear the town’s accusations, Nolan flees his home.

Five years later, he’s forced to return to the city that calls him Bluebeard and accept his count title. His welcome is anything but warm, friends treat him with suspicion, and the worst is yet to come…

Jolie knows servants shouldn’t interact with nobility, but there’s something about Nolan Bluebeard that makes it impossible to stay away even if being close to him jeopardizes everything she has worked so hard for.

While Nolan desperately tries to rebuild his reputation with Jolie’s help, a devastating curse has women around him falling dead one by one.

Will Nolan and Jolie break the curse, or will they die trying?

The Bluebeard Curse is the second book in the Cursed Fairy Tales series. Each book can be read as a standalone. However, for greatest enjoyment, the novels should be read in order.

Filled with adventure, love, magic, and a strong heroine, this clean YA Fairy Tale is a must-read!If you liked The Siren and The Selection by Kiera Cass, K.M Shea and Melanie Cellier’s work, you’ll love this!

Buy it now and join Jolie and Nolan on their journey to break the Bluebeard curse!

And here’s the cover!

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This is my review, which I published on Goodreads back in December.

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

First of all, I want to say that I am not at all familiar with the fairy tale this book is based off of! I’ve never even heard of it before, so I basically had nothing to compare it to.

Anyway, this book starts off with us meeting Jolie, a young woman who is a maid for a wealthy count. She likes working for him, but she is nervous when she finds out that his nephew, Nolan, is coming back from a 5 year absence to take back over his estate.

Nolan, unsurprisingly, has a bit of a shady past. His parents were killed and his sister was responsible for their deaths. Then two girls die after a night hanging out with him… so he decides to split for awhile. Oh, and he was nicknamed “Bluebeard” because he used to have a thick, black beard that had a blueish tint in certain lights.

Nolan’s sister, Delilah, was briefly featured in the Nutcracker Curse. Let me just say it right out- she is an awful character! There is not one tiny redeemable quality about her AT. ALL. She is self- absorbed and so full of hatred it’s almost unreal. Normally I can find a way to sympathize with most characters, but not her. She literally is willing to give up 15 years of her life to curse her brother because apparently he is the cause of her “suffering,” when SHE was the one who killed their parents.

Speaking of the curse, this is where the name “The Bluebeard Curse” comes in. It looks like any woman getting close to Nolan a.k.a. Bluebeard better watch themselves, because ladies have a habit of dropping dead around him.

Naturally, Nolan is attracted to Jolie even though she’s of a lower social status. Which… uggh. I find that intolerable. Even though this story was set centuries ago, it still makes me roll my eyes to know that some people care so much about that. Anyway. Jolie becomes a target because she falls in love with Nolan, and she decides that she needs to be the one to break the curse. No one likes to mind their own business I guess! I won’t spoil how the story ends, but ya know… they all live happily ever after and all that jazz.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Margo Ryerkerk’s books very much. I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. Her writing is excellent, but the story of The Bluebeard Curse is not one of my favorites. I did become a little more invested in the characters (except Delilah) by the end of the book, but I didn’t really connect with any of them like I usually do. Nevertheless, I cannot wait for the 3rd book in the series!!

I gave The Bluebeard Curse 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads!

Christmas Goodies!

Yeah, I’m posting about my gaming related Christmas goodies in May… but isn’t that my style? 😉

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As you can see by the lovely picture above, I got several gaming related goodies for Christmas! I got 3 Nintendo 3DS games (Pokémon Ultra Sun, Pokémon Ultra Moon, and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon). I actually traded Dark Moon for the Luigi’s Mansion GameCube remake, since I already had Dark Moon 😉 I also got Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Switch, 2 amiibo, and a Boo coffee mug! Haha it’s so cute! How could you not love Boo?

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I am super behind on Pokémon games, so I haven’t tried Ultra Sun or Ultra Moon yet, but I have been playing some Smash Bros. when I get a chance! It’s so much fun, but there was one thing I was looking forward to in this game more than anything:

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Yes!! Finally K. Rool gets some attention. He has been my absolute favorite villain ever since I played the original Donkey Kong Country in 1994. I mean yeah, he’s completely ridiculous (why does a reptile need to steal bananas anyway?), but that’s part of the fun! You can bet I got his amiibo the day it came out too 😉

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A couple days after Christmas, I also received this giant Yoshi from my awesome friend Callula!!

So there you have it! Some fun little Christmas goodies. See ya!

End Game Thoughts: Napoleon Dynamite!

Game Title: Napoleon Dynamite
Platform: PlayStation Portable (PSP)
Hours Played: around 1

About The Game

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Napoleon Dynamite is a shitty game that came out for the PSP in 2007. It came out for some other platforms too, but don’t bother looking into it. This is one of the few games that I have ever purchased that I seriously considered smashing into pieces and setting on fire just so I wouldn’t have to look upon its shittiness ever again.

What’s the point of this game? It’s based off the movie, which I thought was funny. This game, however, is not funny. Do not purchase this piece of shit.

What I Liked

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Let’s just skip on down to the next section, shall we? Nothing to say here!

What I Didn’t Like

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Everything about this stupid game! God damn… first of all, it’s glitchy as shit. You’ll get screwed over more often than not because the game will freeze, the images on the screen will flicker, the music will stop… if something can glitch in this game, it will.

The game is basically a collection of mini games, which I don’t have a problem with. What I do have a problem with is the fact that these mini games suck so much ass and are so unenjoyable, I’d rather clean the toilet at a gas station than spend one more second with it.

Closing Thoughts

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This is truly the first game I can say I wasted my money on. It was only a couple bucks but still, I could’ve bought a couple items off the dollar menu at McDonald’s and been happier for it! It’s an awful, glitchy mess, and I beat 5 of the mini games before I got too pissed off and called it quits. Fuck you, Napoleon Dynamite.