Monthly Archives: January 2021

Stardew Valley – Five years and still addictive!

Now and then you find a game that you enjoy enough to put countless hours in to. I admitted, had a lot of these. I am a gamer after all and the only thing I do more then game is read. So naturally I prefer games with replay value and I can relax with. Stardew Valley is one of those.

Now, if you are not familiar with this game, it is a 2D game that came out in 2016. It is like games such as Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons, Rune Factory, and so on. This casual fun genre of slice of life games is always adding more to the list. You farm, you build, you make friends, and you expand your home and improve the general area you have moved in to. Plus some amusing combat that reminds me of several old NES games I’ve played.

Sure. This sounds fun. But what has made it so impress that five years later people still play it religiously? 

Because they have not stopped adding to it!

Since it’s release they had added multiplayer, different house styles that affect how you play, and even recently added additional aspects of relationships you can have with NPCs. The developers never seem to stop adding to this ever-growing game.

Another plus is that if you get sick of the game, it has picked up a rather large modding community! The possibilities from both the developers and the community on this brilliant game are endless. It is a must play for anyone.

MuckRock

So when I started this blog, I had intended it for book and game reviews. Though as I went through the internet and discovered fascinating sites to help me when I picked up interviews with streamers and authors, I found OTranscribe, which I wrote about a few weeks ago. While learning about OTranscibe, I learned it was part of the MuckRock foundation, which naturally made me curious. What the heck was a MuckRock? 

How I had not known about this group previously simply proves how little the average person knows about the process of filing for public records. And in that I poorly segue in to what exactly MuckRock is!

MuckRock is a news site that collaborates with everything from researchers and journalists to activists and ordinary people. The site holds thousands of pages of government files and information on how to request one you need for your personal research projects. Now I will not be going in to this process here as, honestly, I am no expert at that and my knowledge of public record law is limited. I would, however, suggest MuckRock to find out this information as their site has helpful information you can use to figure out your process.

This site has an interesting type of journalism that I find refreshing in a world where the major new outlets have all taken a political side. So if you want access to actual record based information that has not been watered down by opinion and left or right ideology. I suggest MuckRock for your research needs.

The Six Wives of Henry VIII

So, why am I reviewing a book about Henry the VIII that came out in the 1990s? Because I just recently picked up the audio book version that was recorded in the early 2000s. Now this is a strictly historical telling by Alison Weir and read by Simon Prebble. Alison Weir has some historical fiction novels, though this one does not take any of that, save person her ability to form historical eras in to cohesive stories.

Now in case the name did not give it away this book focuses heavily on Henry the VII’s wives and their life with the king. A good majority of the book covers Kathrine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, but this makes sense given they had the longest relationships with the King. This does not however mean that the other wives are not properly covered, as the book goes in to as much detail as still exists of each Queen.

This is a must read if you are a fan of history and Tudor England.

Video Game History – The Magnavox Odyssey

Have you ever heard of the Magnavox Odyssey? I actually had not until a few years ago when I got into studying video game history. The weird part is, I had always thought Atari had made the first home video game console. Well I was wrong, the Odyssey was conceived years before Atari hit the shelves. Though somehow it has avoided the long-lasting popularity and nostalgia for many, despite the enormous impact it has had on the gaming industry as a whole.

The system was based on a prototype designed by Ralph Baer, who came up with the idea for the video game system. Naturally, given the limitations of technology at the time, the system could only produce the most minor of graphics. Though they found a brilliant workaround for this, which involved placing overlays directly on to one’s TV set, this along with being able to adjust the speed of the and position of the lines on the screen allowed for a large variety of games. The system also came with supplementary game pieces, such as play money.

The system had 12 games, could use two controllers and a light gun. Which honestly, displays how far the designers went to make sure the system got plenty of use. Sure light guns were used in arcade games but having usable with the first home game system is pretty neat.

Sadly, it was not all fun and games as some lawsuit issues came up with several companies including Atari who had picked up popularity with its Pong game. A game heavily influenced by the Odyssey’s tennis game. Despite the conflict, the Odyssey went strong until 1975 and had several successor consoles.

Cinderella Phenomenon – My favorite otome game!

Do you like fairytales? Do you like otome games? What about visual novels? Well, Cinderella Phenomenon covers all of these! 

The story begins by introducing the main character, a female protagonist named Lucette. Though you can change the name, I like to keep the default names when I play games that offer them. The character begins as an icy, indifferent young lady who was taught throughout her entire life not to trust anyone around her by her now deceased mother. A sad story, though realistic in some aspects.

She ends up cursed! As expected of most fairytale settings. No one remembers her, though she was crown princess of the land, except those who are also cursed, or the witches and fairies who can cast such curses. As stated, others who are cursed remember who she is. So, she ends up having to lean on these fellow cursed folk to help her cure hers.

Like many Otome games, you pick your romantic route. You have a choice of which of the five romantic interests will help your character get rid of their curse. I won’t go in to the characters in detail, because each route has a lot of story spoilers but they are Karma, Rumple, Rod, Fitz and Waltz. I particularly enjoyed the Karma and Waltz routs. You have to get two good endings with Karma, Rumple or Rod to unlock Fitz and Waltz storylines, but it is certainly worth the effort. This can be a bit difficult. The game offers a setting that shows a reaction when you have picked the ‘good option’ in dialogue, but if you have the game on Steam there is an achievement for getting a good ending without the help.

All in all, no matter how you play this game, you are going to find an interesting fairytale and a lovely romance story. And guess what? A sequel is in the works!