Re: ZERO- Starting Life in Another World {anime review}

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Quick Summary: Subaru is a high school student who is a bit on the NEET side. When venturing out to the convenience store for quick bites, his world smoothly and suddenly changes. Somehow he is pulled to another world. Unlike most people he is not upset or frightened, but excited at being a ‘hero’ and delving into anime and gaming cliches. Quickly however, Subaru finds out a darker side of his presence in this new world, and through meeting strange magickal people, he hopes to come to understand the mysteries surrounding his abilities as well as protect his new found comrades.

Overall I do like this anime, even though it can be a bit predictable and cliche at times.
As for the characters, Subaru can be a wee bit sexist at points, but his enthusiasm and nerdiness makes up for it. It’s interesting how through the show he has no real concerns about going home. He is living make an otaku’s fantasy: going to a magick realm and gaining powers. His overly excitable and loud personality are balanced fairly well with some more serious undertones of painful things he is forced to experience.

The love interest is a bit of the standard stock, a little awkward, overly sweet, too trusting. However, I do like that there is no rushed romance or instant falling in love. Most of the time she regards Subaru as a friend while a smaller portion is her figuring out blushy feelings here and there.

The rest of the supporting cast, thus far, are mostly cutesy females of varying roles. They have their own personalities and are individually developed enough that each stands out. The few males characters so far are extreme versions of character traits. An example of this is the overly flamboyant Lord.

The storyline moves along at a good pace, explaining things here and there as Subaru learns them, mixing mystery, action, and comedy. It doesn’t jump around so much you lose track of what is going on or the characters come off as flat. Currently the ending of the first major story plot has yet to be returned to and is still on a cliff hanger. The second plot feels like it is nearing it’s end and will hopefully tie back in to the characters that we haven’t seen for a while now. Due to the nature of Subaru’s power the plots can be stretched out without feeling like fillers or slowing down too mich you lose interest. It does get a bit predictable with events and character interactions, but it feels almost nostalgic or easy going this way.

The art style is very pretty, Subaru’s design is different than most male protagonists, especially in the eyes. Though going with what feels like a popular trend, a lot of the non human characters have eyes with symbols or markings instead of the normal pupil. It’s a bit odd but it doesn’t pull from the character too much. Most major characters have a bit of a color theme which is kind of nice and can be used in plot as foreshadowing or subtext. The main female is silver, the Paladin type male is red, the weird librarian is pink. There are a couple repeat colors, however those characters have yet to be in the same story plot at the same time. When it comes to violence I feel it is tastefully done. Not overly gorey for shock and awe, but dramatic enough to show the gravity of the current situation.

Overall it’s a cute show that plays to common tropes you can laugh about, especially if you’re particularly anime-nerdy. At times Subaru feels a bit over powered in skills and abilities, yet I can see the choice for it as again, it’s a NEET fantasy. The mysteries aren’t overly convoluted and there is a bit of character development. Hopefully that will be a continuing trend.

Rating: 8/10

Fallout Shelter {phone game review}

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Brief Summery: Congratulations! You are the Overseer of a new Vault out in the Wastelands! With only a handful of people under your care to begin with, it is up to you in how your Vault is built and maintained! Keep your dwellers alive, send them to the wastes fir supplies, watch out for raiders, and make some babies! All of this and more, good luck Overseer!

So, for those of you unfamiliar with the Fallout series, it is about post nuclear war where the government set up Vaults to “keep people safe” (more often than not they were experiments) however there are also those who live on in what remains of the outside world. The Overseer is the title of the leader of the Vault.

You begin by picking your Vault number and a small group of dwellers. The beginning is a tutorial which is well put together and doesn’t pull away from gameplay too much. You learn how to build different rooms, all costing Caps ($) and some with requirements that must be met to be unlocked. Most room types can be expanded 3 times, and upgraded 3 times. The size and upgrade of the room determines how many dwellers can work in it. Yes, the people have jobs! Each type of room has a S.P.E.C.I.A.L stat associated with it. Those with that stat set to higher are better suited for the job. There are rooms to train stats up in as well.

Once you have a few rooms and people working in them, it now becomes a game of patience and strategy. Most rooms produce something, water, power, etc. It takes time to make them, while at the same time they are being consumed. It’s a balance of supplies depleted vs supplies replenished. There is also making sure your dwellers are happy!

You can also send dwellers outside the Vault. They will get Caps, supplies, meet the nasties of the wastes, etc. So be sure to equip them with stimpaks and radaway!

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After the initial startup the game can slow down a bit with waiting for supplies, more dwellers (via babies or the wastes), and fighting off the occasional fire or radroach infestation.

The music is nice and matches the previous games theme well. The graphics are top notch too, especially for a free game! The rooms even have depth and dimension. You can always use real money as well if you don’t wish to wait around for things, but you can enjoy the whole game without spending a dime. If you like Fallout or city-building styled games, then I suggest this!

Rating: 10/10

Suz Korb: Live Novel Writing.

Author Suz Korb is doing something fun and risky. She’s writing a novel, and doing it live. This will be for her next book There is a Patreon page up to help her out with this. I think the idea is wonderful! Check it out here ~  Below is an excerpt from her page!

Suz Korb’s Newest Cover Reveal and Live Novel Writing

Hello, I’m Suz Korb and my new book project is titled: Flutterby Girl. Welcome to this cover reveal blog post, with a twist. And here’s the cover…

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The twist is that this book hasn’t been written yet. I’m going to write it live on Patreon. I‘ve written a novel live before, chapter by chapter, on my blog. And now I’m doing it again with Flutterby Girl! 

I got the idea for Flutterby Girl, then I thought up a title, then I got the cover, and now I’m writing the story. It will go up on Patreon chapter by chapter, daily. You can read each chapter if you become my patron. I’m new at Patreon, so if problems arise I hope I can deal with them quick! It should be easy enough though.

I’ve decided to write my two most recent books live because it pushes me, and it makes my imagination flow more deeply.

Chapter 1 of Flutterby Girl is up on Patreon now and I hope you will join me in this young adult journey. 

Author Suz Korb
Suz Korb Patreon
suzkorb.com
Twitter @SuzKorb
Facebook Author Page

 

Burn Your Fat With Me: For Girls {Phone App Dating Sim}

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[Meet Kei: Your trainer]

Quick Summary: You are a young woman from a well off family who dreams of writing manga on day. Your prince who swoons you and loves you is a prince like figure based off the quite handsome and charismatic classmate at your academy. Unfortunately for you, your parents think an artist is not fitting for your position and you are instead destined to be apart of the theater troupe in this prestigious place, your princely figure there with you every step of the way-to berate, insult, and push you to become thin so you don’t embarrass the rest of the troupe on curl up at a time.

So this is an app that mixes working out with dating. There is a male version (sort of) called Burn Your Fat With Me that stars a cute anime style girl cheering you on. For this female version, you get less cheering and more jeering. This app has caused a bit of controversy when it came out, many finding the tactics too harsh and degrading. Fully voice acted in English and Japanese, you go through the story line as a strong minded woman who doesn’t really think you need to lose weight, but then again after some poking and prodding from Kei you kinda feel like you should.

To unlock the story forwards, and I’m assuming relationship with Kei, you need to do exercises that are accessible from the menu. The first one are curl ups where you touch the screen after each one, Kei counting for you for the set amount you choose. Depending on how many, and how fast, you do the workout, you earn points. These points unlock the next level in the story, Kei outfits, as well as future voice acting for other events. There is also an option to have Kei wake you up as an alarm, though the things that pop out of his pretty mouth aren’t the nicest. You can also unlock future events and outfits through real money purchases. I haven’t made it that far in it, partly because I’m lazy haha, but there are two other ‘dating’ workout men to choose from. Since I haven’t finished Kei’s route, I’m unsure exactly on how to unlock these, my assumption is after Kei you can pick one and use points to unlock theirs.

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[Prince View of Kei]

I can understand why this app is most certainly not for everyone. For those who have triggers or low self esteem, this game is at best insulting. Since it uses guilt and insults to help motivate you to workout, the pretty face doesn’t help you feel like moving at all. For others, it is more entertainment and funny with romantic options. It all depends on your own personality and preferences. Though I wouldn’t have put this at the top of my favorite games, it is interesting and innovative in a way. My husband was, however, not a fan at all and wasn’t happy with me playing it. I’ve had self esteem issues in the past about my own body and he was worried this wouldn’t be good for me. I assured him though, this is a drawn character who is trying to make me feel bad, not a real person. I can hit the ‘off’ button on them anytime and their non reality can’t hurt me in real life. We’ll see if I actually ever get around to finishing a whole story line. If I do, I’ll post an update!

 

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[Kei Motivation]

Available for free, with in app purchases, for Android and Apple.

Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

The Drowning Girl by: Caitlin Kiernan

The drowning girl

Quick Summary: Imp is a young woman who suffers from schizophrenia, as well as being an amazing artist. A bit of a loner, she has trouble shifting which memories appear in what order, as well as which are set in reality. This is a memoir of an important turning even in her life, of two loves, of two different versions of the same line of her life. Her words as she rights them contradict her own thoughts, argue back, and make her think of times and love past. Which memories are real, and in the end, how will she feel about herself?

I would put this book under an ‘artistic and indie feel’. At times it feels like it tries a little too hard to be original and angst, too convoluted in the different memories and thoughts of Imp. As a character Imp is a little hard to wrap around. She’s a functioning schizophrenic who loves artwork and tea, not much into electronics, and falls prey to her own mind. You want to feel sympathy for her, or empathy at least, as she is tossed about by trying to sort what memories are real and happened in the right order, and which are the ones her mind created for her. Yet at times she can come off as a bit too whiny and winded, a little too full of herself and the angst she brings out. Perhaps it is because she draws everything out just a little too long to be interesting where it fall over to annoying.

(Warning: Some possible minor spoilers ahead)

Her first love in the story Abalyn is a bit more interesting off the bat. Though it comes of a little cliché how she is nearly opposite of Imp. Abalyn plays video games, drinks coffee, is a bit more brash and ‘loud’ than Imp is. Honestly through a lot of this I feel worse for her than our main character. She is most understanding and patient with Imp, as anyone who is in a relationship with someone who has a mental illness has to be.

The second love Eva is just…I’m not sure how to explain her. Very enigmatic. Through a good chunk of the first part of the book you don’t really get to know who she is, or what she is, just the briefest descriptions from Imp who draws about her and thinks about her in a romantic, nearly obsessive way, while with Abalyn. Due to the nature of Imp’s mind you don’t know if she’s supernatural, or a strange human individual who is there to make Imp’s life more difficult.

As for the writing style, I can see how it is meant to be very artsy, fantasy like. It is written from the POV of Imp, and her being her, the story often drifts from one topic to another, backtracking on itself, changing what it states, etc. This makes sense when someone who is schizophrenic writes, sometimes the truth and “the truth” are different things. However, at times it veers so far from topic, or talks circles on itself, that I as a reader became bored at the overly confusing or ebb and flow of the story. Straying from topic here and there is fine, but when it is all over the place for most of the book, it comes off more as choppy and difficult then mysterious and dark. It tries to go a lot of places such as Imp’s past and the events that affected her life so much. Sometimes it reminded me of a moody teenager writing about how awful life is and no one understands her. Again, it wasn’t exactly bad…but it didn’t fully draw me in. I had to put the book down a good number of times because my own mind began to drift and I had to re-read some sections.

If you like this style of book, poetic with plenty of questions left in its wake, moody characters who talk about love and loss a lot, and narrative styles that don’t go a straight line, then this may be for you. Sadly, this could not hook me long enough to want to re-read it again.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Dream Girlfriend {Phone App Dating Sim}

Quick Summary: Have you wanted a girlfriend who was made as if just for you? Shared interests, adoration, and cute clothes? Have conversations, give gifts, and go on adventures with a virtual girl all your own.

So this is a dating sim style app. You have a “blank slate” personality for your girlfriend, which basically is an over all cheerful and supportive personality. Her features and clothing are a ‘standard’ setting as well. This all starts out when you accidentally run into a mysterious girl who decides that for some reason right at that moment you are ‘the one’ who might just be the ‘right one’ for this type  of application. Surprise! You now have a girlfriend!

The basis of this is pretty standard. You can talk to your girlfriend using ‘points’ throughout the day to learn more of her personality, blank slate and the eventual one you can choose, and to trigger events that can be saved in your album. You can buy her clothes, facial features, accessories, using free points earned through playing or of course use real money that converts into game money. There is an event each month that is themed where you can win  backgrounds, clothes, and accessories for your girlfriend. Dialogue is different in these events as well and they use a different set of points. Again you can get more points through waiting in real time or buying them in real life. There is also an option to join a single ‘group’ where you can interact directly with other players on a message board. These can be private, invite acceptance, or open. Lastly there is also a way to interact with other players girlfriends by rating their outfits, giving advice, and your girlfriend talking to them. Oh yes, and you have to make sure your lady sleeps to regain points, you can buy outfits and pillows for this as well.

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[Maho: Motion Event Outfit]

One note on the outfits, there are some that can only be received if purchased with the coins you get from real money. There are also some ‘special’ outfits which make your girlfriend move in real time when talking to her instead of just having different facial expressions. Some of these are of course very sexual in nature, while others are more sweet.

What are all these points for? Well there are a few things. You can use them to ‘unlock’ different personality traits of your girlfriend. Oh yes, I forgot to mention, you can also have her study which increases or decreases desired personality traits to choose a personality model. You can also have her go to work to earn you money to buy her more things. These personalities need different things, such as a Sporty personality might need high points in cheerfulness and playfulness, but low points in sexy and cool. Some of the different personality models are Sporty, Tsundere and Yandere. Different personalities need a certain character level. That’s right! You also level up in this game. Higher levels unlock different physical features, clothing, and personalities of your girlfriend.

Wait, there’s more! After you reach a certain level, you can be rewarded with a second girlfriend! This is because you are responsible enough to handle two women at once now. This second girlfriend is the same game play as the original, buying clothing, talking, etc. However, be careful spending too much time with one girlfriend, because you could make the other jealous or hurt their feelings. I’m not sure how many girlfriends you can have, I only made it as far as the two.

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[Second Girlfriend Meiko]

Overall thoughts: I’m not sure exactly if I like this game or not. It is really easy to get into and spend time on, generating enough points without spending real money is easy, dressing up and having monthly events is a good way to keep people interested, and they seem to keep a steady flow of new accessories, backgrounds, etc that you can get. However, on the flip side, I’m not sure how I feel about having a girlfriend who I build from scratch to meet my personality wants. She’s pretty much just there to please me and make me happy. I’m a little sad too that the two girlfriends couldn’t be friends and work together instead of not liking each other, however I wonder if this is due to different personality types or not? I suppose the point of a dating sim is  to have a fantasy character who falls in love with you and does what they can to make you happy. It just rubbed me a little the wrong way that I could so easily change her personality if I decide I don’t like it. I can see this game sticking around for a long time, especially if they keep it fresh and updating it regularly. I know a call for a male version is wanted (they have an animal-man based one, however it is no where near the level of this app in variety or motion).

You can find this app on the Google Play store, and I believe it is on Apple as well. These photos were saved with the photo save option in My Dream Girlfriend App.

Rating: 7.5/10

I’m Just The Worst

Blogger ever. I haven’t done diddly nor squat. I have played and read a lot which is good for the soul. I’ve written some short stories, though they are pretty sad ones. I haven’t given up on this even if some have given up on me (understandably so). 2015 just was so…so tough and full of other excuses I could list off. If you follow my twitter you may see glimpses of my wit and opinions, but honestly I just feel too overwhelmed to blog. Even though it makes me happy, currently I’m not in a good space living wise or other. So, hang in there with me for a bit more if you like. I promise I won’t be gone forever, just a little more till I can make heads and tails of things to put actual quality posts out and not just dribble.

….kind of like this haha.