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Review: Magic Knight Rayearth (anime)

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magic knight rayearth

Sometimes love of an anime can come just from the tropes it uses and how well they are executed. Some of my favorite animes are the ones where there is a perfect storm of a great trope married with a well done story. This anime has multiple great tropes, not to mention a wonderful story!

In 1994 The first episode of Magic Knight Rayearth aired. The show was based on a manga that had become very popular. The show would later air in America during the early 2000s due to an increased interest in anime. That is a time when most American audiences fell in love with three girls who are transported from their world to save a princess.

Magic Knight Rayearth is a story about a kingdom in peril. The princess has been abducted and drastic measures must be taken to save her. Three girls from Earth are chosen and transported to this brand new world. They are given weapons, abilities and technology to help them in their quest. They will become so much more than they ever thought they could be.

The character design is really interesting. While the drawing style is similar to that which was really popular at that time the animators put their own spin on certain facial features such as eyes. The animators also switch between regular animation and sometimes using a Chibi design of the characters which made the show even more fun. The soundtrack is really well done, particularly the opening song. The characters are interesting. You want them to succeed in their mission. The story was also interesting because it blended the “magical girl” trope and also gave them mechanical tools to use and fight. Finally a show were girls got to do both, my friends and I ate it up.

I would highly recommend Magic Knight Rayearth. The show is fun. It has a great story. Interesting characters. Really it is just a solid anime.

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ALWAYS KEEP SPARKLING!

Games Created by Women: Uncharted

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UnchartedIn a world were so many of us grew up with the Indiana Jones movies it is no wonder that so many people want to search for hidden treasures. To travel the world to gain that next artifact armed with a certain skill set and a lot of wit. Surely nothing bad would ever happen, especially nothing with lasting consequences.  

The first three games in the Uncharted series were created by Amy Hennig. The first installment was released in time for the holiday season of 2007. Uncharted utilizes a third person style of gameplay. It is an action filled game that fans have been enjoying for years. Uncharted is a key title for PlayStation and has been developed by Naughty Dog.

uncharted 2 Uncharted is also just a fun game to play. The protagonist is a man named Nathan Drake. Nathan is joined by reporter, Elena Fisher and his mentor Victor Sullivan. Together the team is trying to find the possibly mythical treasure of El Dorado. They face many challenges along the way that help to make the gameplay interesting.

Uncharted is a lovely game from a visual perspective. A lot of work went into designing the game and it shows. In some ways the game has a feel that is more like a feature film then a game. The characters are well designed. The voice acting is well done as well. Overall the game is an immersive experience that has left the gaming community continuing to ask for more.

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Amy Henning and the rest of the team from Naughty Dog made sure that a great world was provided for players. They have been able to continue to build off of that world. Different characters have been able to take on larger roles and the games have been able to evolve. Really though so long as audiences want to search for lost treasures the Uncharted games will continue to deliver a world for gamers to play in. So happy treasure hunting and gaming!

You can follow Amy on her personal Twitter here.

amy h

ALWAYS KEEP SPARKLING!

Town of Salem

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Blank Media Games
PC/Mac

I’ve had Town of Salem for awhile now. I bought it based on a suggestion from Noah of +2 Comedy, as we were talking about my love of Werewolf the board game. Both are similar to Mafia. If you don’t understand anything I just said, that’s fine. I’ll explain.


Town of Salem is a 15 player game. You and 14 other people form a town and you each have a role to play. Depending on what version of the game you play, you could be anything, but let’s talk about classic mode. 


In classic mode, you have the following good guys:
Sheriff (interrogating others to find out what they are)
Doctor (healing people)
Investigator (investigate for clues on a person’s role)
Jailor (interrogate and possibly kill a person)
Medium (can speak with the dead)
Escort (can block a person from doing their job)
Lookout (stalks people to figure out what they are)
Veteran/Vigilante (can kill people, hopefully for good)
Random Townie (can be anything)

Your bad guys are: 
Godfather (in charge of the mafia, orders the killing)
Framer (can plant evidence on other townies)
Executioner (whole job is to get one particular person lynched)
Mafioso (does the killing for the Godfather)
Serial Killer (kinda self explanatory)
Jester (tries very hard to get him/herself lynched)

I know that is a lot to take in, but that isn’t even half the roles in the game.

So, you 15 are in this town and have one of the above roles. You either have to kill all the good guys or kill all the bad guys, depending on which side of justice you’re on. During the day, you have to convince the other townspeople of your innocence and another’s guilt or lie through your teeth to get someone else killed. During the day the town votes on a person to lynch and at night murder and mayhem happen.

 

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In the game, you are given tools. You have a Will that you can use to keep track of what you’re doing. If you are a jailor or an investigator, you can use this tool to record what it is you see or hear. By doing this not only do you keep a track of what’s happening but also, if you die, this is made public to everyone. Your second tool, if you’re a bad guy, is a death note. This can be useful, even if you’re evil. If you are the mafia and find someone is immune to killing attacks at night, they are most likely the Serial Killer. You can put that in your note, hoping that the town pays attention when you kill your next innocent and hangs your rival.


Besides classic mode, there are several other play modes. My current favorite is Chaos Any mode. You have no idea what the roles are and anyone could be anything.

I think the graphics are adorable. You have little avatars and houses that you come out of each morning. With coins, or cash, you can change your avatar, house, pet, method of death (I get struck by lightning) and even the playing arena.

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I love playing this game. I bought it on Steam for $5 and it was some of the best money I ever spent. Despite my love for this game, however, I can’t stand most of the people who play. Unless I am playing with a group of friends, I get annoyed very quickly. It boils down to the maturity of the people playing, really, and most of the time it’s low. A great deal of the time, people will leave if they don’t like their role or if they die they will abandon the game, which pisses off the medium.


Fortunately, they seemed to put a cap on my biggest issue: the entire game would be filled with racist and sexist jokes. Thankfully, they put a filter on so it says something cute, like “tarnation,” when people are being douches. I’ve seen people get around it by adding spaces, but it is a step in the right direction. Of course, we are still left with people being idiots in game, so it makes it increasingly difficult to make proper deductions. This feels like one of the unfortunate things you will just have to deal with because, as we all know, playing online subjects you to all sorts of people.

If you don’t have this game, you should. You can play it for free at BlankMediaGames.com or you can purchase it on Steam. Feel free to add me to your friends list!

Banished Game Review

I recently purchased the game Banished from a Steam Sale and I was super excited because I love building/resource management games, even though they infuriate the hell outta me.

I’ve been playing on the easier levels and, even at easier levels, I had to restart at least 20 times before I had a working town that would survive more than the first few years.

Banished has no real story. As far as I can tell this game is about a group of people who’ve been banished to this land and have to rebuild/start over. You have trees to harvest, iron and stone to mine, herbs to gather for medicine and food to collect.
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Unfinished Business

m_diablo3_01I was having an interesting conversation with my husband the other night. I was looking at the games on sale for the Xbox One and asking him if he was interested in any of them. I noted that “Lego Marvel” was on sale for $5 – but he would rather spend that on the next episode of “Tales of the Borderlands” or “Game of Thrones” (which are two very impressive episode games, much like “The Walking Dead”). I also saw that “Diablo III” was on sale for $30, the collector’s edition.

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Cute Demon Crashers! The Sex Game About Safe Sex

cdclogo_smThe following article addresses topics of an adult nature and is intended for a mature audience only.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition

sep_29_-_keyart_groupSo, I have been waiting so impatiently for Dragon Age: Inquisition to be launched. I even blew through Dragon Age 2 in 3 days to prepare for it. I’ve loved the entire series. Origins is still one of my favorite games of all time. I can’t wait to play through them all again, in order!

I have to admit that I was vastly disappointed when I realized my saved games didn’t matter. I didn’t have to plow through DA2 in 3 days. I didn’t even have to play the game. Now, that doesn’t bother me (all in all, I appreciate a game that you can pick up and play, having never played the originals); however, I’m pretty pissed that it didn’t use my previous save files like its predecessors. Of course, there is one main reason I’m upset about that and I will get into that a bit later.

When I bought the game, I only had an Xbox 360. The 360 version appears to be the most glitchy version of the game out there. Please don’t get me wrong, I loved DA:I, but this game was frustrating as hell simply because of the glitches. Even after numerous patches, they didn’t stop. I fell through terrain several times; the textures would take up to a minute to load; and, sometimes, the whole environment wouldn’t load properly. Going through equipment, the faces of my companions would bug and they would look awful. If you accidently jump before speaking, you do this weird floating dance the whole chat. My favorite glitch requires you to have the subtitles turned on because the sound files will sound corrupted and, if you don’t have those subtitles on, you have just missed an entire conversation. I wish to holy hell those were the only problems, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve been playing video games since Nintendo came out and this is in the top five of the most glitched games I’ve ever played. It felt rushed, which is a shame because this would have been a polished masterpiece if it were shown the proper love it deserved.

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