Anime Review: Ouran high school host club

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Ouran high school host club is very much a shojo slice of life anime. Haruhi Fujioka is a schlorship student at a very prestigious school. After a uniform mix up she has to wear the boys uniform on her first day. She stumbles upon the Ouran academy’s host club. Where charming young men dazzle young ladies. Haruhi accidentally knocks over an extremely valuable vase that was meant to be auctioned off. As haruhi has no way of repaying the vase the host club “employs” her thinking she is male as a host. She is very good at being a host as she is able to relate to the girls. Each member of the host club gradually discovers she is a girl and they help her keep it a secret (so she can continue to work at the host club and pay off her debt).

This anime has so many cute and funny moments. It is a well loved anime for good reason. Great characters, great humour, average story. Okay so it isn’t that original the whole “girl surrounded by a heap of guys and she has to try to not be discovered”. There are quite a few similar story lines out there. The thing that is great about Ouran high school host club is that it is very approachable. You don’t need really any prior knowledge to anime or anything to understand it. It is one of those anime that introduces a lot of people to anime. I think it is overall a fun anime. There is a very big following and their is so many different “shipping” of the characters. It is definitely romance based without being direct about it. It doesn’t really make a lot of sense but if you watch it you will understand what I mean.

The characters are great and I love Haruhi. She is a great female protagonist and she is very strong and independent. The guys are sometimes over protective and it is super cute. This anime is another one that is over the top exaggerated and generally is random. To sum up Ouran high school host club I would say cute. It is funny and despite not having a very good over arcing plot each episode has a nice pace. I would recommend this anime to you if it sounds like something you would be interested in.

Game Review: Data hacker: Initiation/Corruption

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*I received a review copy of this game from the developers

I am going to mainly talk about initiation and then give my first impressions of corrupition.

Game: Data hacker: Initiation and Data Hacker: Corruption

Developers: New Reality Games

Price: $5

Multiplayer: No

Ok for laptops? : Yep, only need keyboard

Mod support: No

My rating: 8.5/10

I went into Initiation not sure of what to expect. I didn’t really have high hopes as I hadn’t heard much about it and didn’t know whether the type of game would appeal. Surprisingly I loved it! I don’t really want to talk too much about the plot because I feel as if it is best to go in more or less unknowing. Basically you are a player in an online game who’s character gets banned from the system after being accused of being a hacker. He then goes back into the game with a new character and let’s just say he isn’t too happy with the admins of the game.

Entering this game you are plunged into this world that feels vibrant and ready to be explored. I just felt good as soon I started to play this game. The graphics are great, I love the 2D feeling of the game. It sort of reminds me of the older Pokemon with the design. I really like the game mechanics of the game. The combat is in turn based combat and there is a good amount of variety with different spells as you get higher up. There isn’t any random encounters which was a good decision in my mind. You can see when you are about to attack an enemy so i found that it didn’t frustrate me getting through a place. It doesn’t take an unreasonable amount of time to level up your characters so I found that you progress at a good rate. The difficulty curve does steadily go up this was another thing that kept the gameplay fresh.

There were a couple of moments in the beginning where I was a bit confused about what I was supposed to do however it was actually fun working out what to do. The music is catchy and the dialogue interesting. It has the whole rpg feeling and there is a really good amount of gameplay.

I recommend this game just because it is fun! If you like action/adventure/rpg I highly recommend this game to you.

DATA HACKER:  CORRUPTION
FIRST IMPRESSIONS

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Corruption is a continuation of Initiation. I haven’t played as much of corruption but it seems to be very similar to initiation.  One really cool thing is that you can use your finished initiation save in your corruption so you have the same party of characters etc. I think this is a really cool idea making corruption a true squeal to your own personalized game.

I did have a bit of frame rate issues at the beginning which was disappointing however it seemed to improve after a while in the game. There is voice acting in the sequel which is a nice addition. I wouldn’t recommend corruption if you haven’t played initiation because not only would it be a little confusing it seems to be a harder difficulty.

Corruption seems to be an effective sequel but not a good stand alone game. Play initiation then play corruption.

This series has real potential and I am looking forward to the next release in the series.

Book Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

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This book completely surpassed my expectations. It is about a girl called Saba who lives in a wasteland with her brother, sister and father. One day her brother is mysteriously kidnapped and captors kill her father. She then goes on a journey in an attempt to rescue her brother. There is different plot twists through out that just make the story so interesting. I love all the action this book has in it, it is exciting to read! This book is a mixture of action, adventure and a bit of romance. This book differs itself from many other dystopian YA novels just by its originality.

One very interesting aspect of this book is that it doesn’t use any speech marks. When I started the book I found it quite difficult to get used to. However once you read it for a while you can adjust. At the beginning I didn’t like that aspect of the book however looking back at it I think it was a daring and interesting technique. The language and writing of the book represents the world that Saba lives in and communicates the setting and situation of the book.

The characters are slightly frustrating at times but I did grow to care for them. There were moments in the book that just made me excited and effected my emotions. Its rare for books to really get me that invested in it. I definitely recommend this book and I do plan to pick up the sequel. I gave the book 4/5 stars

Course Overview/thoughts: Learn to Maximise your time and get everything done

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Name: Learn to Maximise your time and get everything done

Developer: Success Skills

Available at Udemy.com

Price: $70

Resources included: Videos, workbook

This course talks about how to organise your time, set priorities and get the things you want to get done, done. This is quite a professional setup with videos having custom animation and overall very precise and to the point information. The videos are about 10 minutes each and it was just enough to give you the information you need without dragging on. This course is ideal for beginners who have never taken any courses in similar subject matter. The problem I find is that there are only 5 lectures included for a pretty high price. It really is a great course that can and has made differences in peoples lives but it is a bit too expensive in my eyes. I would definitely recommend having a look at the free sample they offer to see if it is the thing for you.

 

Booktubeathon Reflection

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So I ended up being busier then I originally thought so I didn’t read nearly as much as I would have liked. I only ended up finishing 4 books. Despite this I am still very happy with the books I did read and I read more then I would usually do.

I read:
– Confessions of a Qantas Flight attendant by Owen Bedall (304 pages)

- The magician’s nephew by CS Lewis (221 pages)

- The lion, the witch and the wardrobe by CS Lewis (206 pages)

- Blood red road by Moira Young (459 pages)

So in total I read 1190 pages which isn’t too bad.

I really enjoyed all of the books that I did and had fun watching everyone else’s reading progress! I am going to continue trying to complete the books that I set for the booktubeathon over the next couple of weeks.

Anime Review: Fairy Tail

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Fairy tail is a very well known anime that currently has over 180 episodes (i have watched 153 of the them). It is about a Wizards guild called fairy tail.  More specifically it follows the adventures of Lucy, Natsu, Gray and Erza. Every wizard has a different type of magic and there is a great deal of variety. ,Lucy calls upon celestial spirits, natsu has fire magic, Gray has ice and Erze is able to almost instantaneously switch between different types of armor and weapons. There is a lot of action in this anime which makes it very exciting to watch. I really like the bright graphic style and there always seems to be something happening.

As this is a long running series, it is split up into arcs. If you don’t like an arc it really sucks because a lot of key plot points happening within each. Luckily for me I haven’t had an arc that I particularly disliked. I do think some of the arcs are a little to long which can make the series drag on a bit.  I actually really enjoy the filler episodes that don’t have a particular arc attached to it. 

All of the characters are unique in their own way with different personalities. Everyone seems like an individual despite there being a large variety of characters. There isn’t really any romance in this anime but it does create many relationships that people “ship”. It has a very big fan base in Japan and America and overall I think it is well deserved. Sometimes things are a little too dramatic or they force a particular joke but it just adds to the charm.

Game Review: Euro Truck Simulator 2

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Game: Euro Truck SImulator 2

Developers: SCS Software

Price: $25

Multiplayer: No (but there is a mod)

Ok for laptops? : Most of the time, you move with the keys but if you want to see around you the touchpad is required. Slightly awkward.

Mod support: Yes

My rating: 6.5/10

Euro truck simulator 2 is exactly what it sounds like, a simulation of truck driving around Europe. This game actually got quite a lot of hype when it was released, at least a lot of hype compared to most simulation games. There are a couple of different layers to it which creates a more diverse gameplay then many other simulations. You start of doing jobs where the company supplies the truck and you don’t get paid that much. Eventually you will be able to buy your own truck. With your own truck you can do private jobs which gives you much more money. Once you have earned enough money you can buy more trucks and employ people to do jobs for you. It can become a business management task at this point and changes up the gameplay.

When you have a job you drive from one place to another transporting goods. The gameplay is surprisingly relaxing and enjoyable when you are driving along the country side. However there are a couple of different things that you have to keep in mind. The deadline, weather, natural light, speed limits and the cars around. All of these little things help the game play seem more realistic and improve the game as a whole.  One down fall is that the drives are very long but you can break them up if you I want too.

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 The graphics are fairly nice to look at however lacks detail. Also I found there wasn’t a large variety of scenery that you pass. This was a down fall for me because I think more variation would have really pushed the game to the next level. The sounds are effective and one thing i really like is that you can put your own music into the game and play on the trucks radio. I loved this aspect because I could drive along to the music I wanted. Probably the biggest flaw for me was the amount AI, there isn’t enough cars on the road with you. Especially in cities that seem practically deserted. It has improved with more updates but still doesn’t cut it. I wish they could add that extra bit of realism into the game.  The cars that you do come are well programmed and i haven’t experience any glitches or bugs.

This game is good at being a simulator and I do like simulator games. I enjoy this as an occasional play but it loses its charms if I play it regularly. I like the different layers within the gameplay and the general feeling I get when I play this game. In the end the lack of other cars in the game really annoyed me. With this in mind I gave it 6.5/10,

 

Youtube Spotlights: The readables, Metal Canyon, Sharla in Japan

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The readables is a really cool booktube channel. Priscilla (who runs it) is a graphic designer and all of her videos have super cute animations. It really does set her apart from many other booktubers and is one of the reasons she is so popular. How often she posts varies but generally once a week. She has a variety of different videos that she does including tag videos, top 5 Wednesdays and reviews. She enjoys a large range of books (classic to graphic novels) which allows alot of variey in her videos

Check her out at https://www.youtube.com/user/thereadables/featured

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Metal Canyon is a lets player who is very talented. He has one of those voices that is just enjoyable to listen too. He is great at keeping the talking going even when nothing is really happening in the game. He plays lots of different games including horror, holder games, casual games, action etc. He posts very regularly, one video for each series per day. He will have 3-4 series going at once generally so there is a lot  of content to watch. Generally I will watch one series at a time and then later on if there isn’t a current series I am enjoying I will watch an older one.

Check him out at:  https://www.youtube.com/user/MetalCanyon/featured

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Sharla in Japan is a sort of “vlog” channel where sharla makes videos about different aspects of Japan and her life as she lives there. I really like this because you can see into another culture. Sharla seems to have heaps of fun whilst making videos. She will show you places in japan, japanese products and other Japanese related videos. There are very entertaining and interesting.  Her upload schedule does vary but generally there is a new video every 1 or 2 weeks. 

Check her out at: https://www.youtube.com/user/JyuusanKaidan/featured

Book Review: Confessions of a Qantas flight attendant

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*I received this book for free from netgalley.com in exchange for a honest review

Confessions of a Qantas flight attendant is an entertaining book written by Owen Beddall who was a flight attendant for over 10 years. This book is made up of stories of his life and relationships, travel stories from the places he visited and an inside look into the inner workings of flight attendants. Each type of “story” is evenly spread throughout the book.

As soon as you start this book you can get into it almost immediately! It is written in a rather relaxed manner and doesn’t take too much concentration. There is various funny stories within the book which made me smile. Even with the funny stories there are a couple of sad ones including why he ended up leaving Qantas. Most of the book is a type of travel book, as he is jetting off too different destinations and having crazy experiences at all of them. The inner workings of the flight attendants was interesting and I did gain so knowledge about how things are run. There are many “flight attendant secrets” (that only flight attendants know) spilled, which is entertaining for the reader. Saying that I was sort of torn because i felt it was almost a shame that they didn’t remain a secret. When reading the book it felt like you were gossiping about all these different things. I know some people don’t like “gossip” and a lot of this book has that tone to it.

The different stories in the different countries range from crazy to bizarre. There are some many things that you wouldn’t think about until it comes up. Owen writes about lots of different night clubs/bars and general partying all of which was normal for the flight attendants. He talks about his own personal opinions on the different places he visited and I liked that aspect. Owen’s personality shines through his writing and you can get a sense of how important all of the memories are too him. Additionally he writes about the changes that occured in the later years of his employment has Qantas hired different people and different schemes began. It was interesting to see how this changed the dynamics of the crew.

Some people complained that he only wrote this book to “get back” at Qantas but I don’t think that is the case. Most of the book isn’t about Qantas as an airline in particular, you get the feeling that most airlines are similar. Of course there are some particular references to the company especially when he writes about why he no longer works there, but I don’t think it overpowers the rest of the book. There are little grammatical errors but the formatting of the chapters does take a while to get used too. A lot of the time you will jump back and forth between years because he doesn’t want to bore you with too much of similar content.

If you like crazy stories, gossip and are interested in travel  I would recommend this book. I gave it 4/5

Udemy Course Thoughts/Overview: French for absolute beginners

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Name: French for absolute beginners

Developer: Mr Pierre Ilyas

Available at Udemy.com

Price: FREE

Resources included: Videos, blog

This course teaches you the basic of french focusing on grammar and pronunciation. It isn’t anything fancy, every video is simply a powerpoint like slide (as shown above) with a voice over from Pierre Ilyas. Each video is about 10 minutes long which is a nice length considering you will be learning quite dry content. I can see that the videos are a bit on the dull side but you can’t argue with the price. Its great that it is from a teacher that is very experienced and gives you great founding for future studies. If you are looking for an introduction to the french language I would recommend this course, as long as you can hold your attention. The blog that accompanies the course has a couple of exercises but not nearly enough. This course does lack the extra resources needed for practice, so if you plan on learning the basics solely on this course you will have to source some practice material. Overall a nice course for a great price.