Rising Star Games Haul

I see a lot of beauty bloggers writing about their clothing and make up hauls. While, as a woman, I do still have these hauls, the ones I am most proud of are my gaming hauls. See, while most women are always on the lookout for the biggest and best deals on their favourite make up or clothing brand, I’m currently on the lookout for the biggest PSN sales. And this week, that was the Rising Star 10th anniversary sale.

I love Rising Star. I love their games because they’re just so damn addictive. Their sale on PSN was just too good to miss, so here’s what I bought, and what I make of each one so far:

Harvest Moon Innocent Life  (£2.40, PSP/PS Vita)

This is actually the one I wasn’t convinced about, but the one I’ve been enjoying the most so far. I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of a futuristic Harvest Moon, and it’s not exactly as futuristic as the synopsis would lead you to believe. I won’t spoil anything, but it maintains a focus on farming, along with various other bits and bobs to do. My favourite thing is definitely that it appears there is little need to bond with the residents. There’s no giving gifts to your object of affection, when that time could be spent harvesting crops and tending to your livestock. While I am enjoying it though, it really does just leave you to it, which is both good and bad. I’ve had to check online several times to see what I’m exactly meant to be doing for any form of progression. I’ve killed a good 8 hours on it so far though, and is quite nice to play before I start work in the evenings.

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Futuristic farming never looked so…traditional?

Harvest Moon Hero of Leaf Valley (£3.60, PSP/PS Vita)

I was actually a little disappointed with this one. I’ve always had a bit of an issue with the console attempts at Harvest Moon as they just never translated well from a handheld, and this feels like a console game on a handheld. The movement of the character is very slow, and the focus has been taken away from farming, and is more focused around building relationships with the residents, which is something I’ve never been keen on. For me, a Harvest Moon is about farming. It’s about making enough money to get more upgrades, more equipment, and getting enough materials to build an extension on your house. This just feels like a poor attempt if I’m honest. I will give it another chance though. Just as soon as I’ve stopped being addicted to Innocent Life…

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A lacklustre modern attempt at a classic

Virtue’s Last Reward (£8.25, PSP/PS Vita)

I have to be honest, I haven’t played Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, and I really should, but I might just brush up on the story online unless I can grab a cheap copy in town. It’s something I always looked at and thought ‘I’ll buy that one day’ and never got round to it. I’ve not had the opportunity to play Virtue’s Last Reward yet, but I’m excited to get stuck into it. Apparently it’s more like a visual novel, where you make choices that affect the gameplay, and some of those choices sound like they might have some dire consequences for some characters. Sounds like my kinda game.

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A dark visual novel

Rune Factory Oceans (£7.20, PS3)

I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this. The critics slated it, calling it boring. However, the general gaming public seemed to love it, so I thought I would give it a go. The voice acting is a little bit grating so far, but I can get used to that. Cutesy animation is never going to have stellar voice acting to go with it in my opinion. Anyway, from the looks of it, it’s going to take a while for me to sink my teeth into this one as I’ve only just acquainted myself with all the residents, so no farming or adventuring has really happened so far. I’m looking forward to getting home from work in the evenings though and having a nice relaxing session on this little beauty.

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Cutesy farming, with a side of action

Half Minute Hero (£3.00, PSP/PS Vita)

I’ve always been a bit intrigued by the concept of this game. To be honest, I knew very little about the game, but at £3.00, I couldn’t say no. I’ve had a bit of a dabble, and it’s actually a really good idea. It’s a nice little game that I can jump into for a short period of time due to the time constraints on the game, but a nice little challenge.

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Pixelated, chibi fun

In summary, I got all these great games for a really good price, and if you like the sound of any of them, you have until 12am GMT 18-09-2014 to get your hands on them. The full sale can be found here.

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Updates from the Gaming Girl

Well, May has come and gone, and I still didn’t post any updates. I’ve been settling back in at home, and getting myself a job, so I’ve only just got time to get back to updating this really. I’ve got a big list of things to post about, but it’s just a case of finding the time.

So, what have I been up to? Well, I graduated on Monday, and I’ve somehow managed to net myself a first-class degree in Journalism from uni, which I’m pretty damn pleased about. So I’m trying my best at the moment to put that to good use by applying for as many jobs as I can find really. That should mean that I’ll be updating this more often as well. I’m going to try my best, in between working weird shifts and job applications, I’m going to try to play as many games as I can (new and old) and keep my ponderings updated.

Speaking of games, I have such a huge back catalogue of games now thanks to PS+ that I’m even sure where to begin really. I’ve been really enjoying Tomb Raider on PS3, and also been scaring myself witless with Lone Survivor. It’s been nice to get such a variety of games to play for free, I really can’t sing the praises of PS+ any more.

In my down time I’ve been having a go at Shin Megami Tensei Digital Devil Saga, which I’m not overly in love with. I was expecting it to be more like Persona than it is, but I think I need to give it some time. I’ve currently had a bit of a rage quit from it, but I hope to get back on track with that in the coming weeks.

I’m planning on buying a couple of games I missed out on as well, including Assassins Creed Black Flag, and I’m eagerly awaiting the release of The Sims 4 and Tales of Xillia 2 (once I’ve finished the first one…).

So, in the upcoming weeks/months, I’ll be posting my ponderings on a lot of things really. Also, apologies to anyone who missed my E3 live stream this year. I was just way too tired after moving back home, generally sorting out the house, and I just wanted to watch E3 in all its glory for the first time in several years. I’ll post a belated E3 pondering soon as well.

The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection goes FREE on Origin

It’s just over a month now until the release of the eagerly anticipated Sims 4 (September 5th), and I for one am going to have it on pre-order as soon as I know I have enough money in the bank, and enough HDD space on my PC.

The same old Sims, but in a brand new style

The same old Sims, but in a brand new style

But before we even get to The Sims 4, EA and Origin have actually come up with a rather crafty marketing plan. After a little bit of backlash over the removal of swimming pools and toddlers in The Sims 4, it’s not exactly surprising that they are giving away The Sims 2 Ultimate collection for free to all Origin customers. Yes, they’ve said that it’s because they are no longer going to support it, but it strikes me that’s not the real reason. It might be because of my studies into Journalism and PR for the last three years, but this must have been planned for a while. Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means complaining. I’m a massive Sims junky, and I would do anything to have all the expansions for all the titles in the series. As I type this, I am downloading the 12GB file onto my PC, and will hopefully be playing it tonight or tomorrow. Babies, aliens, pets; I simply can’t wait to delve back into an old childhood favourite in anticipation of The Sims 4 in September.

A touch of nostalgia goes a long way in the video game word

A touch of nostalgia goes a long way in the video game word

A little bit of Sims nostalgia might just be enough to drum up even more interest in The Sims 4, and we all know that giving stuff away from free opens up your product to a potentially untapped market. Maybe this move will see a whole new wave of Sims fans. I truly hope it does, as I am so incredibly excited to sit down with The Sims 4, and spend hours of my time creating new sims, new houses, and building new relationships.

How excited are you for The Sims 4? Do you have any huge architectural plans already? Or do you have plans to create your perfect Sim? Or are you going to boycott The Sims because you can’t drown them on release?

Top 5 JRPG Boss Battle Themes

One Winged Angel (FFVII)

A true classic in the JRPG world, One Winged Angel has been redone in so many different ways it’s ridiculous. It’s been covered by The Black Mages, revised for Advent Children, and done frighteningly good justice by the Philharmonic Orchestra. It’s such a versatile piece of music, and it’s brilliant to keep you pumped up for a very long, and epic boss battle.

Battle With Seymour (FFX)

This is another one that has seen a few different version floating around. Again, The Black Mages covered it, which was amazing, but the original is still the best. It’s just so funky and you can just imagine Seymour when you listen to it, and his smug little face.

Chaotic Dance (Baten Kaitos)

This might be a bit of an obscure one, however I’m hoping a few of you have heard this one. Baten Kaitos was a bit like Marmite. Personally I loved it, but it was perhaps a bit too niche for others. Regardless, this boss battle that crops up a couple of times in the game is truly different. With a techno dance vibe to it, you can’t help but have a little dance around as you kick some boss butt.

Invisible Depths (FFXIII-2)

This was the only redeeming factor of FFXIII-2 for me. The game itself was utterly confusing and I didn’t care about what was going on. However, when I got to the final boss in the game, it was like the game knew it had to redeem itself, and this gave me an instant rush of adrenaline to defeat a very taxing boss. I won’t spoil anything, but the epic nature of this theme will keep you going through this tiresome fight.

Boss Battle 1 (Legend of Dragoon)

A very badly named boss theme, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t amazing. Legend of Dragoon is a game that is filled with about three different boss themes, but this one is the best in my opinion. It gets the adrenaline going, and for those that have played the game, you will know exactly how pumped up you need to be to keep going during these fights.

Do you agree with my list? Which boss battle themes are your favourite? Let me know in the comments.

My Most Wanted List

My Amazon wish list is bursting with all the games I want to play when I finish uni. Here’s a handful of them.

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster

This one is a no brainer really. I would rather it didn’t have X-2 in there, but I can’t complain really. I might like it the second time around…but probably not .The HD version of FFX looks amazing, and I’ve been listening to the HD OST as well to get myself in the mood. I can’t wait to spend hours on end playing Blitzball, and grinding to beat the Dark Aeons.

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Persona 4 Golden

Persona 4 is a game I never really got on board with. There was something about it which was just constantly frustrating. However, I’m willing to give it another chance on the PS Vita, now that I own one. Persona 3 FES was amazing, and a definite step up from the original, so I’m hoping for the same from Persona 4 Golden.

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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

I’m a massive FFXIII and Lightning hater. I can’t stand them, and I can’t stand her. However, it’s Final Fantasy, and I’m not one to overlook a title just because I don’t like the character. I’ve played the first two, so I’ll play the final one, even if just to have an opinion. It looks terrible, so I’m going to wait for this one to come down in price a little bit.

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Diablo III

The demo for this game amazed me. I’m a big fan of epic dungeon crawlers if they’re done right, and boy did Diablo III get it right. An astounding time waster, I can’t wait to get my hands on this and waste some time slaughtering things with magic and swords. Bring it on.

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Bravely Default

I’ve wanted this from the second I played the demo. I haven’t bought it yet because I know it will completely consume my soul, and my time, which I can’t afford to do just yet. I love the job system in this game, and it really makes me think of classic JRPGs with different costumes and abilities to learn.

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Pokemon X/Y

I’m a big Pokemon fan at heart. I don’t explicitly post about it all the time, but I adore the mechanics of it, and I love nothing more than running around in a new town and harvesting some new Pokemon. This latest instalment looks even bigger and better than the last one.

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The Last of Us

I played a bit of this at a friend’s house when it first came out. It looked good, but perhaps a little bit frustrating, so I’m waiting for it to go down in price a little bit before I go out and get it. In all honestly, I just want to shoot some things. Some mutant things.

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Tales of Symphonia Chronicles

I can’t believe this actually came out. I loved the original Tales of Symphonia game so much, it was absolutely incredible. It had some of the best battle mechanics, and some brilliant characters. It was exactly what a real JRPG should be like. How could I turn down the HD version with extra bits and pieces?

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Okay, so maybe it was more than a handful. However, there are so many more I haven’t even had the chance to list here. My bank account weeps.

What games do you want the most at the moment?