Fallout 4 is a great game and I have spent a lot of hours exploring the Commonwealth and discovering all the cool side quests it has to offer. Now that I’ve well acquainted myself with the quests and events that occur in Fallout 4, I thought I would put together a list of my top five favorite Fallout 4 quests so far. Because it’s October, the season to be spooky, I thought I would include my favorite scary or "Halloween" related quests for you to enjoy. So grab some candy corn and a pumpkin latte and let’s talk about my top five favorite Fallout 4 quests, Halloween Edition!
-The Silver Shroud-
This quest is a great one and I couldn’t make a top 5 list without mentioning it. But the main reason it made it onto my Halloween list is the costume potential. I won’t give away too much, but in this quest you get to dress up and play a little, which is great fun and takes away some of the drudgery of the wasteland. So suit up and search for that Silver Shroud Radio station, because this is one quest you really need to explore for yourself.
-The Glowing Sea-
When I first played this game and was forced to venture into the glowing sea, I was legitimately scared to do so. This area of the map is a perfect example of the real horror of nuclear annihilation and every time I go inside it gets me nervous. If you’re looking for a genuine scare, start here.
-The Secret of Cabot House-
If you haven’t done this quest yet, I don’t want to spoil anything for you. But take it from me, this quest is one of the most fun and creepy quests you can do in Fallout 4. Think of it this way, it begins at an old abandoned insane asylum. Need I say more? From there the events just keep getting stranger and it’s something you’re going to need to see to believe.
Okay, there aren’t many quests or locations in Fallout 4 that are creepier or more horrific than this one. You begin at Pickman’s Gallery, which sounds like a perfectly wholesome and safe thing to do. But things slowly go from bad to worse as you realize you’re in a murder house. From there your lick just keeps doing downhill. If you’re not interested in being scared, leave this quest alone. But if you want some of that classic, disturbing, Fallout-style action, head on in and get a front row seat to the blood bath.
-The Devil's Due-
Very few video games have gotten me actually fearing for my own life. Fallout 4 isn’t always that scary, but one thing that certainly did terrify me was the mission that takes place at the Museum of Witchcraft. Even before you arrive at this quest, the location just screams spooky Halloween story. Once you’re inside, you’re immediately made aware of the fact that this is no ordinary ghost story or witch’s tale. So, if you haven’t headed over to Salem and gone into the Museum of Witchcraft, I ask what you’re waiting for! That is, unless you want to live.
So this is my top five list of favorite scary and Halloween related Fallout 4 quests. If I missed any of your favorite scary quests, pop them down below so I can go find them and explore the horror for myself. And don’t forget to share this article on with a friend, I would really appreciate it.
Thanks for hanging out and have a spooky October!
Anime is one of my favorite media styles. Not only do I find Japanese themes and methods of developing stories to be most similar to my personal writing style. Their art styles, music choices, and character development speaks more loudly to my soul than almost any other form of storytelling available today. When it comes to anime, I get quite excited to share my favorites and my opinions. So today I've put together a Tru's Top Five list of what I believe to be the best anime available on Netflix Canada right now.
Soul Eater is a story about students attending the Death Weapon Meister Academy. They defend the world from the forces of evil, among other interesting tasks, and their Headmaster is Death himself.
This anime has a lot going for it and is entertaining and intriguing to watch as soon as the opening credits start. The messages of balancing your soul with your mind and body resonate extremely well with me and I find kernels of wisdom throughout the themes this anime presents. The dark humor juxtaposed with the lighthearted anime style sit quite nicely next to the occult themes and events. The cartoonish animation style is very enjoyable because it is used to demonstrate dark and often violent events and themes. I find this style choice quite attractive, as it resonates with my love of adult swim and gives me a glimpse into the psychological design principles that exist in Japanese culture. (The adorable depiction of soul energy is something I really love as well; it makes me happy every time I catch a glimpse of it.) The music is also pretty good, which is another important positive for me, since I have a hard time watching shows with bad music. The world building is really impressive too, and the sheer variety of different kinds of people, abilities, personalities and powers helps to maintain viewer interest.
Despite the bright colours and rounded art style, the images and content can actually be quite disturbing. This is something I love in media; dangerous and ominous themes and events. It’s creepy, it’s dark, it’s everything the youth of today love and devour whole in their media. So give this one a try, because I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. This is a great show and I highly recommend it.
Nana is another anime filled with great music. This show has some of my favorite anime music and animation style ever, and I frequently listen to the music in my free time. (Especially if I am feeling blue.) The whole show is centered on a well-meaning and friendly, innocent and naïve girl named Nana who encounters a damaged, enigmatic, beautiful musician girl of the same name. The two coincidentally end up living together; romance and chaos ensue.
The anime is filled with amazing characters, amazing music, incredible art, an engaging story line, and fun events. The somber, romantic way the show is narrated and coloured makes this a great show for anyone that is interested in feeling all the feels. The anime tells the story in sections, and the narrator of the show is the light-hearted Nana (or Hachi as she is called later in the show, by her friends) and the narration foreshadows the sorrowful set of events that occur near the ending episodes. Because of that, this anime is one that actually makes more sense when you watch it a second time, there is a lot of subtext and foreshadowing. It moves at a slower pace, which is something that might turn some people off, but the themes and fun of the overall story are well worth the lack of action. I would file this one under romantic dramedy for its amusing events and dramatic overtones, which is awesome if you’re looking for a laugh and a cry.
This is one of the few animes I have watched through more than once and I will always have a soft spot in my heart for it.
Madoka Magica is an amazing series; it has magic, suspense, thrills, chills, and even a sense of humor. This is a story about Magical Girls who are caught in a strange and mystical situation.I won't tell you much about the story, because it's difficult to explain without spoiling anything. What I will say is that this story is full of excitement and wonder. But it moves a little slow at the beginning of the series; after some time it starts to speed up, and you get pulled into an action packed thrill ride with many hidden meanings, twist and turns. In this story there is a series and two movies and I love every single installment. In fact, it’s hard for me to accept that there isn’t more Madoka content for me to consume on Netflix, because I’m not nearly done with these characters and their world.
The artful, surreal visuals are entrancing, offering a glimpse into a world that seems to exist within a dream. The animation style is wonderful, and kind of reminds me of Cardcaptor Sakura, which I love desperately. The music is perfection alongside the art, and I find the audio effects sometimes even give me chills. Everything about this anime is amazing, and that’s why it lands at number 3 on my list. If you’re looking for a good, spooky October anime to watch, consider Madoka Magica.
AoT is a dark, intense, action packed thrill ride based in a world where giants threaten humanity’s existence.
It is a serious sort of anime, and there isn’t a lot of lightness or humor, but the colours are vivid and the art is beautiful; it tells the story wonderfully. Even people who don’t normally watch anime enjoy AoT and it’s easy to see why. The story telling and characters are quite well done (though not as detailed as they are in the manga) and it is clear to see that the creators of this anime wanted to mirror real life emotions and reactions as much as possible. There is a lot of blood and violence, mature themes of all kinds, so this is definitely not for very young audiences or those who are faint of heart. It’s emotional and spares no expense with the disturbing imagery and raw honesty of the terrible situations depicted within the story.
This is a story of a terrifying reality and it depicts it with honesty and detail. This is yet another anime on my list with incredible music that well represents the anime. Honestly I can’t think of any reason, aside from a weak stomach, that anyone should miss out on this incredible tale.
SAO is about a world where Virtual Reality Gaming has gone to another level, and people are able to enter a game world that rivals the realistic qualities of our real world. Once inside, a dark force threatens all players, and it’s up to one top ranking solo gamer to save everyone.
Of course there could be no other top ranking anime for me than Sword Art Online. This is my favorite anime of all time, and as a gamer, I relate to it on a spiritual level. I love the art style, it’s dark and gritty writing - everything about it makes me yearn for a world like this one, despite the mortal dangers the characters face. (I think that says a lot.)
The story line steals your imagination and won’t let go. If you’re a hard core gamer like me, I can’t stress enough how much you need to see this anime, if you haven’t already. It shows you all the things you knew you loved, and then adds a few more things you never even thought about. I don’t want to spoil anything about this anime, but it’s dark story line and cast of characters was something I was able to relate to quite deeply and I think that can be said for a number of different people who enjoy the same things I do. Of course I must mention the music, because that is very important to me when it comes to anime. The music is subperb and it's so effective at creating a theme and emotional connection with the audience which feels true to the style of the anime.
My boyfriend, who isn’t an anime geek like me, was actually convinced to give anime a try when he saw this one. That’s how good it is! This is the number one anime on Netflix, as far as I’m concerned, and you won’t regret checking it out.
These are my current Top Five Best Anime Shows on Netflix Canada. What anime do you love? Comment down below and let me know, or let me know which of these you've enjoyed yourself. I'd love to hear about your anime experiences and chat about what kinds of anime are your favorite.
Don't forget to share this post with an anime loving friend, and come by and follow me on Twitter to hear about new blogs, videos, and updates on my novel - it would really help me out!
As always, read on, Readers!
In ancient times, the world had a very different view of dreams than the one we currently share. It has been reported by historians that reverence for the world of dreams dates all the way back to the ancient Sumerians. In the fertile crescent of Mesopotamia, dreams were regarded as guidance and used to chart events and solve problems. In the modern era, we’re taught to think of our nightly escapades as random imaginings, or the processing of our daily experiences. While those explanations may have some truth to them, one thing is ubiquitous – we choose not to pay attention to our dreams. Whether you think dreams are guidance from the subconscious; a magical world of fancy; or even just coincidental nonsense; science has given us proof that dreams can be just as useful as they are mysterious. Today, we’re going to explore the tip of the lucid dreaming iceberg as I explain how lucid dreaming can be an invaluable writing tool.
Lucid dreaming, also known as Oneironautics [ah-nayr-o-not-iks], is the practice of traveling consciously through your dreams. Inside our dreams, we’re offered the opportunity to explore a world that our mind alone creates. Masters of lucid dreaming are able to create and experience sumptuous and breath-taking worlds of fantasy. Anything you can imagine is possible inside your mind, and once you’re able to make full use of your lucid dreaming skills, you can experience any conceivable dream as vividly as if it was reality. You may already have some ideas as to how you might like to use an incredible power like universal manipulation, and I encourage you to explore your dreams in any way that feels right to you. However, if you are a writer like me, this sort of ability becomes a tool for creativity, exploration of the mind and psyche, and a method for personal discovery that goes far beyond mere curiosity.
Many people believe lucid dreaming is something that is beyond their grasp, an un-attainable goal that they’re better off forgetting. But lucid dreaming is a concept and practice that is older than recorded history, and some researchers would suggest that lucid dreaming is our natural state. That modern culture has forgotten something that once came so easily to us all. Many cultures, including the Ancient Greeks and the Ancient Egyptians, believed that dreams were the gateway to the Spirit World. They believed that there was a world beside ours, one that we could only access through the act of dreaming. The Egyptians described dreaming with the word ‘resut’ which meant ‘to come awake’, and they knew that to enter the world of dreams was to become awakened to new realms of possibility. They knew that they could receive guidance and answers to questions far beyond their own understanding, if only they could harness the power of the Dream World. The world has been aware of the practice of Oneironautics since the dawn of time. This leads many people, including myself, to believe that lucid dreaming is a behavior coded inside of our DNA. As you can see, the capacity to master Oneironautics rests inside every person’s mind, all we need to do is awaken ourselves to the possibility. I believe very deeply that lucid dreaming can offer each individual an opportunity to become more awakened, empowered, and alive. Any person can lucid dream, as long as they have the intention, the will, and the courage to do so.
As someone who has recently begun my lucid dreaming journey, every day I find more ways in which this practice can help me mentally and physically. As a writer, anything that offers me the chance to unlock my hidden creative potential, and allow me to more vividly experience my creations, is a gold mine in my mind. This specific subject is the one on which I want to focus for right now. If lucid dreaming is a gateway to a world where we can experience anything we can imagine, then can you imagine being brought face to face with the characters of your novel? To be able to speak to them, travel with them, experience them in a way that is deeper than any daydream could hope to be. The benefits of this practice go even farther down the rabbit hole when you consider the psychological ramifications of exploring dreams. Perhaps you experience frequent writer’s block, or your vision of a character is a hazy diamond in the rough. Lucid dreaming is an excellent way to unlock the secrets of your subconscious mind, and release information that is hidden or has been locked away. If we can use our dreams to dig deeper into our minds than we have access to during waking hours, we could potentially uncover a treasury of ideas and details to be used in creating more in-depth and refined work than ever before.
So far, on my journey, I have only managed to induce lucid dreaming a few times. But because of these experiences, I can vouch first hand for the fact that our dreaming world can be experienced as vividly and realistically as reality. The touch, taste, sound, sight sensations are as clear and effective as any waking world experience. These experiences can even feel so intensely real that you may forget to question the reality of the situation at all. Now imagine you were able to step into your dreams and ask to speak to your main protagonist character. Imagine you could ask them any question, converse about any topic, or explore their whole body with your eyes, or your hands, creating an image of them that is so clear upon waking, you feel you’ve truly met them. This is a priceless tool in the art of storytelling. It allows us to extract every minute detail of information needed in order to create the clearest and most concise written words possible. You can use this skill, in the style mentioned above, to meet and discuss interesting topics with your characters. Or, once you’re skilled enough, you could create the fictional world, or even the real world settings, that occur in your novels and explore them in your dreams. This method would allow you to explore so many details; homes, forests, parks, shopping malls; as if you were seeing these things in your “real” waking life.
There are many benefits of lucid dreaming, and writers have access to even more benefits than most. We are lucky enough to have whole worlds locked up inside of our minds, just waiting to be explored. So go explore; taste, touch and smell your world; because when you awake, it’s time to use those sensations, and put your world to paper in the most concrete and detailed way you could imagine. The things I have mentioned today are not the only benefits to lucid dreaming; they are not even the only benefits to writers. There are many other experiences, revelations, and topics to explore while lucid dreaming and I plan to record and share as many as I can while I practice to become an expert in Oneironautics. Below are some links to the basics of lucid dreaming that you can use to get yourself started at home. And I invite you to check back here for updates, articles and conversations regarding lucid dreaming, and how you as a writer can take full advantage of this amazing opportunity. Come along with me as we go on an expedition into the deep subconscious of the mind and unlock the mysteries and answers that are every writer’s dream.
What is lucid dreaming: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucid_dream
How to begin lucid dreaming: http://www.lucidipedia.com/lucid-dreaming-techniques/
Hey, Blog Lovers!
August was a crazy month, and not everything that happened was good – in fact most of it wasn’t so great – but the things that were great still really stood out to me last month. The reason for that is probably my tendency to forget about things I love and rediscover them later. Last month I rediscovered my love for a number of different faves, and even got acquainted with a few brand new things as well. Let’s jump into the list.
Last month I fell back in love with an old Bethesda fave; of course I am talking about Oblivion. This game has been a part of my life for many years, and it helped to foster a deep love of Bethesda’s open world games. I’m so happy to be back to playing Oblivion; when you’re exploring quests new and old, it’s like getting together with an old friend. You know what they’re about and you can’t wait to feel the old feels you felt when you guys first started hanging out. That’s how I felt playing Oblivion this month, and it has been a blast exploring Cyrodiil again.
-Soul Calibur 4-
Since August was a month for catching up with old friends, Soul Calibur 4 could not be left out of the reunion. It’s been much too long since I sat down and had a good old fashioned friendly duel over this classic title, and I forgot how much I loved it. From the beloved characters to that nostalgic feeling of instinctively knowing how to play the game, SC4 was one of my favorite games last month.
-John Joseph Adams-
There aren’t a lot of people who can put together a horror anthology quite like John Joseph Adams. I’ve read a few of the books he’s edited before, and take it from me, he knows a good short story when he reads one. His anthologies are filled with a wide variety of authors and writing styles, with something to please everyone. My favorites are The Living Dead Anthology and the Wastelands Anthology, both of which I recommend to anyone who enjoys many different styles of writing, and wants to experience a range of horror stories to suit their mood.
-The Vampire Chronicles by: Anne Rice-
The first time I read a novel by Anne Rice, the books were a little bit difficult for me to get into. After giving myself some time with the books, even though I found them difficult to get through, they eventually became easier to read. Before reading these books, around the age of 16, I wasn’t very interested in literary titles and I didn’t find them exciting. It was hard for me to wade through the big chunks of text that Anne Rice lays down on the page, and reading it was a little exhausting. As time went on, I started to grow more interested in the psychological and artistic aspect of literary fiction. It became clear to me that there were many different layers and details in her work for specific reasons, and I began to appreciate that deeper reasoning in a more defined way. This eventually began to influence my own writing and my appreciation of the craft as well; it helped me to grow into a writer with some insight into characterization and the importance of setting the scene. I attribute a lot of what I love about literary fiction to my reading of Anne Rice novels, and I’m grateful to have found a way to use that reading experience to feed my own crafting skill.
-Movies & Television-
It’s very difficult for me to pick a favorite movie because I love movies a stupid amount. But when it comes to making a list, Pulp Fiction always finds its way to the top. If someone forced me to make a choice, this is the movie I would choose. Why? It has everything a good movie needs; a star studded cast, amazing writing, directing and cinematography, and a cameo by the director himself. Quentin Tarantino will always be one of my favorite directors, because he possesses a brilliant and dark mind where treasures are certainly buried. I don’t think anyone else could have produced such a cinematic wild ride the way that Tarantino did with Pulp Fiction. I will always give this movie a 10/10 and anyone who hasn’t seen this film needs to go out and change that immediately.
Everyone loves Stranger Things right now, and it is extremely easy to see why. Not only is Stranger Things legitimately frightening – which is difficult to do in this society where everyone is exposed to so much horror media – it is well written and well-cast too. As someone who is a fan of 80’s media and references, I was totally into the whole vibe. Aside from the awesome 80’s horror vibe that immediately pulled me into this experience head first, this series had a million other things going for it. It is well produced, well directed, well written, and the casting for the group of children that star in this film is like the work of a miracle. They all act flawlessly in this production, and their grasp of the mature content, and the skills needed to act that content out, was excellent to watch. It’s impossible not to become an instant fan of each one of these kids, because they’re going to be huge stars if their performances in Stranger Things are any indication. If you’ve been holding off on this series because you’re afraid to give in to all the hype, toss that hipster, outsider vibe out the window for just one hour and take a look at the first episode. If you’re not immediately hooked, I’ll eat my words, because I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this show.
So this has been a list of the different media I was loving in the month of August. What kind of nerdy stuff did you love last month? Let me know in the comments below. I hope you had an awesome month and that your September will be even better. Follow me on social media for notifications when I post new blogs, videos and updates.
As always, read on, Readers.
Bye for now!
Today’s Top Tips will be focusing on the art of character creation and development. Characters are the heart of any story, and the stronger the heart, the stronger the body, so we writers need to make sure we keep our characters in shape. There are many different ways to develop characters, and writers – as the free spirited and creative souls we are – tend to find our own way when it comes to rules and guidelines. But one of the best ways to develop your craft, whatever craft that may be, is to learn from many different people, and collect habits you like, so you can use them to your advantage. Today I’m going to list a few of my writing habits and guidelines so that you can collect the ones that work for you and use them to improve your own characters and story worlds.
Here are my top tips for character creation:
- Five -
One of the most useful ideas that I put to use in character creation is the use of music to paint a more concrete image of a character in my head. Music has a profound effect on the way the listener feels and the images that are invoked inside their mind’s eye. A dark, slow ballad is going to invoke a much different feeling than a bright, energetic pop song. These emotional qualities affect the selection of music listeners that gravitate toward each song. Of course, there are people who listen to varying types of music, enjoying wide varieties of songs and artists, regardless of genre and sound. However, in most cases, the songs a person decides to listen to on a daily basis are impacted by their mood; which is why selecting music you think your character would listen to will help you to create an in-depth vision of their personality and moods.
- Four -
My process of character creation involves a lot of visualization because I am a very visual person. I find it very helpful to have a complete picture inside my head of my character’s appearance, way of dress, manner of movements, facial expressions, and anything that can help create a three dimensional image of them. One of the things that helps me to achieve this image is pictures; pictures of people who resemble my character and their mannerisms, pictures of clothing they would wear, pictures of homes they might like to live in; because as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and having pictures can help to fill in fuzzy or missing details about your character.
- Three -
Another helpful bit of character creation theory that can really help to create dimensional characters is recording facts about their personality, lifestyle, appearance, history, habits, and all details of their personal lives. Something that can help you with this process – which can get lengthy, especially when it comes to main characters – is a character sheet. A character sheet is a table that is laid out with questions about your character that you can fill in to create a template for their personality. This can include as little or as much information as you deem necessary, but the more detailed it is the more effective it will be. (Here is a link to a detailed character sheet that I have been using for my own character creation, it has been invaluable. [Link]) Beside that, there is also the idea of creating 5 – 10 Character Facts to Expand On. I like to list these facts at the end of my character sheet, as a place to put all the facts together and create concrete ideas that I can build from when writing my manuscript. These can be facts about their personal beliefs, daily habits, hobbies, interests, career path, or any facts that you feel are important pieces of character information.
Example Tip: “Ron was a practicing Christian for many years, going to church every Sunday and saying his prayers every single night since he was old enough to learn the words. But recently Ron has lapsed in his faith of the lord due to the loss of his wife and child in a tragic accident. He is on a mission to restore his faith and find peace with the Lord so he can start a process of healing from this terrible loss.”
Example Tip: “Moira loves to play the guitar and she is an incredibly talented musician. Last year she was offered a place in a very prestigious arts University, but was forced to turn it down. She thinks about this missed opportunity every day as she waits tables and pines for her lost potential.”
These facts can also be expanded and detailed as much as you deem necessary for the character you’re creating and their use within your story. But the more you detail and expand on their personal story – and the more characters that you expand on in this way – the less work you might have to attend to in revision if you discover that your supporting cast has become a little cardboard.
- Two -
The most important thing about creating characters that feel real is to remember how real people, not idealized people, behave. Real humans often have many good traits that make them likeable and that make you want to spend time with them. But you will never encounter someone who is 100% perfect, and even if a perfect person did exist, it would be infuriating to try and spend time with them. They would be so perfect it wouldn’t seem real, and you’d likely find yourself annoyed that they never make a mistake or have relatable experiences. So the conclusion we come to is that perfect human beings are neither likeable nor do they exist. This means that to create characters that are relatable, likeable, or real, we need to create characters that have flaws. The people who are the most impactful in reality are the people who have overcome adversity and been forever changed. We need to create characters that do the same thing - or at least try to do that, even if they do not succeed. This isn’t to say that every character must be sweet and likeable in order for us to want to spend time with them, but they do need to hold the attention of the reader for a reason. They need to have qualities that make the reader inclined to follow them, they need to make the reader curious about their story and the lessons their experiences have to offer. The best way to do that is to create characters that are flawed and human, and that embody something that other people find fascinating. It’s important to remember these things, especially when creating main characters, if you’re interested in creating characters that feel real when you’re reading them.
- One -
Research is an important part of every storyteller’s journey toward expelling all the stories they have inside. One of the best research investments you can make on this journey is research that assists you in creating characters. Character creation is so vital when you’re telling a story, because the characters are conduits for your reader’s emotion. Without characters that effectively extract relatable emotion from your readers, you run the risk of the story falling flat for most people. One way to make a character relatable is to make them realistic. A great way to do that is to research the existing facts about human behavior, international customs, different lifestyles, and anything else that can add more layers of depth to your knowledge of human beings. The more knowledge you have about other people, different ways of thinking, different cultures and religions, spiritual beliefs, etc. The more effectively you can demonstrate different kinds of characters within your writing. Never underestimate the impact research has on creating a multi-dimensional story, because the more detail you can add to your world and your creations, the more effective it will be to your audience.
Character Creation Exercise:
Create 3 – 5 characters of random and varying origin. Create each one as if you mean to use them in a main character story arc and detail and flesh them out until you love the character you’ve created. Don’t concern yourself with what story you plan to place them in, just create the characters you love best with no restrictions. I challenge you to use some or all of the tips listed in this article; and if you use them, let me know how it worked for you and what you made of it.
As a writer, you know what works best for you when it comes to learning and creating, sometimes you just need to be reminded. Hopefully you found something here that was useful to you and reminded you of something you already knew about your writing process. The most important part of writing is that you love your story and your characters, and that you enjoy spending time with them. If you enjoy it, chances are someone else out there will enjoy it too, so keep on writing what you love and putting your heart into your words.
Don’t forget to comment down below any tips you have on creating multi-dimensional characters that feel as real to others as they do to you.
And as always – write on, Writers.
When I picked this title up on sale from Bookoutlet.ca, I was mainly attracted to the beautiful cover art and the idea of a cute and funny ghost story. I'm not sure what I expected from a book with a phrase like 'Rest in Popularity' on the cover, but this book definitely surprised me with it's take on how the system of life, death, and the afterlife might work. Because it's a middle grade sort of book, it didn't take long to read, and having read it, I don't regret picking it up. But if you're looking for anything more than a little humor and a cute take on a serious topic, this might not be the book for you. Let's discuss further the thoughts and opinions I have regarding the Tonya Hurley novel, Ghostgirl.
The first thing I noticed was that this book wasn't particularly well written, which some people might put down to the age group this book was aimed at, but I'd have to disagree with that. There are some extremely well written books that were meant for teens and children upon their release, such as Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, so that isn't a good reason in my books. And even though this book is clearly not meant to take itself too seriously, I would have liked to see characters with more dimension, and a plot with more emotion attached to it, than what we got in this book. One thing that was redeeming about this read was the author's take on what happens in the afterlife, which I found to be quite interesting. It was fun exploring the idea that someone who dies in high school has to stay in high school until they complete their unfinished business. It was very Casper the Friendly ghost, and I appreciated that aspect entirely, as a fan of Casper and ghost stories in general. However, I do think that it would have been a more effective story had the rest of the book; the characters, story line, relationships; been as developed as the world building seemed to be.
After I decided to overlook the fact that this book was written in a somewhat underwhelming fashion, I was able to see a lot more of the good things that this story had to offer. For example, there was some excellent dark humor, which I found to be quite amusing. I hardly ever laugh out loud at something I am reading, but this book had me chuckling along with it quite nicely. One thing I'd like to point out is that the humor, while obviously dark, edges on young adult, so keep that in mind. A few of the jokes definitely struck me as being aimed at a more mature audience, and so make sure that your child is mature before you hand them this book. Otherwise, I thought the humor was one of the best parts of this novel, and I'd pick up the next one just to see if there were any more good jokes inside.
At the end of the day, this book was only okay, and it didn't leave a lasting impression on my emotions or my memory. It was a fun and quick read that cleansed my palette and prepared me for my next emotionally tumultuous read, so I'd recommend it to anyone who is interested in a comedic bit of fluff between their serious literary excursions.
Thanks for reading, blog lovers, and don't forget to leave a comment and share this article with a book loving friend.
So, we just got an awesome trailer for Fallout 4’s final DLC (dropping August 30th) and I could not be more excited to finally play through this content. How awesome is it going to be to adventure through a Nuka-Cola theme park? I can’t wait to find out what this DLC has in store for us. Let's jump right into the anlysis.
The first thing I noticed was that it was in true, classic Bethesda style; they’ve combined something bright and happy with a dark and sinister, dangerous vibe. This is part of what I love about the Fallout world, I am so happy with the aesthetic and mood that this trailer has shown us. You can see that Nuka-World would have been an awesome place, filled to the brim with happy families and park goers before the war. Now it's a serious bad-land where raiders and mutated animals will attack you at every turn, there are weapons and dangers as far as the eye can see. As far as visuals go, I was also really enjoying all the Nuka-Cola themed decorations. Not to mention the Nuka Quantum River and the fantastic Nuka theme Mr. Handys and Protectrons.
Speaking of Nuka themed stuff, we get a glimpse of the awesome Nuka Cola Power Armor, which I can’t wait to get into. It makes me wonder what sort of protective powers and possible benefits this suit will give the wearer. Later on in the trailer we also see a wicked cool blue set of Power Armor that looks like Enclave Armor, which I love. I’m wondering if that was supposed to be the Quantum Armor, or something of that nature. But whatever it’s called, I can’t wait to see what it can do. Nearer the end they showed us a scene where a man in large, caged red Power Armor is standing in a bumper car arena being electrocuted. This is a really great teaser because it doesn’t explain itself very well and it gets people excited to see what it means. I have to wonder; is this raider Power Armor; who was that guy wearing it in the trailer; what are the stats for it; how do you use the Bumper Car Arena to shock people? This DLC is going to have a tonne of cool armor and power armor for us to collect, that much is clear.
After the Armor we’re greeted with a scene on a roller coaster, which is incredibly awesome because it was in first person view. This could be teasing the idea that there will be rides that we can actually get on and enjoy for ourselves in the park. Functioning roller coasters and theme park rides! I hope that means we’re able to get on them and go from place to place to reach new areas; that would be such a cool usage of the ride-able rides feature. It looks like there might even be a number of rides, not just roller coasters, and I can’t wait to see what sorts of fun games and activities you can do in the park. They showed ski ball and a shooting range, that might mean there are a number of different carnival games to enjoy. Maybe there’s even a prize system, like there was with the slots in New Vegas.
Speaking of New Vegas, there were a lot of things about this Nuka World content that made me reminisce about the days of New Vegas. The first thing that made me feel the feels for NV was the appearance of a robot with a screen for a face, showing us an advertisement for Nuka-World Theme Park. This immediately made me think about Yes Man and Victor from NV, and I loved that, because NV was one of my favorite games of all time. Could we get some new robo-friends; maybe even some new parts to use in building robots at the Robot Workbench? After that we get a glimpse of an Old Western looking town with a Cowgirl moseying on through. That just screams New Vegas to me and makes me excited for the new clothes, weapons, NPCs, and side quests that might be out there. We also get a good glimpse of a broken down looking roller coaster that definitely reminds me of the one circling Primm in NV. There are a number of things that get me reall excited, as New Vegas fan, and I am glad they're going back to some of that NV style. Because it's really hard for me to go back to playing New Vegas now that we've got Fallout 4.
Another bit of excitement that made me think about New Vegas was the appearance of what looked to be a new Raider Gang. This gang seems to enjoy wearing masks with their armor, which definitely gave me some White Glove Society vibes. (Was that a reach?) These masked Raiders appear to be some kind of slaver group, so I am interested to see if there is some side quest action regarding this new group. There were many different mask styles to see on the Raiders in this trailer, from blank metal masks to bird beak masks, and I can’t wait to see how many there are that I can collect and wear myself. Not only did they show us a new possible Raider Gang, there were a few new character styles that could potentially be representing new factions. They showed us some Cave Men, some Old Western style NPCs, and even a couple of people that were giving me Gun Runner vibes. I am beyond excited to see all the new and different enemies we’ll encounter and perhaps even partner up with. On top of that, it appeared there were new hairstyles and colours out here in Nuka-World, and I for one am happy they've added some funky colours and mohawks back into the game. They can be seen here adorning the Raider's heads, which I hope means we're able to wear them ourselves. There really isn't any good reason why we shouldn't be able to wear them.
That paragraph is a great segue into speaking about the new creature type enemies we could be encountering in this DLC. We were shown a new and badass looking lizard beast; something that looks like a male version of Brahmin; a crazy, creepy looking tunnel worm with a quad-pronged mouth; some sort of jumping spider; and even some flying ants. Not to mention the appearance of some angry looking green aliens with blaster guns - which is so cool - I love when they add in cheesy sci-fi elements. This even ties into the whole New Vegas vibe with its sci-fi DLC; this is reminding me of the Old World Blues New Vegas DLC. On top of that, we might've been given a glimpse of the major baddy in this trailer – or at least I hope we were – because we were shown an awesome looking ghoul that I thought was a clown at first. He disappears into a cloud of black smoke before you get a good look at his face and I was so hoping he'd be a creepy clown. On closer inspection it looks like he's a special Glowing Ghoul, which is also cool, but has been done before. On the topic of ghouls, I want to point out an interesting few that we were able to see in the trailer. They appear to be covered in paint splatter, which gives me a very evil clown kind of feeling, and I'm wondering if that will be a running theme in this game. I hope it is.
It’s unclear how far the clown theme might go in this game, but we did get to see a colourfully painted gun in the trailer. Which gives me hope that there might be a number of evil clown references and items in the DLC. There were actually a few more awesome weapons shown, most of which seemed like they could belong to a clown, and that feeds my theory that there is a clown theme there. Maybe you get the colourful rifle, wicked cool electric paddle ball, and dangerous rocket bat from defeating the Big Bad; or even from some side quests. All I know is, I don’t know how much longer I can wait to see all the epic new items that have been given to us inside this content. Including the items they have added to the settlement building part of the game.
Apparently we’re going to get a bunch of new items to build Nuka-Themed Settlements and I do admit to being curious about them. It looks like there are actually a good number of items being added and a lot of them look really fun. It’s this gamer’s desire that they give us some new settlements to build on inside the Nuka Theme Park, because I definitely want to take over some land in that area. It would be such a good use of the settlement mechanic to allow us to take over areas for the possible new factions that might be introduced. How cool would it be to help whichever faction you’ve chosen to take over and build up the settlements inside Nuka World?
This DLC should be at least the size of Far Harbor and so I’m thoroughly anticipating it. It has been a long time since I’ve been this excited for a piece of DLC from Bethesda, and 15 days from the writing of this article is much too long to wait - or at least that’s how it feels. The trailer did exactly what it was supposed to, it encouraged me to pre-order the game and secure my copy now. Because I want to be playing this game the minute it drops, filming every moment of it so I can watch the magic back later and swoon over the awesomeness. Until then, let’s keep our spirits high and count down the hours ‘til it will finally be available.
Haven't seen the trailer yet? Check it out below.
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The first time I wrote this review, I had just seen the movie and I was still utterly jazzed by the whole experience. Later I realized that Suicide Squad wasn’t quite the movie I felt it was when I was watching it, and my opinions have since become less positive. This film has a way of drawing you in when you’re watching it that is quite bewitching. It makes effective use of great performances, superb casting and exciting visuals, especially in 3-D; so despite abysmal reviews, I really enjoyed watching this film on the big screen. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, it added up to be only okay for me. The controversy and promotion of the movie was actually a lot more satisfying than the film itself. And because of the hype it received - which it did not live up to - I felt disappointed with the end result when it ended up feeling like an underdeveloped story. But what was it exactly that made this movie entertaining to watch - and what was it that caused it to fall flat? This reviewer intends to explore those very questions in this review of 2016’s Suicide Squad.
Suicide Squad is writer and director David Ayer’s 11th film, and arguably his most ambitious film to date. In interviews it has been said that it was clear Ayer wanted to create something new, interesting and special, that he had a true vision for what he wanted to show us. He desired to paint a dark and gritty, more serious picture of the Suicide Squad, with a focus on getting the most authentic performances possible from his cast. Due to Ayer’s dark, character-centric vision for the film, and the great team involved with the cinematography, this film was incredibly engaging to watch. The music was contemporary, the visuals and CGI were like a moving comic book, and the costumes and sets were stunning. Unfortunately, it was almost impossible to distract from the plot holes and choppy editing that removed pieces of story line to accommodate pacing and gear down the darker feeling of the movie. So even though there were some great scenes, an excellent premise, and wonderful acting, it was difficult not to get bored of constantly questioning the continuity of the plot. Not to mention the amalgamated pieces of DC comic cannon that created the main plot points for this film. Most of which I felt were teetering on the verge between well represented and completely off the mark. I feel this movie does some justice to the DC Comic Universe, and for that I’m grateful, but most of the accurately portrayed comic conformity in this film falls in line more so with The New 52 concept. It’s clear to see that the writers for New 52 have been trying to create something that would be more coherent with DC Cinematic Universe. So perhaps this film wasn’t intended to be 100% true to the older comics, maybe it was meant to follow closer to New 52.
Comic Book comparions aside, this film just seemed like one that suffered from too much input by the studio. It was toned down to appeal to a wider audience, which muffled the true spirit of what Ayer was aiming to create. Luckily, Ayer’s vision did manage to permeate most of the cracks in this film, and so we still get a good feel for what he was attempting to show us. Because of that directorial magic, he was able to create a movie that was still passable, even with all the meddling the studio ended up doing in post. When Ayer came to the table, WB had already started developing their concept of a Suicide Squad movie. So when Ayer took the reins, he thought he was being handed an opportunity to create something special, in reality the studio probably already knew what they wanted to see. When it came time to film, Ayer made sure to use unconventional and borderline invasive methods to extract the darkest and most authentic performances he could. In the end, he managed to coax amazing performances out of every cast member on that set. But when the scenes went to posts, a disturbing amount of them were left on the cutting room floor. It seems like the studio wasn’t interested in producing a picture that was so dark and which might only appeal to a cult audience. They wanted to make sure that as many people as possible would be able to see this film and enjoy it, so they cut a lot of the more disturbing scenes from the movie. This meant that a majority of the scenes featuring The Joker never ended up seeing the light of day. This is probably because Jared Leto’s eerily committed performance was deemed too edgy for mainstream audiences. Which was disappointing because The Joker was used quite heavily to promote the film before its release, and many Joker fans were sad to see that he was absent for most of the actual film. I for one would love to see the film that Ayer intended Suicide Squad to be. Something more serious and heavy, with less focus on action and more focus on creating layered characters and a dark and disturbing, slow boiling plot.
Because of the potential this film has, this reviewer still enjoyed watching it and would still love to see the sequel. But if you do go see this film in theaters, as a record breaking number of people already have, try not to think too deeply about it. Because when you dig a little deeper, the flaws are pretty glaring. It will be interesting to see what the sequels have in store, let’s hope they’re given a little more slack on the leash now that the first film has grossed so well at the box office.
The month of July was so crazy for me; with so much change and so many new ideas and developments, I felt completely exhausted mentally and physically. That’s why it was so important to find time to enjoy myself and do things that I love; reading, playing video games, writing, creating art; these were the things that kept me afloat this month. So now it’s time to share the nerdy things that kept me going strong all July 2016 in this month’s faves post.
First up for the games I was playing this month, it’s everyone’s new favorite topic and activity, Pokemon Go! Pokemon Go has attracted old Pokefans, new Pokefans, and even fans that have no idea what Pokemon is. It’s made an impact and sent a ripple into our world the likes of which hasn’t been seen from a video game in this generation. It’s brought people together, ripped them apart, caused political scandal, and even blipped the radar for hacking rings. But all of that drama aside, Pokemon Go has impacted individual lives with its ability to get people moving, get them active in their community, and even encourage people to make new friendships and strengthen old ones. It’s even got autistic or socially anxious people outside and doing things they would never normally be able to do. Any game that can help people in that capacity automatically makes a favorites list in my books. These are the real reasons Pokemon Go is important; not because it’s Pokemon theme, and not because it’s a new way to game, but because it changes lives and makes a positive impact on otherwise potentially unreachable demographics.
Pokemon Go isn’t that well-developed yet, seeing as it’s still incomplete, but I see its potential, and I’ve been really enjoying everything that it has to offer so far. It’s enjoyable to go out and – after waiting my whole life for this moment – feel like a real Pokemon trainer. It’s helped encourage me to get outside, it’s given me something to do with my time that is healthier than playing video games indoors, and it’s allowed me to speak to strangers, when normally that would make me extremely uncomfortable. So even though it’s caused accidents, scandal, and outrage in some places, it’s done nothing but improve my life, and so it was a favorite for me this month.
Check out Pokemon Go on the Google Play app store - only for Android and iOS.
I’ve loved Pokemon X forever, I loved it when it first came out, and I love it now. It was a whole new generation and era for Pokemon games when it dropped, and I haven’t anything bad to say about it. I love that you can catch so many different kinds of Pokemon, from new ones to the first 151. I enjoyed the story line, and most of all I enjoyed the online play. All this while also appreciating that the main story can be completed very quickly, so I could get fully into breeding and battling online as soon as possible. The interactions with your Pokemon in Pokemon-amie made me so happy, the EV battles were great fun, and I really love the idea of becoming closer with my Pokemon and feeling as though you’re building a real relationship with them. So this month, when I picked this game back up, it sucked me in for days on end. I fell back in love with this game in the month of July, and I am so geared up for the release of Pokemon Sun and Moon later this year.
Check this title out at your local game store, or on Amazon by clicking here.
I’ve been playing Nitrome games for so long that it feels like forever, but this month I rediscovered it and it has become a favorite of mine once again. Not only is it a wonderful way to pass a bit of time on your own, it’s a great site to play some multiplayer browser games with a friend. Some of my favorite titles are definitely the Bad Ice Cream series, Mutiny, and the Test Subject series, among many others. I definitely recommend you check it out if you’re looking for some cool games with a 32-bit look and a retro feel. Any classic gamer would be happy to play through these games both alone and with a friend, I am sure of it.
Play some awesome games yourself by searching Nitrome on google or clicking here.
X-Men: First Class - Comics
I really loved this series this month; I read the first two anthology volumes and enjoyed each one so incredibly much that I already want to re-read them both. The humor and the light heartedness of it was a nice shift away from the darker comic content that I normally read. Regarding the art style, I immediately noticed how bright, vivid and eye-catching it was, and I loved that. The stories ranged from your average X-Men, bad-guy hunting scenario to some more personal stories that went more in-depth with the characters and their personalities. All-in-all I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the X-Men, and even those who aren’t, because the comedic writing and awesome visuals were an excellent experience for me. 10/10.
Head on down to your friendly neighborhood comic book store, or click here to get your hands on these stories yourself.
Comicsexplained - YouTube Channel
A comic book YouTube channel I loved in the month of July was Comicsexplained, a great channel that dispenses content that is true to the channel name. It’s a channel where the creator explains comic characters, story lines and concepts so that we, as readers, can have a deeper understanding of the Marvel and DC universes and their complex and sometimes convoluted plots and arcs. The man who does these videos has a great voice which is easy to listen to, and he’s extremely knowledgeable and easy to trust as a source for comic book information. Not only is it helpful, it’s really fun to watch as well, and it has given me days on days of entertainment this month. This channel is definitely going to be a go-to for both passing free-time and finding answers to some of my burning comic book questions.
Check out his channel on YouTube, or click here to go straight there.
OBS - (Open Broadcaster Software)
Open Broadcasting System has been a favorite of mine for more than just one reason this month. It’s a free program that allows you to stream and record game-play, internet windows, and activities on your monitor. It has allowed me, as someone without the income to purchase a paid broadcasting program, to start my YouTube channel for free, and easily upload the content that I want to share with the world. It has been incredibly empowering to start my channel this month, and a large part of that was the idea that I could start right away, for free, without any barrier between myself and the goal of uploading. As long as you have a functioning computer, you can create content that you love for the world as well with this awesome program.
Download OBS free by clicking here.
Blue Snowball Microphone
Recording software and hardware can actually be pretty pricey in today’s market. With all the bells and whistles you can imagine available to those of us with recording needs, it can be difficult to make a choice as to what mic will be right for your project. Thankfully, I was able to get advice from friends and the people at my local electronics shop, and they steered me toward this bad boy. The Snowball is an inexpensive beginner’s mic that allows me to record in a sound quality that is high enough to be functional for YouTube. Although I would definitely like to upgrade my recording mic and software at some point in the future, when you’re just starting out, it’s not about being perfect. Creating content is about the passion and the drive to do what you love, and I won’t let a low budget stand in the way of that. As inexpensive as this mic is, the audio quality is quite good, and I’m extremely happy with this product and its price point.
Head down to Best Buy or another electronics store to get your hands on this one, or check out Amazon here to buy online.
The Darkest Part of the Forest - Holly Black
I was in love with this book before I ever read it, but when I finally did read it, I knew my love was not misplaced. When I read Holly Black’s other book, The Coldest Girl in Cold Town, I read the excerpt for this book in the back. As soon as I finished that first chapter, I was hooked and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Even months later, when I finally got my hands on a copy, I was just as excited as I had been when I first got a taste of what this story had to offer. Not only was I not disappointed, this book exceeded my expectations. Holly Black does a lovely job of creating characters that people who are on the fringe of society can relate to and fall in love with. I can always see myself in Holly’s writing because she caters to people who are different and who dance to the beat of their own drum. This book had that and more, as it explores what the world would be like if we lived side by side with fantasy creatures and the stuff of fairy tales. She makes fantasy come to life for the modern age and never fails to take me on a ride I won’t soon forget. If you read only one book this summer, make it The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black.
Take a look at this title on Amazon by clicking here, or check out the synopsis by visiting the Goodreads page here.
Well, that’s all I have for you guys today, thanks so much for reading this months’ Nerdy Faves here on the blog and taking some time to hang out with me. It was so much fun to select my most used and most enjoyed stuff from the month of July and share them with the world. All of these awesome choices which I have shared today honestly enhanced my life so much this month, I was grateful to have access to these awesome products, games, and experiences.
Let me know what your favorites were for the month of July, or leave a comment telling me any experiences you’ve had with the stuff I’ve mentioned today. Your comments and feedback really help me out and I love to hear about your favorite things and talk about what you enjoy.
As always – read on, play as much as you work, and come back and hang out with me again soon.
Bye for now!
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May is already over and it feels like time is moving so incredibly quickly. It's early June, and so I'm getting together the nerdy things I loved in May and sharing them with others, recommending a few nerd-tastic things to anyone who is interested.
Let's get into my favorite nerdy games, shows and books of May 2016!
Fallout 4: Far Harbor DLC - PC
Far Harbor brought so much new stuff to the table, I'm very impressed. I'm also relieved because it felt like I ran out of content in the base game way too quickly. Despite the lack of content, Fo4 has been my favorite game this year, and I am happy to have such amazing new content to explore in this world.
The visuals, music, and atmosphere are my favorite parts of this content, but there are a multitude of awesome things about it that I won't spoil for anyone who hasn't gotten to play. Just know that if you're wondering whether Far Habor is worth the 34.99 it costs on Steam, my answer is yes.
Pokemon Shuffle - Android
You start by battling Pokemon using the puzzle pieces, before you’re given the chance to catch the Pokemon and use them to battle and catch Pokemon in the following levels. You’re rewarded with level ups, new Pokemon, expert levels, special levels, and the ability to Mega Evolve. I highly recommend this game as a fun time waster and enjoyable way to get your Pokemon fix on the go. Be advised, it does require internet connection to play.
Sailor Moon Drops - Android
That is not even mentioning the beautiful power ups that are included, the free wallpapers you can collect for your phone, and the satisfying sound effects that make the completion of a level feel like an adorable chibi-celebration.
I can see myself playing this game until I utterly can’t stand it anymore, then playing it a little more just for the novelty of Sailor Moon official content. Thank you, Bandai, for your contribution to my nerdy satisfaction.
Star Wars: Clone Wars
The animation and visuals are well done, and the humor is exactly my sense of humor. Everything in the show is canon, because it’s made with George Lucas, and it’s got a really similar vibe to the movies without trying to be an extended Star Wars movie. It’s family friendly, which I think is also a plus, but it’s got a darkness and a depth that I think really makes it enjoyable for anyone. The abundance of strong female characters is a definite positive factor when it comes to my enjoyment of media, so I really appreciate the positive female role models they’ve inserted in Clone Wars. And some of my favorite characters are so well performed and generated in this iteration of the Star Wars universe that I'm falling in love with them all over again.
If you're a Star Wars fan who is not sure whether they should give Clone Wars a try, I think this is a show that can't be missed. And if you're new to Star Wars, I think you'll be able to enjoy this series as well. 5 stars, two thumbs up, new favorite.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor
Zombies: Encounters With the Hungry Dead - John Skipp
So those are my nerdy favorites for the month of May! I'm definitely going to be loving these things for a long time. I've found some really top shelf favorites to add to my repertoire this month, and I am really excited to see what I'll be loving by the end of June.
Leave a comment down below, it would really help me out! Let me know what kinds of nerdy or even non-nerdy things you've been loving in May, I'd be excited to know about them.
Until then, read on!
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