A Short Story of Skyrim

So…yeah. I’m sorry. All you random people that have actually checked up on us within the past 5 months…Surprise! We’re not dead! Some of us are just suffering from IATELDA. I, however, am SUPER busy. As in, the let’s-laze-around-the-television-and-stare-blankly kind of busy. (No, I actually am doing stuff. I’ve decided that summer reading should be banned. (FOUR books. Plus, I’m trying to teach myself physics.) What’s the point of a summer if you have to work doing it? Oh dear, I sound like a lazy bum…which I am, so no problems there at least.) I’m actually here because I really do NOT want to write a paper on political strategies and their uses within modern situations. And no, I do not have the next chapter for Hope today. I know I said I had it planned out (Rule 1: I am a notorious liar.), BUT…I totally forgot what I had planned. No lie. (Probably. Refer to Rule 1.)

So what am I doing rambling here? Well, I WAS going to post a sketch of a krogan that I had drawn after obsessing over the Mass Effect trilogy…however, I hate how it looks in WordPress format. (WordPress authorities, please don’t hate on me! I’m picky, I know. Also, I’ve realized I overabuse parentheses. And don’t create new paragraphs often enough…Oh well.) So no picture. Nor an update on a previous story. Just rambling! [INSERT ANNOYINGLY HAPPY SMILEY HERE.] No, I’m going to try to write up a story now. It’s a bad plan (actually, this idea has been sitting in my mind), I know, but it’ll end taking a lot of time…time I COULD spend doing SUMMER READING but I won’t. Sorry in advance for the inaccuracies! (It’s fiction anyways.)

A SHORT STORY OF SKYRIM

I am Faendal, a proud member of the Bosmer. I am among the elders of our race, having been borne even before the Thrassian Plague took over in 1E 2417. For those unaware of the clock’s time, as I realize the people of today no longer have the elegant systeming of days past, but rather a crude, simplistic style, that is the First Era, the seventeenth year of the twenty fifth century. It is a day well known to us “wood elves.” “Wood elf.” I find this term degrading, as we neither like the crude ash-shaded Dunmer (in your tongue, the “dark elves”), nor like the arrogant hazel-skinned Altmer, whom you all the “high elves.” Simply because these races have descended from the ancient Aldmer, we have been collectively referred to as “elves.” All people, including the devious Argonians, the mischievous Khajit, and the rash Nords, were borne from the Auri-El. Even the Orcs, the most hated of Auri-El, were borne from Him; his hatred gave life to their being. We Bosmer, after our birth, were then raised by the gentle hand of Y’ffre, the Lord of Song and Forest. He blessed us with the gift of knowledge of the natural land. In turn, our bards give him homage in all our songs. He is the light that has guided me to safety in the Nordic lands.

During the time of the Plague, all of Valenwood was in despair. Many a young Bosmer fell from the sickness, and even our natural resistance to disease and poison did nothing to help. Our greatest magicians could only sit and watch as our homeland died, for no amount of magic was able to cure this curse. Prayer for the gods ceased except for those for Arkay, the Prince of Death. Then, just after the Plague passed, we heard news of the arrival of the Cyrodilic Empire, in the modern tomes known as the “Second Empire.” Valenwood would not be able to survive the invasion. However, the Elder of my tree, the beautiful city of Asclepias, heard the voice of Y’ffre call to him in the night. Y’ffre, as we had continued prayer towards all our gods during the Plague unlike the majority of Valenwood, would guide us to safety. He would move Asclepias the same way he moved Falinesti. Quickly, as soon as the news had disseminated, we clung to the knotted branches of our tree. I remember myself, as a young child, clinging with both arms to the trunk as Asclepias took her first step. We traveled for years, even decades, until we reached the outskirts of the land known as Skyrim.

At the border, Asclepias stopped. We took this as a sign from Y’ffre that our journey had ended. As the last descended, Asclepias was sent into the stars, and in her place were a large number of saplings. I suspect that it was Auri-El himself who sent her, as He is known for gifting those who deserve it. She will forever be imprinted into the stars for others to learn of her learning; to learn the tale of the great Asclepias. Each member took a sapling for their own; when they are of age, the children of Asclepias will serve as our bows, our companions in battle for the rest of our lives.

We split then, each Bosmer for their own. I found myself wandering to the small town of Riverwood, on the banks of the White River. There, the Stormcloaks Gerdur and Hod, the local lumberjacks, took it upon themselves to provide for me. They would give me food and a few coins if I would work for them; I immediately accepted. I knew it would be hard to procure work in Nordic lands and was quite glad for the quick offer.

After a few months of working, I took notice of an Imperial female by the name of Camilla. Camilla Valerius, that is. She was beautiful, with sun-kissed cheeks, proud cheekbones, and beautiful hair the exact shade of a brown calla lily. She was by far the most glorious being I had ever laid my eyes on…and I was about to lose her to Sven, the useless bard of Sleeping Giant Inn, a stupid idiot with nothing but honeyed words. I was conflicted with myself. The easiest solution, of course, was simply send an arrow through the Nord’s empty head, but I figured murder was not the best way to go about it; Y’ffre would most likely disapprove. (Actually, now, reflecting on the past, I do not think He would have minded much. Y’ffre treasures all things natural; that is, plants are not to be harmed by a Bosmer’s hand, but an animal (even a large, ugly one by the name of Sven) can be killed.)) Then, a solution, all on its own, waltzed into our little town. A hotheaded (and admittedly weak-looking) Nord, accompanied by the Stormcloak Ralof, who happened to be the brother of the kind Gerdur, took lodgings in the home of my employers.

I approached him, telling of my woes. He nodded every now and then, but didn’t seem to be paying much attention. Finally, I ended my short story. He turned, as if to leave, so I dropped my bait. I offered him my help in clearing Bleak Falls Barrow if he would aid me in my quest. In all honesty, I would have most likely helped him clear the tomb even if he hadn’t accepted my offer; it was to my advantage to be one of the people to reclaim Camilla’s precious Golden Claw. The young Nord immediately accepted, as anyone with common sense would have; anyone would be much better off with a skilled Bosmer archer than a weak Nord bard. He delivered a fake letter to Camilla for me under Sven’s name; it revealed to her just how much of a bigot that bard is.

As promised, I accompanied the Nord throughout Bleak Falls Barrows, and recovered the Golden Claw from the thief, Arvel the Swift. Upon returning to Riverwood, I presented the Claw to Camilla…and she kissed me. We were finally together, at last. I gave my farewells to the Nord, thanked him immensely, and sent him on his way with an archery lesson and a little more gold.

Camilla and I spent our lives together after that. We lived a happy life in the Riverwood Trader with her brother Lucan, whom I found to be quite bearable in comparison to the many other inhabitants of our town, running the little store with little difficulty. Lucan left a few years after I proved myself capable of running “his store” to expand his business; I never heard from him again. The young Nord who had helped me in winning Camilla’s hand turned out to be none other than the Dragonborn. (I don’t care what his title is. His archery still sucks.) I had finally reached true happiness.

To follow “true happiness,” true sadness came, albeit much later. Camilla grew ill; she was already weak in her old age, as we had been together for nearly half a century, a time period longer than most in those days got to live. As a Bosmer, my lifeline would outlast hers. This only meant I would be there to watch her death, and be left to wallow in her memory. And sure enough, we were parted from each other by Arkay.

I didn’t do anything for the next year. I would stare blankly ahead at the desk of the Riverwood Trader, waiting for customers to come in, spent their money, and then leave. After I had closed shop, I’d walk over to her grave and talk to her a bit. Then, I’d pray to Arkay for her well being in Sovngarde, then pray to Y’ffre and Auri-El, followed by other gods.

Our anniversary of the next year, I saw her again. When visiting her grave, she appeared before me as a spirit, and enveloped me in her ghostly arms. In her embrace, I did something that I had never done before; I wept. She kept quiet and held me until I quieted, then told me of her days in the afterlife. She told me of how she listened to me everyday, how she was happy in Sovngarde. She had asked Y’ffre for an audience with me after listening to me for a month, and He told her He would grant her wish if she would wait; and so she did. We talked for the rest of the night, until she disappeared again. One second, she was holding my hand as we talked, the next- Nothing. However, I learned from our short talk that I should spend the rest of my life in more fruitful ways. I quickly ran to complete my daily prayers, giving an extra long one (plus a sacrifice) to Y’ffre for His kindness. And the next day, I re-awoke as Faendal, a proud member of the Bosmer. I embraced life in its fullest and forgot of wallowing in Camilla’s death.

I still visit her grave everyday and offer daily prayer. But I feel that my end is near. Y’ffre calls to me, and I await Arkay to take me an reunite me with my love. I have lived a long, meaningful life in Tamriel; I am ready to live a new one in Sovngarde.

THE END.

…That was so much LONGER than I thought I’d be. GACK. Kinda depressing too…I hadn’t been thinking of people dying when I first started out. Oh well. Semi-happy ending, right? Plus, Faendal’s one of my favorite characters in Skyrim. I tried to make him all plant-y, but it didn’t really fit in so well. But yeah. Faendal’s a jerk, but an awesome one. ūüôā See y’all around (like, in another half year)! Oh, and if you have any cool ideas or requests, leave them in the comments. I’m always up for avoiding doing REAL work. Bye!

Ebony

Advertisements

Skyrim

Sorry everyone, I know we haven’t been posting recently, but we have a legit excuse: we were all swamped with schoolwork.¬† Now that we’re pretty much done with that, we’re suffering from IATELDA syndrome.¬† That is, the I Am Too Exhausted and Lazy to Do Anything syndrome.¬† I am, at the very least.¬† But in order to actually post something so as to not have an inactive blog, I’m mustering the last bits of my dying will and prating about Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Okay… I know this game is ancient: just over a year old.¬† (Oh, the horror of playing a year-old game! Note my sarcasm.)¬† So I’m¬†just going to give the basic review because I figure if you’re interested in Skyrim in any way, you’ve probably already bought it based on its amazingly awesome awesomeness and the sheer amounts of good reviews there are.

Plot: The sound of rolling whels over a rough dirt road wake you up from your gentle slumber. You look around, only to find yourself in a horse-pulled carraige filled with other captives; they tell you they are Stormcloaks (except for a random horse thief), captured for their attempts to claim back the land for empirical freedom.  The carraige slowly pulls up to a small town known as Helgen, where you are forced to dismount. The horse thief runs away after his dismount, and is shot within seconds. After being asked for your name and designing a character, you are sentenced to death by execution.  A Stormcloak is killed before you, he dies with his pride intact.  Just as the executioner raises his axe to chop your head off, a load roar reveberates through the skies and a dragon lands on the tower just in front of you.  You escape in the confusion, but in order to flee from Helgen, you must follow either the Imperial Hadvar or the Stormcloak  Ralof. Regardless of whichever one you choose, you end up in Riverwood, where your adventure begins.  You can either continue on the main quest immediately, or do one of the many side quests that quicky become available through conversation with other NPCs.

Gameplay: The gameplay is a pretty much a nonlinear RPG.¬† That is, you can do whatever you want, so long as you fufill the plot in a satisfactory way.¬† Or, you can ignore the plot; you can just wander the lands of Skyrim, battling whomever may come your way.¬† You can play tag with children, become thane of whatever region you may choose, clear out dungeons, join¬†a guild or eight, partake in a dramatic political debate that will eventually result in a civil war, etc.¬† And you can do all this while ignoring the main plot.¬† Heck, you can even do “criminal” things: join the thieves guild to earn extra coin by pickpocketing it from others, join the Dark Brotherhood and murder the high king among your other various victims, become Namira’s champion to become a cannibal, or just massacre an entire town just for kicks (well, if you think you can take on all the guards, but the point is, there’s no rule stopping you)!¬† There’s also¬†“good” things you can do: join the Companions in Whiterun to become the ultimate superhero figure against criminals, go to the College of Winterhold to become a kick-butt mage that is destined to save Winterhold from magical anomalies, help out the daedric prince Meridia with her Beacon of Light, or just help out the locals.¬† During all these things, there is an intriguing plot for each individual attempt, keeping you entertained throughout your entire time playing.

Graphic quality: Everything in Skyrim is painstakingly detailed.¬† You can see the patterns etched into whatever weapon you may be wielding and¬†any magical enchantments on said weapon.¬† Your clothes/armour are detailed as well: all patterns and creases are eminent, and layers of fabric (or metal or bone)are shown beautifully; the attention to depth and movement is gorgeous.¬† The colors are beautiful too; the¬†sun’s pretty white glow shines onto¬†colorful plants¬†whose grey shadows dissapear as you pluck them for your alchemic creations.¬† The buildings have a grey brick pattern that contrast against the usually clear blue sky (the exception being when it rains or is night), the wild animals that are scattered across wild lands are¬† realistic shades of anything from white to red to black.¬† In short, the graphics are detailed and amazingly gorgeous.

Art style: The art is highly realistic.¬† Not to the point where you may think a real dragon is going to come out to rip into little shreds, but realistic to the point where you are completely immersed into the game. The butterflies look like butterflies, the children act¬†like actual children (as annoying as that may be), and the people have natural looking movement as the carry on with their everyday lives and jobs.¬† The scenery should be mentioned as well; beautifully crafted buildings and roads are littered all over Skyrim.¬† There are usually mountains in the distance (that actually become clearer as the approach them, they don’t just continue on indefinitely) that are covered in thick mists.¬† The grounds are covered in plants and animals, whether they be domestic or wild.

Pacing of story:¬† It really depends on the player.¬† For me, personally, the stories are decently paced, but the sheer amount quests will keep you going forever. And ever. And EVER.¬† If you want a quick fun game, Skyrim is not the one for you; it’ll totally immerse you with its awesomeness, so you’ll forever just playing it.¬† Not to mention, Bethsada keeps on developing add-ons.¬† It’s never going to end.

Customization:¬† It’s pretty customizable.¬† You can design your character; that includes race, gender, facial features, height, and build.¬†Your clothes can be changed quite easily, so you can wear casual clothes (which are totally useless except for looking fancy), or any type of armour you choose.¬† There are 32 different sets of armour (not counting those that are included in the add-ons) which constitute of about (this is a pretty rough estimate) 160 various pieces¬†of ¬†headgear, bodygear, footwear, gauntlet, and shields. Not to mention for each set, there are about¬†7 weapons: daggers, swords, war axes, battle axes, greatswords, war hammers, and bows, which you can buy a matching set of arrows (since they can’t be used by themselves, I’m not counting them as individual weapons).¬† If you add the staves (which don’t really come in sets with the typical wizard’s “armour” (code for magical robes; they sorta just look like ugly dresses)) as well, that’s a heck of a lot of weapons for customization.¬† There is also an impossibly long list of accessories, i.e. rings and necklaces.¬† There are unique weapons, armour, and accessories that only be obtained through¬†certain quests.¬†¬†¬†There’s also the stuff that appears when you buy add-ons.¬† It’s pretty customizable.

Difficulty of game:¬† It wasn’t that hard for me.¬† The most common cause of death for me was falling of mountains that I shouldn’t have been climbing.¬† (I was looking for a shortcut, because it’s really easy to get lost.¬† Even with a map and a magical spell telling you where to go.¬† I’m usually directionally challenged, though.)¬† It’s not easy enough to the point where you can slack off without the worry that something will kill you, but it’s not hard enough to want to give up on a quest of any sort.¬† It’s just right.

Music soundtrack:¬† I love the soundtrack.¬† There are a fair bit of songs, all of which you’ll subconciously have memorized by the time you’ve killed, say, 3 dragons.¬† The soundtrack is always cool, whether it be a dramatic battle song during a fight or a soothing ballad from one of the various bards found in inns/taverns.¬† I literally transcribed a mash-up of some of the Skyrim songs in my free time (it’s not my mash-up arrangment, though; I stole from the wonderful¬†Youtube covers, I’m not that creative), although it’s ¬†accidentaly transposed.¬† (I didn’t bother to fix it.)¬† Heck, part of it is my ringtone.¬† I love the Skyrim soundtrack. Love it.

Price of game:¬† Ouch.¬† Okay, it’s¬†really pricey, I admit. But most video games are.¬† If you want to buy it new (which I would.¬† No person in their right mind would sell their¬†copy unless it was majorly glitched), it’s $59.99 plus tax.¬† If you want to add Dawnguard, it’s another $20.¬†Hearthfire? Another $5.¬† And you also want to buy Dragonborn (which is actually a pretty new add-on)?¬† Oh boy, it’s another $20!¬† It’s a grand total of… $105! Unless you want to go broke,¬†I don’t suggest you buy add-ons until you’ve finished most of¬†the original game, that is, Skyrim (without the add-ons).¬† I also don’t think Hearthfire is worth buying as it’s mainly for decorative use (if houses can be counted as decorations).¬† It’s basically the ability to buy land, build/design houses, and adopt children.¬† It’s not really my thing.¬† I haven’t played Dragonborn yet, but I think Dawnguard is well-worth the $20; there’s quite a lot of content for an add-on, so I would consider it once you’ve finished Skyrim without the add-ons.¬† Well, “finished.”¬† I don’t think it’s actually possible to complete everything, but you can pretty darn close if you finish all the daedric and guild quests.¬† Anyways, I think it’s totally worth the $60.¬† Totally.

Lasting appeal:¬† I’ve been playing this game for about a year straight.¬† (Well, I took a week off for Assassin’s¬†Creed Revelations, but that was so short¬†it doesn’t really count.)¬† It’s appeal is still strong.¬† I play or talk about this game anytime I get the chance; it’s still awesome, even after countless hours of gaming.

Stars out of 10:¬† Definently a 50/10.¬† It’s way too awesome for a normal rating.¬† It’s actually abit glitchy from time to time, but it’s usually something so negligible you don’t care. At all.¬† It’s too awesome sauce for words.

Final consensus: It’s amazingly awesome.¬† If you haven’t bought it, buy it.¬† I practically live for this game, even more so than the Assasin’s Creed, Modern Warfare, Halo, and Bioshock series(es).¬† (how do you pluralize “series”???)¬† I would suggest this game to anyone who can stomach a little blood, violence, and profanities.¬†Oh, and people who are okay with crossing¬†real life¬†moral codes¬†while gaming. (Most gamers can, so I’m not worried.)¬†Seriously, buy it.

Disclaimer:  We do not own, nor are we affiliated with the makers of the Elder Scroll series, nor anything else mentioned here. They all belong to their respective owners and creators. This is strictly a personal review of the product. We were not paid to review this product, nor were we given the product by any company. The Girly and the Geeky blog is not associated with the aforementioned makers in any way, nor is there any profit made for the blog, it’s owner, and other writers

 

Ebony

Apple Customer Support

Hey guys! Long time no post huh? We’ve all been incredibly busy with school, so the blog is kinda on the back burner for now. I might write a little about my experience as a sophomore sometime. But for now, I’m writing about my experience with Apple Customer Support. It’s a review.

It started today with my mother’s computer having issues. This is the feedback I sent to Apple:

I’ve always had great success with Apple’s customer support. The tech support people have always been polite, helpful, and have always done their best to assist me with any problems. Apple has one of the best customer support systems I’ve ever had to deal with. The computer operated system actually works and can actually understand what you are saying and will direct you to the correct department. Today my mother’s Mac Book Pro was having issues with Time Machine, and I, being the second best with computers and the only other person in the house, was asked to fix it. I called Apple naturally after I had no idea what to do. The automated system asked me a few questions, helped me find the serial number, and then directed my call to a helpful man who helped me. Eventually, turning it off seemed to fix the problem, and he told me to safe boot it. I did so, but we didn’t realize the computer was encrypted and needed a password, and I had messed up a few times on the process of making the computer safe boot. While it was still loading the safe boot, we went ahead and hung up, after he made sure I didn’t have any problems. I was ,as usual, impressed with Apple. Then I tried turning the computer back on after restarting it like he told me to do so. The computer kept trying to go into safe boot, but wouldn’t finish loading and would then turn off. After trying several times, I called Apple again. I was again directed to the technical support division and was helped by a nice lady. After determining that my mother’s computer had Snow Leopard software, she told me that I needed the Snow Leopard software disk. I asked if it was possible for me to call back after I found it, and she set up a call back time, which I am currently waiting for.

After being called back:
The next lady was probably the most helpful. She figured out that the computer was actually on Lion, and gave me several things to try. Her final conclusion was that the computer needed to go to an Apple store for some onsite maintenance and more help. She was very understanding, helpful, and patient. My father is currently looking at the computer, and we will soon be making an appointment at the Apple store. As usual, Apple’s customer support has been helpful and polite, and I know that I can always count on their staff to be helpful. This is why I have an iPad, iPhone, and a Macbook pro, as does my whole family. We are big fans of Apple. Thank you for all of your help!

So what’s your experience with Apple? Leave your stories in the comments below!

~Pinkii

Harvest Moon: Animal Parade Review

Today I’m doing a review for Harvest Moon: Animal Parade. ¬†Animal Parade is for the Wii and has a predecessor, Tree of Tranquility (which I will review at a later time.) Fair warning: ¬†I haven’t 100% completed the game. ¬†¬†For those of you familiar with Harvest Moon, you know that some don’t really have a story line at all and almost every single game never really ends. ¬†I have completed the story line, but not all the extra stuff that comes along with a Harvest Moon game. For those of you unfamiliar with Harvest Moon, I recommend you Google it.¬†¬†I don’t think you would enjoy me rambling on and on about it but if someone thinks otherwise feel free to mention it in the comments and I’ll make a special post just explaining Harvest Moon.

Plot: ¬†The game starts off with your selected character riding in the back of a hay wagon. Accompanying you is a ¬†little orange sprite named Finn. ¬†He nags you the whole way to Castanet about hurrying up and meeting the Harvest Goddess. ¬†You finally arrive in Castanet at your new farm (which is in dire need of some repairs) and the mayor, Hamilton, greets you and whatnot. After this, Finn again nags you to go visit the Harvest Goddess. ¬†You encounter several bumps along the road trying to get to her spring, but eventually you make it there and she tells you the land is dying and to restore it you need to ring the 5 bells to summon the Harvest King, who is currently not around and is the only one powerful enough to restore the land. ¬†So now it’s up to you to track down the bells and save your home. ¬†Of course, you can take as long as you like doing everything, but some features (such as the hot spring, parts of the mines, even characters) are¬†unavailable until you ring a certain bell.

Gameplay: ¬†The controls are almost identical to those of Tranquility with only a couple changes. The changes are so slight that it’s easy to forget the changes if you play them back to back. ¬†Time in Parade passes much slower than in Tranquility. ¬†It passes so much slower that I can finish everything I have to do in a day, do extra stuff, and still have time left over. ¬†I never really had a problem with it though. ¬†A rather annoying change is that you can’t prevent typhoons that destroy your fields. ¬†In Tranquility, you could reset in the morning if you didn’t like what the weather was going to be the following day. ¬†That isn’t the case with Parade. ¬†It seems that they combated this in a way by making it super easy to repair your fields with each seed packet only containing one seed. ¬†Now, something they have only done with one other game recently, is reusing the characters from a previous game (Tranquility) and adding a few new ones. ¬†Personally, I loved this. ¬†I loved the characters from Tranquility and was super excited to see them used again. ¬†What I didn’t love was how darn long it takes to befriend everyone. ¬†It takes almost an entire game year of giving someone a favorite gift item everyday to get them to 10 hearts. ¬†But with the animals it’s a whole different story. ¬†In about half that time, you can get an animal up to 10 hearts. ¬†Guess it’s not called Animal Parade for nothing.

Graphic Quality: ¬†Now, it is a Wii game, so naturally the quality of the graphics will be better. ¬†It seems brighter than Tranquility, which is really nice. ¬†I’m a big fan of nice, bright colors in a game.

Art Style: ¬†Hands down, I think this has the BEST scenery of any Harvest Moon/Rune Factory game I have played.¬† They did a marvelous job with Castanet. I can’t really explain what it’s like, but it’s beautiful. ¬†The characters pretty much look the same as they did in Tranquility, although they did mess up Owen’s head… ¬†It’s a little out of proportion with the rest of his body if you know what I mean.

Pacing of Story: ¬†The pacing is rather uneven in my opinion. ¬†Some of the bells took no time at all, ¬†some took a decent amount of time, and some of them took forever to complete. ¬†It would have taken me a lot longer if I hadn’t had the game guide. ¬†All in all, it took me about 3 1/2 seasons to complete the main story line. ¬†But since time passes rather slowly, 3 1/2 seasons is a decent amount of time to finish I suppose.

Customization: ¬†The basic ability to name your character, farm, animals, and eventually kids is nothing new. ¬†You can change your clothes as well as your kids’, buy new furniture for your house, move the furniture around, and change the interior and exterior (different colors and styles.) ¬†Quite a bit more customization is¬†available¬†than in earlier Harvest Moon games.

Difficulty of game: ¬†Really, no Harvest Moon game is super hard. ¬†They’re just not meant to be. Some of the bells took a while more because they were time consuming than hard. ¬†Items in the game are priced a little high so it can be a challenge getting the money for everything. ¬†It was however hard to befriend people. ¬†Mainly it was just time consuming, but some of the favored items were hard to come by which makes it an even¬†lengthier process.

Music soundtrack: ¬†I haven’t heard some of the tracks in a while, but from the ones I do remember, I remember liking them. ¬†The Fugue Forest track is rather catchy in my opinion. ¬†A nice feature was the music changing at night to better fit the atmosphere. ¬†There are actually very few soundtracks in any of the Harvest Moon/Rune Factory games that annoy me.

Price of game: ¬†You can buy the game new for $20 at Gamestop. ¬†I’m not sure how much the guide is, but I would definitely recommend buying it. ¬†Another option is using an internet guide, such as Ushi no Tane, but I prefer having an actual book.

Lasting Appeal: ¬†I cant’ really say since I haven’t finished all I would like to yet. ¬†I suppose in a way it has a decent lasting appeal if I still have stuff to do after finishing the main story line.

Stars out of 10: ¬†A 9 from me. ¬†I’m docking a full point because¬†it shouldn’t take so long to befriend people. ¬†It bugged me that much. ¬†I know that in real life it takes time to become friends with people, but this is a video game. ¬†Typhoons don’t happen often enough anyway for it to be a big problem and I’m rather rich in the game so it isn’t too bad patching up the fields.

Final consensus: ¬†I really enjoyed the game and it is a must play for any Harvest Moon fan. ¬†It’s also a good starter game for those unfamiliar with Harvest Moon.

Disclaimer: We do not own, nor are we affiliated with the makers of ¬†Harvest Moon and Rune Factory, the writers of the game guide, Google, Ushi no Tane, Gamestop, nor anything else mentioned here. They all belong to their respective owners and creators. This is strictly a personal review of the product. We were not paid to review this product, nor were we given the product by any company. The Girly and the Geeky blog is not associated with the¬†aforementioned companies/websites in any way, nor is there any profit made for the blog, it’s owner, and other writers.

~Cerulean

Pinkii’s adventure at the Pokemon League

So as most of you know (The 153 awesome people who have viewed the site), I, Pinkii, am a girly-nerd. And I love Pokemon.¬†I have been a fan of Pokemon since I was about three or four, when I discovered the anime on cartoon network. When I was five, a friend from kindergarten gave me my first five Pokemon cards. When I found Pokemon Emerald, I begged my dad to buy it for me. So now, at age 15, I decided that I wanted to join a real Pokemon League. What’s a league you ask? A Pokemon League is sort of like a club for Pokemon. The leagues come in three varieties: TCG, Video games, and both. TCG stands for Trading Card Game. The Pokemon franchise also has a TCG, a card game where you battle each other. It requires¬†strategy¬†and a bit of luck and some cards of course. I have around 1200 cards. However, my cards were several years old and dated, and I needed some new ones. I went out and bought a pack for like $8 at Walmart. I chose the Pokemon Black and White Dark Explorers Raiders Deck. I chose it, because my favorite Pokemon, Espeon, was in it. Pokemon Leagues have restrictions. The people who are in charge of the league have to go through background checks and have to hold the meetings in a public place, like a card store, video game store,¬†restaurant, rec center, it just depends. Otherwise, the league will not be listed on the pokemon website. Only go to the leagues listed there, to make sure they are real leagues and safe. Use the link below to look for them.

Leagues usually meet about once a week for around 3 hours, this can vary depending on the league of course. You don’t have to go every week, or even stay for the whole time. There are people of all ages in the leagues, of course it still depends on the league. Some leagues only play the Pokemon video games, some only play the TCG, and some do both. The particular league I’m in does both, but tends to play more TCG. You hang out and talk, play either the TCG or the video game, and have fun.

So enough explanation, let’s get back to my adventure!
I spent a week convincing my parents to let me go. I even went through the torture of briefcase shopping with my dad for 3 hours. Not kidding. It’s true. And by the way, he still hasn’t found one yet! Finally he agreed. The league I went to met at a Taco Bell (Ick! I’m not a fan of Taco Bell at all!). About 10-15 people came, but there’s more in the league. The people there were mostly adults, but there were some kids and a teenager or two. They were really nice. They taught me how to play the TCG game and were very friendly. We hung out and talked about Pokemon and a ton of other stuff. I really enjoyed it. I want to go again and plan too in the future. In fact, I wanted to go again yesterday, but couldn’t because of all this stuff going on.

If you want to try out a league, I recommend contacting the League leader before hand, to get more information. They can suggest where to buy cards and which ones are good to get. They have some form of contact information on the league website. Just be sure to go to a league that’s listed on the Pokemon website.

I had a total blast at the League meeting! You don’t have to have any experience, just a love of Pokemon!
Smell ya later! (Pokemon fans will get the joke)

~Pinkii‚ô•

The Pokemon Website:

http://www.pokemon.com/us/

For more explanation on Pokemon Leagues:

http://www.pokemon.com/us/play-pokemon/play-pokemon-leagues/

The deck I bought:

http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Raiders_(TCG)

Where to find a League:

http://www.pokemon.com/us/play-pokemon/events/

 

Disclaimer: We do not own, nor are we affiliated with The Pokemon Company, Nintendo, Taco Bell , Walmart, nor anything else mentioned here. They all belong to their respective owners and creators This is strictly a personal review of Pokemon Leagues. We were not paid to review the Leagues, nor were we given products by any company. The Girly and the Geeky blog is not associated with The Pokemon Company, Nintendo, Taco Bell , or Walmart¬†in any way, nor is there any profit made for the blog, it’s owner, and other writers.

Rune Factory 3 Review

Today I’m doing a review for Rune Factory 3, the third Rune Factory game for the DS. ¬†It is my absolute favorite in the series so far! ¬†If you aren’t familiar with the Rune Factory games, I suggest taking a look at my Rune Factory review or using Google.

Plot: ¬†The game starts out on a dark, stormy night in Sharance. ¬†All of a sudden, a golden wooly (a sheep of sorts for those of you who may be unfamiliar with Rune Factory) falls from the sky in front of a shop. ¬†A young woman comes out and brings you inside to care for you since you appear to be hurt. ¬†After an¬†argument with her grandfather she puts you in a spare bed and leaves you to rest. ¬†In the morning, there is a flash of light and the wooly is no longer there. ¬†In the place of the wooly is a young man. ¬†He rushes out of the shop and ends up in front of a huge tree. ¬†Another young woman is standing in front of the tree but won’t speak to you. ¬†Luckily, the same young woman from before comes by and starts talking to you. ¬†She asks for your name but you can’t seem to remember. ¬†In fact, you can’t remember a single thing about yourself! ¬†So, just like the 2¬†protagonists from Rune Factory 1 & 2, you have amnesia. ¬†The young woman has you pick a name for yourself. ¬†The default name is Micah. ¬†After this she has the other young woman who wouldn’t talk to you take you up into the tree while she leaves to go get her grandfather. ¬†The young woman comes back with her grandfather (the mayor) and he lets you live in the Sharance tree which also has farmland right under it. ¬†More stuff happens right after that but I’ll let you see that for yourself if you get the game. ¬†Long story short, you get to play through the caves around town which are set up similarly to Rune Factory 2’s. ¬†The plot revolves around beating the bosses in the caves just like the past games.

Gameplay: ¬†This one has the best gameplay by far in my opinion. ¬†The controls are very similar to those of Rune Factory 2 with some minor differences. ¬†A nice feature was that you could drop stuff on the ground and it wouldn’t disappear unless you moved from that screen or there were too many items. ¬†The best part of all: everything was FAST. ¬†He ran fast (probably only a little faster than the other¬†protagonists¬†but still) and the fighting was fast. ¬†It didn’t take you forever to swing your sword or weapon like it did in Rune Factory 2. ¬†Only thing that could be kind of annoying was that the weather wasn’t set the day before like in the other Rune Factories or like in Harvest Moon. ¬†The day could start off sunny, but could be raining 4 hours later. ¬†The same thing with typhoons (which wreck your fields). ¬†It could be sunny all day, then it would start storming a second later. ¬†This can easily be avoided (but it’s still annoying) by saving frequently. ¬†Also, seeds cover only 1 tilled square, unlike the 9 squares in the past two games and while you have two fields under the tree, you have to rotate which one you use because the soil quality starts declining. ¬†Super annoying, but not too bad. ¬†There is also so much more to the game that it would take ages to write it all down.

Graphic¬†quality: ¬†The graphics in Rune Factory 3 are better than the other two games. ¬†Everything is a little sharper and the colors are much brighter. ¬†It’s a huge difference from the first game.

Art Style: It seemed like almost every shop had some little embellishment on it. ¬†The flower shop and flowers on the building, the eccentric elf who loves rainbows had splashes of paint on her house, the Inn was a little more Eastern, and the settlement had tents in it. ¬†The caves had various things in them that made them interesting, such as the random statues in Privera Forest. ¬†The Sharance tree’s leaves changed with the season which was nice.

Pacing of story: ¬†This very much depends on how much you play and how quickly you finish games in general. ¬†The first file I made, I finished the plot by early Winter of my first year and took me a couple months (real time) I believe to finish. ¬†The second file… I finished the whole plot by mid-Summer of my first year and took me 1 week (real time) to finish. I took my time doing everything in the first file and enjoyed the stuff going on. ¬†The second time around I focused almost¬†solely on the plot and tended to ignore people for the most part.¬†So yeah.

Customization: ¬†There’s a little more customization in this one but not much. ¬†You can buy outfits from¬†Evelyn that are just different colors of the default one or more costume like ones like the wedding tuxedo. ¬†You can also buy furniture from Evelyn and place it anywhere on the main floor of the Sharance tree you want. ¬†You have the option¬†to rename your character and farm throughout the game.

Difficulty of game: ¬†Rune Factory 3 has to be one of the easiest games I have ever played. ¬†It’s so easy it’s almost ridiculous. ¬†But for some reason, that’s what makes it so much fun. ¬†The thing that makes it so easy is that you can level up really fast, unlike the past games, and money is easy to come by. ¬†That combination makes for an easy game. ¬†To say how easy it is, I’m a level 410 and have over 11,000,000 G in the summer of my 2nd (maybe 3rd) game year.

Music soundtrack:  The music was good, especially the music that plays under the Sharance tree where you farm.  None of it was amazingly irritating.

Price of game:  You can buy the game new for $20 at Gamestop.

Lasting Appeal: ¬†I finished this game a second time (and I seldom make second files) over a year ago and I still constantly play it. ¬†There’s just something about it that makes you want to come back for more.

Stars out of 10:  I give it a full 10.  Sure, there were some slightly irritating things like the randomness of storms, but everything else about the game negated it.

Final Consensus: ¬†I loved almost everything about this game and highly recommend it if you’ve already played the last two Rune Factories for the DS. ¬†It is still one of my favorite games after a year.

Disclaimer: We do not own, nor are we affiliated with the¬†makers of Rune Factory, Harvest Moon, Google, nor anything else mentioned here. They all belong to their respective owners and creators. This is strictly a personal review of the product. We were not paid to review this product, nor were we given the product by any company. The Girly and the Geeky blog is not associated with the aforementioned makers in any way, nor is there any profit made for the blog, it’s owner, and other writers.

~Cerulean

Pokemon Emerald Review

Hey guys it’s pinkii here to do a video game review on Pokemon Emerald. I know it’s an older game, not really old, but it’s two Pokemon generations behind.

Pokemon Emerald was the third installment in third generation of Pokemon after Ruby and Sapphire. It adds on to the plot from Ruby and Sapphire quite a bit. There’s a big difference. There are many gameplay changes, new stuff, big plot add on. It was the last major game in a series to be released for the gameboy advanced.

This game has a very special place in my heart, because it was my very first Pokemon game. I remember being around eight years old wandering around Fry’s (An electronics store) and seeing a Pokemon game. I had been a fan of Pokemon since I was about three or four, when I discovered the anime on cartoon network. When I was five, a friend from kindergarten gave me my first five Pokemon cards. When I found the game, I begged my dad to buy it for me. It was the second video game I had owned. I had gotten my Nintendo Ds (the original Ds in blue) the day before, and the only game I had was Nintendogs, which gets boring after awhile. I went home and began playing it. A few years later, I sold it. A few months ago, I bought it again, determined to beat it once again, but I would do it much better. I would have a proper balanced team, fight every trainer I could see, beat the battle tower, everything. I’m still working on it, in case you’re wondering. Pokemon has been and still is one of my favorite series and fandoms. I can identify almost all of them, except for a few of the new ones maybe, but I’m working on it. I’m¬†obsessed. My all time favorite Pokemon is Espeon, and after that, it’s the rest of the eevvelutions, plus eevee. But I’m off topic now! I’ll get back to the review now!

Pokemon Emerald is about a trainer (boy or girl) who begins his/her pokemon journey. After saving Professor Birch from a wild pokemon, he gives you your pick of three pokemon: Torchick the fire type, Mudkip the watertype, and Treeko the grass type. The trainer then begins her/his journey into the Hoenn region with the goal of defeating all eight gym leaders and then defeating the Pokemon League and then finally defeating the Champion. However, two evil gangs, Team Aqua and Team Magma are in a race trying to awaken two legendary ancient pokemon: Kyogre the water type and Groudon the ground type, who were sleeping after being stopped by the legendary ancient pokemon Rayquaza.When they awaken them, they discover that they can not control the angry wild pokemon who disappear and drastically alter the climates. You must stop them and help restore balance to the world.

Plot: One of the best plots in the Pokemon series in my opinion. It has so much more than Ruby or Sapphire.

Gameplay: The gameplay isn’t too bad for a gameboy advanced SP. It’s not hard to move and the controls are pretty good.

Graphic quality: For a gameboy advanced game, it isn’t too bad. In comparison with a ds game, it wasn’t so great. It is an older game though from several years ago though and you have to take that into consideration.

Art Style: same as above pretty much. The pokemon sprites are cute as are the trainer sprites, but it’s nothing really artistic.

Pacing of story:It’s a little fast paced, but there’s just so much content, that it will be a long time before you run out of stuff to do.

Customization: The most customization is picking the pokemon to catch and add to your team.

Difficulty of game: It is more difficult than it’s sister games Ruby and Sapphire. The gym leaders, enemy bosses, rivals, elite four, and Champion have more pokemon, and they are usually stronger. It’s not too difficult, as long as you train your pokemon well and keep a balanced team.

Music soundtrack: Kinda annoying sometimes. It can get repetitive after awhile, but it’s not too bad.

Price of game: I recommend buying it on ebay. If you buy it at gamestop, it’s $40, which is ridiculous for a gameboy advanced game. I think I paid about $15 for mine on ebay with shipping.

Lasting Appeal: After you beat the game, there’s still a ton more to do. You can take on the challenge of catching all the pokemon in the national pokedex, or take on the Battle Frontier, a new island with 8 different places to fight, each with it’s own set of unique set ups and rules. There’s still a lot do do, so it will keep you busy for awhile.

Stars out of 10: I’m giving this game a solid 9. It has a great lasting appeal, nice plot, and the game play isn’t too bad. However, there are some little things, like the graphics aren’t as amazing, the art isn’t as great, mainly just some little nit picky things. You do have to keep in mind that this game is nearly eight years old, so the graphics were pretty good for that time.

Final Consensus: I totally recommend the game, even if it is a little dated.

If you really want to start from the first region (Kanto), then you better get out your old Gameboy (the original or the gameboy color). You start with Blue or Red. From there, you go on to Gold, Silver, or Crystal for the gameboy color. Then you go to Ruby, Sapphire, or Emerald, for the Gameboy Advanced. Next Diamond, Pearl, or Platinum for the DS, then last, Black and White for the DS, the sister games for this generation is Pokemon Black and White 2, but it’s only out in Japan. If you don’t want to play the older generations on the old Gameboys, the originals have been remade. The first generation were remade for the Gameboy Advanced as Fire Red and Leaf Green, the second generation was remade for the DS as Heart Gold and Soul Silver. It doesn’t matter where you start in my opinion. The plot doesn’t run¬†across¬†games, so you’ll be fine. I know some fans think that you have to start with the first game, or you’re not a true fan, but I disagree. It doesn’t matter where you start with the games, whether it be the newest copy of the latest game, or the very first one. All that matters is that we share a fandom of love of Pokemon. Pokemon is almost 16 years old. It was released in 1996 in Japan; it came to America in 1998. Pokemon was a big part of my childhood, and as a teenager, I am still a big fan. I remember watching as many episodes as I could get my hands on as kid, singing the theme song (the original. I still know it by heart), reciting the Team Rocket motto (I also still know that by heart), and just loving Pokemon.

Sorry for my rant on how much I love Pokemon. I guess you know by now I’m a big fan!

Oh if you want to look up anything Pokemon related try using Bulbapedia or Serebii. Both of these sites are great!

I’ll stop here! This is a long post.. 1235 words total! wow!

Byebye!

~Pinkii‚ô•

Disclaimer: I do not own, nor am I affiliated with the Pokemon franchise, Nintendo, Serebii.net, Bulbapedia, Gamestop, Ebay, Fry’s Electronics, nor anything mentioned here. They all belong to their respective owners and creators. I am only fan. This is strictly a personal review of the game. I was not paid to review these, nor was I given any of the products mentioned by their companies.

Rune Factory 2 Review

Hi guys! Today I, Pinkii, am doing a review on the video game Rune Factory 2. This is the sequel to Rune Factory (which was just reviewed by cerulean. If you haven’t read it yet, you can find it in the Geek section.) This is one of my personal favorite video games of all time. I specifically requested to do the review on this game because of my love for it. It was the first Rune Factory game I played. It caught my eye at a video game store. I had played Harvest Moon DS and a few other Harvest Moon games before, and when I saw the title Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon, I bought it¬†immediately. I took it home and was hooked.

Rune Factory is similar to the Harvest Moon series. The most simple way I can describe it is that you are a farmer who fights monsters. But it’s so much more than that.

This game stars a guy who has lost all of his memories. He doesn’t even remember his name! He is an earthmate, a person who is excelled at farming and can tame monsters. He is found by a girl named Mana, the daughter of the very¬†muscly, very tall, overprotective general store owner named Douglas. After he (the¬†original¬†name of your character is Kyle which I will use from here on out during this review) gives himself a name, ¬†he is invited to live in the town on an abandoned farm, given to him by Mana and Douglas. The town is called¬†Alvarna. Kyle eventually gets married to one of the seven eligible bachelorettes. Each girl has her own distinct personality and a bunch of requests (basically quests that you have to do in order to marry them). I have seen almost all of the scenes and have done almost all of the requests for all of the girls, and each girl is very different. After being married for a few months, Kyle’s wife discovers she is¬†pregnant. You get to chose whether it is a boy or a girl. If you don’t care, you can also make it random. After your child is born, your wife tells you she wants to build a school for the child to attend with the other children in the village. Since it is a small village, children were usually¬†home schooled. In fact in the beginning of the game, there are only two children! The mayor agrees to let the school be built and you volunteer to supply all the needed lumber and money. After the school is built, time moves forward seven years. Kyle recovers his memories and leaves, after saying goodbye to his child, who caught him leaving. He leaves a trail for the child to uncover. You then begin play in the second generation. This is when the game gets even more fun. You keep all the levels, money, and skills from Kyle and they are transfered onto the child. The child has a goal of finding it’s father. To do that, he/she must fight monsters and also the four bosses, one for each dungeon. Each dungeon has a season theme, in which you can grow crops to sell, cook, or give to others. Once you defeat all the bosses, you must save your father. I won’t spoil the rest of it for you!

I’m going to judge the game based on these categories:

Plot: In my opinion, this has the best plot of the series. I loved the plot. I don’t think I did it justice on the description, but I tried my best! I really liked the generation switch in the game. The first generation was a little slow, but the second generation sped up a lot.

Gameplay: The controls were not my most favorite. They greatly improved on the controls in the third Rune Factory. If you dropped something, it¬†disappeared, unless it was a special item, in which case, it would appear in the lost and found. The fighting controls weren’t as fast, but everything was¬†manageable.

Graphic quality: Not too bad. They improved on it a lot from the original Rune Factory.

Art Style: The characters (I mean the close up picture of them that appears when you talk to them)were well drawn and the backgrounds were beautiful. I loved seeing the Cherry trees. They were not as spectacular as something you would get on a PS3, but they were pretty nice for a DS. This is a regular DS game that has been out for four years after all. They did a pretty good job in my opinion.

Pacing of story: The beginning is a little slow. If you take too long courting a girl and saving money, then you might want to hurry it up a bit. Once you get to the second generation, it speeds up a lot. I didn’t even mind the beginning being a little slow, because I was courting several girls and enjoyed getting to know all the characters.

Customization: Not too much customization. You can pick your bride and your child’s gender. You can’t edit your house or clothes though. Well in the second generation, you can change your clothes a bit, like the color and there’s a few other outfits, but you don’t really end up caring. I think I ended up changing the outfit like once or twice a season.

Difficulty of game: The beginning is really easy. The second generation gets tougher, but it’s not going to make you scream. It’s challenging in a good way. It’s not like “OH MY GOD I’M GOING TO BREAK MY FREAKING DS IN HALF!” (which I actually did when I was eight. Stupid Archie from Team Aqua in Pokemon Saphire! I couldn’t beat him no matter what I did… Then when I got a new one, I beat him on the first try. Oh well!)

Music soundtrack: Nice music actually. Actually, I didn’t mind it. I played with the music on when I could. It wasn’t that annoying. It was pleasant, tolerable, and matched the atmosphere of the game.

Price of game: You can buy it used at gamestop for about $20 or on ebay starting at about $10 plus shipping.

Lasting Appeal: It has good replay value. You can marry different girls if you replay the game. I’ve replayed it several times, and I still can play it again.

Final consensus: I totally recommend it. However, if you are going to start the series, you should start with the first one. I wish I had started with the first one. It is hard to play the older games after you have played the newer ones, because the fighting is slower. They improve the gameplay every game. I really loved the game. I still do. I ran out to get the next game as soon as I could. I think that the fighting is a little annoying, because of the controls. The plot though, was amazing. It made up for any downfalls. I have played the game several times. I fully recommend this game and the other games in the series, but I would start with the first one.

Stars out of 10: I want to give it a full 10, because I love the game so much, but there are a few things with the controls that are tricky. So I’m giving it 9 and 3/4. (Harry Potter fans are probably loving the number! I know I do!)

Cerulean will be doing a review on the third game soon!

Have a lovely day! I hope that you try the series, because the games are amazing! My friends and I have been big fans of it for a long time. Cerulean and I along with another good friend of ours, play them together still. If you play the game and need a guide, try searching for Freyashawk’s guides. Also, for the Harvest Moon series, if you need a guide, try going searching Ushi No Tane. Both of them make¬†amazing¬†guides!

Disclaimer:  Harvest Moon and Rune Factory belong to their respective owners and creators. I am not affiliated with Freyashawk or Ushi No Tane in any way, I am merely a fan. None of this is mine. This is strictly a personal review of the game and I’m not being paid for it or anything.

Okay guys I’m done with this post!

Byebye for now!

~Pinkii‚ô•

Rune Factory Review

This is a review of Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon for the Nintendo DS. ¬†It is the first game in the Rune Factory series, which is a spin-off of the regular Harvest Moon games. ¬†Rune Factory brings magic, weapons, and monsters to the table along with the traditional farming of Harvest Moon. ¬†It has been a very long time since I have played it so my memory is a little rusty and for that I apologize. ¬†And also, if you aren’t familiar with Harvest Moon, it might be a good idea to Google it.

I have played every Rune Factory game that has come out in the United States (5 of them) and have beaten the DS ones (3), including this one. ¬†I beat this game 3+ years ago so this won’t be perfect. ¬†Sorry!

Plot: ¬†A young man, Raguna, wonders into the town of Kardia with no memory of who he is or where he’s from. ¬†He collapses from lack of food and water in front of a house. ¬†The young woman who lives there comes out to see if you’re okay. ¬†You ask for food and water, but instead she brings out a watering can and hoe. ¬†You tell her that wasn’t exactly what you meant and she runs back inside to get what you originally asked for. ¬†After eating and having something to drink you feel better and tell Mist you don’t have any memories and no where to go. ¬†She says that you can live on the farm just north of her house and that was why she gave you the farming tools. ¬†The two of you head to the farm and all of a sudden a monster appears. ¬†You tell her to let you deal with it. ¬†After taking down the monster with your trusty hoe, Mist says that you seem to have the powers of an Earthmate, someone who can farm the earth and tame monsters. ¬†You also learn that monsters have started popping up recently and that something isn’t right. ¬†After this you are allowed to run your farm and start exploring the caves around the outskirts of town after receiving passes which are obtained by doing certain tasks the mayor asks you to do. ¬†By exploring the caves you uncover the mystery behind the monster¬†appearances. ¬†I’m not going to say anymore so that I don’t spoil the ending! ¬†But in general, the plot was intriguing and the most complex in my opinion of the DS Rune Factories.

Gameplay: ¬†This was my first video game of this kind (games with monsters and stuff) and I absolutely loved it. ¬†It kept me entertained for hours. ¬†I apologize in the regard that I don’t remember much about the controls. ¬†I do know that after playing the later games and going back to this one that some of the controls irritated me a bit. ¬†It wasn’t anything ¬†too major though. ¬†Time in the game can seem rather slow if you run out of things to do during the day. ¬†Luckily, when you are in the main storyline it doesn’t happen very often.

Graphics: ¬†Okay, I admit, they are pretty bad. ¬†One must keep in mind thought that this game came out 5 years ago here in the U.S. and is for the DS. ¬†Graphics have come a long way since then. ¬†Considering that I started playing this game several years ago, I didn’t think the graphics were too bad. ¬†They still aren’t since they don’t detract from the gameplay.

Art style:  The character portraits (the pictures of them when you talk to them) were very nice in my opinion.  Each character seemed to have their own style and that was nice to see.  The caves all had a different style and theme to them which always made it fun to see what was next.  The scenery on the outskirts was very nice, especially by the ruins.  The town was kinda plain.  The makers did a very good job for a first in the series and naturally improved as they went.

Pacing of story:  It went at a steady pace most of the time, generally it depended on how fast you were able to move through a cave.  The only time it pretty much stopped was when you got to the Misty Bloom cave, which was only accessible in the winter.  If you are like me and beat everything pretty quickly, you are going to have a very long wait.  I was in summer when I finished the previous cave so I had a VERY long wait.  But other than that, it was good.

Customization: Beyond naming your character (Raguna is just the default name and a suggestion) and naming your farm and any monsters you capture, there isn’t much. ¬†I suppose you could count choosing which weapon you use as customization if you want.

Difficulty of game: ¬†It really isn’t that hard. ¬†If you aren’t diligent in leveling up, boss battles might get really tricky, but probably not impossible. ¬†On the other hand, it can get too easy if you level up too much, like a friend of mine did. ¬†This game was aimed for a younger audience (10 or so and some of us teenagers) so it can’t be too hard.

Music soundtrack: ¬†I don’t remember a thing about the music that plays on your farm, but it can’t be too irritating if I don’t remember it. ¬†I do know that I liked the music that played in the caves. ¬†Each cave had a different music playing and it matched the atmosphere of the cave nicely.

Price of game: Prices are all over the place depending on where you buy it.  I just checked and Amazon has it for around $20 new and Gamestop has it for $7 used.

Lasting appeal: ¬†After you beat the main storyline and get married, there is nothing to do really. ¬†I haven’t picked it up to play again in a couple years. ¬†It just isn’t replayable like the newer ones (especially Rune Factory 3.) ¬†You could always make a second file, but I never got that far since I bought the new one right after I beat this one. ¬†But that shouldn’t steer you away from this one. ¬†The storyline alone made it worth the money.

Stars out of 10: ¬†An 8 from me. ¬†Yes, I probably am being a little unfair since I’ve been spoiled with the improvements of the newer ones, but the fighting (such as time to swing your sword) was a little slow and the game isn’t really made to be played again after the plot. ¬†Overall, it was a great game and it sucked me into the series. Rune Factory games are definitely among my favorites.

I hope this was helpful!  If you have any suggestions on how I can improve this, please feel free to leave a comment!

Disclaimer: ¬†Harvest Moon and Rune Factory belong to their respective owners and creators. ¬†None of it is mine. ¬†This is strictly a personal review of the game and I’m not being paid for it or anything.

~Cerulean