News: Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX Official Game Guide Trio Box Set Pre-Order

“Everyone can just fangirl now”

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Release Date: 4th November 2014

While I’ve been doing my regular rounds through my favourite shopping spots, I spotted a mysterious new entry for a Final Fantasy Box Set.

It’s billed as a deluxe hardcover set of three books, which are the official re-rendered and updated guide books for Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, and Final Fantasy IX.

Yes, I think everyone can take a moment to just fangirl at this statement.

Each of the three books comes with a ribbon marker, similar to the treatment the latest Final Fantasy Limited Edition Guide’s have been receiving, see Final Fantasy XIII-2’s Guide Book as an example.

I think it’s fairly easy to get excited about this! Who doesn’t want to get their mitts on more Final Fantasy merchandise, especially books? These things don’t really see much of a release in the UK, and even so, they’re a bit of an abridged version compared to their Japanese (and sometimes even US) counterparts.

This Box Set version published by Prima Games however, claims to have 752 pages of goodness, which works out at roughly 250 pages per book. That’s a full-sized book if I ever saw one!

The cost of the box set really pushes the boundaries of what I want to pay for three books, with an RRP of £80 or $129.99. Happily, however, the books have been heavily discounted, and I’m just going to pre-order my copy before I explode.

These are available from Amazon.com and Amazon UK. Preview image from Barnes and Noble.

 

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News: Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Final Mix Limited Edition Preorder

“Time to save some pennies for December”


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Release Date: 2nd December 2014

I must have been living under a rock to miss this! For some reason, I started out 2014 eagerly checking for the pre-orders of Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Final Mix Limited Edition (*phew* mouthful…), and when the pre-orders do open, it’s almost like I’d forgotten the game existed.

This is of course the HD update for the original Kingdom Heart 2, and also contains the Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep, and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. I can’t seem to figure out if Re:coded is actually the game or just the cutscenes? Regardless of whatever it is, I know I’ll still end up purchasing this.

Sadly, there’s no mention of an artbook like in the release of Kingdom Hearts 1.5, but for your hard-earned cash you get an *Exclusive Pin*. Yes, the artwork for Kingdom Hearts 1.5 wasn’t brilliant, but at least it made me look forward to getting the package, now it’s a…a… PIN.

Hard to get excited about that.

You can see the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix Limited Edition (PS3) here.

See below for synopsis and trailer:

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TV: BBC Horrible Histories Series 1-5 DVD Box Set (UK Edition)

“The best thing since cave-men!”

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Studio: BBC

Genre: Comedy, Historical, Age: 5+

Released: October 2013  (UK version)

Horrible Histories, for those that don’t know, are an insanely popular series of factual-comedic books made for children. They are pretty old, considering I read them in school, and are filled with facts that seem ridiculous, but are actually true. There have been many productions based off the books, from broadway shows, to animated series, but the 2009 series is easily the best one, being made for all age groups, not just children.

The whole box set is around 30 hours long, and includes all episodes from the five series. The first 12 episodes of each series has sketches, fake historical ads, historical parodies of modern-day reality and chat shows, songs, and quizes. Episode 13, the last of every series, has a compilation of the best songs from the series, and a few extended sketches.

The series groups ancient and modern history into categories titled like Rotten Romans, Awful Egyptians, and Terrible Tudors. Although the show starts off with mainly British related history, it does branch out into significant American and some European history.

Each member of the main cast plays a plethora of characters. As time grows on, you can immediately recognise them and their acting style, and the familiarity makes the comedy even more hilarious.

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(Featuring Ancient Beauty Tips from our experts)

I personally find it impossible to pick a favourite person from the cast, because even when they are not in the starring role, they bring a lot of charm and charisma to the sketch, and are great in their supporting roles.

Each cast member has plays many characters, but my favourite roles are Jim’s Shouty Man, Matt’s King Charles II of England, Simon’s Robert Dudley, Martha’s Queen Elizabeth I of England, Larry’s Bob Hale, and Ben’s King Henry VIII of England.

More information and videos below:

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TV: Star-Crossed – Episode 1 Summary + Review

“Roman, Roman, where for art thou..”

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(“You know, those aliens are pretty good looking….”)

Airing on: Sky

Genre: Romance, Drama, Sci-Fi, Aliens, Age: 13+

Released: 4th April 2014 – onwards

Aliens called Atrians have landed on earth in September 2014, and immediately face hostilities. Emery Whitehall finds a young Atrian boy hiding in her shed, close to where the alien ship has landed. She takes care of the frightened young boy, however the military finds him and shoots him in front of Emery.

Ten years later, and Emery is beginning her first day of high school after spending the last few years in hospital. She and her friend Julia watch as young Atrians are beginning the same school; a program to integrate them into the same society as humans. If this program is successful, it could mean the start of cohabitation by humans and Atrians, but high school is never easy.

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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Manga: My Little Monster (Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun) Volume 1 Summary + Review

“I’m not getting involved with this”

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Publisher: Kodansha Europe

Genre: Romantic, Comedy, Shojou, Drama  Age: 13+

Released: 20th March 2014 (UK Version)

Hardworking schoolgirl Shizuku Mizutani is a student with a life mission to get perfect grades. Her life is turned upside down when she is asked to deliver a homework assignment to the school delinquent, who then manages to convince himself he is love with her. Haru appears to have very little social skills, but the pair clearly have a chemistry, even if Haru is getting in the way of Shizuku’s goal of being number one at her school.

This is the manga that formed the basis for the anime series, and the first volume covers up to the first two and a half episodes.

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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News: Final Fantasy X HD Limited Edition Preorder on Amazon UK

“So close, so close to my hands….”

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Release Date: 21st March 2014

I’m sure a lot of people got this email from Amazon, but for those that didn’t; the Limited Edition of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD is still available for preorder. This is actually around the £30 mark, which was the same as the LE pre-orders taken before.

See the Pre-Order page here.

The game is, of course, going to sell bucket-loads, and be the saviour of Square Enix’s review ratings, after the travesty of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. I can’t wait to get my hands on my own copy, when the game comes out on 21st March, which at this point is less than a week away.

You get limited edition packaging, an artbook disc-case, and new models of Tidus and Yuna to drool over, but the big satisfaction is in replaying an old favourite. They don’t make games like this anymore.

Update: Pre-orders are now closed.

Musings: The direction of “Things” and Commitment

“Where are we going now..?”

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It’s been a while since I’ve openly discussed the direction of this blog. What’s new, what’s in the works, and how updates will be arranged?

It’s been my lifelong ambition to Stick With Things. I think, I let a lot of opportunities go by, because I didn’t commit to it for long enough, or I just let my standards fall, or let things drift away.

Well, I am quite proud that I have stuck by this review blog for almost two years. I started  this blog at the beginning of 2012 (back when I got zero views), and yet by some miracle, it’s still going, and has daily visitors.

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Thankyou, for that.

As conceited as I can be, I originally put up reviews to share my opinions with the rest of the internet. I never dreamed that people would actually follow this blog, or check back daily, or even leave a comment.

Whether you agree or disagree with my opinions, I am glad that people treat this site as a source of information. It’s a real honour.

There’s no dark side to this post. It’s actually very positive (albeit fumbling) in a way, that I am trying to say that I will commit to this blog, that there will be updates.

Updates, updates… Anime

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I’m not sure if I want to finish the reviews for Sukitte ii na yo/Say “I Love You”, and Tonari ni Kaibutsu-kun/My Little Mosnter. You see, the manga of those two series are being released in the UK soon, and I would actually prefer to read the story. Especially since I finished watching Say “I Love You”‘s anime, and it didn’t strike me as amazing, but seems like good material for manga. A lot of pacing issues in slower anime tend to not be as obvious in the manga, because it depends on your reading speed.

And then in direct contrast to that, I would love, love to review all of Noragami, even though the anime is being is released. And Inari, Kokon Koi Iroha struck a chord in me that an anime hadn’t done for a while.

Books

I have recently finished (re-re-re-)reading the Old Kingdom Trilogy/Abhorsen Trilogy, which are the three books by Garth Nix: Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorson. Reading an old favourite rejuvenated me. It was great to read something “perfect” instead of diving into yet another new fantasy world, and wondering if the author will let me down.

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I previously reviewed A Confusion of Princes, another book  by Garth Nix, which was okay but not as good as the Old Kingdom Trilogy. Most people will know his work from the Trilogy.

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I also want to put up my thoughts on the rather brilliant The Casual Vacancy by J.K.Rowling. It will be a review of my second reading, the first time, I didn’t feel like I’d gotten to grips with the characters enough. It’s an unfair advantage Rowling has, to have readers not discredit her work straight away. I’m aware that other authors wouldn’t get the same treatment. On the other hand, I feel that bias is part of having opinions, so it’s okay.

Pictures of stuff…

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And lastly, I really enjoyed waffling through endless of descriptions of packaging. I don’t know how much people pay attention to packaging of anime, but I feel like this area needs to be criticised. Besides, when you buy overpriced anime stuff, you deserve to analyse every inch of it.

News: J K Rowling denounces Hermione-Ron Romance

“Overshadowed by best friend…?”

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This revelation has been ricocheting it’s way through the news outlets, J.K. Rowling, the creator of the famous Harry Potter series, has commented that Hermione should have been with Harry, and not Ron.

This is a shocking announcement after the conclusion of the series, which sees Hermione and Ron in a harmonious relationship, and having two children together.

There have been lots of critical analysis of the author’s comment, and one of the most interesting and detailed is Tor’s ‘Erased by Time and Blockbusters—The Cautionary Tale of Ron Weasley‘, which was initially published two weeks ago ahead of the comment, but it coincidences greatly with this new development. The article analyses why Ron Weasley is the weakest of the trio, and how his portrayal in the movies is a major contribution to this.

While it is doubtful that J.K. Rowling feels the movie version of Ron is significant enough to overwrite her internal version of Ron, she states that her changed feelings towards Ron and his relationship with Hermione, have come from a new-found perspective from time.

See more information at this source.

News: “Sanzoku no Musume Ronja/Ronja the Robber’s Daughter” Studio Ghibli Announcement

“Not your average Ghibli girl..”

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Studio: Studio Ghibli, Polygon Pictures

Genre: Adventure, Age: Children’s

Released: August 31st 2014 (Japan Version)

The internet is positively abuzz with the announcement of Studio Ghibli’s first TV series.

The series will follow the adventures of Ronja, a young girl who lives in a forest, and is based on the books by Astrid Lindgren. The production will be directed by Goro Miyazaki. More details have yet to emerge.

This is an exciting new venture for Studio Ghibli, especially since Goro Miyazaki is taking the helm of this project. I find his work to have a very different feel from the rest of Ghibli’s projects.

See more information at this source.

Anime: Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha – Episode 1 Summary + Review

“There’s a deity in my local shrine…”

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(“Please don’t poop on me… please…”)

Studio: Production IMS

Genre: Romantic, Comdey, Fantasy, Supernatural Age: 13+

Released: January 2014 – onwards

Inari is a middle school student, who is sweet and clumsy, and loved by her two best best friends Keiko and Chika. On the way to school Inari rescues a “puppy” from the river bank, but her friends believe that Inari fell into the river due to her clumsiness.

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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