Top Ten Tuesday: Author Duos!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and features weekly top-ten lists! This week is “Author Duos You’d LOVE to See Write a Book Together.” You’ll notice I only made it to 8, but that’s okay! This was a fun list to come up with.

1. If Tamora Pierce ever wrote with someone else, she should write with Garth Nix. I mean, can you even imagine what they might come up with? Obviously a great fantasy right?

2. This one might seem weird, but Libba Bray and Neil Gaiman. With Libba’s humor and Neil’s quirk, it would be a very entertaining book!

3. J.K Rowling would probably not write with another, but if she did, it would be cool to see what she could do with Scott Westerfeld (basing this on his Leviathan series, as I have yet to read his other books).

4. Jessi Kirby and Courtney C. Stevens. I can’t really say why, but I think they’d match well.

5. Marie Rutkoski and Nikki Kelly. I don’t know why.

6. Kazu Kagushi and Neil Gaiman. I know Neil has worked with various artists and I love Kazu’s artwork, so I think they could produce a cool original story with Kazu’s art style. It would be one gorgeous graphic novel!

7. Peter S. Beagle and Brandon Sanderson. Brandon writes huge chunkers, while Peter’s tales are on the more average or smaller size, but with Peter’s whimsical fantasy style and Brandon’s more epic style, it would be a very nice blend I think.

8. Megan Shepherd and Suzanne Collins. I’m thinking a dark and violent thriller or suspense novel, and it doesn’t even matter if it takes place in the future or past. The atmosphere of a book by them would be awesome and perfect for October!

I’m going to end here because while I still have authors in mind who could make great collabs, I don’t know who to pair them with. Besides, I think I ended on a fall appropriate pairing. I still need to figure out what I should read for Halloween. Leave me your recommendations if you have any! I want spooky, but not really gory or containing shock value. Just something fun that won’t give me nightmares. 🙂 Last year, I chose Horrorstor for my spooky read and had a blast reading it, so I want to read a “scary story” every October now.

I’m Back to Blogging!

*dusts off the cobwebs, spruces up the place*

My last post was sadly in June… let’s just say this summer was absolutely crazy and had been the main reason for the unexpected blog hiatus. I wanted to reboot it in September, but the month was still busy. So now that it’s October and things are finally settling into place, here I am.

I have come up with a sort of schedule that I hope to follow, but I can’t make promises. I can only try my best, just like every other blogger out there. Hopefully I can stay at least one week ahead in posts, barring events like read-a-thons and such.

I hope you’ll start reading and enjoying my posts again as I aim for a good balance in book and game coverage. That has probably been the hardest to manage, but I hope to make it more of an even focus.

I’ve been ridiculously slow in reading Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, but should be finishing it up this month (or possibly this week actually). I don’t think monthly TBR’s work for me honestly, but I definitely want to up my reading overall now that I’ve finished a major editing project. So I’m not saying what books I’ll be reading this month, but I hope to read a handful.

I’ve played several games since the last time I posted, but my current game is Etrian Odyssey Untold: Millennium Girl. I played through halfway, and then set it aside for Pokemon Shuffle as I didn’t really have time to spend on it. Now I’m back to the game and hope to finish it soon, as I have several games I want to get to. But I’ll often switch between games, so my currently playing switches very frequently.

Anyway, I’m writing this post mainly to say, “Hey, I still care about this blog!” And I do, very much, despite the lack of posts. If you’re still around, thanks for your patience! If you’re new to my blog, I hope you’ll stick around.

Square Enix at E3 – A Few Good Showings, a Few Duds

For me, the conference opened slowly as they started with Just Cause 3, coming December 1st for PS4, Xbox One and PC. I don’t care for the franchise personally, but this was one of the few games shown for 2015. TBH, it did look fun, but I won’t be playing it.

Next, they gave us a sneak peek at the new NieR game for PS4, being developed by Platinum Games (they’ve been a very busy studio, having done Star Fox, still working on Scalebound for X1, this new game and the newly announced Transformers game). This game looks great, I enjoyed the first game from what I watched in a Let’s Play (I don’t own a PS3 at this time), so I’m sure it’ll make PS4 fans happy. They’ll reveal more details later this year in the Fall. Also this segment of the conference featured this creepy mask, which no one said anything about:

After this, we saw Rise of the Tomb Raider again, then they did a quick reel of Hitman mobile games before announcing their Lara Croft Go mobile game. Then they quickly showed images from Heavensward FF XIV Online, Life is Strange and Dragon Quest Heroes, but nothing was said about them.

Finally, the Kingdom Hearts producer comes on the stage…and there’s no English translator so the assumption is we’re going to see the KH3 trailer. Instead, we get a repeat viewing of the FF7 Remake trailer so the wait continues. The only news here is that we’ll get more info this Winter and that they’ll be releasing the original PC version to iOS and PS4 at that time.

Just when we get pumped for the Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer, they extend the wait again with a mobile game called Kingdom Hearts Unchained. But finally they show the trailer and we learn that Tangled is a confirmed world. However, it’s still in development with no given date still.

The conference then moved onto World of Final Fantasy, which was first seen at the Sony conference. The director came on and from his speech we gather this is an “all ages” type of game and that his thoughts for the game were to make it like venturing through the world of toys, hinting at this being a possible “toys to life” game. It comes out sometime in 2016, first to play on PS4 and PS Vita.

Next we got some more details on Hitman, and another reel of three other games, including FF XV.

Then there was a reveal for a new Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness slated for 2016 on PS4. After this, they covered some more details for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

The conference ends with a look at a brand new IP with a new studio called Tokyo RPG Factory. The game is currently known as Project Setsuna and the art is a beautiful watercolor paint style, though whether this is what the game’s art will be like remains to be seen as it could very well just be concept art. It is planned for global release in 2016.

Overall, I was very happy with what they had to share, though we didn’t see Bravely Second. Check it out for yourself below:

Nintendo Digital Event at E3 2015 – New Games Announced, More Info on Known Titles

Nintendo started off with a skit featuring puppets…similar to how they started off last years’ with Claymation, except that the puppetry didn’t show up in a game like Claymation leading to Kirby’s Rainbow Curse. This led to the first Star Fox trailer.

Star Fox is officially named Starfox Zero and given a launch window for this holiday season. I want to say it’ll either come at Thanksgiving or at Christmas time; I don’t see it coming any earlier than that. It does not support online multiplayer; the focus this time is on the single player experience. Regardless, the game looks great and I’m excited to play it. The Arwing also transforms, which is kinda fun.

Reggie then sat down with Activision and exclusive Skylander/Amiibos were introduced. They have Hammer Slam Bowser and Turbo Charge Donkey Kong, and they hold data for Skylanders and whatever game you use the amiibo version for (which is a simple turn of the base). These work with the new Skylanders Superchargers game for all Nintendo versions (Wii U, Wii and 3DS).

Then they announced a new 3DS game in the Zelda franchise, Zelda Triforce Heroes. It plays much like Four Swords, but with 3 Links instead of 4. You work together in 3 player co-op and this does have online multiplayer so you can have play sessions with your online friends. If you play single player, you simply switch between control of characters. I rather like Four Swords, so this is a game I’m looking forward to. It is slated for Fall 2015, so just a few more months!

Hyrule Warriors for 3DS was leaked a bit early, but we got to see a trailer and the actual name of Hyrule Warriors Legends. The game includes DLC characters from the Wii U version and includes new characters, one of them being Tetra. It has a launch window of first quarter 2016. I still need to get the Wii U game, but I might just end up with both.

Remember Blast Ball? It’s a side game that’s part of a new game called Metroid Prime: Federation Force. Apparently a lot of fans are disappointed by this, but Federation Force looks like a very fun FPS. I want another Samus Aran focused game as much as the next fan, but I know this is a game I can enjoy to. It’s slated for 2016.

We saw Fire Emblem Fates (originally seen under the Japanese title If) and it’ll be on 3DS in 2016. Next we saw the Fire Emblem X SMT crossover, which still doesn’t have an English title and given the same 2016 window. Hopefully it won’t be long before we see it again.

One of my happy moments was seeing Xenoblade Chronicles X get an official release date. It comes out on December 4th. If you have a Wii U and love epic, open world RPGs, this is a must buy. I’m seriously so excited for this!

Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer got a release date of September 25th, 2015. It comes with an amiibo card to start you off, and the first series of cards include 100 characters with more to come later. I love interior design, so I’ll probably be picking this up.

Fans have been wanting Animal Crossing on Wii U… Nintendo answered in a way no one expected. Disclaimer here though: I honestly didn’t see a traditional AC game on home console, I believe that simply won’t happen due to the real-time aspect being much easier on a handheld. If we got an AC game that was anything like the traditional ones, it would have had to change to in-game time. Instead, they gave us a board game called Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival similar to Mario Party and Fortune Street. I personally love board games, virtual and physical, so I’m still going to enjoy this.

Yoshi’s Wooly World hits stores on Oct 16th, Super Mario Maker arrives on September 11th. To Level-5 fans, they got the announcement of Yokai Watch finally localized for NA and Europe, something people have been wanting. I didn’t know anything about it, but after watching Treehouse play, I’ll be picking it up as well. It’ll be out sometime this holiday season.

I’m finishing this post with two new games announced for Spring and Holiday 2016 respectively. First, there’s Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam, combining both series into one action-packed RPG. There’s a lot to like if you played any of the previous games from Mario and Luigi or Paper Mario, and it’s on my list. Then they announced Mario Tennis Ultra Smash for Wii U, which I’m decidedly less excited about (I’m not really a fan of the tennis games).

Overall, I’m fairly happy. There are certainly more games coming, such as Fatal Frame, but they were left out of this event. However you can see trailers online. Like always, the full video is posted below. I’ll be posting on Square Enix tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

Sony Press Conference E3 2015 – A Good Balance, but Lacking in 2015 Titles

Sony opened their conference to a game fans have been clamoring for since Ico, a game fans had been asking and hoping to one day see. That game is The Last Guardian and it comes sometime in 2016. The only thing that might have softened their excitement was the graphics, as they were sorely lacking for a PS4 title. They look somewhere between early to mid PS3-level graphics. Perhaps they’ll improve as it moves closer to launch.

From that small start, we got a world premiere that would make me consider buying a PS4 for. Unfortunately, it also comes in 2016 and I didn’t see another game here that made me feel quite the same way. However, Horizon: Zero Dawn is definitely a title to keep your eye on. From what I saw of what was shown, the game has an engrossing story, beautiful visuals and an epic, grand feel similar to games like Xenoblade, which is high praise. Seriously, I would recommend all PS4 owners to keep this title in mind over the months to come, because this could be a huge hit.

Then we saw the next Hitman game and Street Fighter 5. After that, we got a glimpse of No Man’s Sky. I liked the exploration aspect more than the space combat, and it could be a cool game for those interested.

Next came a unique game from the creators of Little Big Planet and Tearaway. It’s called Dreams, and it’s basically a creative sandbox tool to create scenes in a lovely watercolor style. This unique game is hard to describe, and there’s no date on it yet.

Then we saw a game called Firewatch, a look at the Destiny expansion, and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Square Enix showed off World of Final Fantasy for PS4 and Vita, which is a cute chibi style game that at first glance seemed Pokemon-like but we don’t actually know much about gameplay… FF spinoffs are a gamble, so we’ll just have to wait and see how this one turns out.

Another bright spot of the conference was the FF7 Remake announcement, and it is gorgeous. I can’t wait to play this game without blocky, ugly characters! It’s not exclusive, but it is available first on PS4. We should hear what other platforms this game will be available during Square Enix’s own conference.

To much fanfare, Shenmue 3 was finally announced…except not in the expected way. It was announced as a Kickstarter, which by the time you read this, has probably already reached its goal. I never played 1 or 2, but if you’re a fan, go check out the Kickstarter anyway for more info.

To end this wrap-up, games we’ve already known about were shown and so was Sony’s VR which I didn’t get. The conference ended with Uncharted 4. So far this E3 has been pretty exciting, and it’s going to get even more awesome with Tuesday’s reveals from Nintendo and Square Enix. There’s the PC Gaming Show as well, which will round out my coverage. Hope you’re as excited as I am for some of these titles shown this E3!

View the full conference here:

Microsoft Press Conference at E3 2015

Halo 5 Guardians was the first game shown (no surprise there), but I really enjoyed seeing more of the game and it made a better impact on me than earlier teasers. I love all the Halo games, and this seems like no exception. Also love that Buck is back, I really liked ODST.

Then they unveiled ReCore, by some of the makers of Metroid Prime and it looks very interesting but I have no idea if it’s an RPG, Action Adventure, or what. I’m looking forward to learning more though, because you get a cute robot buddy. It comes in Spring 2016, so we have awhile to wait.

One of the biggest announcements from Microsoft was giving us backward compatibility with 360 games natively, something that admittedly should have happened day 1. This will officially happen this holiday. They also showed off a new controller for Xbox One and PC, which looks really good.

Fallout 4 isn’t graphically amazing, but the content packed in makes me eager for it. You can create your own settlement, using any item in game and you can decorate your “home” and set up defenses. I think I’ll have a lot of fun with this part of the game, but I just really hope the dog stays alive throughout it. Also, if you get the Xbox One version, you get Fallout 3 for free and you can also use all PC mods with the game. This game comes out November 10th this year.

Next we saw Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2. I’m not really into this game, but in case you are, it will be available next Spring.

Then we saw Forza 6 coming out on September 15th this year (my enthusiasm for Forza dropped with 5, but it might have more content?).

Three more games dropped that I’m not interested in: Dark Souls 3, The Division, Rainbow Six Siege. Then there was a great indie game montage but there was no way I could write down all those titles. Out of the ones they did focus on I most want Tacoma, Beyond Eyes (you play a blind girl and it has a very nice art style), and Cuphead which has a charming classic Disney cartoon style.

Rise of the Tomb Raider looks cool and it comes out November 10th. This looks better to me than previous modern Tomb Raider games, so I’m thinking of jumping in with it.

My favorite reveal though is the Rare Replay, a $30 collection of 30 Rare games including Banjo, Conker, Battletoads, Perfect Dark and so much more. I have been waiting so long for this, so I’m super excited. It comes out August 4th, so I won’t even have to wait too long except that now I suppose I need to buy an Xbox One lol.

Other than that, they showed off the HoloLens with Minecraft (looked cool, but remember the Kinect? I remain skeptical). Then they announced the Gears of War Ultimate Edition, which is a remaster of the first game rebuilt in 1080p, 60fps, including 90 minutes of content previously exclusive to the PC version. This comes out this August 25th. Gears 4 looks more like a horror Doom 3-esque game, but it doesn’t come out until Holiday 2016.

Watch the full conference here:

So that’s my wrap-up on the Microsoft conference that kicked off E3, and there’s plenty more to come. I’ll be covering the Sony conference next, and tomorrow I’ll be covering my most anticipated events, the Nintendo Direct and Square Enix’s conference. Stay tuned for more on my thoughts of E3 reveals!

Nintendo World Championships 2015 – The first in 25 years

Yesterday I watched this live, expecting loads of fun and I was not disappointed. It was far more exciting than any sports event I ever watched and the final round had me on the edge of my seat, reacting to every moment. It was a great show, and I’d love to see them do it regularly. Not yearly, but perhaps every 4 or so years. It was exciting and perhaps the best form of advertising Nintendo could have done.

We didn’t expect any premieres here, but Nintendo is always doing the unexpected. So they premiered an upcoming 3DS game (not sure if it’s New 3DS exclusive or just general 3DS) called Blast Ball. It has a Metroid style, but it’s a futuristic soccer game with mechs and an energy ball. You have to shoot the ball with your gun to get it into the opponent’s goal and try not to let it hit you or you’ll take a lot of damage. The game is 3 vs 3 and looks like a “blast” to play, but I’m not sure how much content is there. Of course, I had the same initial thought about Splatoon, so there should be a good single player campaign and plenty of unlockables to make it worth it. I’d definitely like to learn more about the game.

The final round revealed the new name for Mario Maker, which is now Super Mario Maker. The levels shown have definitely improved my original thoughts on the game and now I want it. Good job Nintendo. Also those levels were insane, but super fun to watch. I recommend watching the whole event, but if you don’t have time, skip ahead to see Blast Ball and then make sure you catch the Super Mario Maker levels. The full video is below:

My (Very Late) Bout of Books Wrap-Up

So sorry for the lack of posts; I honestly got addicted to crocheting so that took up basically all my time. You’ll also notice this reflected in my page counts as I didn’t read a thing for 3 days. No shame though, as I created a nice gift for a friend’s birthday and had loads of fun with yarn. The crochet bug is here to stay, but I’ve tamed it a bit since.

Anyways, here’s what the rest of the days looked like:
Wednesday – 32 pages
Thursday and Friday – 0 pages
Saturday – 99 pages (best day of the readathon!)
Sunday – 0 pages (I crocheted, played Ocarina of Time and had a migraine this day, so I honestly don’t think I would have read this day regardless)

Total for the week: 170 pages, all in The Winner’s Curse

Yes, I could have done better and would have if not for the “aha” moment where I finally understood how to do a granny square and read patterns, which burst open the creative side of me. So I’m STILL currently reading said book, but I only have about 100 pages left. I’ll be reading a bit tonight and tomorrow, hoping to finish at some point tomorrow. I said I’d read yesterday, but I only read about 20 pages before I picked up Zelda again (my moods change quickly I guess). I’m hoping I succeed in finishing, and then I can finish the book I don’t like at all but only has 30 pages left, THEN finally get into Mistborn and give Origin another try. I’m also reading Vol 5 of Amulet on Saturday.
I still haven’t decided how I feel about readathons. The community and excitement from other readers is fun, but I don’t tend to do that well and sometimes it makes me feel inadequate or guilty for choosing movies/tv shows/games/whatever over reading.

On the PLUS side, crocheting is a perfect opportunity to get more into audiobooks! I find I can listen to stuff with full focus while I’m crocheting so that’s cool to know. Suggest some great audiobooks for me to check out! I’m not on audible, I just use my library, but my library does have new releases. I even looked for a Winner’s Curse audiobook during the readathon when I realized “I can’t stop crocheting” but if there is one, my library doesn’t have it.

Quick Bout of Books Update and Challenge #3

So it’s been a sorry start to Bout of Books 13, as I’ve ended up being productive in all other ways AND joined a class so been busy with that as well. So these are sad numbers but here they are:

Day 1=8 pages

Day 2=31 pages

Hopefully tonight I can get at least 50 in (but I’m also distracted by shiny games so…the struggle)! Ah well, at least there’s the weekend in which I’m determined to do at least 100 a day. I’ll be happy with 50 though (I have no idea what my plans will be, so gotta keep it somewhat open).

Today’s challenge is hosted by Kristina Horner and it’s a haiku based on your current read. My current read is The Winner’s Curse, I’m 86 pages in right now.

Kestrel buys a slave,

He hates the Valorians,

But love soon will bloom?

This was harder than I thought lol. I had to take some time to think about it because of the syllable restriction. Anyways, hope everyone else is getting some good reading in!

Top Ten Authors I Really Want to Meet

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and features weekly top-ten lists! This week’s topic is Ten Authors I REALLY Want to Meet. I decided this meant authors who are alive today (if we added those that have passed away long ago or even not so long ago, this list would have been a lot harder!).

J.K Rowling – This should be no surprise and I’m sure you’ll see it on many TTT posts this week. What Potter fan wouldn’t want to meet her?

Libba Bray – I’m sure a meeting with her would be hilarious, fun and end up in weird conversation. Even if it were just at a book signing (which would also be awesome), I’d love to meet her.

Lauren DeStefano – I’m going to come clean here: I haven’t yet read any of her books. I’ve only read her tweets and tumblr and through those tweets I know we have stuff in common. She reminds me a lot of one of my friends. But seeing as social anxiety is a thing for us both, the meeting would most likely be virtual but still awesome.

Courtney C. Stevens – I’d love to meet and talk about life, fantasy, writing or pretty much anything over tea.

Ernest Cline – I’d probably ask how similar Armada will be to RP1 in regards to pop culture references and then chat about video games…

Suzanne Collins – Just to ask why. Why? (You know what I’m talking about fellow Hunger Games readers!)

Scott Westerfeld – I need to tell him to write more steampunk because I need more after the Leviathan series. Or cyberpunk, because Scott doing cyberpunk would be awesome too.

Neil Gaiman – Another favorite. I just want him to tell me a story, ok? Also to ask if Graveyard Book might get a movie because Tim Burton needs to make it. I’m hopeful anyway.

Nikki Kelly – So technically I DID meet her back in October and she signed my book, but now that I read and loved Lailah, I’d love to meet her again! And maybe get a picture next time. You know, if that happens. She was super sweet though!

Markus Zuzak – I’d ask him when his next book will come because it’s been 10 years since The Book Thief.

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