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phone photography adventures and Easter laziness

Hey guys, long time no talk!

Lately I’ve been really missing blogging, art and just general hobbies I used to enjoy. That’s the annoying side of University life mixed with depression, it’s so easy to drop completely off the map when it comes to things that I really used to enjoy doing. Luckily I’m in the middle of a good 2-3 weeks off University and it’s been a mix of good and bad to my schedule. The first bad bit is that I’ve completely lost my sleeping pattern; maybe I didn’t have a good one in the first place but over the course of a week or two it’s definitely gone a bit tipsy. Although the bonus of being awake at 4am with your boyfriend watching Netflix and playing video games is you get to see how pretty the world is when it’s the dead of night. Especially in Manchester.

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I’ve been really enjoying taking photos lately. Now I’m definitely no photographer or skilled, especially with the fact all I have is my shoddy iPhone SE and editing apps/Photoshop – but it’s been something I’ve been doing a lot when I’m out of the house. Me and Will have been on three or four lovely walks during the Easter break which has given me a great chance to take some nice photos and it’s made me want to start doing photography again. Maybe fool around more with photo editing or even create some mixed media pieces if I can ever kick my butt back into art/drawing.

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Visiting Wythenshawe park provided me with a lot of lovely photos! We visited the Community Farm they have there so I got to see a lot of the adorable animals on the farm. Admittedly seeing the cows in their barn made me feel a little bit sad because it was hard to tell if they were happy or upset being there but a lot of the animals on the farm seemed very calm and were eating/just finished being fed.

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As well as picnics in parks and going for walks, I’ve been mostly lazing around playing video games. Persona 5 is my go-to game at the moment which I thoroughly recommend to anybody looking for a new PS4 game to play! It’s also available on PS3. It’s super unique and if you’re a fan of the Persona series, it’s definitely a step up from 4 and with a lot more gripping, darker storyline. The characters are super lovable and you’ll get instantly attached to them like I did. I’d also recommend it if you’re a fan of games like Pokemon or Final Fantasy because of the fighting and collecting monster themes but for anyone who enjoys games like Mass Effect or Dragon Age since they have a role-playing side to it where you can make personal choices to your game with some sides of it.

I hope everyone is having a lovely Easter holiday and I shall be back soon with another post!

Thanks for reading,

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HEY guess who had another idea?

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My blog is definitely a good representation of my continuous mind set, there’s so many gaps of posts that are from times when I’m either manic and busy or times when I just do not have the motivation to type. I can be a perfectionist with my blog, wanting to make sure it has a theme in the edits/photos I make for it, but at the same time; I’ve never had a set goal with my blog. It’s definitely personal most of the time, and I have tried to talk mainly about cruelty-free, going vegetarian, gaining confidence or getting past stigmas for mental health and as much as I do enjoy talking about that, sometimes it’s hard to do the next post. Especially when it comes to close to home posts, I do love opening up to try and encourage others to feel more comfortable in themselves; if I could even make one person smile or feel more positive, that makes me happy. However some days I just don’t want to talk about it or try and bring out the deep feelings for a blog post because it just feels a bit risky for my mental health. Another slight dip for the ‘cruelty-free’/’pro-vegan’ posts, is although I still highly encourage that lifestyle – I’m having slip ups lately and I feel when I start at University and become a bit more comfortable with my diet/body image, I will be able to talk more about switching to pro-CF/pro-vegan easily.

I’ve gone off on a tangent here, basically what I’d like to throw out there is that I might start writing about the one thing I always care about and have grown up with – games! I was wary at first because the online community of gamers has always had some bad reputation if you delve too deep. I can admit myself that the games I love do have flaws and areas of improvement, as well as the reasons why I love them so much and believe everybody should play them – and I’d love to start writing about games via reviews, case studies or even updates on playthroughs because I think I’d enjoy it a lot, plus I’d love to share games people might never have thought of touching before and encourage them to try it! So that’s what I’m telling you all to look out for hopefully in the next few weeks, from my blog. I hope you guys look forward to it and if there is any games you’d maybe like me to review or try! Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

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Some of my favourite video game ladies!

So today I joined the absolutely lovely Jemma‘s twitter ‘Girl Gang’ group and am absolutely chuffed and excited to be involved in a great idea that will bring girl bloggers together to unite, discuss and make friendships! Definitely go and check out Jemma’s blog at www.dorkface.co.uk!

On the subject of awesome, empowering girls I decided to make a post about one of my favourite mediums and the characters I love! I feel like I may accidentally miss out some of them and they’re in no particular order, so definitely comment any characters you think are honourable mentions!

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Elizabeth Comstock – Bioshock Infinite

Ah, my sweet, dear Elizabeth. Definitely a character I knew I was going to love and appreciate when I first watched the past E3 demos of Bioshock Infinite. The Bioshock series is one of my favourite game series and even though out of all the editions to the series, Infinite has it’s flaws and I believe they may of somewhat held Elizabeth’s involvement in mechanics back a bit, I absolutely love her. You’re introduced to her as your typical Disney princess in a castle trapped from the big world with the naivety of what is out there. She sits in her rooms reading and makes tears to see Paris. She dreams of the big, wild world but is not entirely sure of what the plans her father, Comstock, dictates for her future. But soon she helps the protagonist Booker make his way through Columbia trying to figure out why she was trapped in her ‘towers’ with her powers and her amazing knowledge. She is such a strong, intelligent character and I think it is great that Irrational made her the playable character in chapter two of Burial At Sea.

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Tetra from The Legend of Zelda

Admittedly, I have still not finished Wind Waker, which I am ashamed to say because it’s such an amazing looking game and the art style is so lovely and inspiring. If I was to ever be able to 3D model and texture in a style similar I’d be so happy. However Tetra had to make my list because she is a character I also fell in love with straight away when playing. She is very outspoken and her devilish smirk is adorable. I can’t wait to continue playing and see how her story develops.

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Chie Satonaka from Persona 4

Persona 4 is my favourite game of all time. I cannot recommend it enough and you’re damn right if you think I’ll probably make a Persona 5 review when it comes out. Chie is a ‘tomboy’ish girl from a small town called Inaba with a love for kung-fu, red meat and fighting for justice alongside her friends. Before gaining her ‘persona’, Chie has an inferiority complex towards her childhood best friend Yukiko and feels that she is not feminine enough to fit in at school and is jealous of all the attention Yukiko recieves. This then stems for her to internally gain satisfaction from Yukiko’s need to rely on Chie for confidence and support. Chie finally confronts her ‘shadow’ (the manifestation of these internal feelings) and overcomes them whilst gaining confidence and knowing she should not compare herself to her best friend and has her own strengths. Chie is an incredibly admirable character and also extremely funny and adorable and I loved following her stories in Persona 4.

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Junko Enoshima from Dangan Ronpa (WARNING: Spoilers Ahead)

Now Junko is hardly a character to look up to and class as a role model. Considering she murders a lot of people, manipulates classmates into murdering other people and each other in a game of life or death and basically causes the destruction of mankind. But she is so well written and such a unique character that I am drawn to her and just had to put her on this list. It’s been a while since I played Dangan Ronpa or Super Dangan Ronpa 2 but she is an extremely intelligent villain that creates her plan for the ‘despair of mankind’ purely for despair. Not in revenge, not over other characters. She’s just cold-blooded and thrives off despair. She even owns up as a ‘loser’ to her own game at the end of game one and takes part in an execution because she is so full of energy from the despair. She’s a mad and interesting character and you won’t find another character exactly like her.

Some honourable mentions also include Snow White from The Wolf Among Us, Ellie from The Last Of Us, Mikan Tsumiki from Super Dangan Ronpa 2, Nami from Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life and Cassandra from Dragon Age Inquisition.

What female video characters do you love? Have a comment below!

Helena x x

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Cosplay inspiration from Nintendo Direct

Today’s Nintendo Direct was pretty intriguing! Most of this year I haven’t really been paying much attention to Nintendo’s releases and plans. I did originally want to purchase one of their new ‘New Nintendo 3DS’ consoles because my original 3DS is becoming a bit scuffed and such however I never got round to saving the money for it which is a shame. Considering the adorable cover plates you can get for it!
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There’s so many variation and the screen resolution on the new consoles look stunning! But today my friend asked me if I was watching the direct so I decided to have a peek at it and ended up very hooked. My favourite parts of the Nintendo direct was definitely..

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Pokemon Red,Blue and Yellow Digital Release

Unlike most people in my generation I was actually very late to the Pokemon gaming community. Most of my Pokemon fan friends were lucky enough to enjoy the original games back when it was released on game boy however my first game was Pokemon Diamond! However the announcement of the re-releases of Red, Blue and Yellow on digital download was super exciting! I am considering downloading red or yellow!

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Star Fox Zero on Wii U

I have never played Star Fox before but watching the gameplay on today’s Nintendo Direct has definitely made me want to purchase Star Fox Zero which is coming out April 22nd 2016. The art style in this Wii U game definitely caught my eye and I’m always a fan of sci-fi settings so I will be buying it!

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Linkle announced for Hyrule Warriors Legends

This definitely hit my list of favourite things in this Nintendo Direct because when Linkle’s design was shown I absolutely fell in love with her. Growing up I actually never gendered Link until I was older (fun fact when I was little I thought Link was a girl! I also thought Knuckles from Sonic was female.), but obviously the developers have designed Link as male presenting and finally we have Linkle! With precious blonde plaits and badass double crossbows, her design almost makes me consider buying Hyrule Warriors Legends. It is releasing early 2016 and I recommend anyone to try playing as Linkle she looks so interesting to play as!

Speaking of Linkle, my main inspiration from this Nintendo Direct is that I am so in love with Linkle’s design I am considering trying to cosplay her for MCM Expo in 2016. I am definitely a rookie cosplayer considering my only complete cosplay I have done is my Harley Quinn cosplay this year!

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So yeah from today on I am going to try to plan out a cosplay of Linkle. Looking at her full design I would definitely have to try to model my own crossbow props. I’m also not 100% sure what is hung round her neck but I’m assuming it is a compass? Aside from modelling them I am super excited to make it! The green cape will be fun to make!

Anybody got any cosplay plans for next year or are inspired/excited about today’s Nintendo direct?

Thanks for reading,

Lenah x x

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animal crossing and it’s relaxing mechanics

Animal Crossing is a ‘community simulation’ game that is developed and published by Nintendo! I have been a massive fan of it since I was 10 years old. I remember my parents getting me Animal Crossing: Wild World back near my birthday in 2006 and I remember loving the game to bits. The game is very simplistic in the way it works however has improved greatly over the years and added more and more stuff to do in each newer version. So far I own the gamecube version, Wild World, City Folk and New Leaf! You could say the series is one of my top 5 game series and that’d definitely be right!

I decided to write about the game today because I recently picked up by 3DS again and started a new town on Animal Crossing New Leaf and I remembered how lovely and relaxing the game is for me now, even at 19 years old. The soundtrack to all of it’s games is so soothing and you never get tired of it. My favourite pieces of music from the series are probably these:

To be fair, it is very hard to pick just 3 or 4 favourites as I love majority of the music on all the games! So much so, I even have a google chrome extension that plays hourly animal crossing music if I turn it on!

I feel like the whole series is a perfect kind of handheld or console game for people who lead stressful lives, have anxiety/panic issues, depression or even just like games that let them forget about the busy world. I admittedly struggle with anxiety and stress myself so I can see the reason why I’m so drawn to the Animal Crossing series. The music is relaxing, the art style is colourful and eye-pleasing and all the things that you can do in your game is very calming in the way it can give you the feeling of accomplishing tiny things and the feeling of organisation and tidying.

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When I start a town on Animal Crossing I love to let my character talk to all the NPC villagers in the town, they all have different personalities and their automated conversations are mostly all positive and friendly. It’s a small and cheesy reason to love this game, but having phrases like “Isn’t it a lovely day today!” or “Good morning, remember to take a break!” shown to you as you play through the game are slightly uplifting to your mood. In a busy lifestyle you might feel you miss out on little things like being told ‘Have a nice day’ or that you seem happy or energetic and it definitely makes me get a warm feeling when playing Animal Crossing.

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You can also decorate your town as you play, collecting furniture from the game’s ‘recycle shops’ or even from calendar events, other characters, special visiting NPCs or using the game’s wi-fi to go to your friend’s towns and see what their town stores sell. Basically, it feels like you are making your own little unique, relaxation haven in which you can decide what happens. Obviously, only if this is how you want to play your game – I love seeing other town designs and how some people base there’s on horror towns or just everything goes!

To get in-game currency, after collecting ‘basic equipment’ like fishing rod, a net, watering can, shovel, axe and a slingshot, you can start to explore your town and help (or destroy) the environment and the town museum. You do this by collecting bugs in your net that you can free, sell for coins or donate to the town museum. That also goes for fossils that you dig up or fish you catch. It’s very traditional ways to get money which suits the game’s style and it makes it very fun and you get so lost in it that it relaxes you. Being able to finish off a complete dinosaur fossil at the museum or collecting favourite bugs or fish to give to villagers is like a tiny accomplishment and makes you feel good. Using your watering can to create a bed of pretty flowers in your town is also a lovely feeling.

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A lot of gamers now seem to be cautious of playing ‘casual games’. This is very ingrained by the idea of ‘proper games need violence/guns/story-telling’, which is mostly likely influenced by what games are popular on the market currently like Call of Duty, Halo and Grand Theft Auto. Nothing is wrong with playing a game that does not include violence, weapons or a story. Some of the best games in history don’t have any of these. Think of the Sims series, Super Mario, Tetris, Pac-Man, Pokemon etc. etc.
Nothing is wrong with games with violence and guns though, I do love using weird, corrosive rocket launchers on the Borderlands series or using magic to defeat enemies in Dragon Age. But if any gamer ever wants to try a ‘casual’ game on the Nintendo platforms, I’d definitely recommend trying out Animal Crossing New Leaf.

So yeah, that’s my recommendation of the day! Also have a look at the trailer for the upcoming Animal Crossing spin-off game Happy Home Designer, coming out October 2nd in Europe!

Thanks for reading,

Lenah x x