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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hunger Games (Book) Review!

I know what your thinking. "Spencer, what the heck are you doing!?". Well I'm reviewing a form of media I haven't even touched in the 5 years of blogging I have done: Books! The book I'm reviewing is none other than Hunger Games. The original book. Also shout-out to my good friend Alex for recommending this book to me in the first place. Also, I don't know how I'm going to do pictures considering Hunger Games is a novel with a lack of pictures.... Well, time for plan B... Use your imagination. :P Also this is the first time I reviewed a book, so the only thing I can talk about are the book's storytelling skills.

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Also, a warning. This book does describe some violent scenes (Cato getting mangled by mutated dogs, anyone?). And Haymitch likes getting drunk all the time lol. So, I do not recommend younger viewers reading this book. As for me, I like to keep my blog as PG as possible.

So what is the story of Hunger Games? Basically, North America has been renamed Panem and is essentially a poverty country. The country is now divided into 12 Districts (used to be 13, but the 13th District got destroyed) as well as the Capitol, which rules Panem with an iron fist (rule one of this book; It really likes bringing up political themes). Once upon a time the Districts tried to rebel against the Capitol, and created the titular blood-sport to remind them that the Capitol are the ones in control. Basically, the Capitol are a bunch of control freaks who enjoy watching people murder each other on television.

But what exactly ARE the Hunger Games? Each District is required to send in two "tributes" (as the people competing in the Games are referred too), one male and one female between the ages of 12 and 18 years, in a large outdoor arena where they must fight to the death. And the best part is the whole thing is televised. And watching it is mandatory. And who they pick is completely random. The prize for winning is you get to be stinking rich. Losing means, well, death. Because....It's...to the death... (CAPTAIN OBVIOUS).

Anyway, the book follows the adventures of Katniss Everdeen. From District 12. Random fun fact! Katniss is the name of a real life plant! Anyway, something I MUST praise this book for is how it is completely written in First Person (the entire story is described through Katniss' point-of-view). I know it's a small thing, but I love it when things do stuff like this. And if you know anything about it at all, you know I prioritize a good story over everything else. A movie can be as visually impressive as it wants but if the story isn't any good then it will be garbage in my eyes. The only thing I prioritize more than a decent story is the gameplay of a video game.

Something else I love about this book is how the book handled it's pacing. There were no massive info dumps, and the lore revealed itself naturally, and in perfect context. Combine that factor with the fact that almost all of the characters, from Katniss' constantly drunk mentor Haymitch, to the Baker's Son Peeta, are memorable in their own way. Except the three minor stylists who help the tributes get ready for opening ceremonies. Because I actually cannot even remember their names, and I finished reading the book literally 5 minutes ago at the time of this post.

Something I was not expecting this book to do was induce feels. But one character's death, I won't spoil who's, was surprisingly sad. What makes it even sadder is that said character's death couldn't be avoided. My biggest pet peeve with Minecraft Story Mode (weird comparison I know, but hear me out) is that Episode 4-6 would have played EXACTLY the same whether SPOILER ALERT! Reuben died or not. Reuben's death didn't offer notable character development and the Order of the Stone reveal was good enough for a plot twist. Here, I'm not sure the story would have ended up the same way unless THAT character died, since Katniss learned from that character's death and received a decent amount of character development for it (her connection to that character winds up saving her life later). Now I'm not saying that killing off central characters is a good thing. What I AM saying is that if you kill off central characters, do it in a way so that the surviving characters learn from it. Which is what goes on in this book! And I love this book for doing it!

Now, I don't really want to spoil the rest of the book but I will talk about some things I have noticed. First and foremost: This book is really popular. It got merchandise, multiple sequels, and even got turned into a movie. Second of all, I have not seen ANY of the movies. And after reading this one book, which I liked so much that I gush over it in a blog post, I think I do want to see the movies (there are, to my knowledge, three movies).

Overall, this is probably my favorite book now. 10/10. Would compete in the Hunger Games again. Actually no. I don't really want to compete in the Hunger Games. Because giving my life experience, survival skills (or lack thereof), and everything I have done to make it to this exact moment, I would probably die. Anyways, there is nothing bad I can say about this book. It is really well written and like I said, this review was pretty much brought to you by my good friend Alex. Thanks for recommending that book to me. You're awesome. The book's awesome. WE'RE ALL AWESOME!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild!!!!

Hey. Guess what's coming in 2017. C'mon, guess! If you guessed "A new Legend of Zelda Game" you guess right!

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And I watched the trailer literally 3 minutes ago and the picture below pretty much sums up everything I feel right now.

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I watched the trailer ONCE. I already want the game. I will refuse to buy ANYTHING at all until this game comes out and I will play and it WILL be the first Legend of Zelda game I will beat. Believe or not, I have never beaten a Legend of Zelda game before. I played Wind Waker HD, but I found the way to get the Tri-Force pieces to be annoying and tedious, even WITH a walk-through/guide helping you. I have played Skyward Sword up to the final dungeon, but I completely forgot to finish it because I got distracted by the cruel mistress known as "life". But I PROMISE YOU ALL!!! This will be the first Legend of Zelda I will beat. I SWEAR

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Something I will say is that this game's graphics are PHENOMENAL. Although, at the end of the day, the graphics of a game is not the deciding factor of a good game, at least in my eyes. For me, the story and gamer-play are what makes, or breaks, a game for me. Pretty graphics is just icing on the video game cake.

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Something I find interesting is Link is now wearing a blue outfit instead of the traditional green. Does it bug me as a long-time Zelda fan who inexplicably managed to not beat a single Zelda game despite own TWO games? Actually, no. Speaking of which Nintendo has some weird logic for the "Make the next Link a girl" argument because Zelda lore 101: There are multiple Links, each one different in their own way. Example: Winder Waker link is a 12-year-old kid with blonde hair while Skyward Sword link is 17-to-19-year-old teenager with brown hair. And don't be like "Oh, Skyward Sword Link is just Wind Waker Link grown up!" because the lore states that Skyward Sword link was the ORIGINAL Link, and that Wind Waker Link came hundreds of years later. Reincarnation! And before you ask, people do legitimately want a female Link or at the least the ability to play as a female character. Preferably Zelda herself.

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Oh and the most surprising thing about this game: They have confirmed that this will be the first Zelda game ever to feature voice acting. Yeah! That's right! Fully voiced dialogue! In a LEGEND OF ZELDA GAME! Although the creator of the game, Eiji Aonuma, has confirmed that Link will not be fully voiced because it would be really weird if Link, who is supposed to represent you as a player, said something that you personally didn't agree with. Kind of like how Toby Fox left the Human Child's (the Human Child is from Undertale, by the way) gender entirely up to the player's imagination because he wanted the Human Child to represent you as well. Only difference is that Link has a canonical gender (male) while the gender of the Human Child is left to your personal interpretation. Ironically enough referring to the Human Child as a he or a she seems to really tick off a lot of people. Well, I broke my streak of not mentioning Undertale. I'll shut up about it now. Back to Zelda!
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Something I found a little bit interesting is that the trailer mostly showed pretty much every weapon EXCEPT the sword. Which is a interesting little detail. We get to see Link use *deep breath* an axe, a bow with arrows, a spear, a torch, a weird tablet thing, and ice magic (maybe?), a parachute, a torch, and what I think are climbing gloves. Although they DID show some sword-play, most of the gameplay consisted of the other weapons, which is a good thing since having a sword in a Zelda game is pretty much standard now, so by showing the other weapons, they satisfied my curiosity for now.

And last but not least Mr. Aonuma also confirmed that you can beat the game without finishing the main story. Which is an odd decision, which slightly worries me. No matter. I plan to beat the story and 100% complete this game. That's right baby! I WILL 100% THIS GAME!!! I SHALL NOT LEAVE A SINGLE SIDE-QUEST UNFINISHED

If you want to watch the trailer yourself, here's a link.


Have fun! Oh, and they also have a a few videos showcasing some gameplay including some new mechanics and a early game dungeon.  Good news is all of the videos are posted on the same channel as the trailer, so just do some quick digging around for the other videos.

So how do you feel about the new Legend of Zelda game? Do you like the blue Link outfit or like Green Link better? Let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Top Ten Yo-Kai Watch characters!!!

"Spencer! The previous post was a review on Yo-Kai Watch! You can't make two Yo-Kai Watch related posts in a row! Hurr de Durr!". Well guess what, people? I REALLY like Yo-Kai Watch so I'm doing a Top Ten Yo-Kai Watch characters list because Yo-Kai Watch is now one of my favorite shows.

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In case you never heard of Yo-Kai Watch, go read my review of Season 1 of the anime since I can't really play the game the anime is based off of because of a lack of 3DS's in the household. Anyway, So let me explain a few things. First of all I have only seen the anime. I have not played the actual video game. And the personalities of some of the Yo-Kai are drastically different. However, I have done my research on the characters' role in the game, so yeah. Secondly, all of the characters on this list are Yo-Kai. Why? Because they, quite frankly, are the main attraction of the show/video game. Thirdly, almost every Yo-Kai in the franchise is based off Japanese and Chinese mythology, so while I explain why I like the the characters, I'll explain what exactly they are based off of in a nutshell. And finally, this list is in NO ORDER. So without further adieu, let's get started, shall we?


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Roughraff. This Yo-Kai is... Interesting. He fashions himself a rebel, and has the ability to make the people around him act rebellious. According to Whisper, he's responsible for "98% of troublemakers worldwide". Why do I like this Yo-Kai so much? Well, for starters, Roughraff has a silly accent in the English dub of the anime (I've only watched the English version of the show because I can't be bothered with subtitles). I also like how in the anime he befriended Manjimutt after a ludicrously long fist fight. And the episode with Peckpocket was pure hilarity, since Roughraff just intimidated Peckpocket into handing over the stuff he stole, but immediately stole it back, and Roughraff intimidates Peckpocket again, and they just keep repeating this process for hours. So what is Roughraff based off of? Well his personality is based off of stereotypical Japanese delinquents (flashy pompadour hairstyle, hanging out in dark alleyways, etc). His design, however is based off the Imori, a gecko like creature that haunts abandoned castles and are said to attack on anyone that wanders inside said castles. So yeah! A gecko based off something with a knack for bullying! Oh, and he's considered one of the best early game party members and the wiki recommends adding him to your party as quickly as possible. Plus he can fuse with Jibanyan to make Baddinyan.


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Baku. So the funny thing about Baku is that she is based off of... Baku. They literally didn't even bother changing the name. But anyway, Baku is a Dream Eater. She eats dreams. Both in the game and in her cultural origins. Basically the Baku of myth was a tapir-like creature that could literally devour dreams. Yeah. That's about it. But I am a little biased here since when I saw Baku for the first time I thought it was a elephant and elephants are some of my favorite animals. I only learned Baku is supposed to be a tapir when I was doing research for this list. Weirdly enough, in the games Baku refers to herself in the third person and talks a little bit like the Hulk. In the anime she refers to herself in first person, and is oddly snarky. Also, bonus points for being absolutely terrifying. LOOK AT THOSE TEETH!!!! HOLY MACKEREL!!!!


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Whisper. The only Yo-Kai who is neither a full on party member or a boss. He gives tutorials in the first game and serves as Nate/Katie's butler. How reliable of a butler is debatable. Especially since he acts like a complete know-it-all, but has to resort to looking everything up on the Yo-Kai wiki. Yes. He reads (and frequently quotes) the Yo-Kai Wiki. So what is Whisper based off of? A ghost. Yeah... The ONE Yo-Kai that is not based off a Japanese myth and the ONLY Yo-Kai to appear in almost every episode. Also, despite living with Nate since the very first episode of the show, Whisper has never bothered giving him his Yo-Kai Medal (the rule of Yo-Kai Watch is if a Yo-Kai befriends you he/she will give you a Medal you can use to summon the owner of said medal to assist you with stuff. Like a really hard math test for example). Sometimes I wonder if he even HAS a medal... But still, he's hilarious. Also I was re-watching the episode "Jibanyan's Secret" and he somehow managed to parody the opening of The Twilight Zone. You know? That old show back from Ye Olde days? Really famous for mind-blowing plot twists? No? Well, If I'm the only one who knows what that show is, I'M A TURBO NERD!!! :D


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Manjimutt (right). Okay, so this guy is interesting. He is based off the Jinmenken (literally translates to "man-faced dog") which, in Japanese folklore, is said to be the reincarnated form of people who died on roads via car accidents or otherwise. Despite the Jinmenken's unsettling appearance, it's relatively harmless, as all it does is roam around all depressed. The legends also say that it barks "Leave me Alone" if you approach it. Manjimutt is actually just like that. And he has the saddest origin story ever. Basically Manjimutt used to be a human who worked at a company for 30 years before being fired because of budget cuts. Not wanting to return home, Human!Manjimutt tried to drink (as in, consuming alcoholic beverages. Keep in mind this is a KIDS show) his shame away. Crazy drunk, Human!Manjimutt then disco danced into a alleyway where he, and a small dog, were crushed by loose wooden planks. Basically...

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And the depressing thing is Manjimutt was, for pretty much 3/4's of the first season, the comic relief character, as pretty much any episode he's in involves his antics that range from trying to get a job, to escaping Alcatraz? How did he even wind up in Alcatraz!?


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Dimmy. He's a ninja. Ghost. And he's PURPLE!!!! Do I need to explain why this guy is cool? Well I guess I should explain a little bit more. Dimmy possesses the ability to make people impossible to notice. But what happens if Dimmy comes face to face with Senpai? Does Senpai notice him? Or does Dimmy's lack of notice powers make him impossible for Senpai to notice him? Anyway, Dimmy is like Whisper in the sense he's actually not based off of a Japanese myth per se, but is based off a Japanese phrase: "kage ga usui", a term used to describe something (or someone) who has a hard time standing out. Did I mention he's purple?


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Shogunyan!! Jibanyan's awesome samurai ancestor is equal parts awesome and adorable. Especially since he is considered by many to be the BEST Yo-Kai you can get in the entire game. How good is he? He has one of the highest attack stats in the entire game, and if you give him the Vampiric Fangs item he can heal himself every time he hits someone. Basically, he would never die, and would probably win almost any fight by himself due to his admittedly overpowered survivablity. So what is Shogunyan based off of? A samurai! Duh! But like his descendant Jibanyan, Shogunyan is based off a Nekomata. Which I will explain in more detail once we get to the number 1 spot since SPOILER ALERT! The number 1 spot is also a Nekomata.


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Komasan. The cutest thing to ever exist. LOOK AT THIS GUY!!! He's got a little knapsack! And he has blue eyebrows that look like fire! And he has a Southern accent! This is the living embodiment of cute. Nothing can be no where near as cute as Komasan! And the best part is he has a twin brother named Komajiro who looks identical to Komasan, but is orange instead of blue. Oh, and Komasan can transform into this.

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Anyway, Komasan is based off of the komainu, a guardian spirit that is half dog and half lion that in folklore is tasked with protecting Shintoist shrines. Basically the Chinese version of a Guardian Angel. Which is actually pretty cool!


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Babblong. Why? Babblong? Because once he starts talking, he doesn't know when to shut up. And who else has a reputation for going on massive tangents about everything? If you guessed "Spencer" then you get a imaginary cookie! Also he looks like a banana. And remember kids, eat a banana every day. Why? Because that way, I know you actually read my blog. But I digress. Anyway, Babblong is based off of... I don't know. The Wiki does not say what he's inspired by. Eh, let's just pretend he's supposed to be some kind of magic banana. Bananas are good!


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Kyubi! The nine-tailed, yellow-furred fox of pure fabulous...ness. Let's start with what Kyubi is based off of. He is based off of the most famous Japanese mythological creature EVER. The Kitsune. A fox that will grow an additional tail every 100 years. Once a Kitsune grows nine tails, it's fur will change to a golden yellow (sometimes snow white) color, and the Kitsune's power will reach it's maximum. But what exactly can a Kitsune do? They can Shape-shift, control fire, use telekinesis, fly, and sometimes can see into the future. Yeah! And Kyubi has pretty much all of these powers at his disposal. So what does he do with his powers?

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He flirts with girls. Because Kyubi is a ladies' man. I mentioned this in my review of season 1 and I'll bring it up again. Only Kyubi would spend HIS ENTIRE DEBUT EPISODE trying to charm some girls. And by some, I mean a LOT. Kyubi himself openly admitted he has successfully woo'd 99 women beforehand. Also, something I find humorous is that most people who watch (heh, watch) the show for the first time mistake Kyubi for a girl because of his feminine color scheme and being voiced by an ACTUAL girl.

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And Kyubi is arguably one of the hardest Yo-Kai to recruit in the video game. To add Kyubi to your party, you just have to complete four little side-quests. No biggie, right? Only problem is that none of the side-quests are available until after you beat the FINAL BOSS. And all four side-quests require you to have a handful of rare items dropped by some of the stronger enemies in the game on you beforehand. And all of the side-quests end in mini-bosses. And the fourth side-quest's location is hidden so the only way you could find it is if A; you Google'd it or B; you are REALLY lucky. Is it worth it?Yes, because who doesn't love a Kitsune? 


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Jibanyan! I couldn't really go without at least mentioning him. And I AM a little biased because I love cats (hence why I put not one, but TWO Nekomata themed characters on this list :P ). So let's start with Jibanyan's inspiration. He is based off the Nekomata, a cat-like creature that has a split tail. However, pop culture has a tendency to exaggerate how far the tail splits. In Jibanyan's case he has two whole tails. Anyway, the Nekomata was frequently blamed for wildfires that didn't have a logical explanation for how they occurred. Why do I like Jibanyan as a character? He's a chocolate eating ghost cat who includes at least one cat pun in every sentence, and is obsessed with a girl band called Next Har-meow-ny. Bonus points for having the saddest origins story ever. Don't know what it is? Go watch (I get a kick out of this joke!) the episode "Jibanyan's Secret". It has lots of my favorite thing in it!

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EDIT: I almost forgot a little bonus. Here is my Number Zero spot.

Number Zero!?

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Walkappa. He's a turtle/duck with a plate on his head and he acts like Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, AND is named after the most infamous term on the internet. The term "kappa" is adding to the end of a sentence not meant to be taken seriously, normally as a not-so-subtle hint that you're being sarcastic. The mythological creature Walkappa is based off of is... Strange, since it's morality is questionable at best and downright evil at worst. Basically the kappa is a turtle-like creature that was said to DROWN FISHERMEN BY DRAGGING THEM KICKING AND SCREAMING TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. Yeah. However! The kappa will spare your life if you give it a cucumber. Kind of disturbing for such a cute little guy

And now back to the post.

So that's my top ten characters from Yo-Kai Watch! If you hadn't seen Yo-Kai Watch you should totally watch (OOH BABY A TRIPLE!) Yo-Kai Watch because it's actually really good!