Sunday, 26 February 2012

'Catherine' Game Review

Recently, 'Catherine' has been released in the UK for Xbox 360 and PS3. I've been wanting this game for quite some time, and was finally able to purchase it yesterday.



Catherine is mainly a story-based game, with puzzle elements. Half of the game works like a visual novel system, where answers you give and choices you make effect the outcome of the game. The game allows for a lot of freedom of choice in these decisions; you can walk around, choose who to talk to and when, and you can even take a drink at the bar.

The basic premise of the game is that a flurry of cheating men have been killed via their dreams, waking up in the morning dead with a horrorfied expression on their faces. Vincent, who has been in a long term relationship of 5 years with Katherine (with a K) suddenly wakes up next to a blonde, seductive lady, Catherine (with a C) after a night drinking too much at The Stray Sheep.


The story is incredible. Character development is very realistic and believable, and unlike a lot of games or films, most of the time the characters reactions are something you'd think you'd do yourself. It has a lot of charm about it, with some horror elements, and other more comedy moments which you'll have to find for yourself. There are a lot of different personalities mixed and, and it's extremely interested to see a video game that deals with the theme of relationships, something yet to be tackled well in games. 'Catherine' deals with it excellently. I would say it's representation of women is a little off, but to be fair to the game, aside from the main characters it does have more positive representations of women, and equally the representation of men and the themes surrounding cheating are pretty even overall. 



This is where the game splits in two; the nightmare mode, and the real-life mode. In real-life, you make daily decisions which effect how people feel about you. Most of the time is spent in the bar, chatting with friends. The more you drink makes you climb faster, but can also effect the story. There is another mini-game called 'Rapunzel' that you can also play, which is like a mini version of nightmare mode.

A great little feature is the texting feature; you can get out your phone and choose a variety of sentences to send to your chosen lover. This can change whether or not you are good or bad, which determines the development of the story. 

You'll often find some crossover between nightmare mode and the real world, but this is down to your own discovery!



Nightmare mode is the puzzle element of the game, it's a very simple premise that can get very complicated! You need to shift blocks into different position in order to make stairs to reach the exit and ascend to the next level. Every night has three different levels before you wake up. The one thing everyone has been saying about this game is that it is very difficult, so I started the game in Easy mode, and I have actually found it easy as listed. There are certain rewards for playing in Normal mode though, so make sure you go back and do so.



As well as this, between each level you are asked questions about your morals, again changing the progression of the game. If you have Xbox Live, is shows you answers others have given, if not, if shows you offline answers gathered beforehand. You can switch between male and female, and the results can be really interesting!

The challenge increases throughout the game with enemies, different types of block and so on. You can get items to help you out if you get stuck, and in easy mode you can rewind if you make a mistake by pressing [back.]

Contrary to what people have being saying about the gameplay being frustrating, I've found it very enjoyable, and the story is so great you will always be coming back for another go. There are rewards for doing well in the nightmares, including bronze, silver or gold trophies which can be collected to unlock certain modes.

I have yet to unlock multiplayer co-op mode, so have yet to review it. However I think the fact you need to unlock a multiplayer mode to be rather annoying, especially since it's not particularly easy to unlock as far as I know. However, it does look very interesting. It works the same way as single player, except you have the expertise of each other to pull blocks and help each other out. There is an added challenge though; if one of you dies, you both do!



Finally, the graphics and sound are superb. It features full 'anime' style cutscenes, and nicely detailed character models. Everything is well designed and has a continuing theme throughout that works very well. Even the ambient sound, like the bar background music, works well. You can even choose what plays there.

Overall, Catherine is a fresh look at game development and fills what I always felt was missing from the video game market. Something that promotes such an emotional response makes the game very engaging, you can sympathise with the characters and it feels like they are a part of the real world. It's easy to get lost in the world of Catherine and it's very well crafted. Even the themes surrounding sex, often done badly in the gaming world, have been dealt with considerably realistically here, even though it has that stylistic look about it. I have been looking forward to this game for months, and it has met and gone beyond my expectations.

9.5/10

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Pancake Day

Me and Matt made pancakes when we came from from Anime Society.

Also, check out my Claire's lucky pack glasses, trololol.



I've never made pancakes before because I'm admittedly a cooking noob, so made did most of it! He is amazing at cooking, it's unfair, yet awesome.We even flipped them over, he managed to catch most of them perfectly.

And they tasted SO GOOD. I had them with just a little sugar <3 But I could only eat two. ^_^;


Until next time!~

Apple

Friday, 17 February 2012

Valentines' Day and Sleepover with Soph (Inc Lolita!)

Hello again everyone!

This week has been so busy!~ I have a crazy amount of Uni work, haha. Can't wait until it's all done.
Well this Tuesday it was Valentine's Day! It was so lovely. I went out with my boyfriend Matt, and spent way too much money. We went round Leeds for a bit and then to the amazing Little Tokyo for some Japanese food, it was absolutely gorgeous! I had a Chicken Teriyaki Bento, nom nom, and some Strawberry Sorbet. Sweet and yummy!

This is my lovely Matt, haha, although I'm pretty sure he won't appreciate me posting this here. He's so cute!


So yeah, super win.

Matt has gone back to see his parents for a few days, so instead of being all alone in the house, I invited Sophie because she's amazing and I thought a good old fashioned sleepover was in order, hah.

So we kicked off by playing Zelda: Skyward Sword; such an amazing game, I completed it myself a while back, but Sophie needed some help with tear collecting so I decided to help out because I'm a Zelda ninja, of course. My Wii sensor bar wasn't working because our pet Chinchilla had chewed right through the wire D:< So we used two candles. Sophie was shocked, yet amazed, at how two candles can work instead of the sensor bar lol.


We have a projector, so we can project amazing Zelda goodness straight onto the screen~ It is beautiful haha. We also ended up doing the washing up, because we had no plates! We stuffed ourselves with amazing Chinese food - pineapple fritters are officially amazing, I must eat more.





Look at the incredible mountain that was my tea! Why I'm not a billion stone is beyond me, I actually got through pretty much all of it too. After watching an episode of Jersey Shore, which both amused and baffled me at the same time, we started watching an anime called Lovely Complex. It was so frickin' hilariously awesome; I've just bought all 17 mangas from a friend and so glad I did! And we started watching Bridesmaids but decided it was lame.

The next day we decided to Trolita it up in town (people of Bradford, a shitty North Yorkshire town in the UK, were very confused by our attire.) It was so fun though! Sophie recieved her Starry Night Theater replica from Oo Jia which is so beautiful, I'm jellin'. I wore my Fruits Parlour as I'm crazy obsessed with it and wear it too much.

We took some pictures near the new reflective fountain thing in Bradford, which I thought was gonna be really rubbish but it's actually pretty nice, the water is always clean and it's just rather pretty.


Such cuteness, that head bow is so amazing, it has a playing card on it! So yeah, it doesn't look too bad in Bradford now actually. (Well that area anyway.)

So in Leeds we met up with Sam and I collected my Manga, we browsed Travelling Man and Forbidden Planet, and had a look in Waterstones before going to the Cake Shop; Patisserie Valerie. IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL! There were so many amazing cakes I couldn't decide which one to have. I had a Strawberry cake in the end! Also when we were sat down, this really sweet girl came and asked us about our Lolita and took pictures of us, it was so nice to get a compliment like that!




I like how in the pictures, Sophie has cake left and I don't! Typical! So yeah it was amazingly delicious and everything. After that, we went to Claire's and bought 3 random lucky packs for the mystery of it, we got a few semi-decent things out of it including some random stickers and some white fake glasses haha.

And a final picture of us both, in Topshop, we got stared at so much in there, it was full of hipsters lol.


So all in all we had an excellent week! As well as doing all this I've been majorly trying to power through my Uni work. I try to get a good balance between doing fun stuff like this and doing work~ Time to enjoy yourself means you are in a better frame of mind to work, IMO.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed this post! The pictures don't have their usual formatting but they will do soon, I'm currently at home.

My next blog will be about an awesome discovery I found; it's basically a purikura game for the 3DS. The interface is the same as the Japanese purikura machines, it's so sparkly! I'll share a review of it next time,

Thanks,

Apple

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Cosplay Weekend; February

Well today has been one of my crazy cosplay weekends, first it was Leeds Cosplay Group on Saturday, secondly we had the Bradford Anime Social and Manga Night at Forbidden Planet, so I've got a ton of stuff to post so hang on!

Next day was Bradford Anime Society Social which was a proper laugh. I'm sure someone took a picture of me punching Steele dressed as a maid, so if I can dig that up it'll be funny. So I was Maid Takane that day, out of laziness and it was freezing outside, it's a comfortable cosplay so that's why I picked it.



We visited the sweet shop again and nommed some delicious cake, and sweetbread with hot dogs om. We visited Travelling Man, the Chinese Supermarket, the old fashion sweet shop (I tried a Twinkie and it was pretty epic tbf.)We walked past this cute cupcake shop and I wanted some badly. Haha.



 




So yeah that was awesome. At Manga Night we just generally dossed around, it's 20% off which is always good. I bought too much random junk, I bought 4 Vampire Doll mangas because they were on sale and it looked cute, I bought The Clique manga because it was a pound, and a really cute looking manga called Welcome to Wakaba-Soh because it had colour pictures inside. I am so mature.

I also bought a hair bow from American Apparal for the Takane, it's adorable and I want to wear it all the time, which is probably a good thing considering it was £12, and I also bought some really cute heart shaped ear muffs for the cold weather!

All in all a good spending spree over the past couple of days. Now it's back to the grind of Uni work and normality!

Also, I took my 3DS and got 7 street pass hits, so I'm feeling pro right now. If you want to check out our antics in 3D, here they are; http://3dporch.com/users/MissiMisa

Hopefully more pictures to come as they emerge on the internet.

Love,
Apple

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Japanese Class and New Tshirt

Well yesterday I started my new Japanese class. My Japanese is quite poor, I find it hard to retain knowledge because of the way I study. Normally I will study hardcore for about a month, and then not at all for two, meaning pretty much everything I learn gets forgotten. -_-= It's mainly due to being very busy with work and running various things I get side tracked. In the future I plan to make more time daily, at least just a five minute look at things just to make sure I keep up with it.

But anyway, the class was Japanese Level 1 so crazy easy. I couldn't attend the higher classes as they were all on dates I had lectures, but to be honest I'm just glad to be practicing again even if it is super basic, and the teacher is really lovely, and I've found that helping the others around me helps me to retain knowledge and learn new things.

I also got my new star tshirt! It's so cute, my gran bought it me. I'm in love with pink too much.


Yay for stars, and I still have my Dexter nails.

Also, today I had MoshiMoshi which is me and Sophie's Japanese/Korean radio show. We have such a laugh doing the show and it's really nice to just to play great music and listen to new stuff and dance like idiots in the studio. I hope our listeners like it too :) You can find us on facebook, Moshi Moshi Radio.

This is my song of the moment;


I wouldn't usually like this kind of OMG KPOP SWAGGER stuff but the beat is so catchy so you can't help but dance haha.

Thanks!

Apple

Monday, 6 February 2012

Lollipop Bag

I've ordered so much stuff recently, so I'll be posting pictures of them as they come. My lollipop bag came today! I saw this on the Lolita Sales facebook page, and I really wanted it but it was snapped up straight away; that one was in Lavender. When I saw this pink one I had to have it! It's so cute <3 I'm a big fan of bags and as a result I have way too many than I really need.



I do wear pinkxwhite a lot so I think it's a nice combination, this will go with a lot of the things I've got. I also have a heart shape bag from Angelic Pretty which I use for Lolita a lot so I can swap between that one and this one. I have a Bodyline print called 'Soft Cream' which is kind of pink and sweet, which might go with this.

When it arrived I put it on my head, and my Mum said I looked like Princess Beatrice at the Royal Wedding D:< lmao.

I THINK this is a Dream of Lolita replica of a long lost Angelic Pretty bag. I haven't really seen many of them around to be honest. But it's so cute and nicely made, it has a couple of pockets for different things and the zipper looks like a candy wrapper!

So yeah, overall very pleased with it indeed, I'll have to thank the girl I bought it from!

Apple

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Twinkle Twinkle

I've been messing around with Illustrator lately and I really like the clean-style vector images you can get from it, it looks a lot more polished than Photoshop for print when you know how to use it.

And because I'm a lover of all things cute, I've just been designing some T-shirt style prints for my future projects, just things that are really simple and cute.

Here is my first design, 'Twinkle Twinkle.' Do you like it? :D


It kind of reminds me of the Mario power star. I tried to limit the colour pallette for a pastel look, I've been really into fairy-kei recently so pastel colours are very popular in that. It was really fun designing this actually so I'll be doing a few more, and maybe some personalised design for people if they want them! Any suggestions on what you'd like to see next?

Also, off topic, but today me and my friend will be making Kimchi, part of a Korean dish, so I'll be posting a bit more about that later.

Thanks,

Apple.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Weekly Skin Care Regime

Recently, I've been trying to find a skin regime that really works for me. I've tried a lot of variaton of things in the past, but this is the combination I've found to work pretty well over a period of time.



February Snow

Well, today I'm ill. This is kind of normal for me, I catch every common cold going. I'm just in bed and drinking green tea to try and fight it off, as it is absolutely freezing today! In the UK, snow is very common in the winter months, but recently we haven't had as much, in fact the other day it was rather sunny.

I was supposed to have a photoshoot today, a picnic themed one! But because I was ill I sadly couldn't attend, so hopefully I'll be able to arrange something another  time.

I took a picture of the snow as it starts, if it gets crazy later then I'll post another picture up. I always wonder why people get excited about the snow, I think after Christmas has passed I'm less bothered about it happening, and more annoyed. It used to hinder me getting to Uni, although it wouldn't be a problem now as I live close by.



You can just see the snow starting to form on the path outside! Living in city center isn't really as pretty as when I was at my parents, but you get the idea.

Wow, so it did get crazy, check it out!;



How often does it snow where you are?

Thanks,

Apple~

Dexter Nails

Hello everyone, Well after finishing Series 6 of the amazing Dexter, I decided to paint my nails Dexter themed. It's not really my intention to copy the aesthetic properties of a fictional dead prostitute, however they nails look kind of cute fairy kei, or something, and since I love the series, why the hell not?

These are a combination of Barry M, Miss Sporty and Hot Looks nail varnish, generally the cheapest of the bunch. 'Hot Look's is actually the cheapest of the lot in most stores, but I find that it only requires one coat, the colours are vivid, it dries really quick and doesn't chip that badly. So weirdly I like using them, it's just matt colour but you can get variations.


In case you are interested, what I can work out from the images is in the TV show, the nails go (starting from thumb) red, yellow, purple, orange, and green/teal/blueish. But the thumb could be magenta while the orange is red, but I've done it the way it looks on the barbie hand. (Also excuse the writing on my hand, university room notes and other stuff, lol.)

So yeah, hope you like!

Apple

Angelic Pretty FP Photoshoot

On Saturday I had a photoshoot with my AP Fruits Parlour in Leeds. It was meant for a competition but I miss calculated the deadline so sadly I didn't have time to submit anything!

So in the future I could probably use it for something else, but for now I'll just share a couple of pictures we took that day! The photographer was James Taylor and he's very talented! Luckily it was pretty warm and sunny outside at the start of the day, which is odd for an English January.

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Hope you like them! Any questions let me know :) Apple x

Lolita Weekend

Well, this weekend has been a very eventful weekend.

Saturday was the Leeds Cosplay Group meet, and then Sunday was the Yo! Sushi lolita meet. As always LCG was amazing, I spent too long messing around with my wig in the morning!

I decided to go in Lolita as for some reason I've been Lolita inspired this month, and I realised that one of my Bodyline JSK's that didn't fit actually now does, which is pretty awesome; it has a matching bag, and I've been wanting to wear it for ages! To be honest it was really difficult to co-ordinate because of the weird shades of gold and yellow, but I do love the wig and wanted to re-use it from my Rima cosplay and so that was the closest thing I had. I made a star hair clip the night before, out of polymer clay (recently got into deco-den, that's a blog post for another day.) So it all ended up better than I thought!~



Photo by Sophie Wales

Welcome!

Welcome to my blog, Apple Juicebox. For a long time, I used wordpress for my blog, but I thought I'd try out something different here on blogger so here I am! If you do want to check out my older posts, check here.

Thanks, looking forward to posting!

Apple.