My friend and fellow Weebly user George Moore is quite the artist. Click here to see his site, where you can find lots of very nice hand painted pictures. The majority of them are natural landscape scenes, and this is the kind of thing I like a lot. My favourite must be either one called Mill Farm or another called River Meadow, but that's not important, go and visit the site for yourself, see all the pretty pictures and decide your own favourite!
If the image this is too small, click it to get it enlarged.
All finger puppets can be bought here.
This Zelda game (the second, as I'm sure the title gives away) is probably the one which the smallest number of people really know anything about. The reason for the game's obscurity probably isn't because people think it's bad though (I actually think it's pretty good), but is more likely due to the fact that it is very difficult and that, unlike every other game in the series, the majority of the gameplay here is 2D side scrolling.
The story of this one is, in a way, the reverse of every other game in the series. In every other game, you are going through various temples and dungeons in order to collect items which will give you the power to defeat which ever enemy you are up against, while in this game you go through the temples in order to return crystals to them. You need to do this in order to stop Ganon's minions, who're trying to kill you in order to use your blood to revive him, and also in order to wake up a Zelda who has been in some kind of coma for centuries.
Now, as I said in the opening paragraph, this game is both 2D and very difficult. However, it isn't entirely a side scroller, you still walk around on a huge world map (like the first game) accept whenever you encounter an enemy, a town, cave, or dungeon, you'll be put onto a new 2D map. I think the 2D side of things is partly what adds to the difficulty, sword fighting suddenly becomes a lot harder and skill based than it was in the previous game (and would later be in others) and, aside from a few limited magic spells, this is all you can do to attack enemies. You can stab upward or downward, and the enemies can do the same, and you each also have a shield to block, it's very fast paced and very hard. This game is so hard, in fact, that were it not for save states on the 3DS, I would never have been able to finish it!
The game's towns are one of the high points, unlike the barren Hyrule of the first game, there are now loads of populated towns full of people to talk to. A lot of the people will just say irrelevant things, such as "Hello, young man", but some of them will give you cryptic clues about what to do next and/or secrets hidden in the game which will encourage you to explore more and more. I certainly found myself wanting to explore and check every little corner of the game in order to find everything.
So, on the whole, while its difficulty is a huge set-back, this is still a very enjoyable Zelda game and certainly not the worst one! I'd highly recommend buying the 3DS version over any other though, simply due to the save states! I'd rate it 8.4/10
(You can also download this for Wii and 3DS.)
(I do not own the copyright of the title screen.)
I have a feeling that readers over the age of ten may feel reluctant to try out an oversized picture book with only a few short, easy to read sentences, (unless they have kids to read to). However, I think that they'd be wrong in doing so, as some picture books, such as the one I'm about to review, are absolutely brilliant, and can be enjoyed by all ages.
This book, by Jon Klassen, has the very simple storyline of a bear who wakes up one morning, finds that he is no longer wearing his treasured hat and so sets out in order to try and find it. I won't say any more, as I wouldn't like to spoil the outcome for anybody (which makes this review a little tricky actually) but I would like to say that I found the whole thing hilariously funny from start to finish. It is written entirely as dialogue between the bear and the other anthropomorphic creatures that he encounters in the woods. That they all talk in such a basic, unenthusiastic way, without anything said about them from a third person narrator, makes them all the more endearing to me.
One source of humour, outside of the plot, is the art style: every character is drawn with a vacant expression on their face; they don't even look at each other when they talk. The fact that they are all drawn to look like such emotionless, and perhaps even mindless, creatures, makes the one time when emotions are shown seem quite a contrast, and I imagine you'll laugh at this as much as I did.
This is definitely an excellent book, so I would give it a 9.4/10
(buy it here)
The title of this entry might seem a little odd, but it is actually the name of a YouTube page. The person who makes them is an acquaintance of mine from my university, they are in the same class as me for the core module of Creative Writing. These videos are often about books, and other interesting things, so I suggest you at least give them a try. Below is one of the better ones. Enjoy!
Super Mario RPG is the first RPG game to be released in the Mario series and quite frankly, I think it is also one of the best games in the entire franchise.
The story starts out like your average game, Bowser kidnaps Peach once again and Mario rushes to his castle in order to rescue her. One of the first things you do is have an RPG style battle against Bowser, but things take a strange turn when a giant sword falls out of the sky and does a lot of damage to Bowser's castle and Star Road and separates all three characters. From then on, Mario must explore the world in order to find the fragments of Star Road and to find out what exactly this giant sword is. So this makes things a little more interesting than the typical "Bowser takes Peach, Mario must rescue her" plot.
Part of what gives this game a nice and unique feel is its characters. Mallow and Geno, two people who join you on your adventure, are very different to the Koopas, Goombas and Bob-ombs you see in every other game. It's not just the main characters either, there are some brand new enemies too, aside from the main boss of the story (which I shan't spoil) there are also things such as Octolots (which are kind of like Octoroks from The Legend of Zelda) and Frogogs (giant upright frog men). The fact that these creatures never returned in later games really adds to their appearance here, I think.
I think that the world of this game may actually be the best that any Mario game has. During your adventure, you get to explore vast forests, sunken ships, volcanos, cities in the sky and other equally exciting places, and while these are all things which have appeared in the series before, they just seem so much better in this game. Part of what make this game's world so much more fun to explore may well be the fact that the graphics in this game are really rather handsome and look a little similar to the style of the Donkey Kong Country games.
I'd also like to mention that this game has loads of little references to other video games. Link (from The Legend of Zelda series) and Samus (from the Metroid series) both have small cameos in this game, and there are less obvious references to several of Nintendo's other popular series throughout. Plus, since this game was made by Square, rather than Nintendo, you even get little Final Fantasy references snuck in here and there, which all adds to the games overall enjoyment.
On the whole, a superb game. 9.4/10
(This game can also be downloaded for Wii.)
(I do not own the copyright of the screenshot.)
As usual, if any of that is too small to read, just click it for a larger image. I guess the moral of this story is that you should always be careful what you wish for. I do feel a little bad though, I'm killing off these characters too often, first LJ and now Myrtle the Mermaid. I guess they're happily up in Finger Puppet Heaven.
All finger puppets can be bought here.
It's quite hard to explain what this book is, on the one hand it's a biography of Suzie Spitzer, but on the other it's an autobiography of Ann Chadwick. I suppose the best way to describe it, is to say that it's a book about the impact one person (Suzie) has had on the life of another (Ann).
The story of Ann and Suzie is a rather sad one. Suzie lived happily with her parents in Nazi Germany, but they were Jewish and it was Nazi Germany, so it couldn't last. As such Suzie was taken out of the country and given a home with the Chadwicks (Ann was their only daughter). That's the opening of the story and from there on we follow to life of Ann as she lives with Suzie and later as they part ways, but frequently cross paths. There's a lot of very interesting things in this book, ranging from hilarious little anecdotes, to melancholy remembrances.
One thing which I particularly like about the book, is that all the way through the author writes about her adoptive sister Suzie in a reall nice way. I just really like it whenever I read things of great affection written by one person about another, it really captures the love of the relationship. This isn't an easy identifiable 'part' of the book, it's just a lovely feeling which you get all the way through.
There are only really a few small downsides to the book. The first, is that, occasionally, there'll be an oddly written sentence which you'll have to read a few times to understand. There aren't many of these (certainly no more than ten) but when they are there, they're a little annoying. Secondly, the book is pretty short (less than one hundred pages) and there are times when I would have liked some more detail. For example, Suzie, a girl who can only speak German, ends up having to live with the Chadwick family. who only speak English and we're never really told how Suzie felt about this. Perhaps this is something Ann doesn't know, but it still feels like quite a hole. I also think that the final chapter, which is a kind of 'epilogue' of their lives, runs on for a bit too long.
Still. this is a story worth reading, I'd rate it at 7.5/10.
(buy it here)
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