Progress and Clarity

Hi Guys

Firstly an update on my current project

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It’s finally clear what it is now, woop 🙂 I’ve really enjoyed working on this so far, it’s been a nice change to stitch something of this size and detail, something I can really get my teeth into.

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It’s hard to get a picture in good light where I am but this is roughly where I am up to now. I’m just starting to fill in all the white which is a little tedious but will be worth it in the end as, although these pictures don’t show it well, I’ve stitched this on cream aida so the white is really helping the design stand away from the background. There’s also a fair bit of back stitching to do after this but that shouldn’t take too long. The backstitching is always my favourite part of a project, although I get the impression from other stitchers that it’s the least favourite part for the majority, it gives me a sense of finality, knowing something you’ve spent hours and hours of your life to create is finished is a fantastic feeling.

I enjoy how this design has traditional elements of cross stitching through the use of the floral patterns but has a contemporary and ever so slightly sinister edge. The juxtaposing of different styles is something I plan on considering when working on my own patterns in the future.

This pattern I used for this cross stitch is available from HanksPatternPlace on etsy.

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Pretty Colours!

Recently I have been working on and from my own patterns but this Sunday I was browsing Pinterest and discovered a pattern that really caught my eye. The lovely use of colour and symmetry really drew me to it. I’ve got a a bit of an obsession with symmetry and balance in my work, the pattern I found really fed that obsession and made me realise I need to use this more in my own work so maybe I will be happier with the outcomes.

So obviously I instantly bought it, spending money online really doesn’t feel real until you look at your bank account. I headed out to town with the intention of buying 18 count black adia but came home with 14 count cream adia, the availability of cross stitching supplies in Doncaster on a Sunday morning is sadly very limited but I was too keen to get stated to wait for anything online to be delivered. Luckily I already have quite a large variety of threads.

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This is my progress so far, 3 days in. Such lovely colours! I’ve sort of put everything else on hold for the time being, my poor xbox is feeling neglected, but I’m really enjoying making this so far.

At the minute it’s looking very floral and not really my style at all but once more is done it will make more sense. I will add another picture once it is finished, which shouldn’t take too long if I carry on at this rate. It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited by a project, I’m already planning where to put it once it’s framed!

Thanks for reading, I’d love to know what projects other people are working on 🙂

League Of Heroes – Review

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Hello there thanks for having a look at my review.

League of Heroes is a download only simple RPG, available on the Nintendo store for 3ds. It is currently half price at £1.79. I will be taking this very low price into consideration while reviewing.

Appearance

This game is highly stylised, everything is bright and really pops, this is helped greatly but the 3D function of the top screen, the monsters, characters and items really stand out from the background,(obviously cannot show this through pictures) although occasionally it does sort of look like your walking above the ground rather than on it but this is a very minor annoyance and only seems to happen if you are focusing on how the 3D works rather than actually playing.

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The characters are quirky and amusing, they’re easily recognisable by both their appearance and voices. Some of them bare resemblance to well know people and characters, for example the big beefy trainer guy sounds very similar to a certain Austrian body builder. I enjoy these sort of references in games, this sort of slightly cheeky humour is present a lot.

Mechanics

The simplicity of the mechanics really does benefit this game. Basically you have A for sword attack, X for range and Y for special, once you get to level 10 to unlock it. You can gain passive abilities and stat boosts through training and buy new armour and weapons as you level up as would be expected in this type of game. I honestly think this is enough to keep you going with this game, anything more complicated may have spoilt it.

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Gameplay

Most of the time you will be basically going to an area and wandering around killing everything you see and collecting coins. You have several objectives from different sources, these are pretty standard RPG things, kill so many of this monster, collect drop items and such but you will come across some more challenging ones such as finishing a stage without getting hit once. You will have to travel to the same area on the map several times but these stages are randomly generated in both shape and type of monsters, these get progressively harder as you level up so don’t get boring. When you hit certain levels you will be able to go to boss areas, although the bosses are big and scary looking I really haven’t had any trouble with them yet. The difficulty could probably do with going up a little on the entire game, but it’s not super simple.

There are also mission areas, for some reason you can only do these once every 3 or 4 hours. This was the same with some of the objectives you received. This is something that really annoyed me! I understand why they would do this with the mobile version of this game, they try and get you to spend real money to hurry this up but as I have already paid for the game (all be it not very much but still) I find these waiting periods unnecessary. Playing a game on a console is not the same as playing on a phone, when I sit down to play on a console I expect to be able to play for as long as I like, It’s not like nipping on your phone for a few minutes on your lunch break. You can play some parts at any time but not all the content. Though am I relieved that the diamonds you need for buying the best weapons and some of the training can be earned through normal game play, on the mobile version you have to buy the diamonds with real money.

Rating

3.5-star-rating.

My reasoning behind 3 and a half stars is that you get plenty of game play for your money and although simple it keeps you entertained, also the game looks good and makes use of the 3D function.

I knocked it down because the difficulty could do with being a little higher and the waiting periods are frustrating and really should have been taken out when the game went from mobile to 3DS. I’m happy with the game for £1.79 but I don’t think I would want to pay the full price of £3.59.

Little Projects and Big Spends

Firstly, sorry it’s been so long since my last post! I’m currently struggling to find enough hours in the day. Damn having a 9-5! haha. This may possibly be due to my decision to purchase an xbox one. Me and my partner have been sharing one for a while but it was primary his and with the release of Elder Scrolls Online I thought it was high time I got my own. I would highly recommend this game to anyone with any sort of interest in RPG’s.

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The game seems positively huge so far. I think It may actually take over my life one day soon. I will be doing a review when I’m further into the game and have tried out all of the different features.

I’ve also been doing daily yoga. I love food far too much to not exercise! I’m really feeling the benefits of this, more mentally than physically but the physical aspects are there too. It has given me such a confidence boost, I feel so much better about myself and think I am coming to understand my body better. I honestly think this could help any women (and probably men too) that feel a little low about themselves and urge them to give it a go.

I’ve been doing a 30 day challenge at home watching a youtube channel called yoga with Adriene, I love her videos she has loads of different routines catering for various abilities.

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Now to the crafting!

The last piece I blogged about with my dark mark cross stitch. I learnt from that experience that I really prefer working with colour, which to be honest I really should have already known from my art degree but I didn’t realise how much my likes and dislikes in art would feed into my craft work. I’ve taken this on board with new projects and really seem to have whizzed through them.

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This was my first project after the Dark Mark one and it was actually functional! I generally just make things because I think they’re pretty. I did need a new book mark (I’ve fallen out with my kindle). I love working from 8/16 bit sprites from old games, they bring all sorts of nostalgia and also transfer very well into cross stitch. I’m a little disappointed with myself for not planning the back ground properly, I could have done much more with it, this seems dull and clearly not very well thought out. Backgrounds are not something I do very often at all so I will have to learn from this.

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I loved stitching these little guys! My Neighbour Totoro is one of my all time favourite films, I can just watch it over and over. The proportions are a bit off between the characters but I’m really not too fussed about that, they still seem to work well together. I’ve got a little precious with these and don’t want to part with them. Some business woman I am!

Currently my crafting is only really a hobby for me, I sell the patterns I make, which funds buying new materials but is by no means a wage.

My biggest wish is to be able to throw myself into my art and crafts like I did while I was at uni.

One can dream 🙂

Thanks for reading, any feedback or ideas will be well appreciated.

Dark Mark Cross Stitch

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I finished this cross stitch today, well I’m calling it finished for now. I might go back and add some colour to it at a later date but to be honest after working on it for over two weeks I’m a little sick of the sight of it. It can get very dull just stitching in black sometimes. Although I am happy with how it’s turned out.

Recently I’ve been doing mainly small projects that don’t usually take me more than a couple of days. I think I should stick with these, the bigger one caused me to loose momentum. Also I’ve forgotten ideas for other projects that I’ve had which is not helpful as now I don’t know where to start! Hopefully something will come to me soon. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! 🙂

I’m hoping to experiment with different background fabrics once I can find somewhere to get hold of them. This could have looked good on a greeny coloured background.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. First Impressions

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Hello there 🙂

Yesterday I started playing Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. I’m only 2 hours in and it feels like I’m still only just beginning, which to me is a good thing, I love a good long RPG.  These are my first impressions of the game so far.

Appearance

It’s so pretty!

During gameplay you get the feeling of being in a seemingly huge open world, the landscapes are lush and appealing, the towns interesting and individual. This is unlike any other handheld I’ve played before, it really seems to be making good use of the extra capabilities of the New 3DS. We’ve seen similar attempts in the likes of Monster Hunter 4 but this game really seems to be pushing it further, I’m glad to see Nintendo coming out of their comfort zone of their heavily stylised RPG’s, not that I don’t adore those but this is a breathe of fresh air.

The only downside I have with the appearance of this game is the cut-scenes. Don’t get me wrong some of the time these look brilliant but the faces of the characters aren’t great and don’t really seem to match with the rest of the graphics.

Oh and one other point on this area, there’s actually speech! this seems to be quite a rarity in hand held games but I think it helps you get to know the characters so much better than reading text.

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Sound Track

There is no way I can have any complaints in this area, the soundtrack is rich and pristine. It sets the mood for where you are and what’s happening perfectly.

Mechanics

In all honesty when you are first thrown into battle I was a little overwhelmed with the battle mechanics but after only a couple of battles they became much more fluid and actually pretty simple. Your basic attacks are automatic so long as you are within range of your target, you control the timing and use of your specials. Healing, massive attacks etc. The C button is essential in this game, this is the first game I’ve really used this button in and it’s something I’m still finding a little awkward but it’s getting better. At first I didn’t realise you could be so gentle with it.

Plot

So far I’ve already watched quite a few cut scenes and have become intrigued by the characters and story. I never played the wii version so this is all new to me. The game seems very story focused but you get the chance to go off and side quest for as long or as little as you like before progressing. I hate feeling rushed in games so this is a great feature in my opinion.

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Gameplay

There seems to be so much to do! Masses of side quests, collecting items, in game achievements and map exploration are just some of what I’ve discovered so far. You also have skill trees and can work to increase levels of affection (or affinity as it’s called in the game) with other characters to unlock cut scenes with them. This sort of variety seems much more like a console RPG than a hand held, hopefully this will hold true for the rest of the game.

There are also a couple of little features which I really like. The first is instant quest hand in, when you finish a quest that’s it, you get your reward. You don’t have to run all the way back to the quest giver to claim your xp. This saves a lot of dull running about. Secondly, at any time you can get a Story Memo, this reminds you what you need to do to progress with the storyline. This is very helpful if you’ve been off killing defenceless beasts and picking herbs for so long you’ve forgotten what it is your actually supposed to be doing, a great little feature if you’re like me and get easily distracted by side quests.

There is only one niggle I’ve had so far with this game, the exclamation marks above quest givers heads are small, grey and easily missed, you have to keep an eye on your mini map so that you don’t just run right passed them.

As this is only a first impression of the game it wouldn’t be fair to give it a rating just yet but so far I am pretty impressed and eager to play more!

Seriously, I was tempted to stay up all night playing, even with work looming in the morning.

Final Fantasy V – Android – Part Way Review

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Hello there

So this is my first written game review. I’m going to focus on things that I find important when playing games but if there’s any area you think I’ve missed please let me know.

This review and all in the future will be spoiler free. I love to be surprised by games and would hate to take that away from anyone.

Appearance

Considering the original FFV was first released in Japan in 1992 it’s fair to expect some upgrade graphically for the 2013 Android version. I enjoy that the new version keeps the charm of the original, especially on the world map. Everything is practically the same just crisper and brighter, this works wonderfully on the tablet.

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Controls

Speaking of the tablet, initially I was sceptical of playing a “proper” game using the touch screen. I was pleasantly surprised how well this worked, thinking about it now it seems logical that the turn based battle system would benefit from touch screen capabilities, this is something Nintendo picked up on many years ago with the DS. Picking spells or items is fast and simple. Moving around and interacting with people is also easy, you are not limited to using a particular part of the screen for movement, which has been awkward and frustrating on other mobile device games I’ve played. Anywhere you touch you can use to move about, it’s very responsive.

Soundtrack

It’s Final Fantasy, the music is awesome, obviously.

Plot

To be honest so far the plot has been very typical RPG. (I’ve just finished world 1 out of 3). But I find this quite charming and refreshing, some of the more recent games in the final fantasy series have been a little over complicated at times. This type of story line defiantly stirs feelings of nostalgia, it may be a little over simplified but there’s still enough there to get you genuinely concerned for the fate of their world.

You don’t really meet many characters but the ones you do are well formed and memorable, quality over quantity.

Gameplay

I was astounded by the number of different classes (called jobs in the game) there are to choose from. So far I’ve unlocked 21 and I don’t think that it stops there. Switching between jobs is relatively easy, it doesn’t require loads of extra levelling, which is a good job really or you’d never get to try them all.

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The difficulty is pretty average, I’ve only come across a couple of bosses that have given me any trouble. But you do have to consider that I’m a sucker for grinding, which is made easy in this game due to the auto feature. This can be turned on and off at any point in normal battles, it will automatically use the last move you had the character use and increases the speed of the battles significantly, perfect for grinding.

Summary

On the whole I am thoroughly enjoying playing this game but there are a couple of small points that I find bothersome.

Firstly there are no reminders of what you’re supposed to be doing, which can be a problem if, like me, you forget everything once you go to sleep. A small prompt in the menu screen would be helpful.

Secondly, I get lost. A lot.

I realise the game is intended to make you explore to get the most out of it but some kind of destination indicator on the mini map would be practical.

These two points are relatively minor. I still find the game very satisfying to play and would recommend it to anyone.

My Rating

4.5 Stars

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Thank you for taking the time to read this review, I hope it has been informative. Let me know what you think of this game

A Little About Me

Hi

I’m Kerry. I’m nerdy, I’m socially awkward, I’m very new to this!

I’m an Art & Craft graduate that has a day job that’s totally unrelated to my degree, but a jobs a job.

I do a lot of gaming and crafting, as my header suggests. Generally the crafting is inspired by the gaming, but I also enjoying crafting in games. If anyone has ever played Fantasy Life for the 3DS you’ll know just how addictive that can be.

I must learn all the crafts!! But currently I’m doing a lot of embroidery, like the one below that I finished today.

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By the way, that address on there is my Etsy store where I sell a few bits and bobs, it’s no full time wage but it keeps me able to buy more threads.

Hoping to do a few game reviews on here too. Currently playing the revamped Final Fantasy V on the tablet so that should be the first one.

I love RPG’s, Adventure and Puzzle games and have a soft spot for all things Nintendo.

Also, I have a Michael, he smells funny sometimes.

Thanks for taking the time for reading my waffle.

😀