The Great Big Shoe Collection~!!

It’s been a while since I made a fashion post, so I figured why not make my comeback one about one of my favorite things:

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I call it the Great Big Shoe Collection, because it’s a fairly big collection of big shoes. In this blog, I’m only featuring my “gothy” shoes, since if I posted ALL my shoes – cosplay shoes, work shoes, fancy shoes, old sneakers – we’d be here forever.

Demonia Trashville-518

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This was my first pair of platforms and Demonia shoes! As you’ll soon learn, Demonia is my favorite shoe brand since they are pretty affordable, usually good quality, and have lots of fun designs. Reaching a little below the knee, the Trashville-518s are a unisex fit and are great for everyday usage and stomping away on the dance floor. These boots have zippers on the sides and buckles and laces in the front, which are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. They are a great starter pair of platforms, since the platform isn’t too tall (3.25″), and the style works for many types of outfits. I’ve even used these for a few cosplays. I got the patent style, but they also make it in matte.

My one complaint is the platform on one of the boots did awkwardly split off while I was walking to class one day about 3 years ago, but a shoe repair guy fixed it up nicely and I have yet to have any issues since. That being said, I got these shoes pre-owned and wore them a lot, so I suppose some damage is bound to happen eventually.

Trashville-518s usually range around $99.95

Demonia Shaker-52

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Probably the pair I wear the most often. They’re shorter than my Trashvilles (about mid-calf), more girly, and more understated since they aren’t shiny and covered in buckles. They go with pretty much all my outfits and can give even a simple black dress that extra gothy flair to spice up just an everyday outfit to be a little more fun. While they are a bit taller with a 4.5″ heel, they are surprisingly comfortable and easy to wear for long periods of time.

Shaker-52s cost around $81.99

T.U.K. Anarchic Kitty Face Mary Jane

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As someone who loves both Mary Janes and cats, these shoes are an absolute delight for me. They’re super comfortable and can be easily dressed up or down. If you’re a half-size like me, I recommend getting a size up: while the 8s were a big loose on me, the 7s were too snug for my comfort. The downside of these shoes is the leather cracks super easily. This is my second pair and I’ve only worn them maybe twice before they started cracking along the sides. As much as I love the design, I sadly will not be investing in another pair after these wear out. T.U.K. does make similar cat shoes in a sneaker-MJ style, as well as flats, so it’s possible those materials and styles are of better quality.

This style of kitty face Mary Janes cost about $80.00

Iron Fist Wishbone Super Creeper

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I often wear black/white color schemes, so these shoes are the perfect addition to my collection! I actually got them for Christmas and haven’t worn them out yet, other than just around the house to break them in, but they are surprisingly lightweight considering the tall platforms! Both cute and classy, I especially love how the bones pop against the black.

You can find these super creepers on the Iron Fist site on sale for only $35.99!

Demonia Sprite-01

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I just love how cartoony these shoes look! They work great with my gothic lolita and creepy-cute outfits. I have the patent black w/ red version, but there is also one with white accents. The straps are velcro, making them very easy and comfy to wear.

Sprite-01 runs for about $48.95

Demonia Sprite-02

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To be honest, I wish I could just own the entire Sprite collection since they are all so cute! When I saw the double heart buckles on these babies, I couldn’t resist buying them! They match perfectly with my heart garters and collar. This style also comes in light pink. Only thing I suggest with these is figuring out exactly where you want to buckle them before you go out. Too tight can be uncomfortable, but if they are too loose, the hearts get stuck in each other when you walk.

Sprite-02s are a little more expensive at about $61.95.

T.U.K. Black Suede Mondo Creeper

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When you’re too spooky for sneakers, you wear creepers. They are so great for casual wear without looking too “normal.” I’ve had this pair, along with a pastel Hello Kitty pair for about 4 years now I think and they’re still going strong. Demonia also makes similar creepers, but I haven’t gotten a pair from them thus can’t speak for the quality.

T.U.K. Mondo Creepers currently cost $100 on their site – I recommend finding them from a different seller like Sinister Soles, where they’ll cost around $75.

Circus Black Quinn Glitter Boots

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Not necessarily a “goth” shoe, but they work really well with some creepy-kawaii outfits I’ve put together – and they’re rainproof, which is perfect for my rainy city of Seattle! The glitter is part of the plastic, so it doesn’t fall off, and it’s not too obnoxiously sparkly if that’s not your thing. Similar in design to Doc Martens, but not nearly as comfortable. I had to put a shoe insert inside to make the soles more cushy.

I bought these boots at a thrift store, but I believe this brand usually costs around $40-$45?

Volatile Black Strap Combat Boots

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This is one of my early, eeeeaaarly pair of combat boots, all the way from high school. Maybe even earlier. (To put in perspective, I’m almost 23 now). I mainly just use them for cosplay now since I have more “fun” boots to pick from, but they are still a great basic tall boot. They’ve definitely held up over the years, other than a few minor toe scuffs.

These Volatiles are about $50, but they often go on sale on the Hot Topic site!

Demonia Vampire 03

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I really wanted a pair of heels, but I have trouble keeping open shoes on my feet, and I walk really silly in super narrow heels. These lace up pumps with chunky heels are perfect for me! Their unique design makes them fun and classy, and a little more sexy than my usual platforms. While they’re not as comfortable, mainly since I don’t wear heels often, they are still a great shoe choice for people like me who can’t walk in stilettos. This style also has a red stitching version.

I got my pair used on eBay, but I think they usually cost around $58?

Hot Topic Platforms 

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This is my last pair in my collection. I found these funky buddies in a thrift shop. The insides just say Hot Topic, so my guess is Hot Topic used to make shoes way back when? They’ve got a neat buckle design on the front and have velcro straps to secure them to your feet. The platforms are about 4″ tall and are quite heavy, so my legs tend to get tired in these after a long night of dancing. I generally only wear them out to clubs since they’re so big and heavy.

Since I thrifted them and they’re no longer available on Hot Topic’s site, I have no idea how much these cost or where to find these!

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Thank you so much for reading my shoe post! Do you have any favorites in my collection? What are some of your favorite shoes? Which fashion items would you like to see next? Please feel free to comment below! 🙂

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Why Writing YA Fiction is Pretty Neat

When my editor decided to take on my first book, one of the first things we discussed was what my target demographic is.

For the longest time, I was one of those “I write for me” writers, but – especially as a new author – marketing myself to a specific group would be more effective. Given that my main characters range from 15-25 years old, and the story’s high energy, paranormal action atmosphere, my editor and I came to agree on shaping it to be a Young Adult novel. I’ll admit, I was irrationally butthurt at first about having to filter out most swear words, feeling limited by my restrictions – though to be fair, it’s not like I had any extreme violence or raunchy sex scenes in there to begin with. But as we continued on with the editing process, not only did the YA label feel more fitting, it created an overarching theme that, in the end, made me really excited to share with my future young readers.

As a recent college graduate beginning her new career as a therapist, I feel about as young adult as people get. I’m not so far detached from my youth that I need to ask on writer forums, “What do the young hip kidsters say and do these days?” If anything, I can craft a believable teen far more easily than a believable 50 year old. My emotional, confusing, and admittedly angsty teenage years are still close enough behind me to  be freshly memorable, but my few years of “adulting” through college and the “real world,” offer me much advice to go back to give to young Maria. While I can’t do just that, I’m sure there are plenty of other teens out there currently arguing with their mothers about why they should go to that late-night warehouse party with that older boy who totally won’t manipulate her.

It’s funny seeing my novel evolve over the years. I created the characters and original plot when I was 13, younger than all my characters. There was something really exciting about pairing 17 year olds, writing about their love lives and whatnot. Despite the small age gap, I perceived them as much older than me, almost romanticizing what I believed the future could hold for me. As I got older, it hit me hard: being an older teenager sucks. It’s not just about getting that popular girl’s attention, or wearing the coolest clothes in school. Even now, I don’t think I could have effectively prepared Young Maria for the heartbreak, loneliness, misunderstandings, and struggles of finding her place in the world. I remember how petty it all seemed to my parents. My mom would always say stuff like, “It’ll be okay, someday this won’t matter, you’re young, I know what’s best.” And yeah, maybe some of it was true – heck, I can hardly remember the name of the first boy that made me cry in high school – but it was the last thing my brain was able to process. It wasn’t what I needed to hear.

I needed someone to listen to my feelings. I needed someone to acknowledge that, yeah, things suck right now. They probably will suck for a while. Life isn’t always going to be a happy fairy tale, and that’s okay. Everyone feels sad, upset, and angry at times, and that’s a totally normal thing to express.

But I think what was even harder than getting through my crazy high school years was accepting adulthood. Moving away from the protection of my home to the big city for college was brutal. I’m suddenly making big life decisions for myself with very little time to think. No adults are around to help or do things for me – I am the adult. Worst of all, that older boy my mom warned me not to be around? Yeah, I learned the hard way she was right about him. For the first few months after moving out, life really sucked. But it was okay. While all this sounds so gloomy, the most important lesson I learned was keeping my chin up and finding hope despite it all. I had an amazing group of friends to help me through the ugly parts, and once that was over, so many awesome memories were made. No matter how awful things would get, my friends always helped me stay optimistic and filled me with hope.

While I’m no expert on the teen brain, I’d like to think I can at least share what I think I personally needed at the time in my book, and I hope it will be at least somewhat meaningful for my readers. Coming-of-age, accepting the hard times that comes along with it, and optimism are all important aspects from my life that I believe are important to share with my readers. My wacky urban dark fantasy shenanigans aside, I don’t think I’d be able to portray my hopeful messages the same way if I wasn’t a YA writer.

Do you write YA fiction? What are your favorite things about writing YA fiction? Feel free to drop a comment! Thanks for reading! 🙂

Video Game Review: Cuphead!!

Hello, everyone! Once again, I apologize for being away for so long. I’m a bit late on this review, but I’m so in love with this game, I just have to rant about it to you!

Therefore, I bring to you. . . my Cuphead review!!

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Released at the end of September 2017, Cuphead is created by StudioMDHR and is available on XBOX one, Steam, and Microsoft Windows. Cuphead has received extremely positive reviews from pretty much everywhere, ranking 10/10 on Steam, 88 on Metacritic, and 4.5/5 on Microsoft.

The Story

When Cuphead (left) and his friend Mugman (right) lose a gambling bet with the Devil, they are presented with two options: either give up their souls, or collect the souls of runaway debtors. By game default, you go with the second option. . . otherwise there would be no game! Thus begins an incredibly difficult journey around Inkwell Isle.

Gameplay 

You play as Cuphead, and can have a buddy co-op play as Mugman. It’s a run n’ gun styled game, in which you shoot glowing bullets from your fingers. Most stages are boss battles (the bosses being the runaway debtors), though there are a few platformer levels where you collect coins to spend on weapon/ability upgrades. As with all games, these upgrades are crucial to your success – having the right bullets for a particular boss can really make or break your battle.

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DID I MENTION THIS GAME IS INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT??

Sure, the controls are really simple, but the stages are ridiculously tricky! For starters, you only have 3 HP (certain abilities can boost this, if you choose to purchase them), making each life extremely valuable, especially with so much stuff falling and launching toward you. While the difficulty can be frustrating, I find myself laughing more than anything when I die. It’s challenging, but in a good way. It’s all fair, a very possible to beat with patience and skill. Timing is everything. Don’t expect to beat a level on the first try. Especially since each boss undergoes multiple transformations, it’s hard to know what to expect until it literally hits you. Luckily, the game is pretty fast-paced, so it doesn’t take much motivation to keep trying, and it’s SO satisfying to finally win!

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If you are doing co-op, your buddy can revive each other by parrying your ghost before you float away, but that’s easier said than done. Risking your own lives to save your friend can bring more harm than good – plus they only come back with 1 HP. It’s difficult to say whether co-op makes the game easier or harder, at least from my experiences. Having double the bullets makes it harder to focus and see what’s going on, but it’s nice to have an extra hand on deck. It’s also nice to have someone to suffer along with you.

This video sums up my Cuphead experience quite accurately: https://www.facebook.com/JustMeBeingACircle/videos/1491688894249876/

Style

The game’s 1930s cartoon aesthetic is what initially drew me to the game trailers. Drawn in the “rubber hose” style used by Walt Disney and Fleischer Studios, and heavily inspired by their themes, Cuphead feels like it’s right out of their era. Complete with a fitting jazz soundtrack and beautiful hand drawn art, Cuphead’s style alone earns the game an A+. The fact that the artists and animators used the same techniques as the artists back in the 30s shows serious dedication to vintage authenticity. Many of the character designs are inspired by popular cartoon and pop culture icons of the decade, including jazz singer Cab Calloway inspired King Dice.

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At a glance, Cuphead looks like a lighthearted, upbeat game. In a sense, this is true, but the surreal themes of hell, soul stealing, devil, gambling, etc. are fairly dark – though not surprising. StudioMDHR noted the Fleischer brothers as a big inspiration, especially their short “Swing, you Sinners!” To summarize: When Bimbo the dog is caught stealing a chicken by the police, he escapes into a nearby cemetery. There, things get freaky when the tombstones and ghosts sing an eerie (yet catchy) tune, punishing him for his crimes. Every second gets progressively creepier, leading up to the ghouls basically chasing him into Hell. It seems a bit overkill,  torturing a dog for chasing women and stealing chickens, but what do I know? That being said, the Fleischer brothers have created some dark, creepy toons in general throughout their career.

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While on the topic of 1930s cartoons, I feel it’s necessary I do bring up the controversial elements this style brought to Cuphead. Yup, you guessed it:

Racism in 1930s cartoons, and how it applies today

I won’t dive too deep into this, since I believe this topic alone is worthy of its own post, but I feel it’d be wrong to completely brush it off. The creators of Cuphead are Canadian, and when asked about the racist connotations, claimed to be unaware of them. It’s not like they are literally or intentionally spewing racist dialogue. I believe they didn’t mean any harm, especially since people outside of the United States are sometimes less aware of our racist history.

For starters, cartoons in the 1920s/30s came about when vaudeville shows were popular and were heavily inspired by them – including the minstrel aspect. The black body/white glove style donned by Cuphead – and Mickey Mouse – is based off the stereotypical minstrel costume. Characters drawn like this, such as Bimbo, are often portrayed as little troublemakers, who endure endless slapstick punishment with seemingly no physical consequences, mimicking the dehumanizing violent “humor” toward minstrels. Themes such as gambling and punishment were common (like in “Swing, you Sinners!”). Though I appreciate old cartoons for what they’re worth, watching a cartoon character get basically tortured makes me a little uneasy, I’m pretty sure this was seen as comedic back in the day. It kind of has this, “Ha, serves them right!” attitude about it. Since StudioMDHR wanted to be true to the 1930s cartoons, it’s no surprise they chose a theme and plot similar to something the Fleischer brothers might’ve created – and it’s a great story nonetheless – but I believe it’s important to know why these themes were so popular back then.

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While most people stand by their positive reviews of Cuphead, many people were disturbed by the imagery and themes and refused to support the game. With characters like Mickey Mouse still prominent, I think it’s difficult to completely remove the old styles from current media. That’s why it’s so important to discuss these tropes, recognize our history, and find ways to rise above it. For example, rapper Jay-Z does an excellent job using 1930s cartoons to depict America’s racism in his music video for his song “The Story of OJ.” Just like the lead character in the video does, it’s important to look back in time and comment on the issues rather than ignore them, no matter how disturbing they may be.

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Conclusion

Cuphead is truly a well-made game in every aspect. While I do recommend it, I do stress the importance of remembering the past.

Thank you for reading my review! 🙂 I hope to stay more consistent with my postings.

Have you ever played Cuphead? What are your thoughts on the game? Feel free to drop a comment!

Student Writer: Balancing writing with school, work, and a bunch of other stuff

Hello, hello! It’s been a while since I’ve posted a rant, since I’ve been incredibly busy with school, work, and editing my first book for publication! That being said, today’s rant fittingly is about how I manage to fit in time for writing/editing while balancing work and school.

For those who don’t know me, I’m currently a senior in college, and am working toward a psychology and sociology double major, with a minor in law/societies/justice. After class, I either head to work or to my internship, often followed by my volunteer position at a homeless shelter. On top of that, I’m often making cosplays for upcoming conventions, editing my first book for publication, and writing the first draft of the second book. So how to I manage to balance all this??

This quarter, a typical school/work day for me starts at 10AM and ends around 6PM – and if it’s a at the shelter, 10PM. As a student paying thousands of dollars for my education, I put my homework first. Luckily, my editor is super understanding and patient. In an ideal world, I would write or edit at least one chapter per night. With school, this isn’t really easy for me. There have been weeks where I don’t get to even open one of my manuscripts until Friday night. It sucks, but midterms and essay deadlines are far less forgiving than my editor. Luckily for me, essays are a piece of cake  – if I know what I’m writing about, I can whip out a standard 5-paragraph, 2-3 page paper in about an hour. I realize this isn’t so simple for everyone, so I’m really thankful for my speedy writing skills (I’d like to thank all my SAT essay prep for that). I do all my reading and studying on my bus rides to/from work. My classes are less intensive this quarter since I’m focusing a lot on my job and internship, so I’m usually free by around 7pm to work on homework, writing, or any other projects.

However, my spring conventions are coming up, and naturally I planned more cosplays than I can handle. Much of my free time goes toward sewing, painting, crafting, etc. I do try to get a head start on most of my costumes, so I usually try to do writing every other night, and cosplay making on the nights I’m not writing. Or sometimes I’ll do a few hours of cosplay, then a few hours of writing, depending on what needs to be done. When my editor has new edits for me to look at or needs a new chapter, that takes priority over anything else. If I know I’ll be busy in the future, like if a con is coming up that weekend, I generally try to get ahead on edits and homework.

Surprisingly, I have something of a social life. Granted it’s all in the evening, but I try to set aside at least one night to go out with friends, and I hang out with my boyfriend as often as we can make time for each other between our busy schedules. Sometimes when I have a lot of studying to do, I meet up with friends to keep each other company while we work on our own stuff.

Sounds like I have everything laid out pretty neatly, huh? Well. . . there’s a few sacrifices.

I get about 4-5 hours of sleep on a good night. My classes aren’t too difficult this quarter, so I don’t need to spend hours each day on studying. Meals are often rushed during bus rides, at odd hours, or I’m stuffing my face while I work on other stuff. Unless I am eating with friends or family, I never really spend time just enjoying my food. Even with free time, I’m often not in my “writing zone” until around midnight, and I’ll often stay up until 2 or 3AM writing. Because writing – and cosplay, since it’s con season – takes up so much of my free time, I rarely have time to watch TV shows, play video games, or really do any of my other hobbies during the week days. Every where I go, I’m almost always brainstorming ideas for chapters and story lines, so I know what I want to write whenever I get the chance. I don’t think it’s necessary to dedicate so much mental energy and free time to get writing time in, but it’s what works for me with my schedule.

Whatever your schedule is, I think the main takeaway point here is managing your time wisely. Know how many hours you need to spend on work, homework, studying – the mandatory stuff. Dedicate how ever much of your free time you fee comfortable with to writing. Cut out mindless browsing on Facebook. Make a schedule. Do whatever you gotta do to find time to write.

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How does my daily schedule compare to yours? Do you have any suggestions for balancing writing with a busy routine? Comment your thoughts below!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

 

 

TOP 9 Pokemon Games

With only one month until Pokemon Sun & Moon are released, the hype is pretty strong among Pokemon fans! Trailers have been showing so several new mechanics and hinting at interesting story lines, and many fans have already formed strong opinions on the game and its new Pokemon. As difficult as it may be, I’d like to break away from the latest news, just for a moment, and look back at all the great (and maybe not so great) elements of the previous Pokemon games, and see how far we’ve come in the past two decades. If you have time to cram in a game you haven’t played yet, here is my personal list of worst-to-best, that hopefully can provide some aid or strike up an interesting debate!

*This list contains only the main games for Pokemon. N64, Gamecube, Mystery Dungeon Series, etc. are not included.

9. Black/White/Black 2/White 2 (DS)

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I’ll be honest, I really didn’t like Black/White. Everything about it really didn’t jive with me. I wasn’t a fan of the new Pokemon designs, the graphics looked clunky, your friends in the game are kind of annoying, the story wasn’t that great, and it honestly just wasn’t that great as a whole. The seasons thing could have been cool, but it wasn’t. It happened way too quickly for me to really enjoy. I have yet to personally meet someone who actually liked Black/White, but I guess they were liked enough to actually receive direct sequels.

8. Diamond/Pearl/Platinum (DS)

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Honestly, I found these to be a little too similar vibe-wise to R/S/E, if that makes sense. Wireless/wifi trading – and having internet connection in general – was groundbreaking, I’ll give them that, because struggling to keep connection with the gamelink was troublesome, but I found the games to be a little. . .boring. It really just felt like another Pokemon game. Catching Pokemon, battling through gyms, defeating some sort of enemy team – you can only do it so many times. D/P/P weren’t horrible, but there really wasn’t anything there to make them better than the earlier games.

7. Leaf Green/Fire Red (GBA)

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I think it might have been a little too early to remake the original games. Yeah, having updated graphics was nice, but they didn’t feel necessary to me, and the addition of the Sevii Islands wasn’t really enough to make a whole new experience, compared to ORAS’s Delta Episode. LG/FR weren’t bad games, they’re definitely worth checking out, but other than being able to trade with R/S/E, there really wasn’t much of a point for me. Now, if the original games could be remade for 3DS, I’d be stoked.

 

6. Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald (GBA)

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So. Much. Surfing. It’s really no wonder how I found a shiny Tentacool. I think the coolest thing about R/S/E were the graphics. Yeah, it’s a given that they should improve over the Game Boy ones, but it was still neat to actually have full scenery and color in a Pokemon game. More cool new stuff was added, like contests, but we lost the day/night feature. With the addition of new teams, the game you got changed the story line a bit more drastically. That being said, some kind of story beyond “Hey, Team Rocket sucks, can you get rid of them for us?” was added, though I can’t stay the plot was really the game’s strong point. Having a new Pokemon game on a new system was cool, but it really did not match the excitement that G/S/C gave me. Also, after the additions Yellow and Crystal brought, Emerald didn’t really meet my “special edition” standards. On a side note, I knew braille for about a month from trying to catch the Regis, so I guess I learned something new from playing.

5. X/Y (3DS)

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After Black/White, I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to attempt X/Y. Luckily, the 3DS Pokemon games were a huge step up. Though the 3D could have been neater and utilized more, the anime-ish graphics were aesthetically pleasing, as well as the game’s French-styled scenery as a whole. I’m also a sucker for Pokemon-amie. Though it was the most recent and high-tech game, it somehow had a back-to-basics feel. Plenty of beloved Kanto Pokemon appeared in the wild, plus the inclusion of the original starters and legendaries was a great way of bringing the past into the present. I’m still a little bummed that we never got a Z version. . .

4. Heart Gold/Soul Silver (DS)

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Fantastic remake of G/S! Everything I loved was there.  .  . So keep reading to find out why I thought G/S/C was so fantastic! I have HG/SS ranked a little lower though since it didn’t have the same excitement around it for me, and wasn’t as big of an advancement for the series as the original was. However, the first Pokemon in your party would follow you around and it was super cute! WHY did they take that feature out??

3. Red/Blue/Green(JP only)/Yellow (GBP/GBC)

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The games that started it all! When the Nintendo eShop released them for digital download, it was hilarious to hear the new reactions of people who were playing them for the first time. “Where is the Daycare to lay eggs? Why can’t my Eevee evolve into Sylveon? Why is Magnemite only electric? I WALK SO SLOW!” Sure, R/B/Y are pretty dated, but they are still excellent games that should be played by all Pokemon fans. Very basic game play, simple story line, but still pretty fun compared to some older games in different series. Even if the game is too simple for you, there are hundreds of crazy hacks and glitches you can do to entertain yourself, like catching Mew, multiplying your items, visiting Glitch City, and encountering Missingno. Yellow especially was neat since it loosely incorporated the anime’s story, so you had a Pikachu as your starter and it followed you around, eventually are given all 3 original starters, and you occasionally encountered Jessie and James. Plus, it was for Game Boy Color, while the originals were for Pocket, so every town had its own unique color scheme.

2. Gold/Silver/Crystal (GBC)

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If the game battery didn’t die so freaking fast, it would be perfect, especially for its time. Having a new region and group of Pokemon was super exciting for those who played or watched through the first region. At the time, we had no idea there would be more than 151 Pokemon, so having a sequel game was a really big deal. G/S/C really set the pace for every game after it. Pokemon were gendered, they could hold items, lay eggs, more types and evolutions were added, you had some sort of gadget with neat apps. As annoying as some of the phone calls were, it was still a cool feature that I wish stayed in the later games, along with the radio. Crystal was also the first game to give you the option to play as a female, which was especially appreciated among little girls like me. Though the graphics were still subpar (as they seem to always be), it was the first in the series to be in more than one color, and the Pokemon battle sprites in Crystal could move, so it was definitely a step up. Being able to play through the Kanto region was awesome, and it would be cool to be able to play through old regions more, but I suppose cramming now 7 other regions into one game may be a bit of a hassle. More than anything, the day/night feature was stellar, despite the toll it took on the battery (and the amount of times my mom yelled at me for playing past my bed time). I really hope to see Sun and Moon bring this back, given the game titles.

1. Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire (3DS) 

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It almost feels taboo to put the latest game as my number 1, but I was blown away by the 3DS remakes of Ruby and Sapphire. Tech-wise, it had the same features as X/Y, plus the Pokemon radar system, which made finding Pokemon SO much easier! The story was presented so well, I wish the actual anime was like this – maybe I would have kept watching it! Lots of the cut scenes were really cute, exciting, and even a little emotional, and the delta episode provided plenty of post-game fun. Flying with Latias and Latios was an incredible new experience. My only complaint is that if you don’t look at an online guide, finding all the legendaries may be a struggle, but in this day and age, that isn’t too hard to do. Even if you weren’t a fan of the original Ruby/Sapphire, ORAS is definitely worth checking out.

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So, how does your personal list match up with mine? Are there any games that you loved or disliked? How are you feeling about Sun and Moon so far? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

Gothic Outfit Challenge

Hello, everyone! It’s been a while since I made a fashion post, so I’d like to share with you a photo challenge I did on Facebook about a month ago!

Drawings were circulating around various pages about a “gothic outfit challenge,” where everyday you had to wear a different goth style for a week. A handful of friends tagged me in the posts, so I eventually caved and did it. Here are the results! Heads up, lighting isn’t fantastic in my room, so it’s hard to show off black clothing e.e

MONDAY: NU GOTH

Nu Goth (aka “tumblr goth,” “hipster goth,” or “goth lite”) is the most modern, and probably msot popular style among peeps my age, given its simplicity and online presence. It basically is modern fashion with a dark twist, heavily influenced by goth stereotypes, like crosses, skulls, spikes, platform shoes, etc. For this outfit, I was sure to include my skull hair clips, tattoo choker, Forever 21 cross cardigan, creepers, and over-the-knee stockings.

TUESDAY: DARK MORI

Dark Mori (aka “forrest goth,” “witchy,” “forrest witch”) is basically what would happen if a goth got lost in a forest. “Mori” is Japanese for forest, so mori fashion is characterized by flowy shawls, scarves, garments, and grays/browns/dark greens, and of course black if you want to go Dark Mori. It kind of reminds me of forest fairies or witches, which is pretty dope. For this outfit, I included my flower and butterfly hair clips, a floral lacey top, and this drapey shawl-like thing that didn’t photograph too well :/

WEDNESDAY: DEATH ROCK

Gonna start off by apologizing for not having a mad rad death hawk. The look is kinda incomplete without it, but I’d rather not shave my head for a facebook challenge.

Death Rock (aka “punk goth,” “zombie punk,” “goth is literally dead – or undead, undead, undead?”) is an older style in the goth family and is the fashion counterpart for death rock music. Inspired by post-punk and punk rock, death rock is like punk with a spooky twist. With shredded clothing, spikes, big hair, and platform shoes, if you look like an undead punk, you’re doing it right. I wore my favorite Demonia platforms, Lip Service fishnet top, and layered fishnet stockings with stripes.

 

THURSDAY: TRAD GOTH

Trad Goth (aka “traditional goth,” “real goth,” “I’m a non-conformist and my look is original – what? No, I did not steal this look from my favorite band”) is the original goth fashion, around since the early days when goth evolved from punk. Therefore, trad fashion borrows many elements from punk, like fishnets and snazzy jackets. Also, it was the 80s, so big hair and heavy makeup are a must. Where yesterday’s death rock is more “zombie punk,” trad goth is more “punk going to the (soon to be) zombie punk’s funeral.”The jacket is an old Tripp relic, with pins added and an ankh painted on the back. The skirt is from Queen of Darkness.

FRIDAY: CYBER GOTH

Cyber goth (aka “raver goths,” “not actually goths,” “ravers who think they are goth but are actually just ravers in black and neon”) is probably the most different of the bunch – not because of the neon colors necessarily, but because it focuses on futuristic elements and is associated with electronic dance music rather than rock. Dreadfall and cyberlox hair extensions are a must, often paired with goggles and a respirator. Fishnets, spikes, and platforms are still popular like with the other goths, but cyber goths are more commonly seen wearing biohazard and radiation symbols over crosses and coffins. My dress is from Cyberdog, and I wore a mixture of crin cyberlox and dreadfals from sellers local to my area. The shoes are 5″ platforms I thrifted, just say Hot Topic in them.

SATURDAY: RIVETHEAD

The challenge specifically calls for Military Goth (pretty self explanatory what that is), but I don’t own anything like that e.e So I did the next closest thing.

Rivethead (aka “industrial enthusiasts,” “darker, more badass cybergoths,” “‘are you from the Matrix?'”) often takes military elements like camo and combat boots, and mixes them with punk, fetish (girls often wear PVC or leather), and cyber, but without the neon colors. It is associated with industrial music, both the harsher ends of electro-industrial and industrial rock like KMFDM and Rammstein. The dress is from Lip Service, the dreads from a local seller, I think I actually got the goggles used on eBay?

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And there you have it! Do you have a favorite style? Have you ever tried this challenge? Please comment your thoughts below! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

Pokemon 20th Anniversary!

Happy 20th anniversary, Pokemon!

I remember like it was yesterday where I was when I first learned about Pokemon. I was 3 years old when it first came to the US. My neighbor was showing me his new game he got for his GameBoy called Pokemon Blue. He was showing me how to look for Pokemon by walking through grass and surfing in water. It just blew my mind. I honestly don’t know why because I didn’t understand how to play really, but I knew I NEEDED that game.

Shortly after, my mom bought me Red version. I couldn’t read, so I didn’t really know what to do. I knew you could catch pokemon and battle (I knew numbers, so I knew about leveling up), but I didn’t know what the names of the pokemon were or how to save. I would play for hours on end, just so I could make it past Veridian City. The farthest I ever got was to Rock Tunnel in one sitting. I had the game guide – which is now a torn-up mess than not even tape can save, but it didn’t help since I COULDN’T READ. But I liked the pictures and it came with stickers, which I made a pretty picture with. It wasn’t until one of my 4 yr old friends (who could read) taught me how to save that my love for pokemon exploded into something uncontrollable and amazing.

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Soon, everyone I knew was obsessed with Pokemon. It seemed like the entire world had fallen in love with its charm. I had a plush Pikachu that I carried around with me. I even shared my Happy Meals with him. I watched the TV show all the time, and when my mom gave me and my sister the first tape, we watched it every day until she got us more. I continued to get more games, cards, toys, clothing, comics, even bed sheets – I was a walking embodiment of Pokemania. From cereal to underwear, Pokemon was everywhere, and I had to own it all.

I never stopped loving Pokemon. I still play the games religiously. I don’t watch the new episodes, but I still rewatch my tapes. I hardcore fangirled when I met Veronica Taylor, the voice of Ash Ketchum, last year at Emerald City Comicon. I don’t think it’s possible for me to ever stop loving Pokemon. With Pokemon Sun and Moon soon to be released, I look forward to many more years filled with my favorite series of all time.

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Also, for old-time’s sake. . .who remembers this classic ad?

How long have you been playing Pokemon? Do you have any Pokemon memories you’d like to share? Are you doing anything special to celebrate the 20th anniversary? Comment below! Thanks for reading! 🙂