Gaming: Jet Set Radio Future

Now as you may have figured out, I tend to sway towards handheld gaming consoles. This is partially because they’re easy to carry around, and partially because I never had the larger consoles when I was younger. However, this all changed the Christmas my parents got my sister and I an Xbox. Since I had more of a preference for Nintendo games, it was hard for me to initially find games that I would enjoy. I don’t really like first-person shooter games, and I was not interested in any of the sports games that were out. A few years after we had gotten the Xbox I realized that there were actually two games that came on the sample disk with the Xbox. And thus my love for Jet Set Radio Future began.

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Jet Set Radio Future is a game that takes place in different locations in Japan. You are in a “gang” that travels on their rollerblades and spray paints other areas that are ruled by different gangs. You have to defeat this insane police captain and his goons in the different levels, and you face-off against other gangs by racing, playing capture the flag, or other games of that sort.

I don’t know what it is about this game, but it’s addictively fun. There are so many challenges to complete and areas to explore, it’s hard to get bored with this game. I’ve played through the game once, and it’s still fun to go back and play again. It’s very challenging to unlock some of the characters, so I’m still working on that. This game also has a great separate multiplayer mode. It’s separate from the story mode, but there are many games you can play. You can play against each other, or team up against the computer characters. Though this game can be hard to get your hands on, I highly suggest giving it a whirl. I play it on my Xbox 360 when I have time, and it doesn’t get old.

Book Nook: Comics

I hope you all enjoyed Easter this year! Sorry this post is going up a bit late this week. I wanted to spend the long weekend with my husband and family, so this post fell to the wayside. This week I’m going to be sharing my 3 favourite comic/graphic novel series. I like reading comics and graphic novels from time-to-time for a little variety.

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The first group of comics is a longstanding favourite of mine. I’ve been reading Calvin and Hobbes in the Sunday newspaper since I was little. When I got a bit older (and my parents stopped getting the paper) I bought some of the collections. My first and favourite “book” is Attack Of The Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons. It’s just a cute and lighthearted comic that is fun to read now-and-again.

My second favourite series is for older readers. It’s called The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I really like this series because it has a lot of characters from classic novels that I read when I was younger. However, in order to appreciate the series fully I feel like the reader needs to have at least some background knowledge of the characters from their original classic stories. Apparently there has also been a movie made of this comic series, but I’ve never seen it (though I have heard it isn’t very good).

My final series I will touch on is actually more of a graphic novel/manga type series, but I felt it should be included. This series is called Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. Now, the initial reason I even started this series is because I was completely obsessed with the Sailor Moon TV show as a kid. When I saw the series in a book shop a year ago I picked up the first book just to see what it was like. I was kind of hesitant at first because it is one of those books that you have to read “backwards”, but after getting used to reading like that it actually wasn’t too bad. I feel like this is more of a sentimental read for me because it reminds me of my childhood, but for those of you that liked Sailor Moon as a kid this might be a nice read.

Let me know if there are any comic or graphic novel series you love to read!

Book Nook: The Casual Vacancy (A Partial Review)

Though I am the kind of person that likes to wiz through a book, there are times when it becomes difficult for me to finish the book. This will be a partial review of The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling.

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The Casual Vacancy is centred around the death of Barry Fairbrother, a councillor in a small town. The story is all about the events that happen in the small town after his death.

I originally started this book because it was written by J.K. Rowling. Though I love the Harry Potter books she wrote, I went into this book expecting something very different. Boy did I get something different. Now I’ve read adult fiction before, but this is nothing like any adult fiction I’ve ever read. I was expecting more descriptive dialogue and maybe some “adult” content here and there, but it seems like this book was a little excessive. I found what I’ve read so far to be very crude with an excessive amount of foul language. Now I don’t mind a bit here and there, but there was so much it became very off-putting. It almost felt like J.K. Rowling was trying too hard to ensure her book was “adult” fiction. It was honestly a little disappointing. When I had read the first chapter in an online preview it seemed quite intriguing, but as I started reading past that first chapter it became harder and harder for me to sit and read. I’ve gotten about half way through the book before I stopped reading it. I just lost interest in the storyline. I will try to read all the way through it this summer, but as of now I am not a fan of this book.

Seriously Stressed?

As a full-time student who has almost finished my degree, stress is no stranger to me. From school work and exams, to work, to life in general, stress pops up everywhere and can take over your life. This week I thought I’d share some tips and tricks to deal with stress so it doesn’t bog you down.

1) Take A Break: While you shouldn’t leave things to the last minute, you also shouldn’t lock yourself away to work endlessly on homework, taxes, or studying. Take a walk, step outside, enjoy the sun. If you spend all your time working you will cause yourself unnecessary stress. So take that 10-15 minute break. You deserve it.

2) Breathe: If you find yourself getting overwhelmed by stress just take a deep breath. It may sound silly, but it actually does help. Taking a few deep breaths when you get really stressed can help you body loosen up and relax.

3) Exercise: I’ve always found going for a walk or run when I’m stressed out can help improve my mood and relax me. Not only do you get the endorphins from exercising, but you’re forcing your mind to concentrate on something that will not cause you stress.

4) Unwind: If all else fails a nice bubble bath or relaxing shower can soothe a stressed mind. Pull out the bath salts, bubble bath, bath bombs, whatever you want to use to pamper yourself. Even aromatherapy like spearmint or lavender will help relax your body and mind. You deserve it

5) White Noise: When I’m stressed I can’t turn off my brain, which can make sleeping very difficult. It ends up stressing me out more because I can’t get to sleep and I can’t stop thinking about everything that is stressing me out. Recently I found an app that has really helped with this problem. Relax Melodies is a free app that I got from the iTunes app store. You can choose a variety nature sounds and other melodies and even create your own combination of sounds. I’ve been using this app for a month now and I absolutely love it (and it’s free so that doesn’t hurt either).

Hopefully this post has given you some tips or ideas of your own on how to stay less stressed.