Game Review: Dragon Age 2

Last week I finished playing Dragon Age 2, Bioware’s sequel to their hit RPG game Dragon Age: Origins. Like I have done with my previous review for DA:O, I won’t be going into the gameplay mechanics. There are plenty of reviews about that. When it comes to RPG game reviews, I’m much more interested in the person’s impression on the overall story than the nitty gritty of the actual gameplay. I’m not saying gameplay isn’t important, but I don’t place it too high on my list. If you want a review that talks more about the gameplay, then I would suggest checking out the other popular game review sites out there on the Internet. The following post may also contain spoilers so read at your own risk.

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Confusing fashion looks: Shorts with tights

Fashion perplexes me sometimes. You get the trends that are fun and maybe refreshing for the season and then you get those that are complete head scratchers. I haven’t seen this trend being too popular from what I can see when I’m out and about, but there are some that try to make it work. What am I talking about? I’m talking about wearing tights with summer shorts in the winter months.

I’ve actually seen the shorts and tights combo being very popular with Japanese girls when I visited Tokyo a few years ago. It was the first time I’ve seen such a thing. Then I later see it on the streets of New York. I couldn’t help but wonder when this became a good idea on the fashion scene. It looks plain silly. Shorts are meant to be worn in the summer and not in the winter. I guess the idea is to extend your ability to wear summer clothes into the winter months, but no girl can really have bare legs when it’s near 20 degrees or below so the solution is to slap on thick tights before pulling on your favorite summer shorts.

A model sporting the shorts and tights look

I guess it depends on how you wear this particular look. A lightweight fabric type of shorts with tights isn’t too bad, but I’ve seen the denim shorts with tights being a popular look to sport on every day women when I happen to see a girl on the street wear it.

I think tights should be worn with a dress or skirt by default. Dresses and skirts are versatile for any season. When the temperature drops and you want to be able to feel pretty and girly, you can still wear your favorite dress or skirt but keep the legs warm with tights or leggings. Shorts, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same versatility in my opinion. It’s only meant to be worn in warmer months. Has the skirt/dress with tights combo really become bland and boring? Maybe to do something different they slap on tights to revamp the summer shorts look, but insisting this look can work for girls in the winter too.

The ugliest version of the shorts and tights combination is the denim shorts with tights. It’s the same way I view women wearing leggings as pants––just no. When I think of denim shorts I envision wearing them on a day at the beach as you dip your feet in the water or brushing the sand off them after sitting on the shore under the warm sun. Wearing denim shorts with tights in the winter––something doesn’t look right. Whoever thought this was a good idea should really go back and rethink this one.

Are you a lover of this fashion look or do you hate it and wish it never existed?

RPGs are an addiction

Becoming a gamer has opened up a wealth of games I am delighting in getting to know or fall in love with. I’ve already made it known on this blog about my love for Dragon Age more times than I can count. There are some additional Dragon Age related posts I would like to write in the future once I get my ideas for them in order. Before I became a Dragon Age fanatic, I found myself in love with RPGs or role-playing games in general. From open worlds like Dragon Age: Origins to more linear action RPG games like Kingdom Hearts, I enjoy them all.

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These heels were made for walking…in the snow?

Over the weekend NYC got its first snowfall of the year. The area I live in got about maybe two inches of snow. Nothing major. We have yet to see if we will get another blizzard this year. I’m hoping we don’t. Whenever it snows or after it snows, there is something that bugs me that I don’t understand during the snow months…how are women able to wear high heeled shoes/boots in the snow?

Someone has to enlighten me on this one because I don’t get it. When the snow falls on the first day, it is understandably soft and powdery under the feet. The chances of slipping in it may be very slim. Once the snow stops and the temperature starts to drop, then the snow becomes ice. Heck, ice may be lurking underneath the powdery white snow. The point is, how can women not be scared to walk the streets with their high heels on and with snow underneath said heels?

I'll take wearing these rubber boots over high heeled shoes in the snow any day!

I am not one of those women who will chance wearing my lovely high heeled boots when there is snow on the ground. I immediately switch over to warm snow boots with a grip or heavy duty rubber boots to get me through trudging in the slush and ice. If the sidewalks are not clear of the white stuff and black ice, wearing any high heeled boots or shoes is not happening for me.

I see a good number of women wearing stiletto heeled boots or shoes in the snow, and this is the day after a snowfall when it typically would be hazardous to walk the sidewalks in them. It’s patches of ice galore! The city of course is always ready to salt the streets and sidewalks during and after a snowfall, but the snow can’t all melt that quickly. Nope. What you are left with is hardened snow and patches of ice spotting the sidewalks in some shape or form. Streets become narrow to walk in when only a small path is carved for people to walk in and on either side of you is the hardened snow. At some point, someone will have to actually walk on the snow and ice itself.

I’ve observed women who miraculously are able to walk on the ice with stiletto heels without slipping and I’ve seen women either slip or try to balance precariously over the ice as they make their way down the street. I always roll my eyes at the women who have to walk super slow on the sidewalks because they decided they want to look good in the snow by wearing shoes with no grip! If you are so worried about falling on your butt, then why aren’t you wearing shoes with better traction? Common sense people. I’d like to meet someone who has managed to walk in high heeled shoes for all NYC snow winters and not once slipped and fell on their butts. If I made an attempt to wear high heeled shoes or shoes in general with no grip at the bottom, I wouldn’t make it down the block. I doubt I would be able to avoid ending up at the hospital to treat a sprain or broken arm.

I always want to look good when I go outside, but if the elements such as snow makes it impossible for me to wear cute shoes then I will dress according to the weather. Snow and ice on the ground? Bring on the snow boots! High heeled boots that look good with skinny jeans? They shall stay home until the sidewalks are clear and safe to walk in them again.

Can you tell this is a pet peeve of mine? Why must women suffer for fashion? Why? It’s not like we are walking down a runway every time we go to school or work. We need to be practical I think.

How a video game like Dragon Age: Origins left a lasting impression on me

I guess you can call this post a review/opinion piece, but I think it’s more opinion than anything. I won’t be going into too much detail about the game mechanics. You can pretty much find more traditional reviews about the game on the Internet. Believe me, there is a lot of it if you Google the game in the search box. People have already played this game to death since its 2009 release. I only just discovered this game this year and it was the only game to convince me to get an Xbox 360. A pretty huge feat to do, no? The post is largely going to reflect my experience playing this game and how I felt.

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Are stilettos worth giving your feet that extra bit of sexy in your evening look?

Here’s another fashionista musing post that is related to dressing up for the holidays. I’m going to talk about the stilettos. I don’t own a pair of stilettos. I never really wanted to own one in my life. When most people see or think of stilettos, you think about how sexy the shoe makes a woman feel. Pair that with almost any outfit and it turns up the heat on your ensemble.

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The sequins and glitter trend in clothes

Christmas week is upon us, and I wanted to think of some good Christmas themed geeky posts in anime/manga, but I’m drawing a huge blank right now. I still have the rest of the week to try and come up with one. Instead, I have come up with some new fashionista musing posts that are fitting for the upcoming holidays.

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I want my Jdramas!

Since I’m on the track of Japanese live action dramas from last night’s post, I decided to continue with an opinion piece to end the week with.

Hana Yori Dango Live Action Jdrama

I enjoy live action dramas from Japan if they are made well. There were a few that have impressed me such as Kimi wa Petto (You Are My Pet), Hana Yori Dango Season 1 & 2, and Gokusen Season 1. All of these were based after mangas. I know Hana Yori Dango and Gokusen were made into animes, but Kimi wa Petto was never made into one. I was lucky enough to watch the entire series of these Jdramas through a cousin who downloaded them onto his computer or through Youtube back when Youtube wasn’t getting much attention for illegal uploads of copyrighted material. The fansubs made it possible for me to enjoy all three of them.

After watching all of these series, I remember wishing I could own them on DVD to rewatch any time that I want. There is always downloading the fansubs, but my computer is old and it can’t support holding all three of these dramas with the limited space that I have. Honestly, I rather own the DVDs of these Jdramas rather than watch it on my computer screen. It’s easier to stretch out on the bed or couch as you watch your favorite series. It’s a little harder with a computer where you have to sit at your desk chair to enjoy them. There is always laptops I suppose to remedy this problem.

There doesn’t seem to be much of a petition to have these Jdramas get the DVD treatment in the U.S. market like most anime series does. I wonder if the Japanese think there is no profit to grant a license to the U.S. to do it or the U.S. market doesn’t think there is a huge following for Jdramas like anime/manga has? I’m curious to know what the reasoning is.

The U.S. is able to at least get the license to release and officially sub a live action movie for DVD release like Death Note, Honey and Clover, and NANA. It is a curious thing when Jdrama series like Hana Yori Dango doesn’t get the same permission in the U.S.

When I saw on Amazon that they released the final movie of the live action Hana Yori Dango on DVD for the U.S. I was really excited. I didn’t know there was a live action final film made in Japan to end the entire Jdrama series. I do own it, but I haven’t gotten around to watching it yet. I’m pretty sure I will like the movie if I loved the live action series so much.

Hana Yori Dango Final: The Movie

This is where I am a bit confused though. It’s hard for the final movie of HYD to act as a stand alone film. People would have had to get their hands on Seasons 1 & 2 of the live action Jdrama for any of the stuff in the final movie to make sense. Again, I will not make any critiques on this film until I have seen it. For a final a film, it has to continue or make reference to events that went on in the Jdrama series. I highly doubt the movie can skip around it somehow. The movies of Death Note, Honey and Clover, and NANA can work as stand alone films because they were not made into a Jdrama series prior. Everything starts and finishes with the movie. HYD’s final film involves watching the Jdramas first before getting into the final film.

I am of the opinion that Jdramas do have a potential market value here in the U.S. If anyone is a fan of HYD, Kimi wa Petto, or Gokusen I think the live action dramas would be a nice add on to a manga/anime fan’s collection. The Japanese actors are appealing and you have another take on a series you know and love very much.

If you type Hana Yori Dango Final: The Movie in the Amazon search box, you will see it has a pretty high user rating. The reviews of the final film are also favorable too. This is an indication of how a Japanese production series can be just as popular as the anime/manga. It just needs a chance to be introduced to the market.

I will always dream and wish for the day when I see on Amazon the official DVD release of my favorite Jdramas. For now, I will have to be satisfied with the nostalgia it brings me when I think about the series. Or I get a new computer and just look for the fansubs on the Internet for download.

Just one more mission!

For anyone who follows my blog or comes back to it from time to time, this will be my last post before I go on my mini-Thanksgiving hiatus. I will be back to the daily grind of blogging new and interesting things next week. I definitely appreciate anyone who has taken the time to comment on my entries or like them! Makes me really happy. I’m also happy to return the favor to other fellow bloggers. Anyway, on to the post!

I was texting my friend today like we always do and the subject of video games came up. His current gaming obsession is Modern Warfare 3. I asked him if he finished the game already. His text response was, “Oh, I finished the single player mode of the game in 5 hours. I’m just doing the online multiplayer now.”

I was thinking, “What? Five hours? How the heck does anyone manage to finish a game in five hours?” I really don’t know how long of a game MW3 is and if it can be beaten within that time, but I am always amazed when my friends tell me they have gone through their mountain of newly bought games within a short span of time. Beating a game within a week or less is pretty impressive to me. I know I take at least a month or two to finish an entire game, and that’s sticking to a game I am currently obsessed with.

I guess to become a hardcore gamer you must be willing to lose sleep over a game and be living and breathing the game every single day of your life until you reach the very end.

I know I’m not a hardcore gamer, but I do love playing video games. I am currently obsessed with playing Dragon Age Origins for the Xbox 360 as I have mentioned in a previous post before. I do have the gamer itch to want to play DAO for several hours straight, but I refuse to lose too much sleep over it. I also find my biggest obstacle with finishing most of the games I have (usually comprising of either starting a game but not finishing it or not starting it at all) is time.

I find time to be the biggest enemy for me. Is that ever a problem for anyone else? I always wonder how the hardcore gamers like my friends find the time to do anything. Most of us are in our mid to late 20s with lives outside of games like going to school or having regular jobs to support ourselves. At the end of the day I have so many other things to take care of I’m lucky if I find time to play at least an hour or two of my game.

Some may argue the weekend is the best time for games. This may be true, but I find I’m almost always on the go during the weekends too. It has become quite rare for me to be able to stay home and game. When I do stay home something always comes up to keep me from my precious game time.

I wonder how it is for everyone else? If you are gamer, how do you manage to devour a game and be on to the next? I definitely would like to be enlightened on that.

Manga and their anime counterparts

Whenever I pick up a really good manga series, I immediately try to see if their is an anime to go with it. Almost all the series I’ve read were lucky enough to have been made into one like Sailor Moon, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Fushigi Yugi, Ceres: Celestial Legend, Cardcaptor Sakura, and the list goes on.

I think a lot of the animes made around the 90’s like the ones I have mentioned above have been good adaptations of their original source material. It is to be expected that an anime that’s based off of the manga will be somewhat faithful to the series, but then veer off and become a slightly different version of its original. Most of these changes are not bad at all. It just makes the anime kind of like its own story separate from the manga. The same happens when books are made into films. They are just going to be completely different from the other despite every intention of being faithful to the original. Things have to get cut out or they add things to the film based on what looks better on the screen. Some things translate better in a book than in film and vice versa.

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