Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Lion, The Pigeon, and The Fantastical Manor (witch and wardrobe not included)

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In a previous post entitled, "The Lion and the Pigeon House (no wardrobe this time)" I shared a cropped version of this photograph in a romanticized format. This time, however, c'est vrais (it's true - no alterations). "While travelling in Europe I had the pleasure of staying in a pigeon house, which was much more hospitable than would sound. It was remodeled by a British couple, and the only indication of what it once was were the shoe-box sized holes dotting the curved walls. (The pigeon house in this photograph is the cone shaped building)." The manor (center) is for guests who are willing to pay extra for luxury and meal accommodations - we, however, did fine at our quaint (and superbly comfortable) pigeon house, crafting our own scrumptious repas with local ingredients.

Free Publications: Updates Available

In January of this year, I provided the manuscripts for my short story publications on this blog, without

The annotated version of War At Our Doorstep delves into the story, uncovering important details and casting light upon the story's various ambiguities. The story provided in this post is the original, unannotated version.

the extras provided by their ninety-nine cent counterparts, and developed my Literary Feedback page to gather the opinions of my readers and subscribers.

Since then, months have passed, and I’ve updated my publications. War at Our Doorstep has had punctuation errors and an imagery [literary] device was altered. 400 Years of Silence was extended to include additional background about the character Manasseh, and pave the way for the potential novel to come.

These new additions are available on their old posts:

https://adventurewriter.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/400-years-of-silence-six-hundred-word-story/

https://adventurewriter.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/war-at-our-doorstep-2/

If you’re looking for a quick read, these should do the trick, and as always, I’d love to have feedback (that’s why I changed “Leave a Reply” to “Share Your Opinion” – much more welcoming).

A Walk Through Rouen

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Rouen is a city of great historical significance and extraordinary beauty. One may walk along its streets, observing modern stores which are seemingly out of place within these quaint edifices. Beyond, the fair lady of Rouen is ever in sight, in much the manner as her sister in Paris, yet of a significantly unique construction.

Kid Icarus: Uprising – Review

Kid Icarus: Uprising is the latest Nintendo 3DS game released by Nintendo and designed by Masahiro Sakurai, creator of the hit Smash Brothers series.

Introduction

You play as the angel Pit, following the orders of Palutena, the goddess of light and protector of

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Kid Icarus: Uprising (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

humanity, as you fight against the resurrected Medusa. Your journey takes you from towns to spaceships, futuristic landscapes to ‘natural’ wonders – each equally captivating, with an added vibrancy due to the extra dimension of 3-D. The story, however, does not end after your primary objective, taking an unexpected turn and extending gameplay exponentially as a result. Chapters may also be replayed at different intensity levels, from practically effortless to an infernal onslaught which may pose a challenge for even the most experienced of players.

Gameplay

Ease of gameplay has been disputed among players, however, it is certainly do-able. Albeit more suited to right-handed players, lefty’s should by no means be deterred, as only simple swipes of the stylus are required of their right hand. As a left-dominant player myself, I found the game to be difficult at first, albeit much easier after the first few missions had accustomed me to the configuration – no adjustment of the controls was necessary, albeit Nintendo has provided that as an option in addition to the circle-pad pro.

Sound

The soundtrack of Kid Icarus: Uprising is incredibly beautiful and uniquely assorted. From soothing orchestral, violin accompanied tracks, to simple ditties which serve but a momentary purpose – all serve to heighten the enjoyability of the game and immerse the player within the world of Greek myth. Not to mention, each piece is made available as an unlockable, by the completion Treasure Hunt achievements (which also reward hearts, weapons, idols, etc).

Dialogue is a key characteristic of the game, seemingly present without ceasing. Albeit, it rather serves as a compliment to gameplay, once a player is acquainted with the controls and may appreciate the witty repartees and mindless jabber with comprehension. Otherwise, they are aggravations at best. Once, however, this condition has been met, the dialogue maintains interest in a seemingly empty world (aside from the attacks of underworld minions), where there is little character interaction, aside from these exchanges.

Content

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Defeated! Visual depicts an AR Card idol battle captured with in-game camera applications.

The content of Kid Icarus: Uprising is truly abundant. With 25 chapters, unlockable back-to-back boss battles, dozens of weapons (to be bought with hearts, the KI:U currency) and power customizations (and a land + battle practice range to try them out on), three treasure hunts with one-hundred twenty achievements each, collectible in-game and paper-card “idols” (digital figures with descriptions and AR Card capabilities), streetpass-spotpass enabled, online / local multiplayer, and much more. Albeit some features are more engaging and useful than others.

Multiplayer is a competitive challenge, although there are no overall leaderboards, which is a letdown. Players accumulate points during the process of each match and are ranked according to their totals at the conclusion. Wins are saved and exchanged via streetpass.

Playable characters include:

  • Pit (primary): chief angel of Palutena, the goddess of light and protector of humanity. He is persistent, passionate, and often quite silly.
  • Pittoo: Pit’s Doppelganger, created by Pandora’s mirror, often an antagonizing force, albeit (highlight spoiler > ) linked with Pit in life force and becomes an ally due to necessity and a slight change of heart.
  • Magnus: powerful human mercenary, dedicated to fighting against underworld forces.
  • Little Girl: details unknown, resident of a ruined city.
  • Dog: details unknown, resident of a ruined city. Can sniff out and locate food in garbage, runs without tiring.

Family Analysis (E10+ [ESRB])

The characters within KI:U aren’t exceptionally frightening, albeit some are notably grotesque, such as the lord of the Underworld – with pointy fangs, red eyes, and whatnot. There is no blood, and most combat is against the forces of the underworld, in the form of giant eyeballs, frog-like beings, and other odd but otherwise inhuman creatures. There are, however, a few human / god encounters where a character will make known they have been defeated and may even make a corresponding exclamation of defeat. However, deaths are seldom, often with enemies returning to fight again unscathed. Albeit, this does not dismiss the violence in itself. The game is likely more suitable for tweens, teens, and older, than ten year-olds, unless families take care to monitor their child’s gameplay and discuss plotline implications. There are a few  sexual references – in one instance, Palutena jokingly tells Pit she can read minds and that he “better not be thinking anything naughty,” to which he exclaims in surprise, as if he had been contemplating unsavory matters. Some characters, such as a Nature-Force leader is flirtatious, while Amazon Pandora takes it a step further, emphasizing her appearance and is overtly coquettish.

Christian Implications

The fact that there are collectible “idols” should be telling in itself of the game’s religious affiliations. Rape, murder, and other mature concepts of Greek mythology are not mentioned, however, spiritual references are made. Pit “prays” for Palutena’s safety, at which point another goddess remarks he is a very confused angel, since he has no god/dess to pray to at the moment. A reincarnation of Helios, Hades, Medusa, and Poseidon (as well as others) make appearances, with a few original gods and goddesses exclusive the Kid Icarus realm. Pit is the protector (by extension of Palutena) of the helpless humans who are referred to as selfish and greedy, the gods are also revealed in their folly (often warring against one another and causing trouble).

La Fleur Inconnue Rose: Of Monet’s Garden

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While in Giverny, Monet's garden was of our principal interest and thus, we spent most of our time there, engaging ourselves in developing photographic compositions and simply enjoying the sweet aromas and stunning floral arrangements which were in abundance.. In observing this flower, I was taken by its complexity, as opposed to the general simplicity of its surrounding kin. It stood prominently in the midst of the garden... and yet, I knew not its appellation.

Meeting Deadlines

The past few days I’ve been incredibly busy meeting deadlines and fulfilling obligations. However, starting Thursday, the Adventure Writer’s Blog will be observing a spike in post-publication activity to rectify the downtime.