Rainy Day's Books, Video Games and Other Writings



If We Were Having Coffee: Bringing the Heat Indoors

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If we were having coffee, I’d tell you most of my week has been pretty unproductive. Spent most of it continuing to read Ready Player One and lounging around the house. Mostly because my neck and head pain hadn’t gone away and I didn’t want to do anything else while dealing with it. But I also worked on editing another poem to post on my blog and watching YouTube videos.

Watching videos on YouTube is actually one of my many favorite hobbies. I usually do it whenever I don’t feel like watching television. Most of the videos I watch on YouTube are video game videos. I watch fellow gamers play video games to find out what type of games people are into lately. But also because I don’t have the current game systems out now. So I watch YouTubers to see games I might possibly be interested in playing myself one day whenever I’m able to afford getting a PlayStation 4. I also do it too because I sometimes just like watching other people play games because it can be mildly entertaining seeing another person play something and enjoying it. It also makes me feel like I’m even more a part of the gamer community because I watch YouTubers who play games currently available. But also watching them play games I might enjoy is fun too.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about my fun day I spent with a friend on Thursday. We went driving around to different towns and parks here in South Carolina, then got out of the car and walked, looking at the beautiful world around us. I was tired whenever we first started our trip because he’d asked me if I could wake up a little earlier than usual so we could get started earlier in the day in order to have plenty of time together. But it was lots of fun, just driving around, seeing different places around us. We even briefly drove through some of the mountains here, which was such a beautiful sight to see. My ears were popping during that part of the trip, but it was worth it seeing all of that beautiful landscape.


This is a picture taken at one of the parks we went to. It had a nice waterfall too and there were lots of ducks and geese there, swimming, squawking, just having a good time. This park is located in Greenville.


This is the mountain view we saw on our way to our next destination.


The house up on the hill is the home of an author who lives in North Carolina named Carl Sandburg. Going to this place took us a little bit of a drive, but my friend wanted to show me this place. I’m not a big fan of history but seeing this author’s home in the distance really excited me. It was a beautiful uphill walk that took my breath away with each step.


 Our last stop was seeing Carl Sandburg’s house at a historic park. It was in North Carolina though so we had an hour and a half to two-hour drive to get there, but it was so worth the time it took for us to get there. I really enjoyed going there not only because the view of the house was breathtaking but because once we got up the hill, there’s a goat house where you can go and pet goats. I would say this part of the trip was one of my favorites because we did quite a bit of walking and it was just such a beautiful place to visit. After leaving this place, we headed home, quickly grabbing a bite to eat before heading back. Overall, the trip was such a great time that I can’t wait to see what type of adventure we go on next.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you Friday was quite a draining day. I was woken up early because Mom discovered a problem with our air conditioner and was having someone come to find out what needed to be fixed. So since I was still tired from my fun filled Thursday, I went back to sleep on our couch until around the time I normally wake up, waiting for the guy to get here. Once he did, he immediately went to our attic to find out what was wrong with our air conditioning. And what he had to tell us wasn’t good news. Apparently our coils for the air conditioning that connect to our drain were very rusty and there was mold on them. So our whole air conditioning system has to be replaced because of the mold. We also think this is possibly why I haven’t been feeling so great the past two weeks. Apparently, the mold was so bad that if anyone in the house was allergic to it, it would affect them. And while my allergies mostly pertain to pollen, I think it’s also possible I could have an allergic reaction to mold, which is why my head and neck have been hurting.

But because we need to get our air conditioning replaced, we’ve had to turn it off completely until they are able to come and fix it. Unfortunately, they won’t be at our house to work on it until Monday, which means this weekend we’ve been having to deal without it. Meaning, we now have a lot of box fans set up around the house and all of our ceiling fans on because we need cool air in our house. We live in the south where our summers are usually hot in temperature and right now our house is around 90 degrees in temperature. Unfortunately, I really have a low tolerance for heat and summer isn’t one of my favorite seasons of the year. I love doing things like swimming and laying out to get a tan during the summer. But otherwise, I want to stay away from the heat as much as I possibly can. And since we have this heat in our house now, I want even less to do with it now than ever before. But so far, I feel like we are dealing with it well, trying to stay as positive as we can. Monday just can’t seem to get here fast enough though.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I also finished reading Ready Player One and wrote the review for it on Friday. I overall enjoyed it, but gave it three stars because there were so many issues I had with it that made it difficult for me to enjoy it even more. Now I’m on to read Ernest Cline’s second novel Armada, which is so far pretty good. I’m hoping I enjoy it as much as Ready Player One or even more so, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

And that’s been my week overall pretty much. Nothing else I can think of writing, at least right now. I hope you’ve enjoyed the coffee and can’t wait to hear about how your week has been going.

First Impressions: Bioshock

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Bioshock is a first person shooter, adventure game. Developed by 2K Boston, Bioshock takes place in the 1960’s and centers on the main character Jack. After surviving a plane crash, Jack makes his way into an underwater city named Rapture. Created by the business magnate Andrew Ryan, Rapture was intended to be an isolated utopia. However, the discovery of ADAM, a genetic material that gives people superhuman powers resulted in the cities rapid decline.

Jack’s first glimpse into the city Rapture.

In Bioshock, Jack is trying to escape from Rapture, fighting hordes of enemies obsessed with ADAM and creatures like Big Daddies while interacting with the few humans who remain to learn more about Rapture’s past. Playing as Jack, the player gets to use not only weapons to shoot enemies down but also different superhuman powers, such as Incinerate and Telekinesis. These different abilities give the player a vast array of opportunities to kill their enemies, giving the player a unique gaming experience.

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Bioshock is truly an amazing gaming experience. As a rookie computer and first person shooter video game player, I was immediately hooked into playing this game. Bioshock had just all of the right elements to get me immersed into the world of Rapture and wanting to learn more about what happened to this beautiful city.

Bioshock is a video game that interested me from the start because of how interactive the game can get the player. This interaction can be seen through fighting enemies and listening to the diary entries of the different people who once lived in Rapture. Fighting enemies gives the player a sense of interaction because you get to kill enemies from a first person perspective. You play as Jack and get to control his movements as he kills his enemies using all of the different abilities in his arsenal. The diary entries also provide an interactive experience in Bioshock because they give the player more detail to the story. These journal entries help explain pieces of the puzzle that aren’t already unlocked for Jack and tell the player more about the people who lived in Rapture and what happened to them.

My first Splicer kill in Bioshock.
My first Splicer kill in Bioshock.

Another aspect of Bioshock that gets the player immersed into the game is the music. The music in this game is truly creepy and made me feel as if I were playing a horror game. Having this music to the game while fighting enemies gave me chills. This music contributed so much to my feelings of horror that when enemies appeared out of nowhere, I found myself jumping in my seat.

The one aspect to Bioshock that I’m still getting used to is the player controls. Since I don’t have a whole lot of experience playing first person shooter and computer games, I’m not yet used to how controls in these types of games work. Because of my lack of experience, whenever I find myself facing Splicers and other enemies, I often end up feeling turned around and confused trying to get the controls down so that I can kill them. The player controls also have me frustrated too because I find myself getting stuck at parts in the game because of them.

However, Bioshock is a truly marvelously beautiful game. My experience with it has so far been a wonderful one and I can’t wait to see where this game takes me.


First Impressions: Alice Mare

Alice Mare Title

Alice Mare is an adventure, horror and puzzle game created by Miwashiba in Wolf RPG Editor.

Alice Mare centers around a boy named Allen. After losing his memory, Allen is placed in a home where four other children live. While at this facility, Allen discovers there to be a World of Dreams. He also learns more about the other children he lives with through storybook telling.

Through exploration, the player will find out what’s going on but can also unlock a total of seven different endings.

Alice Mare is a game that I’m still struggling to figure out how I feel about it. When I first started playing, I was confused and trying to figure out what’s going on. This occurred because the game has the player jump right into the game without any detail. I like that the game did this because it made playing Alice Mare that much more interesting for me. However, I also felt confused when I was playing because I didn’t begin to realize what was going on until later.

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What I do like about Alice Mare is the music. I feel that a lot of the music you hear while you play is really beautiful and makes the gameplay enjoyable for the player. Some of the songs that I really enjoyed from Alice Mare include Miracle of the Stars, Playing with Dolls, Murdered, and El Paradiso. It really helped set the tone of the game and gave the player an idea of how things were going.

Another aspect of Alice Mare I enjoy is the character’s stories. I love that Miwashiba gave each of the characters fairytale stories. I really love fairytales and it was easy to see how each of these fairytales was uniquely incorporated into the game. It also made the game enjoyable to me because while I was playing, I was trying to figure out which fairytale each of the children were a part of. I also found that I loved all of these different characters because the player could connect and feel sympathy for them.

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Another aspect of Alice Mare I really enjoyed was the horror that was incorporated into the game. It wasn’t a whole lot, but enough to make the player see that there is horror in the game. The player could see a lot of these aspects not only through the music, but through the graphics as well. While the music in the game set the tone for each scene, the graphics themselves helped the player figure out what was going to happen to the characters next. This intrigued me while playing because I didn’t know what to expect from scene to scene.

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What I didn’t enjoy while playing Alice Mare was the lack of plot explanation. The player knows that Allen is a young boy, new to the facility he has been placed in. However, the player doesn’t get a vivid explanation of these dream worlds and doesn’t know a whole lot about the characters other than what’s relayed in the game. The player never finds out who Alice is (though the game implies it’s you, though you don’t know for sure).

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I also didn’t enjoy any of the puzzles and riddles you had to do to progress in the game. I found them to be confusing and the answers for a lot of them didn’t make a lot of sense to me. The only way I progressed at all was from looking at the Alice Mare Wiki to get the answers to the puzzles and riddles.

So while I did enjoy playing Alice Mare, I’m still conflicted on how I feel about it.

Reliving Memories: Dark Cloud 2

Dark Cloud 2 Cover

Known as Dark Chronicle in Japan and Europe, Dark Cloud 2 is an adventure RPG dungeon crawling game made by Level 5. Published in 2003, Dark Cloud 2 centers around two characters: Maximillian and Monica Raybrandt.

An inventor and son of the wealthiest man in Palm Brinks, Maximillian works at Cedric’s shop, helping him repair parts. His adventure begins after a chance encounter with Flotsam’s Circus Troupe where he not only finds out about the outside world, but discovers that he has the Red Atlamillia, which allows him to go into the past. Monica Raybrandt is the daughter of King Raybrandt. She is the owner of the Blue Atlamillia and is sent into the past to help Maximillian stop Emperor Griffin from destroying the future after she witnesses him kill her father. Together, Maximillian and Monica work to repair the past in order to bring a brighter future to their world.

I remember as a child playing this game a lot. I had first heard about Dark Cloud 2 from a friend of mine at daycare in elementary school. Back then, I was the tomboy in my group of friends. I was the only girl at the daycare I went to who hung out with all the guys because most of the girls at my daycare I couldn’t relate to. I found out about Dark Cloud 2 from one of my friends there, started playing it, and haven’t stopped since.

I have so many fond memories of this game because it became one of my favorite games to play as a child. Now that I’m older, I’ve been playing Dark Cloud 2 with my boyfriend Zach so that I can relive all those moments of playing this game when I was little. Even though when I was younger I never got further than the second dungeon, there are a lot of things about this game that I liked even then.

For one, there are a lot of unique features this game has that I haven’t seen yet in other video games. For example, in order to recover the future, the player has to build Georamas. Georamas are a way of rebuilding the past in order to restore the future. In order to put a Georama together, the player needs the Carpenterion and Geostones. The Carpenterion is a machine that allows you to create the items you need to make the Georama. However, in order to make the Georama parts, the player needs Geostones, which holds the data the Carpenterion needs to create these parts. What I like about this feature in Dark Cloud 2 is that it is a very unique way of building items and that each Georama has its own sets of challenges that the player has to overcome if they want to progress further in the game.

Dark Cloud 2 Georama

I also enjoy playing Dark Cloud 2 because of the dungeons. Each floor in all of the dungeons in this game have unique monsters to fight and unique gate keys that the player has to obtain. In order to get to the next dungeon floor, the player has to fight monsters to obtain the gate key and I like that each dungeon has its own corresponding gate key that is different from all the others. I also like that each of the dungeon floors are randomly generated, which allows the player to have a unique gaming experience on each dungeon level. Another component to the dungeons I enjoy is the music. I enjoy that each dungeon has its own music that is unique to the area the player is exploring. I just find that the music in Dark Cloud 2 is beautiful and that it makes me enjoy fighting monsters all the more as I continue to play this game.

Dark Cloud 2 Rainbow Butterfly Wood Dungeon
Monica in Rainbow Butterfly Wood, the second dungeon in Dark Cloud 2.

Another aspect of Dark Cloud 2 I love is building up Max and Monica’s weapons. Both Max and Monica have unique weapons the player needs to build up to make stronger weapons the player can use to fight monsters. The building up process involves synthesizing items, such as crystals to strengthen Max and Monica’s stats. Once you have certain numbers for your stats, you are able to build your weapon up to a stronger wrench, gun, sword or armband. What I love about their weapons is that they are unique. For example, Max’s main weapon is a wrench, which is something I’ve never seen in any other game I’ve played. I also like that when you build your weapon up that the player has more than one option. This allows the player the ability to have two or three of the same weapon and increase different stats for each one to make the weapon something else. I like that you have multiple options when making your weapon because it gives the player the chance to create different weapons to handle different types of monsters.

Dark Cloud 2 Synthesizing Weapons

However, there are also components to Dark Cloud 2 that I don’t enjoy. These features are going fishing and playing Spheda. As a person who doesn’t enjoy fishing as a hobby, I find playing fishing in this game to be boring because it doesn’t excite me in any way. While at times it can be peaceful after finishing a tough dungeon or battle with a monster, it’s more of a hassle to do. Especially when you first start playing Dark Cloud 2 before you have Fabio join your party. Spheda is a video game version of golf. The goal of Spheda is to hit your ball, which will either be blue or red, into the red or blue hole of the opposite color. If the ball and the hole are the same color, the ball will just bounce off the hole. However, the player only has a certain amount of hits they can do before the time distortion disappears. While Spheda can sometimes be fun to play, I find that I don’t enjoy it as much because it’s more of a pain to do. One of the reasons Spheda is a pain to play is because the player has to clear the dungeon floor of monsters before they can even play. Another reason I don’t like Spheda is because there are so many rooms for error that sometimes trying to clear the time distortion isn’t even worth it.

Dark Cloud 2 Spheda

While playing Dark Cloud 2 with Zach, I’ve been able to discover my love of this game over again. I remember why I played this game a lot as a child, even though I never progressed as far as I have now that I’m playing with another person. Playing Dark Cloud 2 again is such a wonderful experience. I am glad that I am creating such wonderful memories with this game again that I’ll be able to look back on with fondness and a happy heart.



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