Nintendo Switch Review

On the 26th June I got a neon Nintendo Switch and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Since then it has kind of taken over my life. I’ve left school and finished my a-level exams now so I have more time to relax, more time to read, write and play games and spend time with the important people in my life.

11396090-1784485336392124The Nintendo Switch was released in March of this year (2017) and for those who have been hiding under a rock, it is a hybrid console. You can play the switch in a variety of ways, as a handheld, as a home console and each joycon can be used as a separate controller or they can be put as one controller. Now I can’t speak much in terms of games because I only have the one at the moment (Mario Kart 8 Deluxe) but I do love it and I can say that both on the TV and as a portable console it is fantastic. I think the graphics look beautiful, the console feels well-made and the joycons, although being small for my boyfriend, they fit perfectly in my girly hands!

So, what do you get in the box for your £279.99? Actually more than you may expect. You get the switch itself, which is about the same size as an Amazon 7 tablet, two joycons (left and right), 2 joycon straps (please look at the + and – when putting these on!!), the dock, an AC adapter which is USB-C, a HDMI cable and a joycon grip (dock? thing to turn it into one controller?). You’ve got everything you need to get set up and honestly the switch for both portable and home console mode is very easy to set up and it took me a matter of minutes. All the cables are tucked away nicely in the dock so it looks a bit nicer too. A word of warning about the dock though, please be careful. I myself am restraining from using the switch until I my glass screen protector arrives because there have been multiple people say that the dock has scratched their screen (which is a plastic one), so I’d recommend a screen protector or a dock-sock, which you can get from etsy and I’ll definitely be purchasing one at some stage.

Nintendo SwitchLike I said before, the graphics are great and although I’ve only had a full experience with Mario Kart, I have played demos for Puyo-Puyo Tetris and Snipperclips with my boyfriend and they are really fun and Snipperclips is a really funny and silly game. Out of what has been released so far I have seen a fair few games I want, but being the fresh-out-of-school human that I am, it’s gonna take me a while to get money to get games but my wishlist is full and I’ve seen a lot of great reviews for a variety of games and the lineup for what is to come looks amazing. Mario games are coming out this year as well as Skyrim and there are Kirby, Yoshi and Pokemon games being lined up as well. I also hope for an Animal Crossing game. That’ll be amazing!

Other than all that, all I can really say in summary is for the £279.99, this is an amazing console. I love it. I highly highly highly recommend it and I’m so excited to build a collection of joycons and games. Nintendo have done an amazing job on this and it’s really fun. I think my 3DS and Wii U are gonna be neglected for a while but the 3DS will still be one of my favourite Nintendo products. Let me know your opinions on the Switch, if you have one or want one!

A Girl for All Time – Lydia

The second doll I own from the ‘A Girl for All Time’ series is Lydia Peyton, who is from the Georgian era and comes from the same family that began with Matilda Marchmont. If you haven’t read my review of Matilda then please do so, but for anyone that hasn’t, the A Girl for All Time company has both dolls and books to do with historical eras of the UK and starts off with the Tudor era. The base line of dolls all come from the same family, but the company is working on expanding their range.

lydia_offer_dress_1024x1024Lydia Peyton is from the Georgian era (as previously mentioned) but instead of being a full UK girl, she goes to Boston. She doesn’t have a book out yet, although I hope soon she will have one so I do not really know as much about her history, but as a doll she is lovely. She’s a 16 inch doll with somewhat articulated joints and shes amazing for play and photography (although I only do the latter option) and she also makes appearances on my photography Instagram. I got her for Christmas a couple of years ago, but on the website she is £89.99 which I know seems like a lot but both she and her clothes are very well made and designed with such detail. Her clothes are all very detailed and beautiful and I own both the outfit she comes in and her riding outfit, both very high quality.

I definitely recommend this line for anyone who is into collecting or photography or history and even the books are wonderful and although they are more expensive I have seen that they are great for kids and they’re beautiful little things as well. I couldn’t recommend them enough!

-Laura

Tamagotchi – A Childhood Love

As a kid I adored Tamagotchis and even into my early teens I was just amazed by these weird little egg-shaped virtual pets. They were cute, some were in colour (only available in Japanese) and they were all different sizes and some did different things and to me they were just a fun thing to collect. Seeing the evolution from the 90’s ones which didn’t do much and there wasn’t much variety in terms of characters into these slightly more complex ones (still in greyscale) and into coloured ones was just amazing to me.
red_leavesSince I was a child I collected a fair few. Mostly tamagotchi branded ones but one was a vmigo and one is a pikachu one it means I managed to get a total of 18. Most of them do very similar things but there are 6 which stand out to me in terms of my collection. These being that of the v4.5 (the first one I got), the vmigo, the P’s, the v5, angel and the school version.

The v4.5 stands out to me because it was the first one I got and I’ve always loved it. The vmigo is very unique as it isn’t a branded one and you look after a dog instead of a fictionally designed creature. The P’s is interesting because of the pierces you can collect to get different content (I found this a little annoying though as the pierces seem quite expensive, especially now). The v5 is unique because you take care of a family instead of 1 single creature. The angel is special because it’s actually in English (rarer) and it’s so old and tiny and cute and the school one (I have no idea what the actual name is) is so special because of it’s unique shape and you take care of a school, not 1 single tamagotchi!

In all I find these to be something that I’m still interested in looking at, even now and I probably would consider trying to find more pierces for cheap if I can. I do love my little collection and they hold a lot of memories for me and I will continue to love them for a long time.

-Laura

A Girl for All Time – Matilda

I’ve previously written about the books, and now it is time for me to write about the dolls themselves. For those of you who do not know about this brand, ‘A Girl for All Time’ is a brand of books and dolls based in the UK that represent historical eras, and the main line of dolls all come from the same family, starting off with the beautiful Matilda Marchmont, a lovely little girl from the Tudor era, who is also the cousin of Katherine Howard (the 5th wife of King Henry VIII).

matilda_cut_out_offer_dress_e9a854ab-477e-43d1-a0ca-a5ab45f18bf2_1024x1024Now I’m someone who is really interested in Tudor history, and I also do love photography a lot so these 16 inch dolls were perfect. The usual website price for Matilda is £69.99 and I managed to get her on Amazon for £25! All of their dolls and clothes are very specially made and designed and I think are more towards adult collectors even though children are definitely able to play with these dolls as they are such high quality, but I will also admit now, for adult collectors or photographers, this line of dolls are fantastic. They have such a lovely expression on their faces and are very very beautiful and with each doll you can see that they are related in some way.

Matilda is definitely my favourite because of where she comes from and she honestly has such a lovely little face and is amazing to take photos of (she makes a few appearances on my photography Instagram) and her outfits (she comes with her basic Tudor outfit but others are available) her so high quality. My favourite I think is her ballgown and mask, she looks so beautiful and the mask can make her look very mysterious.

If you are a collector/photographer/history enthusiast then I would definitely recommend looking into the brand, or even just reading the books. I think they’d be a great way of getting children more into history as well although they’re a lot more expensive than other brands of dolls, but I believe that they are well and truly worth every penny!

-Laura

PSP Go as an Emulator

I recently obtained a PSP Go from my father, who hadn’t touched the thing in a long time. For those of you who don’t know what a PSP Go is, it’s a smaller PSP that is smaller and the screen flips up (like an older phone) to reveal the controls. It also does not have a UMD drive (which is the type of game disk that PSP’s use), so it is a digital only console, but has a 16gb internal memory for holding games.

31leh7cnpelI looked into it when I got given it and a lot of people have used it as an emulator and I decided to do the same. Now, I’m not gonna explain it too much because I am awful at explaining how to do things but there are a variety of YouTube videos and other things that can tell you how to do it with a PSP/PSP Go. Basically it involved updating to either 6.61 or 6.60 for the software and then getting custom firmware and then installing emulators and putting the ROM files in the folders for the emulators.

I have done it and have PS1, gameboy, gameboy colour and gameboy advance emulators on there and they work fantastically. I watched a couple YouTube videos on them and that managed to stop my confusion and I’ll admit it is a lot easier than I initially expected. I thought it was going to be so difficult to do and I was going to have to do so much but I didn’t. It was simple to do and I am really enjoying the outcome of this. I have my favourite (more relaxing) games on there which I can dip in and out of whenever I get the time and am in the mood for it and it’s really fun.

If you have been considering putting emulators on your PSP I definitely recommend doing it and if anyone has done it let me know what emulators you have on there 🙂

-Laura

Sims 2 – My Favourite Game

If you’re about my age (18), maybe a bit older, maybe a bit younger, you’ll know of Sims 2. When I was younger I absolutely loved it. For a while I’ve been unable to play any PC game because I have a Chromebook for school, but more recently I’ve gotten a laptop. Now, it’s obviously not the best laptop in the world, but it runs sims 2 and I’m able to use Word and play some other games and it makes me very happy. Being able to play Sims 2 again has been like I’ve reopened and rediscovered my childhood. I have so many memories of playing that game. I loved sending sims off to university, I loved making big families, designing houses, creating stories and playing around with the pre-made families in their little houses and continuing on with their stories, and even looking up about the mystery behind the famous sim of Bella Goth.

I used to be a huge lover of custom content, I always found myself downloading nice clothes and skins and famous celebrities turned into sims from websites like Modthesims and even directly from the Sims 2 website. But playing it again, I realise I love just the original content and what got brought into each expansion pack and stuff pack. I’ll admit my favourite stuff pack was the H&M Stuff, and my favourite expansion pack was most likely Pets. I just loved being able to make pets and put them into my game, it to me added so much to the families. I’ve found myself now enjoying the more simple things within the game, I’ve not felt this need to download extra content into my game like I used to feel. I’ll admit, some more hair colour choices may be nice, I may benefit from those but in all I do enjoy the game how it is.

When I moved house I did struggle to find a lot of my packs for Sims 2, but it wasn’t until I think a few years ago I realised at the time Origin had been doing an amazing thing. I think it may have been to celebrate an anniversary of Sims 2 or something, but they released the entire collection out for FREE if you put in a certain code. I did it and that is how I’ve been playing the game. Thanks to the generosity of Origin, I’ve been able to play a game that meant so much to me in my childhood. I have played Sims 3, and as much as I loved the open world and the customisation options for every single item, I do prefer the simplicity of Sims 2. I haven’t had the chance to play Sims 4, as unfortunately I know my laptop won’t run it, but from what I’ve seen, although I know I’d enjoy it, I also know for certain that I’d go back to Sims 2 every single time. It’s a game that has meant a lot to me and honestly, I’m just glad to have it back in my life.

-Laura

Physical Book vs eBook

There’s always been this physical book vs eBook debate from the moment eBooks became a thing, and it is something I have wanted to express my opinion on for a while.

Firstly, I want to mention that I read both physical and eBooks semi-regularly (school has been making it harder for me to find time to read. Ugh) so have had a variety of experiences with both.

My thoughts on physical books. Well, I own a lot and they’re all beautiful to look at with a variety of sizes (height and width), fonts and formatting (paperback or hardcover) and I have definitely developed a preference. I love hardcover books a lot and generally I have more luck with the fonts with hardcover, but paperbacks are so much cheaper and more easy to store because they are smaller, yet there are inconsistencies with font sizes. I don’t have the best eyes ever, I do wear glasses but I also do find myself getting eye strain if I read a book with small font for too long, I much prefer slightly larger fonts, which is something a lot of books don’t have. I love being able to look at them and I love the smell and feel of a book, but also they can sometimes be a bit difficult to take around. I don’t particularly like carrying around a physical book for multiple reasons:

  1. I am scared it’ll get damaged. I am someone who looks after my books and as much as I’m not too fussed about the spine, I do not want the front cover or back cover or any of the pages bent up from being carried around.
  2. If I finish a book, I’m stuck. I don’t have anything else because I would have only brought that book with me. Whereas with a Kindle, I have so many books to pick and choose from.

Now, my thoughts on eBooks. Generally they can be cheaper and there is a wide variety of eBooks available for free. The text size can be however you want it and 5 physical books weighs a lot more than 5 eBooks. They’re so much easier to carry around. If I’m going to be travelling, I can just stick my Kindle Paperwhite in my bag and away I go, I have a case to protect it so I don’t have to worry about damage and I have a whole load of books readily available to me and it barely weighs anything. It’s fantastic.

Overall though, if I am staying at home, I much prefer to read physical books if I can help it, the only time I won’t when at home is because I struggle with the sizing. If I am out however, I much prefer eBooks because they are so much easier to carry around. Price wise, I’m not too fussed, you can get both eBooks and physical books for fairly cheap depending on where you get them. In general, there shouldn’t really be this debate of ones better than the other and I’ve also seen people be so mean to people who specifically only read eBooks. There shouldn’t be such a divide because at the end of the day, you’re still all getting to enjoy a beautiful piece of writing. I would love to know other peoples thoughts on this however, so please let me know by writing a comment!

-Laura