Saturday, 28 November 2015

Christmas Panic

*Laughs nervously*. Having finished my Christmas Gifts Guide, you would have thought that I'm very organised with my Christmas To Do list, and I have probably done all of the Christmas shopping already. Normally, yes I would have.

Normally, I would have finished the shopping by now, like many of you who have left a comment on the Christmas Giveaway (it's still open until Sunday the 6th December 2015 by the way. Do enter for a chance to win an additional gift for this Christmas, or even next!), and I would have already been talking to the family about meeting up and what to do for the Christmas dinner. I would even have started working on Christmas gifts for the teachers, with a name list to check through, etc. But this year, something has changed and my heart is skipping a beat every time I think of all the things that I still have to do for Christmas!

I just can't believe December has crept up on me and I'm now panicking because there is so much to be done and I haven't done many of them!

First, that Christmas shopping. I was hoping to grab some bargains, especially the Christmas gifts the kids asked for, during the Black Friday deals but that went out of the window. Just browsing through different websites gave me a headache, and I don't think that they are really that much cheaper than normal? The really good deals I was interested in appeared at the most awkward times for me as well, and I just don't have the time to keep checking for good deals or sit there at midnight fighting over a lightning deal. So that still needs doing, but then the kids told me that they want something else to add to the list (Santa won't like last minute orders you know?) The thing is, I only have until the 18th before the kids go off on holiday, so if I want to go out and shop without the kids around, I will have to do it quick.

I also need a final list of teachers, neighbours and family we are gifting to (this list grows by the year), and make another test batch for the gifts I'm giving to them (I just couldn't pick something easier to do could I).

And for some reason, I decided to make our own Christmas crackers this year (why?!) that needs putting together, and stuff our reusable advent calendar with pieces of a treasure map yet to be drawn (must remember to get the treasure as well...). And! There is the research for next year's trip as well, because the tickets for Summer holiday is going fast, and the longer I wait, the more expensive they seem to be!

The only thing I have done is shop for more Christmas decorations, which we already have plenty so it was a bit unnecessary, the materials for the gifts and Christmas crackers, and a couple of stocking fillers. I did plan ahead what to cook for our Christmas dinner (luckily it's just the 4 of us this year), although I can't really grab the ingredients until the week before. (Argh! The Yule Log I was going to bake this year too!)

It just feels so unorganised this year, and I really don't like it because I'm not the last minute kind of people. Hopefully it'll all be okay at the end!

How about you? Have you already finished your shopping, or are you like me, still have some last minute shopping to do? Why not let me know on the Christmas Giveaway post? I'm looking forward to see when majority start doing their Christmas shopping!

Friday, 27 November 2015

LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar 2015

Christmas Advent Calendar, LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar 2015, Star Wars

It's the brand new 2015 LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar! Even without the latest Star Wars movie coming out, LEGO Star Wars advent calendar has always been a hot item to get for Christmas (it's already out of stock on LEGO's website, but still available in other places if you are quick!), and this year it's looking even better!

Christmas Advent Calendar, LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar 2015, Star Wars

Christmas Advent Calendar, LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar 2015, Star Wars

I just love receiving surprises, especially beautifully wrapped ones! Can you imagine the look on the LEGO and/ or Star Wars fan's face if you give them an early Christmas present, wrapped like the above in 5 days time? It might be like this:

Haha! He couldn't get his eyes off the advent calendar and had snack crumbs everywhere!

Christmas Advent Calendar, LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar 2015, Star Wars

Christmas Advent Calendar, LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar 2015, Star Wars

I think that this year's LEGO Star Wars advent calendar is definitely better than the past 2 years. Look at how cute the R2-D2 reindeer is! And the exclusive golden C-3PO minifigure in Santa Claus' outfit! There is also the mini AT-AT, which Clay has been wishing for this Christmas but is also out of stock on LEGO's website (people are quick with their Christmas shopping!), mini Millenium Falcon and other well known minifigures, etc etc. If there is a LEGO Star Wars advent calendar you should get, it's definitely this one!

This is definitely Clay's dream come true because he had a huge Christmas list full of LEGO Star Wars sets. He's so going to ask me every day whether he can open it until the 1st!

I see that Argos still have some stock left (RRP £24.99), otherwise you might have to pay a bit more from Amazon UK and EBay, so be quick if you haven't got it yet but would like to!

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations

Adventure Time Finn and Jake Investigation, Point and Click Game, Action Adventure Game

Yesterday I mentioned that my favourite game type before having Clay was MMORPG, but before that (I'm such a gamer! *Ehem*) I was really into point-and-click games. You know the kind where you point and click at places to find clues and combine items to make something useful, then solve a puzzle? The room escape range for example, is a kind of point-and-click, although it doesn't have all the features.

I haven't played any for years now because I couldn't find any (I admit I wasn't really looking very hard) that are as good as my favourite point-and-click series - Little Big Adventures and Monkey Island (ahhh the classics!), so I'm really really glad that I gave Adventure Time: Finn & Jake Investigations a try, because it is definitely comparable! The 3D cartoon graphics, the humourous dialogue in that American accent (haha yea it became part of the memory), all reminded me of the good old days!

I haven't gotten really far because I'm er, a bit stuck at a puzzle, and I'm trying to avoid cheating like I used to (one must get through the game...), because I really want to solve the puzzle myself. In fact, now that I have Abby, I might just try it out with her because sometimes, SOMETIMES, she's cleverer than me. Sometimes.

Anyway. Although I couldn't move further in the game, I do think that I can give you a general idea of what the game is about and like.

Adventure Time Finn and Jake Investigation, Point and Click Game, Action Adventure Game

Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigation (pegi 7, out now on Wii U, new Nintendo 3DS, XBox One, XBox 360, PS4 and PS3) is an action adventure game by Bandai Namco Entertainment with a point-and-click game play.

Players (it is a single player game) play as Finn, with Jake as his sidekick which the player can "use" at occasions (see below). The game starts with them receiving a report at their Tree House that the Candy Kingdom is in trouble and they went to investigate.

There will be tutorials available and reminders at times (I think this is only available in the first chapter, to help players get used to the game play), although it can be quite difficult for 7 to 8 years olds to try to solve the problems all by themselves. Abby managed to get the first part of the first investigation solved on her own, but she was a bit stuck in the second part as she wasn't used to combining items together to make something else (see below).

Although it is a single player game, you don't have to work it out all on your own. Players can always work as a team to solve the problems to make it more fun!

Adventure Time Finn and Jake Investigation, Point and Click Game, Action Adventure Game
When the previous puzzle is unsolved, the next puzzle will be locked until players are ready to move on.
Adventure Time Finn and Jake Investigation, Point and Click Game, Action Adventure Game
Jake being useful!
Adventure Time Finn and Jake Investigation, Point and Click Game, Action Adventure Game
Funny dialogue. At least we know that the item isn't needed!
Adventure Time Finn and Jake Investigation, Point and Click Game, Action Adventure Game
Occasional multiple choice questions and answers. It really makes you think!
Adventure Time Finn and Jake Investigation, Point and Click Game, Action Adventure Game
Reminder of what to do with some items that are meant to be combined with others. The tutorial and reminders only appears in the first chapter to get players used to the game
Adventure Time Finn and Jake Investigation, Point and Click Game, Action Adventure Game
Inventory shows what you have picked up, notes written down, and reminder of what each buttons do.
This is also where you combine items together to make something else
To play, players walk around the scene(s) to see if there are anything useful to investigate. When there is, useful icons will pop up to tell you that you can get further information from it (although not always useful!), use it, or use something on it. You can also use Jake to get you to unreachable places, or use Jake with something else to make him do something.

The normal tactic is to investigate every single corner of the scene (just like all real investigators do!), talk to everyone and pick up anything you can. Sometimes you'll see something that looks useful but you can't use, meaning that you aren't ready to use it yet and it's not part of the current investigation. Do take note of it and go back later.

The only problem here is that the game only saves at particular checkpoints. So if you have collected a lot of items but couldn't get to the next checkpoint before you have to shut down the game, then you'll have to do it all over again, including talking to people.

Occasionally, you'll get a multiple choice Question and Answer (Q&A) part, which is a classic feature in a point-and-click game and you can either find a lot of information from it, or solve a problem by studying the answer choices. Even if you get it wrong, you can try again. I haven't come across a long Q&A sequence yet where you'll have to answer several questions correctly in a go or you'll have to start from the beginning, but there is a possibility that it will appear, and when it does, it'll help to write the answers down!

A lot of times players will have to combine something together to make something useful. For example, when you picked up a bubble wand, you'll know that you'll be needing soap with it. It is really fun to put the puzzle together, but it can also give you a headache when you don't know what to put together to make something useful! That's the time when you just have to give it a go. You can check what you have in your inventory and try mix and match items to get something else.

Adventure Time Finn and Jake Investigation, Point and Click Game, Action Adventure Game

I had to occasionally knock enemies down in Little Big Adventure (I don't remember whether I had to in Monkey Island as well), and it was my least favourite part of the game. But attacking an enemy discreetly (so they won't run after me or set off an alarm) is also a puzzle that requires solving, so I found it fairly fitting to the game.

But in Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations, players will be transported into an arena mode to fight enemies. It's not difficult, and Jake's ability time (combo attack) makes it even more easy, but by pulling players out of a scene they were investigating, the Combat Time feels like a completely separate thing from the game. So again, it's my least favourite feature in the game, and I would rather Abby not play this part of the game (I'm very strict with this, they have been banned from Minecraft, a supposedly creative game, because they were hitting and actually killing each other in Survival mode, which I'm really not impressed with).

Overall, I like this game because of the puzzle solving, point-and-click game play, graphics and the sense of humour. All these are comparable with the classics and really reminded me of the good old days. I also think it'll be great for kids to train their logical thinking, or even creativity and imaginations, and problem solving skills. I would have preferred that the combat mode was designed differently though.

It's still a game worth recommending for the point-and-click fans, and I'm sure not everyone think about a short, occasional combat mode like I do.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...