Sunday, August 18, 2019

Virtual Tourist - Tales of Berseria 8/18/19

Morning!
Well, August has been a big cluster of crazy. Made it down for ArmadilloCon then ended up spending all weekend in the hotel room. The drive tortured my insides too much so I had no tolerance for sitting in the hotel chairs at all. :(
Poor hubby ended up getting a kidney stone for his birthday. We think it's finally out. He was super miserable for the last two weeks! Ugh.
I'd really hoped to make Animefest, but had to cancel out. Did buy a fancy chair to try to make it, but the chair didn't work out, so that was that. (I'm canceling out of Fencon as well. Makes me sad, but better than having to cancel while I am there. Hopefully, 2020 will see me back in full swing.)
It's not helped that work has been insane. After a typical grueling quarter-end that left no time for trying to prep, we're now in July close.  This is the first month everything was done in BOLO, so a ton of changes to pre-existing data so it maps to the new structure had to be done. BOLO is something of a prima donna and tends to do whatever it wants. Has made for some late nights.
The old saying totally applies: When it rains, it pours. :P

Mini Movie Review

Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw

Fast and Furious: Hobbs & Shaw - This film was a lot of fun. It has tons of action, super cool effects, and even emotional issues the characters need to working through. The whole frenemies relationship between Hobbs and Shaw was amusing. They even threw some twists into that which worked very well. Stunts are over the top, which is an F&F staple, but nothing so glaring it pulls you from the story. My only nitpick was when the good guys seem to forget all about the scientist guy. But overall, this was a fun ride! (Three extra clips during the credits! So wait to the very end!) Rating: 3.75 out of 4 (Hubby's rating: Worth Full Price to See Again)

Tales of Berseria

Tales of Berseria - flower field

Is this an idyllic spot or what? That sky is gorgeous!

Tales of Berseria - dungeon hallway

Inside an ancient temple. (If I remember correctly.) The blue things are monsters waiting to drop on you as you walk past.

Tales of Berseria - inside the church

A main hallway in the Exorcists' HQ.

Tales of Berseria - Group photo

Group photo! We're still missing one member of the group at this stage. How she joins and what she's supposed to be doing comes later. :P

Tales of Berseria - magic barrier seal

A magic barrier to keep people out of this particular temple. Didn't stop the group for long. :P

Tales of Berseria - giant temple

The temple we're trying to break into. The seal is so large, you can see it from here!

Tales of Berseria - inside the Earth pulse

Inside the Earth Pulse. Power zones somewhat like ley lines.

Tale of Berseria - jungle temple

Once we escape from the Earth pulse, we ended up in another ancient temple.

Tales of Berseria - outside the ancient temple

Area outside the temple. I got lost in this zone for a while. lol.

Tales of Berseria - demon

A weaponsmith turned demon. Not a happy camper.



Hope August is going a lot better for ya'll than it has been for us! lol. :P

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Virtual Tourist - Yakuza 0 7/21/19

Greetings!

Yes, I dropped off the face of the planet again. Seems a rather common occurrence anymore. :( While I am doing better than I have been, I am not 100%. Sundays have been elusive for some reason. The fact it's quarter-end close and we're doing it in two separate systems hasn't helped! (There's been loads of overtime the last couple of weeks.)

Conventions!

I will be going to my first convention this year in a couple of weeks! ArmadilloCon will soon be upon us!  Looking forward to it. :)

Promotions!

Smashwords is holding a July ebook special offer. Both Crossed-eyed Dragon Troubles and Inner Demons are on sale at 50% off! If you've been curious about my books, this might be the perfect time to try one of them out!

Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles Inner Demons

Yakuza 0

Yakuza 0 - Maharaja

Street view of one of the main roads. The Maharaja dance club is across the street. A gaggle of schoolgirls as well.

Yakuza 0 - Food Display

Tasty looking food display! Not all the businesses are actually there but it does make for some nice scenery. :)

Yakuza 0 - tacrics

This is Oda. He works for Tachibana Real Estate. He says he's not a yakuza, but he sure knows a lot of their tactics! :P

Yakuza 0 - Interesting club front

Interesting club front. lol.

Yakuza 0 - Darts

Kazuma takes all the mini-games very seriously. Here's his game face for playing darts! Brint it!

Yakuza 0 - Karaoke Bar

One of the toughest battlefields - a karaoke bar! (You either get to sing or cheer them on. Not for the weak! So hard!

Yakuza 0 - Whiskey

This is the second Japanese game I've played where they educate the players about certain types of alcohol. Bizarre!

Yakuza 0 - Temple

When one of the game hints told me to seek out a rather unusual Shinto priest, this guy was NOT what I was expecting - white suit, clown face, and green bushy hair. He has free packages of goodies, which include costumes (not yet far enough to be able to see them or wear them). More importantly, is the shrine itself. Doing certain things in the game gains you CP points. (Eating all the food at a restaurant, completing goals like walking 2 miles, etc.) You spend those points here.

Yakuza 0 - Bob U

Close up of the biggest and oddest looking priest ever!

Yakuza 0 - Producer Kazuma

Fashion change for a sub-story. This is what a producer of film looks like. (When we meet the real guy, he's wearing the exact outfit! lol)

That's it for this week. Hopefully, we'll get to go to the movies on Friday. This quarter-end has been brutal and since we're going to the merged company's BOLO system 100% for Aug, close for that should be insane. Ugh...


Have a great week!

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Virtual Tourist - Yakuza 0 6/30/19

Morning! I'm running late!

Yakuza 0

Yakuza 0 - Title Screen

The Yakuza 0 title screen.

Yakuza 0 - mysterious man's suite

Kiryu is helped out by a mysterious man. This is his swanky pad.

Yakuza 0 - Pachinko

Outside a Pachinko arcade. No Sousa marching music though. :P

Yakuza 0 - convenience store

One of several convenience stores in the area.  One of the few places you can buy food to take with you to up your health after a fight. At restaurants, you have to eat it there, unless your health is full, in which case you can't eat at all.

Yakuza 0 - Kiryu's neighborhood

Kiryu's neighborhood. He has a one-room apartment on the second floor of the building on the right.

Yakuza 0 - food displau

A restaurant food display.

Yakuza 0 - mini car races

One of the places Kiryu can play side games. This is for mini car racing! You get a free car, and you can buy or find parts to improve it. One of the few side games I did OK at. Lol.

Yakuza 0 - 50's hoodlum

One of the substories. Rather hilarious. Love his 50's Yankee look.

Yakuza 0 - rebel singing group

These guys are part of a singing group that is very popular with delinquents. They look like delinquents but are far from it. They want me to teach them how to pass as badass, so their fans don't realize the truth. Lol. (The leader talks tough on second, apologetic the next, hilarious.)

Yakuza 0 - restaurant

One of the restaurants you can buy food. On the minimap, they show as orange. The yellow squares are for places you can buy things, like the convenience store. Purple-colored areas are places with games. The Sega Game stores have UFO Catchers! (Something else I'm doing decent on! Yay! Stuffed animals for the win! :P)


Have a great week! And a happy 4th of July!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Virtual Tourist - Yakuza 0 6/16/19

First off, Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there!

Happy Father's Day

Mini Movie Review

Men In Black International

Men In Black: International - They are back! With more attitude, bigger weapons, and the usual chaos! :P  The original theme music is back, so the film had a nostalgic vibe to it. There's even a painting in High T's office of J and K saving the world. :P  There's a recurring theme in the film they pound into you hard - the universe always puts you where you need to be when you need to be there. They stretch this out a bit much! And while some explanations on why things have happened are shown, there are others you have to infer from what's been presented. (For example: Why H changed so much in 3 years. And no, it's not the girlfriend. Though if you don't put it together yourself, it's gone :P) Cool effects, fast pace, overall a good ride! Rating: 3.5 out of 4 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission.)

Yakuza 0

This is another Japanese console game that has been converted for PC. For the most part, they've done a good change over, though I have run into one issue on a keybinding that drove me nuts as it trapped me on a fighting style tutorial. Ugh.

It's 1988 in Kamurocho, a fictional small town/district in Japan. You're Kazuma Kiryu, one of two orphan boys who joined the local yakuza when they became of age. Kiryu is a straight shooter, who's gets set up for murder so the shame can be used against his boss in a tangled political power play.

In the middle of the serious storyline, there are substories to get involved in and mini-games (karaoke, pocket racers, baseball batting, etc.). Some of those are far from serious. Watching Kyriu pose with his pocket racer and doing his "I win!" bit are hilarious. Geek fun abounds!

Yakuza 0 - Kamurocho District

One of the streets in Kamurocho at night. Loads of clubs and adult entertainment. Following my friend Majima to do some drinking.

Yakuza 0 - club street

The opposite side of the same street. Video stores, pachinko, and more.

Yakuza 0 - Majima and Kyriu

Majima and Kiryu. Both orphans raised at the Sunflower Orphanage. It's financed by their boss, Kazama, which is why they both decided to join the yakuza. (He did try to dissuade them, but these two are stubborn.) (I love Kyriu's sideburns!!!!!!!!)

Yakuza 0 - upper floor in Dojima HQ

Look at the gorgeous woodwork! Upper floor on the Dojima HQ. (Dojima is the main Yakuza family in the zone.)

Yakuza 0 - Kuze

Kuze - one of the three top lieutenants in the Dojima family. He's willing to do anything to get a shot at being captain. A position currently held by Kazama, Kyriu's boss, who is currently in jail. (That ceiling is rad!)

Yakuza 0 - Kuze's tattoo

Kuze's Yakuza tattoo - the King of Hell (Underworld). Heh heh.

Yakuza 0 - Kyriu's Yakuza tattoo

Kyriu's yakuza tattoo - work in progress. He's currently pretty low in the ranks.

Yakuza 0 - Tachibana Realty head

I really liked this image — the view from a top floor of one of the buildings in Kamurocho. Tachibana of Tachibana Realty is the man reflected in the window. A non-yakuza group who is also vying for control of the "Empty Lot."

Of course, I forgot to take a shot of the login screen. Fighting skill tree pic is also probably in order. DOH!

Have a great week!

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Cover Reveals - Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles and Inner Demons

I am super excited to share the final covers for the second edition of "Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles" and "Inner Demons."

Both are the impressive work of Charles Bernard!

Check 'em out!

Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles

Inner Demons

The books are still working through the sales channels to become active.

Currently, the Kindle versions of both are live, and the trade paperback for Inner Demons is out there as well. (Some issues with the generated cover template keep holding Crossed back. But it should be available soon!)

Both the trade paperback with Amazon are also part of the Kindle Matchbook campaign where if you buy the trade paperback version you get the Kindle version free. As a reader, I have been thrilled by this feature as it means I can start reading the book before it's made it to my door! Lol.

Here are some links for the ones that have gone live:

Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles Kindle

Inner Demons Trade Paperback

Inner Demons Kindle

The books will also soon be available through Ingram and in a jillion formats at Smashwords.

I still need to fix the web pages. So much to do! (And the day job is super full with the merger and system migration! Ugh!)


No rest for the wicked! Lol.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Mini Movie Reviews 5/26/19

Morning, all!

Pressed for time, so no Virtual Tourist this week. Instead, we have two Mini Movie Reviews and some news!

Aladdin

Aladdin 

This is a live-action remake of the animated 1992 Disney film with Robin Williams (uncredited at the time). They kept the flavor and fun found in the original animated version. Almost all the original songs were included (they left out Jafar's twisted rendition of Prince Ali. One of my favorites! Wah!), and some had minor lyric changes. (At the time the original was released, there was a lot of push back, so I guess they decided to be politically correct?) There is one new song for Jasmine. There are minor changes in plot, but they wove them in nicely, mainly having to do with Jasmine.

All the characters are represented, and they did a great job with the non-human ones.  Abu, Rajah, Iago (Since parrots can speak, he still does!), and carpet (carpet was awesome!). The special effects were great! Costumes were made to resemble those in the animated film. Will Smith did great as the genie. There were also bits of homage to the original thrown in as well.

Overall, they did an excellent job. Should be fun for the entire family. Rating: 3.75 out of 4 (I think I messed up my rating scale a few months ago. Ugh.) Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again.)


John Wick 3

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

While Chapter 2 was a disappointment, Chapter 3 makes up for a lot of it. This chapter starts minutes after the end of Chapter 2. The High Table is taking steps to erase John from the world as well as anyone who showed him any mercy or favors. The fact it was one of their own who warped their rules to get his seat, is never admitted to and they want to crush it all away.

The action hardly ever slows — lots of inventive fighting scenes and weird locations. The fight in the stables got extra kudos as Keanu showed horse knowledge - watch John closely in that section, he always lets the horses know he is there. This is a basic bit of horse knowledge that will keep you from startling them and getting kicked! :) They even added a couple of western movie horse trick moments we've not seen in years! Nice.

I was super thrilled to see Mark Dacascos - he does an excellent job as Zero. Half fanboy, half ninja assassin. He was a riot! (The song playing at the sushi place is "Ninja Re Bang Bang" a super adorable song. Hubby knew what it was on the first few notes! lol) Some higher graphic violence in a couple of places. Halle Berry as Sofia was fun as well. Her dogs are awesome! Also quite nasty! Guys, you will cringe at what they do. Lol.

Betrayals, alliances, rule-breaking, this film will fill up your action quotient quickly! Left open for Chapter 4! Rating: 3.75 out of 4 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)

News! 

Re-edits on "Inner Demons" and "Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles" are complete! New covers by Charles Bernard are being converted to cover flats, and I will be sharing those with you soon - can't wait! They are awesome!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Virtual Tourist - Subnautica 5/12/19

(Looks like I didn't put last week's post in here. You can find it at www.gloriaoliver.com - Sorry!)

Mini Movie Review

Pokemon Detective Pikachu


Pokemon Detective Pikachu - This movie was so cute! It was awesome seeing all the pokemon with actual fur, feathers, etc. The story is more complex than expected. There are lots of red herrings to keep the audience guessing. All the weird stuff, like Pikachu being understood by Tim, all have explanations. This was a fun little film. I just wish they'd given Jigglypuff more camera time! Lol.  Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)

Subnautica

subnautica - giant sea creaytures

This freaked me out. You could hear moaning through the water, but seeing it was such a surprise!
subnautica - giant creature closeup

There are six or more of them, all different ages. You can tell by looking at the top carapace. This specimen is an older one. He has all sorts of plant life, coral and even some minerals on his shell.

subnautica - the underbelly of the giant beast

A picture of the beast's underbelly. They are truly fascinating.

subnautica - sunset on an alien world

Sunset on the alien world. There is a lot of beauty here.

subnautica - glowing life form

Glowing life form. Quite beautiful. The fauna and flora changes depending on what zone you find yourself in.

subnautica - glowing plant life

Drooping Stinger - gorgeous but don't get too close. They pack a bit of a punch. So be careful. (I also got carried away and let my oxygen get too low. Time to panic! lol.)

subnautica - burning Aurora and the moon.

The still burning Aurora and the reddish moon. 

subnautica - dry land

There is more than just water everywhere! Here's some dry land. Rescue is imminent. A passing spaceship picked up Aurora's distress signal.

subnatica - signs of aliens

We are not alone! A building of alien origin. Might there be alien lifeforms here as well? 

I did want to wish all the Mom's out there a fabulous and well deserved "Happy Mother's Day!"

Happy Mother's Day!


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