Galaxy Active 2 First Impressions!

For my birthday this year, I decided to upgrade from my old Fitbit to a Samsung Galaxy Active 2.

I decided to choose the Samsung over another Fitbit because I thought it would give me more of a smart watch feel in terms of being able to use more apps than just tracking exercise.

One thing I was sad about when deciding to leave Fitbit was that all my data from the last two years using Fitbit was useless coming into using a Samsung smart watch. Samsung uses their own health app for tracking everything and you can’t import any of the data from Fitbit into it, something I was sad to learn about when I first got my phone. But it’s okay, I mean I’m not super into tracking my steps/sleep so much that I really analyse the data that is collected, but it still would have been nice to have it all in one place.

Aside from that I have been using the watch for a month now and I am really enjoying it.

I have found that it has helped me be more active in lockdown as I have been using it to track my walking and other exercise. I didn’t really actively track my walking when I was using the Fitbit because I wasn’t really going on walks, at least not planned walks. But I do enjoy seeing the progress I’ve been making and it makes me feel good to know I’ve done something other than sit in the house all day during lockdown. (Though that has been the majority of it).

In terms of look and functionality I find the watch really easy to use, I like the touch bezel and everything. It is a big step up from my Fitbit as the touchscreen on it was tough and wasn’t really used.

I also enjoy the customisation options of the face of the watch, though I wish when it came to using your own photo background that you had more options for the time display and also options on whether you wanted to display the date and things too. I did look into it and I know there are other ways to create your own watch faces but I don’t know if I’m that dedicated yet.

Plus I know there are a range of watch faces you can download and purchase on the Samsung Store app as well, though I don’t really know if I want to spend money on a watch face when I’ve already spent so much money on the watch to begin with.

As for other features on the watch I feel like they are all pretty standard, and similar to what I had before on the Fitbit. I have been using the watch to track my sleep as well, I find it is pretty accurate though sometimes doesn’t always register when I get up in the morning, but it’s not the end of the world.

The Samsung Health app is nice too, and I enjoy the look of it and it syncs pretty quickly with the watch too. I don’t have any complaints with it, plus every month the Samsung Health app has a step goal community thing which is cool, I never get anywhere close to completing the step goals but I think that’s something fun. I’m sure it would be more fun if I had friends on the Samsung app to compete against but I currently do not have any.

If I had to complain about anything with the watch it would be the battery life. Sadly the battery on the watch only lasts 2 days, which is fine when you don’t really leave the house so you can just charge it at the desk or whatever but I think could be annoying if you are out all day and can’t charge the watch.

I find even when I wasn’t tracking exercise during the two days or anything the watch still lasts about the same amount of time as when I have been using it to track exercise and things. So I don’t really know if there’s any other ways to improve battery life. I suppose if you kept it solely as a watch and didn’t use any of the other features that would keep the battery life but that’s not really why we buy smart watches is it?

Aside from the battery life though I am really enjoying the watch, and I am enjoying getting to use it more as I have been making the effort to start going on more walks and have been able to use it out and about as lockdown has slowly started lifting.

Watch with screen protector

One thing I am sad about though is that the screen is already scratched, I thought I could leave the watch without a screen protector because I don’t like screen protectors, but I had to cave and get one because I didn’t want to the screen to continue to get scratched up when I’ve barely had the watch for a month.

I suppose the one thing my Fitbit did have was a more durable screen but I wasn’t expecting the screen on this watch to be so fragile. But I’ve learnt my lesson so it’s protected now. The screen protector is okay, nothing fancy Ā£6 or something from Amazon.

Sometimes the screen protector interferes with me trying to use the touch screen on the watch but it’s not so bad, I think it would be more annoying if I was actively using the touchscreen on the watch a lot but it’s nothing terrible. But we’ll see how long it lasts.

Oh and one thing I was super excited about with this watch is that it is waterproof, though I haven’t fully tested that because I’m a bit sceptical, I mean I don’t think I would ever be okay if someone was like “yeah you can wear that electrical thing to track your swimming”. Not that I can swim but that’s not the point, I doubt I’ll be jumping into water anytime soon thinking it’s okay with the watch on. But it’s still nice to know it’s not the end of the world if some water does get on it somehow.

So those are all my thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy Active 2! As someone who is not super active it’s not important to me how accurately the watch can track certain exercises, but it is nice to have the option. As for an overall watch I think it’s great and I enjoy it though if you are looking for just a basic smart watch there are definitely others on the market at a much more affordable price. But if you want something a bit more fancy and flashy I think this is a great option, it’s also slim and light so not bulky or anything which is also nice.

I’ll be interested to see how the watch holds up in the long run, I feel like with smart watches you don’t want to be changing them as often as other technology pieces but at the same time it’s hard to avoid it with the advances companies make with each new model. But we will see what happens.

~ Courtney x

Animal Crossing: New Horizons!

After waiting half a year Nintendo has FINALLY given us some new news about Animal Crossing Switch.


First of all, the name of the game is Animal Crossing: New Horizons. In this game, we are not in a town but the resident of a deserted island. It’s just us, a tent, and of course, Tom Nook.

I assume the general idea for the game is to build up the island and make it your own, we still don’t know a lot about the game but here are the things we were able to learn about from today’s E3 announcement and Nintendo’s Treehouse presentation.

Our Own Island


So like I said, we start off out on an island, just us and a tent. It’s a bit rough looking in the beginning but we can turn it into whatever we want! It looks like we can place furniture items pretty much anywhere we want, including right on the beach! We can even live on the beach if we want to.

The style of the land is a bit similar to the island in Animal Crossing: New Leaf in the way that the land flows directly into the beach, there are no slopes or cliffs like in precious Animal Crossing games.

Crafting Things From Scratch


Another feature of the game is that you can craft furniture using materials collected around the island. It seems there is finally a use for the weeds that grow everywhere! That and you can gain different types of stones from the rocks on the island and different kinds of wood from the trees.

I imagine you can unlock more items as you progress throughout the game, but not to worry you can still buy things from Nook such as flowers and tree saplings. I’m not sure how split furniture items are between crafting and buying but it will be interesting to see what the game has to offer.

Who Needs Bridges?


I’m not really sure if this is the only way to cross the river in the game or if we will get the opportunity to build bridges but you know I would be totally okay with it.

One of the most shocking things about this new game is that we can pole vault ourselves over the river. I don’t know who decided this was going to be a thing but I am a fan.

Making Paths!


Another new feature in the game is making our own paths! They look super cute and add to helping shape up the island. A lot easier than having to place floor tiles and cringing when they aren’t placed in the correct place.

A Handy New Gadget


Another thing we get from Nook when we arrive on the island is a NookPhone. It contains quick access to options such as a camera, Nook Miles, a recipe book for crafting items, the town map and you can also use it to phone a villager.

You can use the regular screenshot button on the joycon remote to take photos but you can also use the new camera feature on the phone which will allow you to zoom in, zoom out and add the perfect filter to your photos.

Nook Miles


Nook Miles is a reward scheme program where you get ‘miles’ by completing tasks in-game. They haven’t revealed what kind of things you can use the Nook Miles for yet but I imagine they will be exclusive items. I guess this means Phineas will no longer come around to give you badges?

Call An Islander


This feature kind of made me think of Stardew Valley. So apparently you can have up to 8 characters on your island and everyone gets their own house. And this ‘Call an Islander’ feature allows you to have local multiplayer functionality by using up to four joycons.

In local multiplayer one person is the ‘leader’ and the other people help you collect materials to build items in the game, the downside to this is that because it is local play everyone has to stay on the screen and so you can’t wander off on your own. As well as that, I think that only the leader can access their pockets and if you choose a tool then everyone has that tool.

As for online multiplayer, we don’t know too much about that yet but the fact you can have up to 8 people in your town at once is exciting. Finally, no feeling bad because your town is full so one of your friends can’t come over to hang out.

Weather Settings Depending on Location

Animal Crossing is a game that uses real-time and so the weather in the game is affected by the time of year. This will also be true for New Horizons but with an added feature.

We will now have the option to play in the northern or southern hemisphere. This will affect the weather within the game so the example they gave in the Treehouse demonstration was if you played in the northern hemisphere in June, it will be summer but if you were to play in the southern hemisphere it would be winter.

Not really sure where the setting for this is or anything yet but it will be interesting to see the differences in game based on which hemisphere you choose.

Fishing Bait


Something else that is new is that we have the opportunity to make fish bait! There wasn’t a lot of information about this but it was thrown in at the end. I imagine this is a feature that hasn’t fully been fleshed out yet but I’ll be interested to see what kind of fish we can collect with bait.

Other Small Things!

To finish off this list of features here are some other small things that I noticed while watching that weren’t officially mentioned.


Cloud shadows! Now when it is cloudy in the town you will be able to tell by cloud shadows on the ground, this is a small feature but I got excited about it because it just adds more detail to the game. As well as that, something that was mentioned was that the leaves on the trees will move depending on how windy it is within your game. Another cute touch.


Villagers carrying logs! So we didn’t see a lot of villagers today but I did notice that one was carrying some logs, and also they walk a lot slower than before. I like the new walking style, though your character still keeps the fast pace which makes us seem like we are always rushing around while the villagers are chilling and enjoying the island life.


In terms of communicating with players through online play, we have not been given any information on that yet but I imagine it would be similar to how it has always been done through chatboxes. But one thing we always have in Animal Crossing is emotions! This game looks like it reverts back to only giving us a limited number of emotions to choose from unlike Animal Crossing where you got two full pages of emotions for characters, including the Shrunk Shuffle which was a favourite of mine.

I’m sure there are lots of other little things that I missed within the game but I shall leave it here for now, otherwise, I think I would be here all night talking about Animal Crossing.

I am super excited for this game to come out, I have been waiting for this since I bought my Nintendo Switch. One thing I am bummed about though is that the game’s release has been delayed to March 2020. Though I am grateful we got any kind of release date after waiting so long.

I’m hoping that Nintendo will keep giving us regular updates for the game though to help us get through the waiting period. I think it was bad enough we went nine months without anything at all since they gave us the announcement of the game. I mean there was a chance they might not have shown us anything at all today which I did think about earlier…

Anyway, I’m off, let me know in the comments what you are excited about in the next Animal Crossing game, I’m honestly excited about everything. It’s all so new and shiny and I can’t wait for it!

~ Courtney x

P.S If you guys want to see my live reaction to the new Animal Crossing game please see the video below, it is definitely not as composed as this blog post was lol:

Samsung Galaxy Buds First Impressions

When I preordered my Samsung S10 phone, they had an offer on to also get a free pair of Samsung Galaxy Buds with it and I finally got them this week.


I was a little disappointed that they didn’t just come with the phone, but the whole process to get them wasn’t too bad. All you had to do was go online and fill in a form and they sent them right out. It took some time but these things normally do.

So what are Samsung Galaxy Buds? Basically Samsung’s version of Apple Airpods – at least that’s how I see them.

I’m not really a big earphone person – as in I really don’t spend a lot of time or money on these things – if they allow me to listen to music while I’m out and about then I am a fan. Before last year I was literally just using those cheap gummy earphones because they did the job.

The reason I stopped using them was because my boyfriend was very good to me and bought me a pair of Sony bluetooth headphones – and I’ve been using them ever since. I have to say I’m a fan of the headphones, though slightly too big for my head, it’s nice to have the wireless experience and they make great earmuffs because of their size lol.

The current headphone situation

Anyway, that’s the height of my experience and knowledge of headphones – I’m not an expert but I like new toys so because the earphones are free and fancy I decided to try them out.

First of all, I have never been a fan of Samsung earphones that come with phones – the last couple of pairs of earphones that came with my Samsung phones I gave to my brother – the shape was weird and I didn’t like how they fit.


Well – that’s exactly the shape of these new Samsung buds – so when I first put them in it felt weird. These things are really invasive when it comes to your ear – which I guess makes sense they have to be secure in there because you don’t want them to fall out when you are walking or exercising etc. But it was definitely an adjustment for me – I mean I still have a fear they are gonna fall out at any moment. Which is probably how people feel with the Apple Airpods too.


The look of them in your ears though I think is nicer than how people look with the airpods in. At least the Samsung buds are in the ear so are easily unnoticed but you can always see people’s airpods hanging out of their ears lol – I’m not saying the buds are the most stylish of looks but I think I prefer it to the Apple airpod look.

I’ve only worn them outside a couple of times and both times I wasn’t out for very long but walking with them in I worry about them falling out. One of them actually did fall out of my ear when I was walking the first time but I think it’s because the rubber attachment I had on it were too big. But even with the smaller ones they don’t quite feel so secure in there. So I can’t imagine using them for more than just walking.

The second time I wore them out it was windy and rainy, the kind of weather where you definitely don’t need your small earphone falling out and landing on the ground. Luckily they stayed in but again, still risky.

The sound quality on the buds are great, and they connect instantly to your phone – though I found this a bit annoying when I tried to pair them with my laptop because they instantly want to connect to your phone but that’s a problem that happens with any bluetooth earphones.

The buds do have this feature where they let in noises around you when in public which I did try a little bit but haven’t noticed much difference between this and when you have the setting turned off.

Screenshot_20190405-163703_Galaxy Buds

As for the touch settings on the buds, not sure how to feel about them. It’s kind of hit or miss and also it doesn’t always pick up the double tap when I want to change the song. It also feels a bit weird to reach up and tap your ear when walking in public lol.

So overall I think they are good earphones and I think I will continue to use them, but I won’t be so quick to hang up my headphones for good. I like the security I have with my headphones as I know they won’t just fall off and get lost.

Do I think they are worth the money? Eh, as a broke student who doesn’t like to spend money on headphones/earphones I would say probably not. I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to buy them but it was a nice perk from preordering my phone.

Anyway, I hope you found my opinions useful/interesting if you are considering getting wireless earphones and let me know if you have any tips on how to keep them from falling out of your ears, other than taping them up in there because I’d be interested to know!

~ Courtney x

Overcooked 2 First Impressions!

Today I am sharing my first impressions of Overcooked 2! Though before we get into this I just want to say that I already had good impressions for this game because I had so much fun playing the first one.

In Overcooked, you must work as a team with friends/family to help save the Onion Kingdom from being destroyed by a hungry meatball monster. In Overcooked 2, you must once again come together to defeat the Unbread!

Cheesy, yes but also, great.

The past couple of days I have been able to play a lot of the game with my niece, with her help I have made it to the end of world 4, which I assume is maybe around halfway.

One thing I can already tell you is that with Overcooked 2 you definitely need someone else with you to help you complete it. With the first game, I was able to complete the story mode all by myself by switching between two chefs. But because of how fast-paced Overcooked 2 is, and with complex levels, you will definitely need another person. It’s not as easy to switch between characters when you’re trying to pass food between rafts, conveyor belts and other obstacles that are thrown your way.

So if anything I think it’s good that it really amps up the difficulty to get you to play with people. I already can’t wait to introduce my family to this game. We played the first one at Christmas and it was hard for them to grasp then, so I can’t wait to see what’s it like with additional controls thrown in.

I also love that when it comes to the final levels in each world that there’s another layer to them. I don’t want to give away spoilers but it’s crazy how fast things can change when you least expect them, you really have to think on your feet to keep up the momentum of the level.

The game also adds some new side levels given to you by Kevin, the Onion King’s dog. Seems a bit random but I have been enjoying the side levels, they are a bit tricker than the main level but once you have a system it works flawlessly.

Aside from the main story, I have also had the chance to play online with people. You can only do online multiplayer in a VS mode or in an Arcade mode which doesn’t really lead anywhere. Though it can be fun if you don’t have people to play locally and you want more players.

One thing that makes this online play difficult is that with Nintendo Switch, you can’t talk to one another. Which is a downfall when one of the main points of the game is to have good communication.

The game provides a little menu where you can use preset messages in game, but who has time for that when everyone is running around and doing their own thing anyway?

The arcade mode is especially hard to figure out what’s going on when you can’t communicate, the first time I played, everyone ran off to do their own thing when the level started and I had no idea what to do, so I tried my best to contribute in some way but ultimately I don’t know if I did anything.

It’s a lot easier to play online in VS mode, but only because you only have to cooperate with one person, and you somehow develop a sort of system with the other person based on where you’re positioned at the start of the level. For example, if you are near the ingredients and the chopping boards, that’s your job, the other person will cook etc.

So if anything I would say it’s probably easier to stick with the local play, especially because it is way more fun.

I think you can play the main story mode with friends online, but only if you have Nintendo Switch friends who also play the game, I currently don’t have many Switch friends or know anyone who has the game so haven’t been able to test this out yet.

But overall I would highly recommend this game, it’s super fun and definitely one to bring up at parties!

And if you guys wanna add me on Nintendo Switch, please feel free to! I’m always looking for new friends šŸ˜› We might not be able to talk to one another but I think we could still work well together lol.


~ Courtney x

Stardew Valley First Impressions | My First Year in Pelican Town

At the start of June, my brother asked me what I wanted for my birthday and so I asked him to buy me Stardew Valley. The reason why I asked him to buy it for me as a present was because, one, it was the only thing I could think of that I kind of wanted. And two, because I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not but I thought I would give it a go. So the purchase was made via Steam and I was playing it within five minutes.
The reason why I was unsure of whether I would like the game or not is because the game is heavily influenced by the Harvest Moon series and the one Harvest Moon game I played, I was not a fan of. So it only made sense that if I didn’t like Harvest Moon, I wouldn’t like a game heavily based off of it.
Well, I was wrong.
You start off in a farm which you inherited from your grandfather, it is an overgrown farm so you have to clear the land in order to plant any crops. Which, was the first thing that I thought would turn me off of the game. I tried to watch a Let’s Play of the game to get an idea of it, but when I saw the player start with a huge farm they had to clear, I thought it would be super boring to watch and therefore super boring to play.
However, clearing up the farm didn’t end up being too bad. You just need to clear a little patch at first to get going and then over time you can clear the whole land.

Planting my summer crops!

The farming aspect of the game is actually quite enjoyable, for me anyway. (I think it has something to do with the Farmville addiction I used to have). Every time a new season starts I go straight to the store to get seeds for that season. In the first year, I didn’t do much farming because at the time you had to water each and every crop and it became tedious. For the longest time, I didn’t know that when you upgraded your tools it allowed you to water and hoe more than one piece of land at a time. So that probably would have saved me a lot of time haha.
As the game goes on you can also craft sprinklers which makes it a lot easier to farm, you just have to plant things and let the sprinklers take care of the watering. You can also craft scarecrows to help scare away crows from the farm.
Of course, there are also animals which you can get on the farm which comes with building coops and barns for them, they are also pretty easy to take care of as long as you have long grass on your farm. During winter though you have to keep them indoors and stock up on hay.
Winter was probably the hardest month for me to play through because you can’t grow any crops during the winter unless you have the greenhouse. In the first winter, I hadn’t unlocked it yet so I had to find other things to do. But I definitely missed planting my crops.

Meet the villagers!

Aside from that, you also have a whole town full of people to meet when you first arrive which I struggled with at first. When you start a game and they give you a task like “meet everyone in town” you think it’s going to take about two minutes. It took me about two hours. There are so many people to meet and it’s such a big town so it was a bit of a struggle. Luckily, as the game goes on you begin to recognise villagers and their routines so it’s a lot easier to track them down.
My main problem at the beginning was trying to talk to people who were in their rooms. You can only get into their rooms if you have enough friendship hearts with them. So building relationships in the game is also important.
However, if you are like me, and your focus in the game is anything but talking to villagers, then you can slowly build relationships by giving presents on people’s birthdays. I missed the first few birthdays in the Spring, but other than that I made sure everyone got a present on their birthday.
Although it is beneficial to build relationships with the villagers as they can help you as the game progresses and there are several villagers that you can marry and start a family with in the game. I have not decided who I want to marry yet though, there are a lot of eligibleĀ spouses and they all have their own charms about them. So I guess I just see who I end up with.

A Linus heart event

When gaining friendship hearts with villagers you will also get to experience heart events. I didn’t know what they were until I stumbled into one without knowing. They are little cut scenes that you have with the villagers and you get to learn more about them. This adds a lot more depth to the game because even though it’s a cute game on the outside, a lot of the villagers are dealing with real problems. So I do recommend befriending the villagers to learn more about their story.

The Feast of the Winter Star (Winter Event)

You also get to spend time with the villagers during special events. I make sure to go around and talk to everyone at events because they are all in one place. I imagine the special events get boring after the first few times you experience them but the first time around it’s interesting to see what goes on. Every season has two special events, and each is different but take up the whole day which means farming and other ventures have to be put on hold.

Completing a room in the community center

One thing I really got into during my first year in the game was completing the community center bundles. You have to collect certain items and bring them to the community center to restore it. I know there is a different way you can do this where you buy a Joja Mart membership but if you do that, you just have to pay a lot of money to restore the community center. Which, doesn’t seem as fun.
Plus, I feel like you feel more accomplished when you get a certain item needed for a bundle. I have completed three sections of the community center so far, so I just need a few more to go. It can be a little frustrating having to check the community center bundle list every time you pick up a new item, so my solution was to write down the ones I needed on a piece of paper. That way, when I played the game I could always have the sheet in front of me, rather than trying to navigate back and forth from the menu.
When you complete a bundle in the community center you also receive items or unlock special things which will help you in the game, such as the beloved greenhouse that I need to grow crops in the winter.
Another thing which I really enjoyed in my first year of the game was going into the mines. It was the thing I would do when it rained because that’s when I didn’t lose any energy watering crops. The mines are procedurally generated each time you enter, meaning each floor is different each time. You make your way through mining for ore to turn into bars which help craft items. You also have to be wary of monsters lurking in there too.

Reaching the bottom of the mines

One of the tasks you get in the game is to reach the bottom of the mines, it’s not that difficult, however, the further you go down the mines the more you have to be careful of losing all your health/energy and passing out. If you pass out, you lose items, money and “forget” previous levels in the mine which you have to revisit. I was usually good at making it down there without passing out, but towards the end, it happened a few times and it was so frustrating because I was so close to a checkpoint.
By checkpoint, I mean that every five levels in the mine was an elevator, and when you unlocked that elevator you could travel directly to that level in the mine the next time you went there. I didn’t know this was a thing for a while so every time I went into the mines I started at level one, which meant I hardly got past level 10 before I had to leave before I ran out of energy or health. It’s good to know little things like that.

Trying to catch that fish!

I also was really determined to get the hang of fishing in the game. It was difficult when I first started because it’s not something I had experienced before. Basically, when you go fishing you have to keep the fish within the green bar to catch it. Sounds easy, but not when the fish is moving and never staying in one place haha.
Usually, when I go fishing in Animal Crossing it’s super easy, you just gotta press a button when the bobber goes down. So, fishing in this game is a bit of a challenge. But I think it makes it fun. My advice is to use your mouse when catching fish and just slowly click and release it and you should be able to catch most fish with ease. I still have no chance of catching fish that jump crazily up and down the bar but, one day I’m sure I will get them. I hope haha.
After I played the game for the first time, I found myself looking up videos about it on YouTube to find out useful information about starting a new game. The game has been out for a year, and so there are lots of useful videos and resources out there to help. I still always play the game with the wikia page up in case I need to know something. It really helps, especially with villager locations and finding out what the best thing is to give someone on their birthday.
You can also download mods which can allow you to basically cheat or just little ones that can enhance gameplay and change appearance of things in-game. I am familiar with using mods and things like that because of playing Sims, I can’t play Sims without some nice custom content clothing. So when I found out there were mods to make things in Stardew Valley cuter, I was all over that. I only started using mods recently, as I thought I would play my first year in the game without any mods. So I could experience it without any help.

I used mods to change the appearance of my farm buildings, cows, horse and hairstyle

I now use mods mostly to change the appearance of things. But I also use a UI mod which gives you more information in the game, I mainly got it so I would know what area scarecrows and sprinklers cover. I didn’t realise scarecrows covered such a big area in the game, but I still overlap a few areas because I want to protect my crops.
There are lots of other mods out there that I don’t even know how to begin to get into. I don’t want to mod the game too much because I do think it can take away from playing it. Although I know a lot of people prefer it that way. At the start, I did consider downloading a fishing mod because there are loads out there that make fishing a lot easier, but I was determined to be able to catch the fish on my own. So I guess mods are really just a player’s preference.
It’s recommended that you back up your files before you mod so you can always switch them back. Modding in this game is different to modding in the Sims. With the Sims, you just need to have a mods folder, but game mods for Stardew Valley require you to replace game files. So be careful, and make sure you follow install instructions on your desired mod.
I think that wraps up everything that I wanted to share about Stardew Valley now. I knew I had a lot to say but I didn’t realise just how much until I started to write this blog post haha. I just wanted to share my thoughts in case it would help other people. Although, like I said, I have only completed my first year so I might not be the best person to get advice from, but this is just what I have experienced so far in the game.
I am excited to see what other things the game has in store for me as I continue to play. I also look forward to playing in the other farm layouts you can choose from when you start the game. I didn’t mention it earlier but when you start the game, you can choose a farm layout that focuses on building a particular skill. But because it was my first time playing the game, I decided to go with the default farm. Although the other farms look kind of cool too.
Anyway, I’m sure I have more things to say about Stardew Valley but I will leave it here for now.
If you guys are interested in more updates of how my Stardew Valley life is going you can follow me on TwitterĀ or Tumblr. You can also add me on Steam, my username is fangirl1901.
~ Courtney x

New Style Boutique 2: Fashion Forward First Impressions!

Hey guys!
Today I am going to be giving you my first impressions of the game New Style Boutique 2: Fashion Forward.

I am a huge fan of this game series for the Nintendo DS. Mainly because it is something I have always wanted in a game. I love shopping, I love fashion and this game series combines those things and allows you to run your own fashion boutique.
I picked up the first Style Boutique game on a whim one day and I don’t regret it. Since then Nintendo has released New Style Boutique for the 3DS and now New Style Boutique 2.
One thing I will say about the series is that Nintendo wasn’t that great with naming it. I know in Japan the game is called something like “Girls Mode” which I suppose isn’t much better. But having the word “new” in the title is really confusing. Mainly because the previous game was also called “New Style Boutique”.
Either way this game definitely steps up from it’s prequels. In this game you can be so much more than a boutique owner, you can also be a hairdresser, model, designer and a makeup artist. This really excited me because it meant we were getting a lot more features to play around with.
This game also has a different storyline from the others. This time you are transported into a doll’s world? And it is there that you take the fashion world by storm. I have to admit I found this really strange but I went along with it anyway. I was just excited to be able to play a new game.
One thing I really appreciate about this game is that it takes a long time to unlock features of the game. I found that with the previous two games that things were unlocked far too quickly and you would have completed the game within a number of days. With this one I have found it takes a while for everything to be unlocked. I have been playing since November and I still haven’t unlocked all of the brands in the exhibition hall.
That being said, I don’t actually play the game as often as I would like. So maybe I just need to keep working on it to unlock everything haha.
Now let’s talk about the actual professions you can take on in this game:

My character in the rose garden

Boutique Owner: This is the role that we have taken on in the last two Style Boutique games and it is a role that I enjoy a lot. I love creating outfits for people and seeing them enjoy what I style for them. I also love the styles of clothes that Style Boutique has.
It’s definitely one of my favourite parts of the game to buy the clothes from the exhibition hall and dress my character up in the many different styles. It allows me to explore fashion styles I would never try in real life.

Applying makeup like a pro

Makeup Artist: I am not the biggest fan of this career in the game. Mainly because the makeup styles some of the customers ask for aren’t that glamorous. Sometimes, they will ask you to copy the makeup of a photo and it can be quite difficult.
I like that they do add this challenge to the game but at the same time I would like if the makeup complimented the skin tone of the character because sometimes it doesn’t.
Although that’s just a small thing on my part.
This career also gives you the opportunity to unlock more colours for your makeup palette by giving photos to a character in the game. She will look at your in-game photos and pick out new colours for your makeup which I find quite interesting. It also encourages you to take more in-game photos to see if you can unlock the colours.

Ready to style your hair to perfection

Hair Stylist:Ā Another new career for the game. I do enjoy this one a bit more than the makeup artist career but again it’s not perfect. The main critique I would have about this one is that when you are asking a customer about the hairstyle they want they sometimes don’t give you enough information and so it can be hard to decide what hairstyle they want.
On the bright side, even if the customer is not fully happy with the hairstyle you have chosen they will usually go along with it anyway.

The design studio

Fashion Designer: I don’t have a lot of experience with this career in the game yet. Mainly because I just unlocked it. However it seems to follow a similar format to the design feature in the first Style Boutique game.
A brand from the exhibition hall will call you and ask if you will design a type of clothing for their brand. Once you create it then you will be able to wear it and sell it in your shop.
I like this idea because it allows you to create the clothes you want in the game. However it can be a little bit restrictive with the options that the game provides. But it’s still a fun feature to the game.

Say cheese!

Model: Again, I don’t have a lot of experience with this career either. I actually just unlocked this one in the game. I really like the idea of this one though, especially if you like taking in-game photos.
From what I can tell, you go to the photo studio and they will have a list of modelling jobs and the type of clothes they want you to wear for it. You dress your character up and take the photos and then they will be shown around the town.
I think it’s a really fun way to show off your style in the game. I don’t really know if this career has anything else to it but so far I enjoy it. I also like that they let you choose your character’s pose for photos. In previous games you didn’t have that option, so it’s nice to have a little more freedom with that.

My first fashion show

On top of that you are also asked to take part in fashion shows. I assume this is in place of fashion contests which were in the previous two games. For fashion shows you sell tickets by serving customers in the boutique, hair salon or makeup studio. Then you take part in the fashion show by dressing up to match the theme and working the runway.
Other features of the game include online miiverse competitions which I haven’t really explored and designing your own little room in the ski chalet. I’m not really sure what the whole miniature room thing is about but when you get a streetpass you get a copy of that person’s room too. I think it’s cute but it’s not a feature I use a lot in the game.
Another thing I enjoy about the game is that you don’t have to do all these jobs if you don’t want to. For example, I spend way more time selling clothes at the boutique and don’t really like to do people’s make up or hair. And the game gives you the freedom to do each of these things as much or as little as you want. Although it is recommended you do all the careers to fully experience the game.
I don’t really have that many problems with the game other than maybe the design of the menu, I preferred the style of map in the other games. And I guess I only have problems with some of the things I mentioned above but otherwise it’s a really good game.
I know I still have a lot more to unlock in the game though. I still have to unlock all the brands in the exhibition hall, I also have to explore more with the model and fashion designer careers to see where they go.
But like I said I like that all of these things weren’t unlocked right away. In the other games it didn’t take too long before you were winning all the contests and unlocking all the exhibition hall brands. So I like that you get more play time out of this game than the others. And like I said, there’s so much more to do in this game than the previous ones so there will always be something to do in it.
I would definitely recommend this game to anyone who loves fashion. It’s super cute and girly and I’m so glad that Nintendo released this game. I just wish they put a little more love into this series because I know it could also be so much better too. They definitely don’t promote this series as much as many of their other games and I think it’s a shame because I think it’s a really great series.
Anyway, those were all my thoughts on New Style Boutique 2: Fashion Forward! I hope that you enjoyed this blog post. If you guys want to check out more of my New Style Boutique in-game photos I sometimes post them to my Tumblr blog: Again, thanks so much for reading and I hope you will come back for my next blog post!
~ Courtney x

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer First Impressions

Hey guys!
So today I am going to be giving you my first impressions on Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. For those of you who don’t know, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is a spin-off game in the Animal Crossing series. And being super obsessed with Animal Crossing meant, I needed to get this game right away.

It has currently been in my possession for three days and I am already obsessed. I tend to get hooked on Animal Crossing games right from the get-go. There’s something about them that I can’t resist, they are just so adorable and easy to play so I just get sucked in. And this was no exception.
Since this is a spin-off game is has a lot less content than a main Animal Crossing game. I mean the main goal of this game is to design houses. That’s really it. Nothing else to it. You can also design the shops/facilities in the town area which is known as Main Street. But other than designing this game doesn’t have a lot else going for it. So if you are considering getting an Animal Crossing game that’s something worth noting.
At first I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this game. If I’m honest I kind of thought I would get bored of it right away. But that’s not the case. I mean I play a lot of Sims and so I do like designing houses and things but something about this game gave me the impression I would play it for two days and get bored. I actually find this game really satisfying to play. Which is kind of the feeling I get with every Animal Crossing game.
There’s just something really peaceful about designing animals’ homes. It’s really cute and I love seeing the villagers’ interact with their new surroundings. It is definitely a different approach to the Animal Crossing series. But I love it.
For one thing, it is so much easier to create houses in the way you want to in this game. Which is obviously one of it’s major selling points. If you have ever decorated a house in Animal Crossing then you know the pain of putting something out and dragging it around the room trying to get it into the right position. With this game, you are able to place furniture with a touch of a stylus.
Another thing I really love is the new additions to furniture. We can now place rugs, hang lights from the ceilings, and even change our curtains and windows. I like these little touches because they can add so much more to a room than before.
On top of these new additions I have noticed there has been a whole load of new items added to the catalogue which is to be expected for a home designer game.
Something I was most excited about when I heard about the game was the addition of designing the exterior of the house as well as the interior. In past Animal Crossing games we haven’t been able to place furniture outside with the exception of Animal Crossing: New leaf public works projects. So this was something I was really excited about. I like having that extra bit of freedom.

A house I designed by the sea

One thing that is annoying with exterior design is that you can’t rotate the houses. They are always facing forward which isn’t great when you want the villager to live on the beach and their house looks like it’s going to be whisked away by the sea. You also can’t rotate the camera outside to see things from different angles which again is quite limiting.

A school classroom

I have also really enjoyed building the facilities in Main Street. Mainly because you are given so much space to create these rooms. In previous games, if you wanted to create a school themed room you would have to do it in your tiny house. Now, we can create them in an appropriately sized room and make them look any way we want to.
While I enjoy this overall game concept as a whole, it does have it’s flaws.
For example, I am not a huge fan of the item catalogue interface. I find it really tedious to swipe to each new page of items. I wish we had a scroll bar at the bottom to make it faster to find items. I know you can search with the search feature, but I like to look through all my items to make sure I have used everything I want to when designing a house.
I also don’t like that this game doesn’t run in real-time like all other Animal Crossing games. We now have to save every time we are done creating a house. Which wouldn’t bother me but it’s the fact you have to keep going all the way to your desk. I know in past Animal Crossing games we would have to go to the attic to save, but even then we had the option of pressing start to save from wherever we were. Once we save it turns into a new day in the Happy Home Designer game, which to me just wastes a lot more time. Although it does teach younger children the importance of saving your game. But Animal Crossing has always stressed the importance of saving your game with the character Resetti.
Oh and I also dislike how we have to wear the red Happy Home blazer all the time. You can change your clothes if you are visiting a house or facility but any other time you have to wear the blazer. You can however accessorise your uniform with other clothing items and accessories.
As for the amiibo cards…I did end up buying a couple of packets of them as well as an amiibo card reader as I will use them in the future but so far I have only used one. I can see the appeal of them as many people will want to collect their favourite villagers and I believe it’s the only way you are able to design a house for a special character such as Isabelle. However, I do feel like if you are on the fence about getting amiibo then don’t. It isn’t worth it if you are not up to the challenge of collecting all of the cards. Amiibo cards aren’t essential to the game either so you can still enjoy the game without having them.
I also can see how having an amiibo card reader can be a hassle if you are travelling and want to bring your amiibo cards. It’s just an extra thing to carry around. And you do need to get an amiibo card reader if you don’t have a new 3DS but want to use the amiibo. So there’s that to think about too.
But overall I am really enjoying this game. I have already created half of the facilities on Main Street and am well on my way to designing homes for every villager in town. So despite the few little issues I have with the game I definitely recommend it if you enjoy designing things. Plus, the cuteness of Animal Crossing is definitely a major selling point for me.
So those were all my thoughts on Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer! I hope that you guys enjoyed this post. If you guys want to see more of my Happy Home Designs then follow my Animal Crossing Tumblr:
And if you are interested in seeing the unboxing of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer with the amiibo card reader and some amiibo cards then check out my video below:

~ Courtney xx