Ready Player One, Book Review

Author:Ernest Cline
Published: 2011

A perfect feat of nostalgic charm, fangirl satisfaction and completely engrossing storyline.

This book has stolen my heart. It’s so wonderfully written, and so absolutely, insanely clever. It’s been a really long time since I read a book that struck so many chords in me, brought out so many emotions, and brought out a large amount of huge, no-holds-barred, fangirl grins.

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

The book follows our not-so-heroic hero, Wade. After billionaire game-creator James Halliday dies, leaving his fortune up for grabs in a virtual scavenger hunt, the world goes crazy. But when no one has found anything after five years, the competition, while not forgotten, has lost it’s momentum. That is, until Wade, or rather his avatar Parzival, finds something. And that’s where the book takes off.

RP1-aestheticI was born in the 80’s and a lot of the references are things that I grew up watching, reading or loving. To have all of these things that I’ve loved in some capacity or another, as a child and an adult, feature so seamlessly in a story that was so contemporary was utterly joyous. But even so, all these great tugs at my heart strings aside, the story was completely engrossing. It started off a little slow, but once it got going, it swallowed me up and I was hooked, dying to know how our heroes would defeat the guys that you can tell were just written to be hated.

Without digging too deeply, and getting all philosophical, this book is just good old fashioned fun to read. I related to more than one of the characters and I cared enough about them to be concerned by what was happening to them – I was dragged into their world and for me that makes a good book.

In a classic battle of Good vs. Evil, and a Star Wars like charm of a rag-tag band of misfits joining in their pursuit to save the world, this book really has everything a fangirl could want and more. recommended to anyone who loves a great science fiction story with a little bit of a love story, loads of texture and a brilliant and gripping ending sequence!


Imges via: here, here

Disney Infinity 3.0 – Rise Against the Empire playset Review



So I recently purchased a copy of Disney Infinity 3.0 – if you haven’t played this game before, Disney describe it as:

Heroes and villains. Sorcerers and superheroes. Princesses and pirates. For generations, Disney storytelling and Marvel adventures have sparked our imaginations with characters and worlds of magic, action and adventure. Now, Disney Infinity invites you and your family to enter those worlds in game experiences only Disney, Marvel – and your imagination – can bring to life. Click the video below for a glimpse of the excitement you’ll share.

So essentially, you can play in the toybox as any of the characters available to purchase, but you can also play the playsets which hold specific worlds, such as Avengers or Star Wars, which have their own specific characters that can play in them.

And so of course, what with the new release having a huge focus on Star Wars, I decided to go ahead and buy the new starter pack, featuring the Star Wars™: Twilight of the Republic Play Set. This set came with Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano. While this was a nice, sturdy beginning, I still wanted to expand my horizons a little more, so I went ahead and purchased Master Yoda, and Sabine Wren from Star Wars Rebels as well. When I found out that there was also a play set with Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, I couldn’t help myself, and sourced an early copy from eBay.

Be warned, that the following review does contain some spoiler information for this play set. 


This review is for the Rise Against the Empire play set. I have compiled a video of gameplay, locations, and the cool, fun things you can do in this play set. It has a really neat original trilogy feel, while still having the fun Clone Wars style animation. And while it is a very condensed version of our favourite trilogy, it still has all the key moments that make the game super fun to play for fans of any age.

Here is a video of gameplay, locations, activities and storyline I have put together to correspond with this review:

The game is a mix of ground based activities, missions and exploration, and a little bit of flying; you can take to space in your Millennium Falcon or X-Wing any time you like, and practice shooting down Tie Fighters, or make your way back and forth between the planets which you’ve already travelled to. This means that you can play the whole story chronologically, or jump back and forth to explore, or complete missions you didn’t finish on your first play through. This makes it particularly versatile for if you want to play with a friend, who might not have seen one, or all, of the planets you’ve already visited.

The gameplay has two main types: Flying and Ground missions, with a lot of added exploration.

The flying gameplay, as much fun as flying the Falcon is when you’re just zooming around, exploring space; isn’t necessarily as easy as it seems. I’ve never really gotten the knack for flying and aiming at the same time, but dodging and escaping enemies is still an awful lot of fun. Flying the X-Wing has a little more oomph to it, and is a bit easier to maneuver. Overall, while flying is fun, I personally found the missions a little frustrating.

IMG_2503 2

The exploration gameplay, on the other hand, is pretty awesome. It has quite a lot of free roam, and lots of ways to find secrets and hidden goodies. You can climb up buildings, slide along ropes to other buildings and run along rooftops, treetops, and ice glaciers. It has a basic, fun and fluid ‘Assassin’s Creed’ style to it, but gives you quite a lot of freedom to explore these locations that we have already become so familiar with.

The play set takes place in three main locations, all of which are covered in the video above. Tatooine, Hoth and Endor.


Tatooine: Mos Eisley in particularly, but you can also roam around to find the likes of Jabba’s Palace and the Sarlacc Pitt. You can ride around on a Bantha which is really cute, albeit a little slow. But if fast is what you’re after, you can always jump in a land speeder and zoom your way around. This Jawa made me smile with his not so subtle Skyrim reference!

wampaHoth: There isn’t an awful lot of things to do on Hoth in regard to exploration, but you can of course, you can zip around on a TaunTaun. My favourite part was fighting the Wampas, needless to say I died a few times, those guys are tough! This location has it’s peak as you make your escape and take down the AT-ATs!

endorEndor:  Just as you would expect, Endor is kind of beautiful. It has is such a lovely lush feel after the cold barrenness of Hoth. And of course, there are Ewoks. They aren’t very detailed, more like little children’s Lego figures, but still cute none-the-less. There are some more cool places to explore here, such as the treetops and the Scout Trooper camp. Not to mention, riding a speeder at top speed!

The Storyline sticks somewhat to the original trilogy, but of course is condensed for the purposes of a short, streamlined play set within the larger game that makes up Disney Infinity. But your favourite characters are still their good, old selves, with Leia’s levelheadedness, Han’s contempt and Luke’s whining. For the most part, it’s as you would expect, you shut down tractor beams, you fly the Falcon and you face off with Vadar; but it’s still a hellova lot of good, old-fashioned fun!

The Figurines:  There are still several figures that aren’t available yet (in Australia anyway). These include Luke and Leia, who come with the Rise Against the Empire playset, Han Solo and Chewbacca, Darth Vadar and Darth Maul – these are due to be released in Australia on the 8th of October. There is also a limited edition Boba Fett figurine, currently only available as part of the Playstation 4 buddle pack.

All-in-all, I think that this addition to Disney Infinity’s already impressive spread is a very well planned, well made and all-encompassing win; it has most of the things the fans will have hoped for, and is fun and engaging for the new generations as well. I recommend any Star Wars fan to play this game!

Millennium-falcon-icon Millennium-falcon-icon Millennium-falcon-icon Millennium-falcon-icon Millennium-falcon-icon   5/5 Falcons!

You can find all the official information for this play set on the Disney Infinity website, HERE.

You can watch the announcement trailer and see more images of the game HERE .

Images: here, (the screenshots are my own, taken from my  own gameplay.)

Video: Created by me using gameplay footage taken from my own play through of the play set. The game, it’s characters, storylines, locations and everything else contained within, are property of Disney.

Teaser… Disney Infinity 3.0 Review, coming soon!

So I recently purchased the latest version of Disney Infinity, version 3.0.

I am currently working on a review for the game, which will have a lot of footage and cute in-game easter eggs and things, which are going to take a bit more game play and editing to make it as awesome as this game deserves it to be, so for now, I just wanted to tease you all with a short clip from the Mos Eisley section of the Rise Against the Empire playset. Enjoy!

So riding a Bantha is super cute, and the exploration in the game alone can bring days and days of entertainment, let alone the awesome and fun storylines and more involved gameplay. Hope to bring you my full reviews of this game soon!

I will be reviewing three separate aspects of the game, the Toybox, the Star Wars™: Twilight of the Republic Play Set, and the Star Wars™: Rise Against the Empire Play Set. And of course, the Star Wars™: The Force Awakens™ Play Set when it comes out at the end of the year!

Not to mention, this game has some of the most kick-ass female characters in several galaxies!

di3sw04rebels09 di301

Image via: here, here,

Video: recorded myself on Xbox one, username Felix Turtle

Ten Awesome Games that Shaped the Gamer I am Today

I love games, I have since I was a little kid and I got my first gameboy for my tenth birthday in 1995, followed by a Nintendo 64 the year after. RPGs were the first games I fell in love with, expansive worlds, heroic characters and cute little sidekicks. I was hopeless at finishing though, if something was too hard back then, I would usually just give up, and sadly left many games unfinished, until I got old and revisited them anyway. I think that is partially why these days I’m such a completionist.


After my initial love with consoles, handheld and otherwise, I dabbled in oone gaming for a while, I didn’t have any money, so I couldn’t play WoW, but I discovered a few free online games (like Ragnarok Online)and fell in love with being part of something so much bigger than I was. And my love of the world wide gaming community commenced.

These days, I don’t get nearly as much time to play games as I would like, but my love for them is still as strong as ever. I own almost every console on the market (still saving for my PS4) and I still play when I can. For nostalgia’s sake though, here are ten games that have shaped my unconditional love of escaping reality, of visiting fantasy worlds and playing a hero. I love my RPGs, adventure games, games that challenge me and games that are just stunningly beautiful to look at. Here are ten of the games that shaped the awesome love of games I hold today.

1. Pokémon (Game Freak / Nintendo)

bulbasaur-charmander-and-squirtle-27427-1680x1050 (2)Pokémon will forever live in my heart. It was the first game I ever completed to the end, and one of the very first games I received and played on my original Gameboy. (which I still have in working condition with my Elite Four beating team still saved). I always buy the new games on release day and I am still on my quest to Catch ‘Em All. Pokemon started my love of adventure RPG games, and ignited in me my desire to ‘catch ’em all’ – the fire in me that seeks to explore every dungeon, and find every item.  Pokemon for me instilled a love of adventure, of team work and strategy, but also of completion as I still work to fill my ever expanding pokédex.

2. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda)

IMG_9248As an older gamer, my love of RPGs evolved when I first picked up a n Elder Scrolls game, Morrowind was probably my first, but Skyrim stole my heart. Probably the game that I have dedicated the most play time to (if you don’t combine my Pokemon totals), with over 1200 hours. This game is stunning. It is absorbing. It has the perfect balance of guided quests and free roaming. The open world is seamless and there are so many nooks and crannies and caves to explore that the completionist in me totally lapped this game up. It is simply a joy to play and a perfect escape from reality. But honestly, no description is going to do this game justice.


3. Kingdom Hearts (Square Enix)

kingdom_hearts_2_by_pooterkid-d5f5mu7The characters, as well as their immersion into a Disney-based universe simply took my breath away. I will never forget beating Xaldin on my first attempt, and how excited I was about it. Not to mention the epic Sephiroth battle in KH:II. Kingdom Hearts took my heart so violently I have the game’s icon permanently inked on my skin. I suppose Kingdom Hearts and final fantasy kind of fall into the same category of fantasy RPG, but Kingdom Hearts stands alone for two reasons, it’s connection with Disney is magical, seriously, the mash-up is stunning and the uniqueness of the worlds it presents is amazing, plus it tends to drag you back into your childhood and all the fils you watched growing up, but the concept is also unique, the keyblade is a symbol of hope, and these games are all intertwined ever-so-cleverly.


4. Mario Kart (Nintendo)

mario-kartWho doesn’t love hurling shells at their friends to blow them up while speeding down a track with a cool theme, avoiding obstacles? Mario Kart can make and break friendships, and I became best friends with my other half while bonding over Mario Kart 7 on DS. I was never very good at racing games, the controls were always so touchy, and I crashed, A LOT. But Mario Kart never seemed to present those problems to me, not anymore than they did anyone else anyway. Mario Kart, I think, taught me about myself in regards to competition, I was never an overly competitive person until I first played Mario Kart on N64. Since then, it has become one of my all-time favourites, and I pull it out whenever I get the chance. In fact, I bought a wii U just to play Mario Kart. (And Zelda of course…)


5. Legend of Zelda (Nintendo)

IMG_9246Zelda is one of those games that just absorbs you completely, taking you into a new world entirely. I remember not only playing these games, but reliving them in my mind while I was at school or at work, thinking about them all the time. Once I start playing a Zelda game – it owns me. And this isn’t a bad thing. Zelda games are beautiful, they are engaging and they are FUN. But once again, fantasy, adventure RPG, the difference with Zelda is the many puzzle-soling aspects throughout the game, they are challenging and kept me super engaged with the game, the story and the characters. Zelda games are smart, they are cunning and they kept me so as well.


6. Final Fantasy (Square Enix)

IMG_9249The Final Fantasy games must be some of my favourite games to play just for the sheer beauty of the landscapes and environments. Don’t get me wrong, the story lines and characters are equally beautiful and engaging, and most of the FF games are super fun to play. And if none of the above wins your heart, the soundtrack certainly will. It’s the strategy in this series that places this in the category as games that shaped my knowledge of the greater gaming world – until I played a final fantasy, I didn’t really think about strategy, not even when I played Pokémon, which I do now. Final Fantasy taught me that having a good strategy can be the difference between winning and losing.


7. Yoshi’s Story (Nintendo)

yoshis storyOne of the first platformers I actually finished, I owe my love of classic and new platformers to this game. Of course I’ve played Mario’s and Sonic’s, but Yoshi was the character I fell in love with, and I share his love of melons too (the fruit, let’s keep it clean). I spent hours of my younger years slaving away, completing chapter after chapter, saving all the Yoshi’s and collecting all the fruit. The OCD in me loved the tidiness of the side scrolling platformer, enjoying the compact selection of world on the screen, just enough to focus on the task at hand. Yoshi also became one of my favourite characters, and is always my go to selection in Mario Kart.


8. Tomb Raider (Feral Interactive, Square Enix)

IMG_9251Obviously a winner in my book because it has one of the most kick ass lead ladies in the business. But the thing about Tomb Raider games that sets it apart from any other action-adventure RPG I have played, is the game-play, the timed-jumps, flips, wall-climbs and ledge-crawls that create an amazing sense of tension. Obviously there are other games of this calibre that I could have chosen, such as Assassin’s Creed or Uncharted, but Lara won me over in these games, growing up I didn’t have an awful lot of strong female lead characters in games I was playing, and Lara was, let’s face it, the most kick-ass chick on the gaming market. Lara taught me that you don’t have to be a dude to be a hero, or a survivor, or to kick-ass, and the too young to understand feminist in me strongly appreciated the representation.

9. Portal (Valve)

Portal-2-PC-Game-10Games that challenge me are by far my favourites, and this RPG problem-solver was one of the best. The puzzles in this game could sometimes keep me occupied for days, scratching my head and frustrating myself to no end, but I loved it. This game, as a gamer, taught me patience, something up until this point I didn’t have much of, usually having purchased the user guide to try and finish the games to completion. But with Portal I didn’t want the guidebook, I didn’t want to google it, I didn’t want to cheat, I wanted to find the answers myself and feel the victory when I made it through each test, while GLaDOS (or Wheatley) taunted me. And it was oh-so-satisfying.

10. Crystal Caves (Apogee)

crystalcavesCrystal Caves is old. Like I had to install it with a floppy disk and load it in DOS old. But as old as it is, it is an amazing side-scrolling platformer and one of my all-time favourite games. Plus the ancient sound effects were uber-cool. This game taught me determination: I had no internet, I had no cheat books, It was just me and the game, and my little blaster gun. And it was hard. The graphics were simple, as was the story, but the puzzles were challenging and the gameplay was choppy at best, and even though it took me over a decade to finish this game (I finally downloaded and finished it in 2013), it was a huge part of the games of the 90s that pushed me to fall in love with gaming as a whole when I was just starting out in games. Our childhood memories and the games we still, after all this time, hold the most dear as some of our earliest gaming memories are the ones that make us GAMERS, instead of just people who play games.

I think it’s fair to say, that I am primarily, first and foremost, an RPG girl. I love a good fatasy or adventure RPG, and throw in an open world setting and I’m in heaven (CAN NOT wait for the new Zelda game this year). I love being challenged and I love finding ways to beat the boss battles that don’t necessarily involve me having to level-up or find better weapons. I love using my brain when I play games, but at the same time I enjoy gaming to escape and to be drawn in to an amazing story.

What kind of gamer are you?


You can find me on Xbox live as Felix Turtle, and on 3DS as Sami-Lee (friend code: 0877 – 2800 – 5289)

Images via herehere, herehere, here, here, here, here, here, here, here