Gaming

The Video Games That Shaped My Life

I was very lucky growing up, both my parents were (and still are) avid gamers. My Mum had her SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) and my Dad had the Sega Megadrive and Nintendo 64. My first console that was mine was my purple Gameboy Colour which I still have to this day! Most of the games on this list are made by Nintendo, some may think this is really lame but I’ve never loved other company’s games more than Nintendo. So here are 7 of my favourite games ever, plus some honorable mentions!

The Legend of Zelda – Wind Waker

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I first played this game on the Gamecube, it was the first Zelda game I completed by myself so it has a very special place in my heart. The story is timeless and the cel shaded graphics really give the game a cute edge. Not going to lie, I really loved the sailing aspect of the game, it was so comforting sailing out in to the great unknown. Like all Zelda games, the best part of Wind Waker was the characters, from the King of Red Lions who is a talking boat to the violin playing tree Makar. I am currently re-playing this game for around the 4th time, which I rarely do with games more than once or twice.

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

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I’m pretty sure this was one of the first games I ever played and I still continue to play it to this day, I also have the DS remake Yoshi’s New Island. Along with Donkey Kong Country this is my favourite game on the SNES, the hand-drawn aesthetic of the game makes it so cute and easy to play. I also loved the feature that every level you played as a different coloured Yoshi, I think you can tell my favourite was always Blue Yoshi. This game ignited my love of all things Nintendo and the SNES has become my favourite gaming platform after the Gamecube because of this.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

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Most people I know have admitted to secretly loving Animal Crossing, who doesn’t love playing a game full of funny animals? Although I had the original Animal Crossing and Animal Crossing: Wild World, I always thought New Leaf was the best. In this game you are Mayor of your animal town not just a resident like the other games, also you could unlock special Nintendo items for your home, so now I have a house full of Master Swords and Mario Mushrooms! Although I don’t play this game daily anymore, I do find myself going on for special events like Halloween, Christmas and certain town people’s birthdays (there is one Kangaroo in my town called Marcie who my character ended up making a good friendship with, I hate missing her birthday). I would hate to think how many hours I have put in to this game, but those hours definitely weren’t wasted.

Bayonetta

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One of the only games on this list that isn’t strictly Nintendo (although the game kinda is now). I had this game on the Xbox 360 but I am super tempted to buy it again in a pack with Bayonetta 2 for the Wii U, also want to get the Amiibo because Bayonetta is badass and I need her added to my collection. Since I can remember I have been pretty obsessed with Witches and magic so as soon as I heard of this game I snapped it up. Bayonetta has two sets of guns one of which she clips to her shoes and fires them from there, she also uses her hair to summon demons to perform torture attacks on the angel foes.. if that’s not badass then I don’t know what is!

Pokemon Diamond

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Although the original Pokemon games are the most iconic, Diamond really got me back into Pokemon after a few years of abandoning the series. It also got me watching the Series again, I watched most of the Diamond & Pearl series on cartoon network while in school. I think I ended up playing every single Pokemon DS game that was released after I completed this game and have since started collecting Pokemon plushies. I played Diamond for a year minimum, I think I have a stupid amount of hours logged on this game (around 500 I think!) and all my Pokemon were either level 100 or close. I did love Pokemon X & Y and am currently playing Pokemon Moon still, I really thank this game for making me passionate about Pokemon again.

Pokemon Colosseum

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What can I say about this game? I honestly loved everything about it, from the music to the introduction of Shadow Pokemon. It wasn’t a hard game but I found it so fun seeing Pokemon for the first time in 3D in a game and I loved that you started with an Espeon and an Umbreon. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve played this game but I am currently replaying it and am near the end, just need to grind a hell of a lot to catch that Suicune!

The Sims

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Lets just admit it, The Sims is a revolutionary game. It was one of the first games that the only goal of the game was to create the characters, build their world and then play. I have had countless adventures, downloaded many mods (I currently have a lot of Sailor Moon merch in Sims 4), accidentally and purposely killed loads of Sims and created some very questionable characters. I have pretty much every game from the first Sims to the first few expansions of Sims 4 ( thanks Steam sales!), although my laptop doesn’t like to run the old Sims games anymore :(. I can’t see The Sims dying out for a long time and I will continue to waste my days building my dream house.

Mario Kart Double Dash & Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 

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Mario Kart Double Dash is one of my favourite games on the Gamecube, the levels are so fun to play and even the mini-games are hilarious (that bomb one is genius). My favourite levels of any Mario Kart games are on Double Dash, I have managed to get so good at the Donkey Kong course and the Daisy Cruiser course. I haven’t had Mario Kart 8 for long but so far I honestly think it could be just as good as Double Dash, this is why I have listed them together as honorable mentions. There is so many more customisable options, like, I can finally have blue Yoshi as my driver! Also you gradually unlock car add-ons and can scan in amiibos to unlock themed race car suits for your Miis. So far the mini games are great too, it’s just going to take some time to get used to the new tracks.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time & The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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I couldn’t end this list without mentioning these legendary games. Although I originally played Ocarina of Time on the N64 with my dad, I also had it on the Gamecube, but the DS one is the version that I fell in love with. The story had me hooked from the opening scene and the music is beautiful like most Zelda games are. Also nothing scares me more in a game than the ReDeads in this game -shivers-. Breath of the Wild was so much more than I expected it to be, fully immerseful and absolutely stunning, that’s why I’ve put it together with Ocarina of Time. I played this game for a few months constantly, I would go to work thinking about what I was going to do next in the game then come home and jump straight on it. I love games that you can explore in and get away from the main focus of the game, I have defeated three out of the four Devine Beasts in this game but waiting to defeat the fourth as I’m having so much fun exploring the world. If you thought the map for Skyrim was big, this map is something else.. every time I log on this game I find somewhere I haven’t visited before. I might have to do a review of this game on a separate post as there is just too much to say about it!

Let me know what your favourite games or game series are!

xo

 

Music

My Favourite Bands Right Now

Since I can remember music has been a huge part of my life. Starting from sitting down crossed legged surrounded by vinyls and CDs with my Dad to the countless gigs I have had the pleasure to see. I have had a consistent soundtrack to my life, every song and band linked to certain events in my life, wish I could make a physical Soundtrack of all these songs and memories. So here is a list of all my favourite bands right now, some of these bands I have listened to for years and others are new bands that are unforgettable. I hope you find some new bands to listen to and love like I do!

Issues

This band has been my favourite band for around 3 years now. I first heard them when my friend played me their song ‘Hooligans’ on the beach, I remember saying “what the hell is this?” as it was so different to what I usually listened to at the time. Issues are a Metalcore five piece from Atlanta, with three full albums (Black Diamonds, Issues & Headspace) and an EP (Diamond Dreams). The vocalist Tyler Carter has a very beautiful R&B voice which mixes well with their Metalcore vibe.

Bury Tomorrow

Bury Tomorrow are a five piece Metalcore band from Southampton in South England, consisting of brothers Daniel Winter-Bates (Lead Vocals) and Davyd Winter-Bates (Bassist). They have released 4 massive albums (Portraits, A Union of Crowns, Runes and Earthbound) and 1 EP (The Sleep of the Innocents) all in 10 years since their formation. Dani Winter-Bates harsh vocals mixed with Jason Cameron’s melodic singing makes Bury Tomorrow one of the best in the current Metalcore scene.

Don Broco

A little different to the rest of the bands on the list, Don Broco are an Alternative Rock four piece from Bedford in England. They have released two main Albums (Priorities and Automatic) and four extended plays (Living the Dream, Thug Workout, Big Fat Smile and You Wanna Know). What makes them different to the other bands on the list is they almost have a Groove to some of their songs while still keeping the alt rock edge.

Years & Years

The only Electronic band on this list is Years & Years, I saw them at a Gaming Convention in April and they blew me away.  Years & Years are a trio fronted by former actor Olly Alexander from London in England. They have only released one studio album so far called Communion, however it went straight to Number 1 in the UK and Ireland. What also makes this band great is how much work they put in to help Anti-Bullying and Mental Health charities.

Hands Like Houses

Hands Like Houses are a five piece rock band from Canberra in Australia and one of my favourite newer bands. I first saw them in 2013 when they were supporting Sleeping With Sirens but stupidly forgot to look them up again, luckily they popped up in my YouTube suggestions (thanks YouTube, I owe you one!). They have released five albums (Formation, Ground Dweller, Unimagine, Reimagine and Dissonants) and an EP (Snow Sessions).

Sumo Cyco

Sumo Cyco are an independent four piece band from Ontario in Canada, you might remember the lead singer Skye Sweetnam from her work in the early 2000’s on the Barbie TV shows. The only way I can describe Sumo Cyco is that they are basically a  female fronted Skindred. They have released two studio albums (Lost in Cyco City and Opus Mar) and countless music videos that they have scripted and produced themselves. One reason I love Sumo Cyco is that they are completely self reliant and still produce great music, also they do a some great covers of popular songs (Dua Lipa , Macklemore & Red Hot Chilli Peppers).

I’d love to hear what everyone’s favourites bands are right now, I am always open to hearing new bands and music.

xox

Pole Dancing

My Pole Fitness Story & Why It Saved Me

Never underestimate the strength of a Woman, and never mess with one who hangs upside down from a pole for fun – Unknown

Pole dancing, or Pole Fitness, gets a lot of stick in the Media.. tabloids and news outlets basically calling us ‘whores’ and that we are tainting the younger generations by teaching them how to be a stripper -rolls eyes-. Bad luck to the Pole Dance haters though, as their stance on pole dancing just made me want to go to a Pole Fitness class more to see what the fuss was about!

 

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I first heard about Pole Fitness classes where I live in 2013 while at Bournemouth University Fresher Fair. At this point in time I was gripped by some severe Self Esteem issues and was dying to get into some sort of fitness as I thought I needed to loose weight. Near the end of the day we spotted a Pole Fitness society that runs in Bournemouth University and puts on classes there in the evenings. So I signed up for it, but in true Carly style, I never went to -disapprovingly rolls eyes at past me-. Fast forward a few months, my friend found a Pole Fitness class around the corner from her uni accommodation which she finally managed to convince me to go to with her.  I will eternally be thankful to her for forcing me to go as it ignited a passion I’d been missing for years. The pole studio was located on top of a dance shop and the company Pole Crazy set up 6 poles for us to learn on, it was quite daunting at first but it soon became a second home. Unfortunately after around 6 months of on-off attendance, I had to stop going as I finished uni and had no spare money to keep going.  The next two years I missed going to pole so much and felt pretty depressed about not having an outlet for exercise, working in retail meant my shifts were all over the place so couldn’t finish early enough to attend the classes.

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In September 2016 my friend Lucy randomly messaged me saying that she is going back to Pole Crazy as it was located up the road from where I lived and that I should come too.. this was the beginning of the rest of my life. I have now been poleing consistently (apart from a few missed lessons due to illness) for  a year and a month, the best year and a month of my life. A year ago I started Pole as an insecure, lost and unsure girl and now I have emerged as a confident and positive women. I am still dealing with some self-esteem problems (which I may write about in a future post) but every time I go to pole and nail a move those problems become less and less.

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But the best part of going back to Pole Fitness classes was the amazing people I have met, honestly feel like I have gained an extra family and friends for life. I see people every week from all backgrounds, all body sizes and all ages, it’s so refreshing. A big shout out to my Pole Crazy family, thank you for saving my life ❤

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Girls who pole together, stay together.

xox