Happy 25 Years of Pokemon!

Yesterday Pokemon celebrated its 25th year of existence. Yes, TWENTY-FIVE YEARS with those colourful little pocket monsters – you read that right!

I wanted to share my own little journey of becoming a Pokemon Master as it’s been such a huge part of who I became.

Our journey back begins in 1998! A brand new anime show called Pokemon aired on a tv network called YTV here in Canada and it was all the rage around the playground. Soon the Pokemon card fad blew up and we brought our massive, perfectly categorized binders to the schoolyard and learned all about the cutthroat world of business and trade. It was a wild time, and they were soon banned! But that was my first foray into geek-culture and lifelong friendships started thanks to the PokeWorld.

The next summer (1999), I went to my friends’ cottage on a beautiful idyllic lake. She had just got a new game – Pokemon Red – for her birthday so what did we do? Play inside for a week straight on her tiny Original Gameboy (not even a Gameboy Color – just a standard, black and white Gameboy!) Don’t even think we left the cottage. 🙂 I soon got my own Pokemon Color and started my own journey. I picked Squirtle my first go and we travelled around Kanto, letting nothing get in our way! Except for the pesky Rock Tunnel… still have strong memories of the couple of weeks I was stuck in there… *shudders!*

From that first adventure on the Gameboy, the franchise and my obsession only grew. There now EIGHT generations of the game with almost 1000 different Pokemon in total, spinoff games like Pokemon Snap (90s kid Instagram) and Pokemon Go, shows and movies, toys, and the list goes on!

I can also thank Pokemon for being the thing that inspired me to get creative! My favourite characters were easy to turn into drawings (my parents must have had to hang a million pictures of Pokemon on the fridge!), knits, felties, and delicious treats!

It doesn’t seem like it’s been 20+ years since I was first introduced to Pokemon. I definitely didn’t imagine that I’d still be talking about Pikachu and pals as a 31 year old, surrounded by plushies and games. But I’m so glad I am.

Why have a regular pizza, when you can catch a Pizzachu?!
Poke-knits~
Jiggly-twins! I brought home this GIANT Jigglypuff plush from Aikon in 2018 and couldn’t resist dressing up.
Sugar the Kitty with her best bud, Skitty the Cat!
Nothing like unwinding from a hard day of school or work and entering the Pokemon World!

Here’s to 25 more years. I promise I’ll still be playing when I’m old and on my rocker! 🙂

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My Favourite Video Games in 2020

I have seen a number of posts of people sharing their top games from 2020, and thought I would participate as well! 2020 was an ideal kind of gaming year: stuck inside with nothing but time and looking for a good escape.

I’ll admit, I didn’t really leave my “bubble” games wise, opting for some old reliable friends (nope, no crazy shoot-em-up apocalypse for me last year ;)).

Here’s what I played
New Releases~

Animal Crossing New Horizons ~ obviously my most anticipated game of the year, and it didn’t disappoint! I would have enjoyed it no matter what, but escaping to a sunny island of happy animals during a raging pandemic made ACNH just a little bit more special. I love open-ended games with no pressure, and this helped me escape into a world of my very own.

Stardew Valley ~ I started playing Stardew on election night to distract myself a bit… It’s a farming simulator game much like Harvest Moon, but has a bit more a “mature” feeling to it. While it’s somewhat similar to Animal Crossing where you get to live a new life, there are more required tasks needed to accomplish more rigid goals (eg. farming, marriage, etc). But the graphics and music are beautiful and an incredibly calming game when you need a distraction from the real worlds’ craziness!


Pokemon Sword/Shield ~ The newest generation in the line of Pokemon video games, which was released at the tail end of 2019. I have been sitting on a draft post FOREVER about my opinions on the newer Pokemon games, but I will keep my opinions to myself for now… I really only started getting into the game at the very end of the year, but so far it is a vast improvement from Sun/Moon. The graphics are beautiful (especially the architecture of the towns!) and it has a very open feel. And of course one of my favourite Pokemon, Alcremie, who is a pile of whipped cream, was introduced.

And the Gigantamax version is quite literally a gigantic cake.


Final Fantasy VIII Remaster ~ not a new game per se, but instead it is a remastered version of Playstation’s 1999 Final Fantasy VIII now released for the Switch with upgraded graphics. The game was a bit overshadowed by Final Fantasy VII, which was an actual remake and a much more popular title in the series, but it’s definitely worth checking out. The Junction system still remains a struggle, but if you can figure it out (pay attention to the tutorials!) the storyline and music are definitely worth it.


Retro Games~

Pokemon Pearl ~ I usually revert back to the older generations of Pokemon, Generation 4 being a favourite! Journeying through Sinnoh is so comforting and I could replay this version a million times and not get bored. Forever hoping for a proper remake *hint Nintendo!*

Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure ~ I have some great memories of playing this Playstation game with my cousins in the early 2000s. It’s basically what it says on the tin: a pure adorable sappy video game slash musical! There are singing and dancing cats, frogs, and pirates, and a girl has to rescue a prince from a erm… rather well-endowed Evil Queen. It’s just sugary, simple, FUN that was perfect for a year like last year. To add to the fun, it comes with a soundtrack of the songs from the game. Here’s a taste of the music from the game!

Other games I played in 2020:

  • Legend of Dragoon
  • Catz 4 (yes, super retro!)
  • The Sims
  • Harvest Moon: Story of Seasons
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October Blogging Challenge! Day 9: A Day in the Life Of!

Today’s challenge is a day in my life! So I kept my camera with me all day to show you what I typically get up to. I absolutely LOVED this as it makes you realize how much you do actually accomplish and help you capture tiny moments you may otherwise not think about. So here we go!~

Waking up to kitty nibbling at my feet…
Coffee in a donut
Runs and rainbows
Fighting bad guys with Sakura
Relaxing
Cleaning and watching the world go by!
Hanging out with friends in Animal Crossing! <3
And got a little batty! 😉
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Happy Anniversary, Animal Crossing!

Animal Crossing arrived in North America exactly eighteen years ago today (September 16, 2002). It was just a quirky little game with super cute but chatty animals, working odd jobs to earn money, and your very own… mortgage?! That kind of game couldn’t possibly go anywhere, could it? Of course!

Santa brought me and my brother a Gamecube for Christmas in 2002 and we were transported into a world where a talkative cat demanded to know who we were, where we were going, and why! Once we finally escaped the shakedown, we arrived at our own little town and were given a house of our very own. We were absolutely enamoured and have been living in the world of animals ever since! Following the original game for Gamecube, there have been multiple versions of the game over the years. While I’ve covered my adventures in the newest Animal Crossing game (New Horizons), I wanted to time-travel back to the earlier days of Animal Crossing!

Animal Crossing: Population Growing ~ Gamecube ~ 2002

The original game! While there were other simulation games that were super popular at the time (The Sims, Harvest Moon, etc) Animal Crossing was so different from anything else out there. You could befriend animals (or well… not!), decorate your own house, fish and catch bugs, shop, and join in festivals depending on the real world calendar, do as much or as little as you wanted… it was ENDLESS fun!

This is my little house! Back in the day, you could only pick from one of four houses and the upgrade the size and change the roof! It seems basic now, but was absolutely mind-blowing back in the day! The little guy standing next to the door is your personal Gyroid assistant! He would help you save the game and save extra items. I miss them so much. ^_^

The map with all of the locations! Everybody’s town was completely different which made it more exciting. You could travel by train to your friends’ towns which would require their memory card in your Gamecube (this was way before Wifi!)

There was a Police Station run by two cop dogs who would let you take lost goodies. Don’t you just hate it when you misplace your… rocket?!

And a look inside my house! Me, making questionable decor choices since 2002!

Animal Crossing: Wild World ~ Nintendo DS ~ 2005

Wild World moved from the Gamecube console to the handheld and was a much more open and customizable world than its predecessor! WW had the same familiar kind of fun, but customization was expanded, had upgraded graphics, and you could take it with you and even interact with friends over the internet!

Animal Crossing: City Folk ~ Nintendo Wii ~ 2008

City Folk (also known as Animal Crossing Let’s Go to the City!) went back to the console and added the fun feature of going… well into the CITY! There were shops and other little features that made you feel very chic and adventurous for getting out of your little village.

City Folk is the only game that I haven’t really played too much of other than tinkering around in my brothers’ town a bit growing up. It’s been on my list to play it more because I feel like I’m missing out on so much!

Animal Crossing: New Leaf ~ Nintendo 3DS ~ 2013

New Leaf really changed the game! It is a completely customizable game that you could make your very own! I have spent hundreds of hours customizing every single detail of my little town, PinkLove!

My town as you’d probably guess was…. PINK and filled with cuteness and love everywhere (just realizing the axe is probably making that sound less genuine – oops)!

My house! Filled with Lovely furniture and cuteness as physically possible!

New Leaf had a whole street with the shops! The Nook’s had an EMPIRE back in the day!

Loved going to grab a coffee in the early morning too! 3 sugars, 3 milks please!

New Leaf had some of the cutest sets! Look at the delicious Sweets Series! I miss it so much (not so much Gracie’s price tag though ;))

It’s a game full of creative expression that has been a big part of my life. I love seeing my animal friends when I need a boost of happy!

What are your favourite Animal Crossing memories?!

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My Favourite Games to Celebrate National Video Games Day!

Happy Video Games Day! It’s another one of those fun unofficial holidays, but I will never pass up a reason to celebrate!! I was first introduced to games by my uncle when I was 4 or 5 and spent hours just sitting there watching him beat Super Mario Bros. on the NES. I was completely sucked into the little pixel universes behind the tv and never looked back!

I love video games, but I’ll admit that I’m not very adventurous in finding new things to play! I tend to return to the same games I’ve enjoyed for decades, as you know you can’t go wrong!

These are my top go-to video games of all time!

Super Mario 64
This was the very first game that my brother and I got for the N64! I remember so many late nights spent begging my parents for just a couple more minutes to try and nab the stars for levels or trying to see if maybe there was a way to sneak to the top of the never-ending staircase (so much time…)! And of course that iconic soundtrack (crying at Dire Dire Docks forever!)

Pokemon
So much of my life has been influenced by Pokemon games! The series will forever be my favourite video game as it still holds incredibly strong memories for me more than 20 years since I first played! I love any game where I can collect, and even more so if it’s collecting cute creatures and kicking the butt out of anyone who gets in my way.
I tried to pick an absolute favourite in the series, but it’s hard! Blue was my first game, and nothing will beat those heart-pounding first playthrough memories! But Crystal, Ruby, Pearl, and spin off games like Pokemon Stadium and Snap hold special places in my heart!

The Legend of Dragoon
LOD was the very first Playstation game that I had ever actually seen. I remember watching my cousins play in about 2000, and fell head over heals with it and became a Playstation girl from that day on!
The game is an epic fantasy video game that starts as your standard guy needs to save a girl from a terrible mysterious hooded man, and then evolves in an incredibly layered story with an expansive universe and memorable characters. It’s always been a bit shocking to me that it never became that popular (as compared to Final Fantasy for instance), because there aren’t many other games that have as much depth or beautiful graphics.

Final Fantasy VIII
I randomly picked FF8 at the store when deciding how to spend my birthday money when I was 12, and had no idea that it would have such a big influence on my life! The game involves the adventures of Squall Leonhart, a cadet at a military school who needs to save the world from a time-compressing evil sorceress.
While all the other kids were obsessing over Hogwarts, I spent my early teens involved in a number of roleplays around the greatest school of them all – Balamb Garden – and it was a blast.
Last year, Square Enix released a remastered version with beautifully updated graphics (and yes, Squall you NOW are the most handsome guy here!)

Animal Crossing
Adorable talking animals? Cute clothes? A never ending mortgage pedalled by a half-naked raccoon?! Could be nothing other than Animal Crossing!
Animal Crossing for Gamecube is also what got me into journalling/blogging in the first place! I remember trying to explain blogging to my Dad so he could purchase me an account as you needed to pay to register back in the day. There used to be an incredibly vibrant AC community on Livejournal in the early 2000s where we would share photos of our towns taken with digital cameras – and it was amazing!
I’m still playing, most recently with Animal Crossing New Horizons and after almost 20 years the game still fills me with just as much happiness!

Other runners up are Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, Harvest Moon, and Mario Kart!

Video games are such a fun way to unwind and fully escape into other worlds and be anyone you want to be! I love that there’s something out there for everyone. Now go forth and celebrate with your favourite games!

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