in » WALLFLOWER «: August 2013

Video Game Spotlight | Bioshock Series

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Video games are one of my favourite things, I've loved gaming since I was a little kid and would spend hours playing Spyro or Sonic. It's something that has stuck with me and I always love meeting new people who are also in to gaming and just rambling about it in general! I thought I'd start a new feature on my blog where I introduce you to some of my favourite video games and hopefully encourage some of you to have a go at them or get more in to gaming as it's not just 'for boys'. Let me know if you're in to games too down in the comments, I would love to have some of you do guest posts about your favourite games in the future if this all ges down well!

I thought I'd start off by showcasing one of my favourite game series', Bioshock. Ever since I first played Bioshock I've been in love with the world and story that these games created as well as the combat and gameplay style. I think the series has an amazing story to it, one of the best in the video game industry and the worlds that they created in it are breathtaking which has made the series one of my favourites to play. There are currently three games in the series, Bioshock, Bioshock 2 and Bioshock Infinite. The first two are set in the underwater city of Rapture, the last in a floating city in the sky, Columbia.


--x-x-x--


Bioshock
"No Gods or Kings. Only Man."
Welcome to Rapture
"Bioshock lets you do the impossible as you explore a mysterious underwater city. When your plane crashes, you discover Rapture - an underwater Utopia torn apart by civil war. Caught between powerful forces and hunted down by genetically modified "splicers" and deadly security systems, you have to come to grips with a deadly, mysterious world filled with powerful technology and fascinating characters. As little girls loot the dead, and biologically mutated citizens ambush you at every turn. Now you`re trapped, caught in the middle of a genetic war that will challenge both your capacity to survive and your moral allegiance to your own humanity. Make meaningful and mature decisions that culminate in the grand question - do you exploit the innocent survivors of Rapture to save yourself - or risk all to become their saviour?" 


--x-x-x--

Bioshock 2
"Love is just a chemical. We give it meaning by choice."
 
"The game is set in the fictional underwater dystopia of Rapture. The game opens with a cutscene set in 1958 then jumps 10 years to when Delta wakes up in 1968, eight years after the events of the first Bioshock. The protagonist and player-controlled character is an Alpha series of Big Daddy, a human being that has been mentally conditioned to protect Little Sisters which is amongst the first of its kind. The player-controlled character Big Daddy, named Subject Delta who was previously paired with a single Little Sister, reactivates with no recollection of the past decade's events and scours the city in an attempt to relocate the Little Sister that he was paired with. Fearing this reunion will ruin her plans for the city, Sofia Lamb, the antagonist, sends out her spliced up followers that she calls "The Rapture Family" and new Big Sisters in an attempt to deter Delta."


--x-x-x--

Bioshock Infinite
"Booker... are you afraid of God?" "No, but I'm afraid of you."
"What is Columbia, if not another Ark for another time?"


"Indebted to the wrong people, with his life on the line, veteran of the U.S. Cavalry and now hired gun, Booker De-Witt has only one opportunity to wipe his slate clean. He must rescue Elizabeth, a mysterious girl imprisoned since childhood and locked up in the flying city of Columbia. Forced to trust one another, Booker and Elizabeth form a powerful bond during their daring escape. Together, they learn to harness an expanding arsenal of weapons and abilities, as they fight on zeppelins in the clouds, along high-speed Sky-Lines, and down in the streets of Columbia, all while surviving the threats of the air-city and uncovering its dark secret."

"Songbird, Songbird see him fly, drop the children from the sky, when the young ones misbehave, escorts children to their grave."
--x-x-x--

The two cities that feature in the games, Rapture and Columbia, are polar opposites yet similar in so many ways. One is built underwater, the other floating with the clouds, but the way that the developers managed to tie the two worlds together at the end of Bioshock Infinite is one of the sole reasons why I encourage you to play this series if you haven't already! The mix of amazing surroundings and well written story that completely absorbs you and leaves you wanting more is probably why these games are so addictive and why I constantly go back to playing them over and over again.
What I also love about these games is that there's always something to find, like food to get your health up, money to purchase upgrades, or items such a cigarettes and alcohol which actually decrease your heath and other things. It's such a simple and well used factor in gaming but the way they did it, with so much detail added weirdly makes it fun to hunt around looking for things or upgrade your weapons and buy new ammo.

One of my favourite things about the story is that you can collect objects called Plasmids (Bioshock 1 & 2) or Vigors (Bioshock Infinite) as you progress which are special abilities that you can use to aid you or attack your enemies. For example, one of the Plasmids is called 'Winter Blast' and when used it automatically freezes your target. I think these are a great addition  to the game as they swap up the combat style and make it more exciting and experimental rather than just endlessly shooting a gun and hoping you kill someone. 


I don't want to give away too much of the story in case any of you decide to try it out, but I will say that if you play all three then you're in for a huge twist at the end of Infinite which also leaves so many questions and possibilities for more games! Overall I think the Bioshock games are great for anyone, a veteran gamer or someone who's just starting out and doesn't know that to have a go at first. The games are fun to play, the story is captivating, and the locations that you get to explore are unique but beautifully done. I strongly recommend these, they're absolute classics, and on the plus side they're now super cheap on amazon! 

"There's always a lighthouse. There's always a man. There's always a city."

 
 

Book Haul

Monday, 19 August 2013

I am a huge lover of reading, I always have been and always will be, so when my mum said we were going to go book hunting I was stupidly excited! I'm lucky enough to live near a village which has someone who sells a massive selection of second hand books on the weekend, think multiple rooms filled to the ceiling with stacks of books kind of 'massive selection', all for amazingly cheap.

This was honestly only about 20% of the books in this place, it was insane.
We must have spent at least two hours there just browsing and choosing books to purchase. There are some real gems in there, including a first edition of The Wind in the Willows for only £10. In the end we got 16 books, 2 for my mum, and 14 for me.. which only came to £17 in total! Yes, £17 for 16 books all in fairly good condition and great finds. I couldn't believe it either.

Even more books! | You can just see the tea  shop in the far right corner
After we'd bought enough books we decided to go have a look round the village and see what we could find.  We ended up coming across a cute chocolate shop and obviously had to buy some. It smelt so good in there, I could have stayed in there for hours just smelling all the chocolatey goodness! As well as the chocolate shop there was a tiny little antique/craft type shop and an adorable 'tea shoppe'. We stopped off there for cake and tea to end the day on a sweet note. It was definitely sweet in my case as I chose a Victoria sponge slice which was full of cream and absolutely delicious!

I loved the cup and saucer that the tea was served in, and the tea pot.
I also thought that it would be a fun idea to show you the books that I got with a brief overview of what they're about so you can check them out for yourselves if you're interested. I've read a few of them so far and really enjoyed them and I'm really excited to get to the rest.
 
Shattered Dreams - Irene Spencer

"Irene Spencer grew up in a fundamentalist, polygamous Mormon village in Arizona. The thirteenth of thirty-one children, she grew up in abject poverty and isolation, and was taught that she should never question the church leaders. Her mother, unable to cope, left her children and three 'sister-wives' with her abusive husband. 
Desperate to escape her violent home, and believing she had no choice but to live by 'the Principle', at sixteen Irene found herself in a plural marriage, sharing her husband with her half sister. When the government raided her village, she fled with Verlan, numerous other wives and countless children to a ranch in Mexico where Verlan's brother, a self-proclaimed prophet, was attempting to found a new Mormon colony.
The strains of husband-sharing with - ultimately - nine other wives were unbelievably hard. Irene's story provides a fascinating insight into polygamous marriage - the squabbles and the jealousy, and the agony of watching your husband choose other wives over you. They lived with divided loyalties in unremitting deprivation - struggling to maintain so many households and to bring up 56 children."

The Pursuit of Happiness - Douglas Kennedy 

"Manhattan, Thanksgiving Eve, 1945. The war was over, and Eric Smythe's party was in full swing. All his clever Greenwich Village friends were there. So too was his sister Sara, an independent, canny young woman, starting to make her way in the big city. And then in walked a gatecrasher, Jack Malone, a U. S. Army journalist just back from a defeated Germany, and a man whose world-view did not tally with that of Eric and his friends. This chance meeting between Sara and Jack would have profound consequences."

Star Wars: Dark Empire - Tom Veitch & Cam Kennedy


"Six years after the Battle of Endor, the fight for freedom rages on. Darth Vader is dead, but a reborn Empire under a mysterious new leader strikes back at the struggling Rebel Alliance. 
Massive World Devastators, more powerful and unstoppable that the Death Star ravage entire planets, wile the ruthless heirs of Jabba the Hutt place a monumental price on the heads of Princess Leia and her husband, Han Solo.
Along with Lando, Chewbacca, Artoo, Threepio and other old allies, Han and Leia struggle to protect the future for their unborn child.
But their greatest foe may be their closest friend, Darth Vader's son, Luke Skywalker..."


"If it is the author's job to paint word-pictures, few writers have accomplished the task more brilliantly than J.R.R. Tolkien, whose timeless fantasy classics have literally taken readers to another place.
And what a place it is! The Middle-earth so graphically depicted in The Hobbit, The Rings Trilogy, and The Silmarillion is a breathtaking world of misty valleys and craggy tors, placid lakes and raging rivers, steamy bogs and glad green glades -- a magical kingdom inhabited by such unforgettable characters as the Great Goblin, Smaug the dragon, and the great wizard Gandalf. Small wonder this wonderland has provided such a rich source of inspiration for artists!

In this book nine talented painters contribute powerful interpretations of Middle-earth, each one accompanied by the text that inspired it. Artists include Inger Edelfeldt, Tony Galuidi, Roger Garland, Robert Goldsmith, Michael Hague, John Howe, Alan Lee, Ted Nasmith, and Carol Emery Phenix."


"The classic guide to yoga - clear, comprehensive and superbly illustrated. Easy-to-follow instructions and authoritative teaching cover all aspects of this timeless discipline - an inspiration for the beginner and expert alike." 
 
 
I already have Carrie, it's one of my favourite books but this cover was too good to not buy it, and for only 30p!




Gerald's Game - Stephen King

"It wasn't the first time Gerald and Jessie Burlingame had tried bondage games to liven up their marriage. But as Jessie lies on the bed in their lakeside holiday cabin, her wrists securely cuffed to the bedposts, the shame and humiliation of it strikes her as never before - feelings that turn to rage when Gerald chooses to interpret her lack of enthusiasm as part of the game.
When she kicks out at him she means to hit him where it hurts; what she didn't foresee was the resulting coronary that leaves Gerald dead on the floor - and leaves her handcuffed to the bed, miles from anywhere, with no one to hear her screams.
As she contemplates an agonising death from dehydration and the slow crucifixion of muscle cramps, she begins to hear voices inside her head - a confusing babel offering advice, encouragement or blame. Only one voice offers her hope, telling her to go back to a childhood memory of another lake and another holiday cabin - and another terrifying event. An event she has tried to forget, but which she must now re-live once again if she is going to survive.
And that's when the nightmare truly begins." 

Carrie - Stephen King 

"Carrie White was no ordinary girl. Carrie White had a gift - the gift of telekinesis.
The story of misfit high-school girl, Carrie White, who gradually discovers that she has telekinetic powers. Repressed by a domineering, ultra-religious mother and tormented by her peers at school, her efforts to fit in lead to a dramatic confrontation during the senior prom."

I also already have copies of The Hobbit and The Catcher in the Rye, but I loved this cover of The Hobbit, and my original copy of The Catcher has been passed down from my mum to me, and read so many times that the pages are falling out. Oops.
 The Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum

 "'The road to the City of Emeralds is paved with yellow brick,' said the Witch
When a tornado crashes through Kansas city, Dorothy and her dog Toto are whisked far away, over the rainbow, to a strange land called Oz. How will they ever get home? And what is at the end of the yellow brick road? Plucky Dorothy and Toto embark on a magical adventure to search for the Wizard of Oz and along the way encounter the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion"
  
The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien 

""Smaug certainly looked fast asleep, when Bilbo peeped once more from the entrance. He was just about to step out on to the floor when he caught a sudden thin and piercing ray of red from under the drooping lid of Smaug's left eye. He was only pretending to sleep! He was watching the tunnel entrance…"
Whisked away from his comfortable, unambitious life in his hobbit-hole in Bag End by Gandalf the wizard and a company of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon."

The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger 

"Holden Caulfield is a seventeen- year-old dropout who has just been kicked out of his fourth school. Navigating his way through the challenges of growing up, Holden dissects the 'phony' aspects of society, and the 'phonies' themselves: the headmaster whose affability depends on the wealth of the parents, his roommate who scores with girls using sickly-sweet affection." 


Fairy Tales - Hans Christian Andersen 

Peter Pan - J.M. Barrie 

"Wendy, Michael and John are sleeping when the window of their nursery blows open and lets in a very remarkable boy, Peter Pan, and his fairy, Tinker Bell. 
Peter soon entices the three children from their beds and out through the window to Neverland. There, they encounter mermaids, fairies, the Lost Boys, the Indian princess Tiger Lily and her tribe, and do battle with an villainous gang of pirates and the sinister Captain Hook, in a magical adventure which has enchanted generations of children and adults alike."


Star Wars: A New Hope - George Lucas

"Luke Skywalker was a twenty-year-old who lived and worked on his uncle's farm on the remote planet of Tatooine ... and he was bored beyond belief. He yearned for adventures out among the stars—adventures that would take him beyond the farthest galaxies to distant and alien worlds.
But Luke got more than he bargained for when he intercepted a cryptic message from a beautiful princess held captive by a dark and powerful warlord. Luke didn't know who she was, but he knew he had to save her—and soon, because time was running out.
Armed only with courage and with the light saber that had been his father's, Luke was catapulted into the middle of the most savage space war ever ... and he was headed straight for a desperate encounter on the enemy battle station known as the Death Star!"

The Physics of Star Trek - Lawrence M. Krauss

"What warps when you're travelling at warp speed? What's the difference between the holodeck and a hologram? What happens when you get beamed up? What is the difference between a Wormhole and a Black Hole? What is antimatter and why does the Enterprise need it?
Discover the answers to these and many other fascinating questions as a renowned physicist and dedicated Trekker explores The Physics of Star Trek."


I hope you enjoyed reading about the books that I purchased and having a slightly different type of blog post than usual. Let me know if you'd like more of these posts in the future of a review on any of the books that I featured. I'd be more than happy to oblige! Also, if you'd like to add me on Goodreads (please do!) my account is here.

July Haul | Primark & Make Up

Thursday, 1 August 2013

I've not posted a haul in ages and as I've bought a few things recently I thought it was about time I do another one. Most of these are just stuff I picked up in Primark but there are a few make up items which I'll probably try out then review for you.

Primark Bambi crop t shirt - £6

Primark denim skater skirt - £8

Topshop socks - £8 for 3, Primark heart tights - £2.50, Primark knee high socks - £2

Primark daisy dress - £13, Primark cut out dress - £15































































































I love these dresses so much, they're probably two of my favourite items in my wardrobe right now. They're so soft and comfortable, as well as flattering and go with pretty much anything. I was especially excited to find the daisy print one as I'd been looking at the Topshop daisy print dresses and was umming and ahhing over getting one of them but wasn't too keen on the price. Luckily I saw this which I prefer over Topshop versions and picked it up, the last size 8 as well!

Primark t shirt - £6








Primark underwear - £10
I am a massive fan of Primark underwear, especially the Secret Possessions range. I find that they often stock designs and styles that wouldn't look out of place in Boux Avenue. I can't rave about them enough, especially because as I'm quite flat chested I hate having to fork out £20+ for a bra ("I HAVE TINY BOOBS WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY SO MUCH IT'S NOT FAIR") and at £10 for a matching set which is good quality and gorgeous, they're an absolute bargain!

Primark necklace - £2.50, Barry M Greenberry - £3.99, Sleek Face Form - £9.99, W7 Super Pout - £2.99, Dainty Doll Mineral Powder - £1




























I'm lucky enough to have a beauty outlet near me which has a bunch of make up and nail polishes all for great prices (Rimmel Apocalips £2.99, Urban Decay palettes half price, cheap OPI, Dainty Doll make up with more than half off, etc..). I went in today and was so excited to see that they still had in some of the Dainty Doll range, all selling for under £5, I tried out a few products but ended up really wanting the Loose Mineral Powder which was £3.99 (normally around £19 I think) but they only had the tester left in the shade that I wanted. Amazingly they said they'd sell me the tester for only £1! There was still plenty of product left in it so of course I said yes, I'll give it a clean and it'll be as good as new although without a lid or the cute packaging, boo.

Ariel mug - £6, Ariel cup - £4, Primark sweet cherry candles - £2

Next lace tops - £16



















































Last but not least, I got a few new items from work for my uniform. I love these tops as they're slightly oversized and look great with pretty much anything which means I can wear them out of work too.

I hope you like the items I've bought, especially the Disney mugs and bambi tee. I'm a huge Disney fan and my favourite classic Disney Princess films are The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Pocahontas. What are your favourite Disney films, or have you purchased any Disney related items recently? Let me know in the comments!


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